easter camp is big for our youth ministry ... big like, if you miss it you may be grieving for the next 12 months...which may tend to reveal a slight strain of event-itus, but the reality is that folks have so much fun it's hard to avoid the status camp holds in our local culture..
Not only does easter camp shape a significant part of ebcyouth's identity, but it is an incredible tool for the work of God among our young people. We again had some significant response spiritually among the youth, but there were also some other stand out elements for me ...
1. This year we used some experiential learning processes that took the campers through the whole story of God, and judging by some of the content of dialogue with campers at the end of the weekend, a big number of our people benefited far more than other times of a more lecture-type approach with a stronger emphasis on a guest speaker. eg. "at last i get it"
2. I saw a significant shift in the culture of camp this year that had me doing internal cartwheels. We intentionally focused our attention on seeing the small group leaders trained, equipped, and encouraged to "be present" amongst their small group - the impact on the campers was noticable, and the community feel among the small groups was also very positive. From what i saw, our leaders really owned the whole learning process and genuinely loved the people they were leading ... I'm pretty happy about that.
3. Those who had leadership responsibility in this event really stepped up in their areas and helped provide an environment where we were much more intentional than we ever have been in the past ... I'm pretty happy about that too.
This weekend has caused me to be thinking how God might use some of what we did on a larger scale, and with a broader influence ... praying that the pathway opens up for that to happen ... developing a real heart for young people in Australia to engage with God's story.