Every year, as a teenager, I always looked forward to youth camp. It would be the week after camp, and we start the “358 days till camp” count down. We went to different camps each year, many times just our youth group, but there was just something about camp that we all looked forward to. It was at the age of 15, during a church camp that I surrendered my life to Christ. Many times at church camps teenagers make decisions, come home, and then lose their fire after about a few weeks. This often has nothing to do with the fact that their decision wasn’t sincere, or that the camp wasn’t true, but that accountability is lost many times once the teen returns home.
This brings me to the purpose of this post 🙂 To tell you about the Our Generation Leadership Camp. First a little background information on the camp. The Our Generation Camp is a camp put on by Vision Baptist Church. In 2004 a group of young missionaries held a camp (Baptist Camp for World Evangelism) for college age students interested in foreign missions. God blessed in a such a tremendous way that the world is still feeling the impact of decisions made that week at camp, as alumni are now serving all over the world in missions. Over the years the camp evolved into the Our Generation Student Leadership Camp, and remained a focused training ground for foreign missions. In 2011 they expanded the vision and began to provide the Our Generation Camp for middle school and high school age students. It allows them exposure to young missionaries, missions training, plus all the fun and excitement expected in a summer camp.
There are a few main things that make the OG camp unique.
First is that we allow Middle school age through college age all together. You may think, “well I’m not sure if I would want my middle schooler at the same camp as a College age student. That is why during the week the middle and high school ages, and college age students are split for sessions geared specifically towards their age. We know that they are at different places in their lives, and they need to hear different lessons, that is why at least one session each day is tailored specifically for their age. This also allows the younger ages to meet some college age kids and see that their are college kids who still have a desire to live for Christ. You might say, “My teen would never have the courage to talk to a college age student” Or “The college students wouldn’t be interested in talking to the younger kids”. This is where the games come in handy. At the beginning of the week everyone is split into four teams. Throughout the week their are team building games that require the whole team to work together, which makes interaction necessary between everyone! 🙂
Next is that we have multiple missionary families there to preach, teach, and interact with the students. There was around 18 missionary families at camp this year. This gives the students the opportunity to ask questions about, culture, countries, or any other questions they may have. This year we had missionaries from China, Japan, London, Ireland, India, Peru, and South Africa just to name a few. There were classes taught on specific countries, discipleship, language learning, as well as a session specifically for girls. The students are encouraged to ask questions and get to know the missionaries. We provide a split question and answer session for guys and girls to help them have a time specifically for this.
The camp isn’t game focused, but we still have sports competitions and team games throughout the week, as well as separate swimming times for the girls and guys.
The OG camp hasn’t stayed at the same location since 2004, but You can know that no matter where the camp is held it will always have the same purpose, to point students to Christ and encourage them to give their lives to whatever HE wants for them. This past year at the OG camp we had 5 professions of faith and around 40 students who dedicated their life to Christ. Now back to the accountability thing. When we talk to the students about surrendering their life to Christ we ask them to sign a pledge, we do not force them or even ask them individually, this is a personal choice and done completely on a volunteer basis. This does not say that they are signing their lives away to be missionaries, it just says that they will serve Christ wherever He asks. The pledge has a place for them to sign and date, and for two witnesses. This is so that whenever they are feeling discouraged or down they have someone who can remind them of their decision and encourage them to keep pressing on for Christ. I became friends, on Facebook, with two girls who signed their pledge for them, so I can write them and encourage them to keep pressing on even when it seems difficult.
The OG camp is two camps, five days, one mission and a whole lot of fun mixed in! You can know that the students will leave with their lives impacted for Christ, new Christ centered friendships, and missionaries who are there for them and will answer questions for them whenever they like.
If you would like more info on the OG Camp please visit www.visionbaptistmissions.com