Choosing To Serve God
Youth Camp 2010
Youth Camp in Fulton MO.
How can a quick sketch do justice to all the hard work, money, and pure love poured into a week of trying to influence young people for eternity and a fulfilled Christian life? I trust the recording angel to do a much more thorough job than this man’s limited perspective, but let me tell you just a few things to whet your appetite for what you will hear on Judgment Day.
As most of you know, the young people are split up into teams to accomplish great things for God (and the staff) including everything from cleaning to sports events to scripture memory. They are given titles and captains. With names such as Lamborghini, Porsche, Corvette, and Viper, they speed to finish line, racing through a barrage of challenges that kept the blood pumping fast, faces flushed, and made voices hoarse. The captains were chosen from the Bible Schools represented, whose examples charged the young people, touched the services, and set a great spiritual standard. Thank you, GBS, Hobe Sound, Allegheny, Penn View, and UBC for being with us.
In the evening, kicking off afterglow, our gifted techie and photographer, Jerry Esparza, projected upon a giant screen in the dining hall/gym a multimedia rendition of each day’s highlights. This favorite splice of the day elicited rousing applause, surprised gasps, and roaring laughter from the audience.
The games were intense and creative, thanks to Bro. Kent Engle and his helpers. This kaleidoscope of exercises included: teams throwing a Frisbee down the field to hit a telephone pole and running back; slipping into “skis” made of 16 foot 2x6’s and walking en masse the length of a volleyball court; balancing on 8 foot 4x4’s laid on the ground and transferring the next board through the team to progress down the field to the finish line; arranging the books of the Bible in proper order on a giant table; collecting a tally of 12 basketball shots from the free throw line; grabbing a rope tethered to Bro. Boardman’s pickup truck navigated by Sis. Jennifer Truitt and literally hauling it down the road at a running pace towards the finish line; volleyball games full of fast serves, askew shots and teamwork; propelling a plastic bucket on a trolley to the opposing team’s side by shooting
streams from special water guns; racing to soak a sponge in a garbage can full of water (while being hosed down), and returning to their team’s line, transferring the dripping sponge above their heads backwards down the line to the waiting bucket to fill it first. This last one ended with the teams getting revenge on Bro. Kent by dumping the remainder of the water from the big can on his head.
The meals were tasteful, fattening, on time, and filling. The fare included biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, pizza, salads, great desserts, etc. Thank you, Boardmans, Truitts, Sis. Mahan, Sis. Shiery, Joneses, Bro. Adamson, Harbisons, Sis. Holly McCarthy, and a host of others for helping out and doing a wonderful job. You also would have been impressed with the ambition the cleanup crews displayed as they earned points for their team. Two days witnessed the display of beauty, craft, craziness, colorfulness, and shagginess as individuals competed in “hat” and “crazy hair” day. Alfalfa was there with his famous cow-lick, bird’s nests held eggs on top of another girl’s head, towels hung from banded heads finished with reflecting sunglasses, hair struck straight up and out by invisible wires and were braided and garnished with bows, flowers and brightly colored paint. One man even wore a mop over his hair to simulate braids or dread-locks.
Sis. Carmelita Turner captured the energy and imagination of the youngsters through crafts, games, and stories. Bro. Truitt called the “future campers” up front, and the smiles they wore were rewarding to look upon.
The competition led to skits performed Wednesday and Thursday night before a supportive audience and long faced judges. These included reenactments of choosing King David, The Three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Gideon and the Midianites, and a Russian choir director proving to the world that harmony can come out of such diversity as rap, pop, country, opera, etc. in a rousing rendition of “You Are My Sunshine”. The accompanying props and music were eye grabbing and ear arresting.
Bro. Paul Stetler did a polished and gripping job of presenting truth on the young people’s level, dealing with such things as getting established, avoiding devastating youthful temptations, and setting your sights on eternal goals instead of earthly success. What a privilege to meet him and listen to his very accomplished piano playing. Girls, get in line! He is a traveling bachelor!
The services were spiced up with singing and clapping, specials and presentations by the Bible School groups, team competition status updates, and spontaneous exhortations by “Pastor, Uncle, Grandpa” Troy Truitt. This man is God-called and youth-loved. What a moving moment when in an afterglow service Bro. Chucky Dodd told of his witnessing Bro. Truitt’s conversion twenty years ago in an altar service, how God had cleaned him up and called him out to lead the youth. Bro. Truitt’s passion burned in his words, wore out his voice, and pulled on the heart strings of the young people. In altar services he was used of the Lord to hold on until approximately two-thirds of the youth were in the altar settling accounts with God. He walked the chairs, taking the hands of each young person and lifting them to heaven, encouraging them that all it took was getting hold of God’s great big hand to make it. He prayed with them and ended the camp with them chanting the phrase, “I’m going to make it to the City of God!”, repeating this with conviction as one voice.
In memory and support of the Snodgrass family over their mother’s sickness, the young people and staff signed shirts to send to Katy and Tara with love and prayers. We missed you girls, and love your family. Thank you, Bro. and Sister Snodgrass for your leadership and spirit.
One of the highlights was the recognition by Pastor Troy of two sisters who memorized six thousand point’s worth of Scripture, which to my knowledge represented approximately 360 verses that week. Another astounding fact was that these girls were the daughters of the city attorney of Cape Girardeau, MO…. visiting youth, not regular church attendees.
Another highlight was the group brought by Shreveport from their ministry outreach efforts associated with Community Renewal. What a blessing these young people were as they lent their culture and personality in the games, and many gave their heart to the Lord in the altar services. The outreach programs of the churches deserve applause for the good attendance numbers.
Once again, the Staff dominated the volleyball court against the college kids represented. You just can’t beat experience! Intense competition was overseen by Brother Chip Dodd high atop his ladder perch.
On Friday afternoon another great effort was ended with hugs and good-byes. Tired kids and adults loaded belongings into cars, vacuumed and swept rooms and buildings, took out the trash, and hit the road for several hours back to home. Friends were made, some that will last a lifetime. Decisions and life courses were set or refocused. The camp ground is quiet now. The grass struggles to recover from the tramp of hundreds of feet. A lone bird cocks its head as it gazes down upon the cemetery-like setting that just a day ago rang with shouts and song. A thin film of dust plays in the sunlight as it comes to rest upon tables and counters. The arched tabernacle sighs and a lonely little bug makes it way in erratic fashion across a mopped floor. History was made, and memories still play upon the faces and echo in the hearts of some 150-200 souls as they continue their march through life and on to eternity’s shores. To echo the phrase of Pastor Troy at the end…. “it was worth it!” God bless the memory of Youth Camp 2010 of the Pilgrim Nazarene Church-
Reporter- Mike Yancey
Make plans to join us in 2011 (June 13th - June 17th)
Youth camp will be in Fulton, MO.
If you have any questions or need more information, you can contact Jennifer Truitt at:
Or call 573-270-0756