For many young people who come from Christian homes, entering university can be a culture-shock. Often this culture shock leads to them disengaging with church, and ultimately their faith.
Inspired by a desire to help young Christians remain connected to their faith as they enter university, SU Australia in Victoria launched Year 11-12 Camp in January 2022, camp co-director, James explains.
“I was really passionate to have a Bible-focused camp that had a more laid-back vibe, where we could focus on introducing people to Christianity, but also help young Christians strengthen their faith.”
January’s camp included young people, aged 17-20, from both Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. James enlisted the help of his local pastor, who ran the daily Bible studies and a Q&A night, which campers enthusiastically engaged with.
“What really helped each camper was ensuring we gave them the time, space and freedom to ask any questions they had. It wasn’t just some stranger speaking to them, lecturing them from the front of a class. It was relational and conversational.”
Held at Camp Coolamatong’s Lake Camp in Victoria, the campsite’s scenic environment was the perfect place to meet each young person where they were at, and give them space for those deeper conversations about life.
“It really forces you to focus on ‘community’. Internet access is little to none,” James laughs. “It’s all about being in nature and enjoying God’s presence.”
The final day of camp really summed up the program.
“Just before we headed on the bus, we prayed together, and sang ‘Amazing Grace’. It didn’t matter if it was the cook, the leaders, the campers, Christian or otherwise. There were a few tears, but it was just such a beautiful moment. It gave me such a sense of unity,” James says.
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