Parents, alumni, grandparents, partners, givers, staff, and friends, we're glad you're here! As best we can, we'll update this site with notes, recordings, and photos each day of summer camp. We want you to know how to pray for us, and to get a small taste of what God is doing this week.
Your prayer support is immensely valuable. The work we want to do– inviting youth into Christian adulthood– is impossible without the grace and action of God. Unless he moves, our work is vain. With your prayers and ours backing us up, we can wait expectantly to see his movement.
Brief Update: Sunday
We could tell right away that this was a remarkable group of students. They came with such energy, joy, and willingness to meet one another. You should have seen the way they chatted like old friends and picked up games to play together, as if they had known each other for years and years.
After checkin, I introduced our theme, rules, goals, and staff. We committed to our students that, while they're here, they aren't children. We won't condescend to them or put them in a box. And I described my conviction that growing into adulthood is better by far than youth, no matter what the culture suggests to the contrary. (Unfortunately we could not get a recording of this talk.)
Next, students were divided up into small groups and met their mentors. They spent a couple hours introducing themselves to one another and asking questions like, "Where are you from, and how has that shaped you?" Their willingness to share, and their attentiveness to listen continued to persuade me that this will be a group that goes far.
John Mark Reynolds will speak to students throughout the week about what it means to live faithfully, even in unfaithful societies, and about the book of Esther. He kicked things off today with a talk about how cultures change, and the importance of forming faithful communities. You can listen to a rough recording of that talk here:
Finally, students assembled for a reading of their two discussion texts, Euthyphro and Crito, in which Socrates faces his trial and his death, and seeks to learn how to live justly and piously while facing them. Barak, an alumni mentor, and I read both dialogues aloud while standing on top of coffee tables as all the students sat and sprawled around in pjs, and booed, cheered, and laughed along. They're remarkably willing to find excuses for joy, so they make performances like this easy for us staff members. Now they're set for their discussions, primed on the theme, placed into groups, and ready to go.
Looking ahead: Epic Monday
Tomorrow, we put the new small groups to the test. They'll face physical challenges, compete in a relay, create group flags and banners, and invent a brand new game. They'll hear big ideas and hike to watch the sunset over the city. It's going to be amazing. Pray that God would form the small groups into communities of love and learning.
Now, to sleep!