Frontlines Summer Camp is the biggest event that CVCYouth puts on every year. As with all things in ministry, we have to ask, “Is this worth the time and energy that we put into it?” Well, for the past 10 years that we have been running camp, the answer for us has been an emphatic “YES!” In fact, we believe that Frontlines Summer Camp is a tool that showcases all of the Passions of CVC.
I don’t know of any other venue or opportunity where middle school and high school students are hearing solid biblical teaching two times a day, engaging in extended times of corporate worship twice a day, having specific down time to spend alone with God, and are involved in intense Christian community 24/7. Frontlines Summer Camp pours truth into its participants day after day!
God dependence is certainly demonstrated on the part of our small youth ministry team as we organize 200 students into teams, cabins, and buses while at the same time organizing games, worship sets, sermons, and safety. But we also see God Dependence exemplified as we seek to ensure that every student is able to get to camp, regardless of their financial situation. Because of the generous investors of CVC, we have NEVER – that’s right – NEVER turned down a student who wanted to attend Frontlines. God always provides and lives continue to be changed.
When parents ask me about the best way to get their kids plugged into CVCYouth, Frontlines Summer Camp is always at the top of my list if the timeline fits. We build the entire program to encourage community – from the cabins, to the games, to the worship services – everything is built to grow relationships among students and their leaders. Every student will leave camp knowing that they have a group of people who are in their corner – willing to encourage them, pray for them, and challenge them.
Every now and then, someone asks us why we don’t split up the middle school and high school students for summer camp. We think that this idea is crazy, and here is why – the middle school students learn from the high school students. We have an incredible group of high school kids that work really hard to take good care of our middle school crew. They lead their teams, help them get over homesickness, assist them in Bible study, and model Christ-likeness for them. We had a dad last year who was really worried about his 5th grader being at camp with high school seniors. After the week was over, he said, “Don’t ever change this!”
The linking of generations, however, does not end there. We will have leaders in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s – and yes, one of our Frontlines leaders is in his 70’s! We’re linking generations all over the place here!
This item goes hand in hand with Linked Generations. As we link generations, we force equipped leadership. (Sneaky, right?!) Our high school students are held to a higher standard and learn valuable leadership lessons from the adults in their groups. Our adults leaders also grow and develop as they navigate the different challenges that camp brings – problem solving, relational issues, spiritual mentoring – it’s all on the table at Frontlines.
More students make important decisions about their spiritual walk with God at camp than at any other one time during the year. More visitors come to Frontlines than to any other event. Getting away, enjoying new friendships, being with like-minded people, and connecting with God on such an intense level is incredible.
Those who are unchurched have an opportunity to hear the Gospel for the first time. Relationships are built with godly adults that can care and follow up. Students who have wandered away from Jesus can refocus. Many make decisions to accept Jesus Christ into their lives and others choose to be baptized.
I admit that this is only one small step in the process, but big decisions are made at camp that kids rarely, if ever, forget. This year, at Frontlines X, the entire focus is on taking the good news to the world around us with renewed passion.
So – what can you do to ensure that Frontlines continues to accomplish all of these things for years to come?
- Pray for us. The Frontlines 2015 daily prayer guide
- Invest financially by giving to the Student Scholarship Fund by marking the appropriate box on your tithe envelope.
- Spread the word. If you are on Facebook or follow the CVC Blog, share the posts from Frontlines so that more families can hear about how God is using Frontlines and hopefully will send their kids next year.