MT. MISERY – Spiritual growth and leadership development were at the heart of this year’s rejuvenated camping programs at The Pinelands Center in Mt. Misery. Diving deeper in relationship with God and others through worship, Bible studies and a wide range of camp activities under the guidance of mentoring counselors made for matchless and memorable experiences for GNJ’s young people.
“We laughed, we cried, we sang loud, we prayed, we read scripture… it was incredible,” said Eric Drew, Director of Worship, who led worship during each week of summer camp.
God was at work moving not only through the lives of the youth but the volunteers, young adults, and camp counselors as well, leaving everyone inspired, uplifted and encouraged. Nearly 200 young people enrolled in the three weeks of camps which included Senior High Leadership Boot Camp, Junior High Camp with Barefoot Republic, and Niños y Jovenes Para Cristo in celebration of Latino culture and heritage.
Campers enjoyed swimming, kayaking , paddle boarding, low ropes course, soccer, archery, gaga ball, mud hikes, night hikes, hay rides, tether ball, basketball, volleyball, paintball and more. Each day bookended with worship experiences that included intimate gatherings in nature and large, loud praise sessions with sound systems, lights and electric guitars that captured a taste of the upcoming IGNITE youth conference experience.
Although the camps programs were held in Pinelands Center at Mt. Misery this year, the Senior High Leadership Boot Camp students got to experience Aldersgate Camp as well. As part of a mission experience, 11 students travelled to Aldersgate and spent the day clearing the soccer field in anticipation of future programming. These students worshipped at the Appenzeller Chapel and spent the night in sleeping bags there.
Campers encountered and discovered God’s presence in new and enriching ways they wouldn’t have had outside the camp experience.
Reintroducing students to camps is one of the first steps in fulfilling GNJ’s 2019-23 Strategic Plan which calls GNJ to cultivate and mobilize a new generation of enthusiastic disciples. The Miracles Everywhere Campaign rolling out this fall to congregations support this effort with a goal of raising $3,197,000 for Next Gen Ministries to grow the faith of GNJ’s youth. One of the goals is to grow GNJ’s camping ministry to include 1,000 youth in the next five years. Click here for details on the Miracles Everywhere Campaign.
Find out more about summer camps and Next Gen’s Engagement Specialist here.