A group of 24 teenagers, accompanied by three courageous adults and myself, embarked on an exciting summer camp adventure in the mountains of North Carolina. I’m thrilled to give you a glimpse of our unforgettable experiences!
FUGE Camp, Part 2: The Best Part Of Camp . . . Can you guess it?
Have you ever wondered what a day at FUGE camp is really like? Here was our schedule for one full day at camp.
7:00 AM: Breakfast
8:00 AM: Morning Celebration/Worship
9:00 AM: Recreation Rally
10:30 AM: Bible Study
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Track Rally
1:15 PM: Track A
2:15 PM: Track Rally
2:30 PM: Track B
4:00 PM: Hang Time
5:00 PM: Dinner
7:00 PM: Worship
8:30 PM: Church Group Time
10:00 PM: Hang Time
11:00 PM: In Rooms
As you can see, the youth are kept busy from sun up to sun down. Ridgecrest, where we attend FUGE camp, is located on Black Mountain. Throughout the day, the campers (and some adults) walk up and down the mountain multiple times. In fact, the campers cover about 7 miles of mountainous walking each day. With such an active schedule, they don't need much encouragement to turn off the lights and go to sleep at night.
What are track times? Tracks are activities that the teens get to select when they arrive at camp. The options are diverse, including Adventure Recreation, Basketball, Battleball, Crafts, Creative Journaling, and Worship Leadership. There's something for everyone's interests.
If you had to guess the students' favorite part of camp, what would you say? Well, if you thought it was adventure recreation, battleball, or any of the other fun tracks offered, you would be mistaken. At the end of each camp year, I ask the students about their favorite part of the week, and without fail, their answer remains the same: worship.
What is worship at camp like? It's difficult to put into words. Picture yourself in an auditorium that can seat roughly 1800-2000 people. The room is filled with teenagers, over 1600 in attendance during the week we were there. The music is powerful, and you can feel its beat resonating in your chest. The roar of the crowd is deafening, and the energy is infectious. But this isn't a rock concert; it's 1600 teenagers overflowing with excitement to worship God.
The praise music is energetic and engaging. Teens are jumping, dancing, shouting, and praising God with all their might. Then, the music slows down, becoming more reflective. Tears begin to flow, and hearts and lives are poured out to God as a living sacrifice to honor Him.
The presence of our God is incredibly strong, almost tangible. You can feel His Spirit enveloping the atmosphere. It's not burdensome; it's more like the warmth and comfort of a cozy blanket being wrapped around you.
You’re experiencing a deep connection with God, and it’s more than just good music or a great band. One evening we simply sang "Jesus Loves Me," a childhood song many of us grew up singing. In that moment, the simple truth of those words resonated throughout the auditorium. Teenagers were moved to tears as they tried to comprehend and embrace the love of the Creator God, knowing that “Yes, Jesus loves me” and “to Him [we] belong”.
It’s a powerful thing. It’s a life-transforming thing. It’s a God thing. And it’s the BEST thing about camp.
How could we not leave forever impacted and changed by our week at camp? But more on that next week.