Back Student Summer Recap, Part 3: Summer Camp in Florida
August 17th, 2011
For many Brentwood Baptist students, summer isn't just a time to unplug from the world and wait for a new school year. It's a time to go, serve, and build community. Every summer, the Student Ministry offers students a chance to participate in missions, discipleship, and leadership opportunities through four major events. Below is the third of a four-part recap of the incredible things that happened among our students this summer:
One of the biggest events of the summer for our Student Ministry takes place far, far away from home. On June 25, 265 middle school students, high school students, and leaders piled on a bus and headed to summer camp—something that most adults can remember doing in their youth.
But these students aren't experiencing the typical bug spray, log cabins, campfires, and wienie roasts over a week of Bible study and worship. No—their camp memories take place on a beach in Florida.
This year's theme was "Connect" and the trip is more intentional than some may think. Aaron Bryant, Kairos Pastor at Brentwood Baptist, traveled with the Student Ministry team to teach the students all week. During that time, 14 students made the decision of a lifetime to follow Christ while 16 were baptized.
Linc Taylor, Student Minister, said, "It's a fun setting and it seems like we're all play. While we do include time for that, we're also very serious and intentional about what happens there."
The three main goals of camp this year were: 1) to push students toward becoming leaders in the Student Ministry; 2) to invite unconnected friends and introduce them to Jesus; and 3) to create a sense of belong and community among the students.
"They invite their friends and 'fringe' students every year," said Linc. "'Fringe' students are those who only go to worship, but aren't really involved in other things outside of that. This is a chance for us to get them involved and introduce them to community within this ministry—and get their parents on board with that as well."
According to Josh Shelley, a Student Ministry Intern, God used the combination of 45 student-led groups, Bible study, worship, messages brought by Aaron, free time, intramural sports, and hang-out time to do some transforming things among our students. He said, "The cool thing about being a leader is that I got to help students process through that morphing time throughout the week."
"One really cool conversation I had with an upcoming tenth grade guy involved being a leader and how he can pull his class together at school," Josh said. "We discussed the challenges of being leader and, ultimately, came to the conclusion that true leadership is merely following Christ's example. I can't wait to see the kind of man of God he becomes."
Camp didn't end a week later on June 29 for some. While grades 6-11 did, in fact, make the long journey home that day, 31 students in twelfth grade stuck around for a few more days of "Senior Stay"—a time for them to process through the years together and discuss what happens next in their lives.
"Our overall intent with camp isn't just to go and have fun at the beach," Linc said. "It's truly a time to get away, be saturated with truth, and allow God to move among us. And that's what He did."
Story by Kaylan Christopher, Staff Writer