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3 reasons I’m out-of-my-mind excited for summer camps

Want to know one word that is guaranteed to make an entire room of students light up?

It’s the most exciting event on our student ministry calendar, and the mere mention of the word makes eyes widen, young hearts beat faster, and causes young men to scream like freshman girls at a Bieber concert . . .

(OK, too far), it’s . . .


When I was a student, I can clearly remember that, as summer drew closer, my anticipation would become greater for this one powerful experience. I couldn’t wait for a week away from home, packed with lots of fun, a little bit of mischief, great memories, and loud worship. But most important of all: I knew I was going to meet with Jesus in a powerful way and come home different.

And though my student years are long gone, I still get to share in the joy of seeing hundreds of students across Mars Hill who are feeling exactly the same as our summer camps approach! Now as a leader of students, here are three reasons why I am out-of-my-mind excited for what’s going to happen at camp this summer.

1. Camp sets the pace for the year

Like a gas station on a long road trip, summer camp serves as an injection of adrenaline that refuels and refocuses students to what Jesus has done and how Jesus calls us to live as his ambassadors in light of that. It’s also the one time each year that all of our student ministries get to see firsthand that they are a part of something much bigger and much more diverse than what they see at their local church each week. Camp is a reminder that they are a part of a movement!

There really is no better catalyst for returning to school with purpose, intentionality, and on mission. Simply put, it’s like a huddle before the big game where young people are inspired with vision and equipped with Scripture, and pray to be filled again with the Holy Spirit as they head back into the harvest fields.

2. It’s strategic time to build community

Being in a cabin for a few days with a group of guys or girls the same age as you is one of the best ways to build new Community Groups or strengthen existing ones. It’s also the perfect time for students who aren’t in one of our Community Groups to be welcomed into one and to make some great friendships with others who will encourage them in their walk with Christ throughout the school year.

3. It’s an opportunity for found people to find people

What I am most excited about, however, is knowing that every year at summer camp, there are students who are invited along by one of their friends, who get to hear the gospel, meet Jesus, and have their entire world turned right-side up. We are praying for a harvest of hundreds of students this years summer camps and we are encouraging our young people at Mars Hill to invite a friend or ten along!

How you can get involved

  1. If you’re a student, COME! This will be one of the most powerful weeks of your life. Stay in the loop by going to the Students page.
  2. Invite a friend! Spread the word! Tell someone you know!
  3. Sponsor a young person to camp. Each year, hundreds of students are able to attend camp solely because of the financial generosity of people at Mars Hill Church. If you need a scholarship or can sponsor one or several students to camp, go here.
  4. Serve the younger generation at Mars Hill as a volunteer at one of our camps. Talk to the students ministry lead at your local church or email to find out about different ways you can be involved for next to no cost.
  5. Pray that students would see Jesus clearly and powerfully at our camps this year. Pray that Jesus would raise up a movement of students to be leaders and laborers for a great harvest in their schools.

High School camp details

Date: August 27–30 (Tuesday–Friday)

Who: Students going into 9th–12th grade over the summer, plus graduating seniors

Cost: $275 (early bird rate ends April 30)

Campsite: Washington Family Ranch (central Oregon)

Register here

Facebook event

Junior High camp details

Date: July 17–20 (Wednesday–Saturday)

Who: Students going into 6th–8th grade

Cost: $250 (early bird rate ends April 30)

Place: Island Lake camp (near Poulsbo, Washington)

Register here

Facebook event

Be sure to check the page any time you need the latest info.

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