Michelle Huey’s turning point in her faith happened at camp. She remembers a moment at camp when she realized that up to that point, her “Sunday relationship with God” did not affect her life during the rest of the week. With that realization, she decided to pursue a daily walk with the Lord.
This transformational moment is one of the reasons she considers camp to be “very near and dear to her heart.”
Today she serves in student ministry in Colorado. For the past seven years, she and her team have taken students to summer and winter camp. They have witnessed firsthand the power of camps and conferences in the lives of students, just as Michelle experienced in her own life years ago.
During a conference, one of Huey’s students shared the news that she had received a serious health diagnosis. All of the youth group kids gathered around her and prayed for her. Although many of the students who had come were angry at God and questioning Him, their first response to was to pray. She remembers her students saying, “Of course we should pray for this member of our family.”
For students who have gone in the past, they know camps and conference provide a unique experience to step away from everyday life. It’s an intentional way to spend time with God.
“At camp it’s kind of like you can’t get away from God and from those leaders who are poking and prodding you toward God,” Huey says. “In just one week, you will end up with a year’s worth of ministry experience at camp.”
To help sustain the power of camp throughout the year, Huey and her team have a few best practices for their students to take home. For example, students can write letters to themselves at camp, and they receive them several months after camp. Huey also encourages parents become involved after kids return home, to help keep the camp experience alive.
While camp can be described in a variety of ways, Huey goes back to Scripture to depict what camp encompasses.
“We pull a lot of our values from Acts 2 … With the beginning of the first church, they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to prayer. They were together every single day breaking bread and fellowshipping, and that’s just camp to me. That experience the first church had—I think that’s camp in a nutshell,” she says.
Photo courtesy of Camp IdRaHaJe