This year was the 21st year that United Youth Camps has made use of the facility in southeast Missouri.
On June 24, with 71 campers and 49 staff checked in, the camp program began with an orientation to prepare for the week ahead. With orientation completed, staff and campers proceeded to the gym for “get-acquainted” games organized by assistant camp director Brian Shaw.
Camp Pinecrest begins with the Sabbath. A seventh-day beginning provides a time to relax and enjoy a spiritual focus before launching into a busy activity-filled week.
Saturday morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, the campers and staff enjoyed a Bible study on the camp theme, “Guided by God’s Word,” presented by Brian Shaw. The study was followed by an ABC presentation and Sabbath hymn sing. A leisurely Sabbath continued with services at 2:30 p.m. Split sermons were given by Randy Urwiller and Gary Smith, serving to introduce the Christian living theme focused on the importance of the Word of God.
The first day ended with six Bible challenges. Each dorm had to solve a Bible word search, identify Bible mad gabs, search and read the Scriptures, identify Bible stories, draw clues in Bible pictionary, and Bible outburst.
The activity week began on Sunday. Each day began with a Christian living class for all campers and staff. With a spiritual foundation established, dorms proceeded to the activities.
Regular activities campers enjoyed included riflery, archery, ropes, softball, speedaway, journalism, rock climbing and rappelling, volleyball and stand-up paddle boarding. Two new activities were introduced this year: pickleball and ultimate Frisbee.
Each evening, a different activity was offered. Campers and staff enjoyed dodgeball, a Q&A Bible study covering camper questions, the amazing race, a fun show, and an awards ceremony followed by a dance.
As the camp came to a close, various members of the United leadership team heard from those who work at the camp. The Pinecrest staff have many different groups come through the camp, and they observe and compare the various groups. They made a number of positive comments about United teens in light of their displaying those qualities that are essential to the Zone.
It is to God’s glory and honor that 120 campers and staff can join together to create a memorable, godly depiction of God’s Kingdom for one week. Camp Pinecrest is an annual reminder that a glimpse of the Kingdom will one day be a reality not just for one group of people, but for all mankind.