The 2015 Colombian youth camp was held in a new location this year just outside the city of San Gil, Santander, Colombia. With a total of 18 campers, five staff from Colombia, and three staff from the United States, (two of which were Colombian pastor Scott Hoefker and his wife Gayle), this centrally located city made travel to camp easier and less expensive for all who attended.
Campers and staff stayed in hotel rooms that housed four to six people comfortably, and we all ate together in the dining hall that provided three freshly prepared and cooked meals each day. We started each day with a spiritual compass check and ended each day with a Christian living class or other Bible activity using the camp theme “Be Like Our Heavenly Father.” Building bonds of friendship with our spiritual family was also a huge part of camp. Plenty of time for fellowship and relaxing is an integral part of this camp. Bonding and renewing friendships between campers, and staff with campers, is truly an uplifting experience, and the setting of tranquility added to such.
A new activity introduced this year was preparing a Bible skit. The skits were practiced during free time and performed later on in camp. Another activity that was a favorite among the campers was the Amazing Race, led by Courtney Horvath. Jaime Salek led an etiquette class, and campers were seen putting the etiquette tips into practice during camp. On the Sabbath, the youngest camper, Abraham Martinez, led songs for the first time and two older campers, David Sierra and Richard Sierra, gave short sermonettes. Claudio Sierra gave the sermon. After the Sabbath, everyone participated in another favorite activity—a dance.
The proximity of the pool to the hotel rooms made swimming a repeated activity all week. Campers took bus trip to the National Park of Chicamocha, called the “Grand Canyon of Colombia,” on Monday. Most of the campers had never visited the park before.
Everybody developed strong bonds of friendship and spiritual growth. On the last day, all campers shared what they learned at camp in short two to three minute speeches. A few tears were shed when we said goodbye, and everyone looks forward to returning to this tranquil gem of a location next year. A hearty thank you to LifeNets International in making this camp possible. Their generous donations allowed youth to attend and experience an uplifting atmosphere and growth opportunity.