United Church of God

Youth Camp Updates: 104 Campers Come From Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina

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Youth Camp Updates

104 Campers Come From Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina

Camp began on the morning of Dec. 26 with a total of 111 people present, of which 104 were youngsters and seven were adults.

Activities began every day with breakfast prepared by the personnel of the camp. In fact, all of the meals were prepared by the staff.

After breakfast we had an hour we called "Remember Your Creator." In that hour everyone looked for a quiet place to pray or study their Bibles.

The following hour we had a Bible class given by one of the ministers. Most of the subjects of the Bible classes had to do with strengthening our relationships to God and to each other in order to be protected from the pulls of the world.

The next hour was dedicated to a tradition here: Mini-speeches given by the campers. These mini-speeches have become a very important part of camp. Every day we planned five speeches from campers. But on the last two days more volunteers wanted to express their thoughts to the rest, so we had to raise the number of speeches to nine on the last day!

Then lunch time came. After lunch, siesta time was on the program every day. However, this year nobody took the time for that purpose. Since several of the youngsters do not see each other frequently, they used every moment to get to know each other better.

After siesta time, two hours of swimming were on the program. This activity was very well received, since the weather was really hot because December is normally that way in the southern hemisphere.

After using the pool, everyone got together to have a traditional Chilean "once," a time to have a drink and something light to eat. Then came sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball. Then dinner. After dinner an evening activity was planned, such as a dance, organized games and an improvised talent show. It was difficult to send campers to sleep at midnight.

At the beginning of camp Esteban Rodriguez, a Church member in the Santiago congregation and a psychologist, gave a wonderful lecture on the need to have a clear vision for the future.

Later in the week Carlos Hernandez, also a Church member in Santiago, spoke to the youth about his experience growing up in the Church. Later in his teen years he left the Church of God to look "for a better life." Then he came back to advise the rest of the youth never to make that wrong decision.

Carlos Hernandez is now married and has a daughter. He now says he is the "bad father" who wants to keep his daughter in the Church. He now recognizes his own father really loved him and wanted him to stay in God's Church always and not suffer unnecessarily.

This year we had the blessing to have seven youngsters from Peru attend the camp. There was also a young boy from Bolivia and another one from Argentina. Several youngsters from other countries in the area could not come due to the cost of transportation. Even though the Church pays for their food and lodging, transportation is many times a problem for them to attend this yearly activity.

We feel camp this year was very productive and inspiring. The priority was cultivating a better relationship with God and with each other. Physical activity took second place during camp.

At the beginning of camp we told the youngsters to use the time to build strong friendships among themselves in order to prepare for the strong pulls of the world and Satan. We believe this purpose was fulfilled to a high degree.

Gerardo and Marisol Roig, a couple who are coordinating the youth in this part of the world, have done a great job in keeping the youth focused on the Church of God and strengthening the unity among them all.