Mega Sports Camp is one of the best youth camps of which I have been a part of. The first-time camper may be caught off guard when they first walk in because of the excitement in the room!
One camper in my huddle group had never been to Mega Sports Camp and was unsure whether she wanted to stay because she did not know anyone there. In the first two minutes of joining the group, she was surrounded by other campers, all of them kind and energetic, and all welcoming her! By the end of the first hour, she had gained confidence in herself because of the encouragement from her teammates.
That is only one example of the welcoming atmosphere that the campers themselves radiated. But the campers are not the only ones who exemplify the love of Jesus. The coaches and staff go far beyond the call of duty. For example, some of the coaches got suited up and attempted to catch the most raw eggs for their team, while sliding around on a soapy surface, all to illustrate Pastor Nate’s lesson that day. Other volunteers dedicated countless hours to such necessities as snack preparation for over 200 campers and staff members, check-in, and so much more activity behind the scenes that no one ever really sees. The Waterboys humbly worked behind the scenes to make sure everyone stayed hydrated. The safety team kissed boo-boos for dozens of campers. And someone organized the potential chaos of papers! All of the volunteers dedicated themselves to helping these campers have an encounter with Jesus.
At this year’s camp, the campers learned that #TeamJesus is the best team to join because God is our captain. Just like sports teams go to practice, so must we. Just like the other sports teams have a playbook, so do we: the Bible. However, other teams have numerous requirements for making the team. #TeamJesus only has one requirement: to accept Jesus into your heart. A significant number of campers dedicated their lives to Christ for the first time. There were also a large number of re-dedications. To me, Mega Sports Camp week is a reminder of the child-like faith we are called to have.
As happens each year at Mega Sports Camp, there were numerous testimonies. Here is a sampling:
One camper’s dad was scheduled to have a heart procedure the week of Mega Sports Camp. When the camper’s mother came to pick him up the day of his father’s surgery, she informed us the father no longer needed the procedure. She gave all the glory to God!
A couple of the boys in our group seemed ‘harder to reach’ at the beginning of the week. It was so awesome to see the change in them over the week. God was definitely at work in their lives. One of the boys requested a Bible and he was super excited about receiving it that he was literally hugging it through our final rally. God is so good!
A camper came to us for prayer for his back because he was not previously able to participate in the sports activities. After we prayed with him he was jumping around and participating with great enthusiasm.
At snack one day, a camper was not eating. So I asked her, ‘Where is your snack?’ She told me she had put it in her backpack because her ‘babysitter does not have much food at home.’ I immediately went and got that little girl another snack!
It is amazing to see the long term effects that this event has on the campers lives. What a wonderful learning experience for campers and volunteer staff alike!