At LLYC, most of our time is spent having fun, building relationships, playing outside, and enjoying the incredible Frio river canyon. Our staff and campers often dive into discussions along the way about God, faith, and life. Each day we have a few planned times where we prioritize spiritual matters.
Every morning, each camp has a short devotional time where campers will experience peace and quiet, an introduced topic or activity, scripture to consider, and usually some discussion led by our staff. Every night all of camp gathers for what is called “Roundup.” Campers are invited to sing, laugh, participate, and listen to a talk given by one of our leadership staff. After Roundup, campers return to their cabins to discuss the talk with their counselors. We call this “Cabin Time.” It is an opportunity for people to share and be vulnerable with one another, talk about life, faith, struggles, concerns, confusions, etc.
At LLYC we welcome campers and staff from a wide variety of faith perspectives. We don’t claim to have all the answers and we recognize that even within Christianity there are lots of different opinions and beliefs. When we talk about faith, we do our best to avoid debates and defense of doctrines and dogma. Instead, our goal is to listen to each other, to try to understand each other’s perspectives, to share our own thoughts, and to have meaningful conversation. As we discuss the different elements of the gospel story and how they might apply to faith, here are the things we like to talk about:
God and Creation – We wrestle with understanding God’s love, goodness, power, creativity, righteousness, justice, trustworthiness, and presence. We often point to God’s creation for hints of God’s qualities and characteristics.
Humanity and Our Nature – We emphasize that all people are beautifully made children of God, created in God’s image, yet we are also sinful and broken.
Jesus’ Life and Teachings – We discuss various stories of Jesus from the New Testament and what we can learn from them. We talk about how Jesus accepted everyone, healed and restored the weak, and taught how to love God and others with our lives.
Jesus’ Death on a Cross – We discuss Jesus’ willing death on the cross and its significance. We explore the mystery of the cross and how it might reveal God’s gifts of grace, forgiveness, freedom, acceptance, worth, and sacrificial love.
Jesus’ Resurrection – We emphasize that Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated God’s victory over death and God’s intention to move things from death to life in our own lives. We talk about how this gives us great hope for the present and the future.
The Holy Spirit and our New Life – We discuss the Holy Spirit’s role as counselor and guide. We emphasize that listening to and “walking with” the Spirit leads to transformation and renewal which leads to abundant life.
Scripture – We teach that the Bible is alive, active, and applicable to our lives today. We talk about how its stories, wisdom literature and poetry can teach us much about God and his ways. We teach that Scripture is powerful and life-changing.
Prayer – We teach that prayer is talking to and being mindful of God. And we talk about how prayer can look different for everyone. We emphasize that in prayer we find a relationship with God which enables us to find peace, joy, hope, perspective and direction in our lives.
The Christian Life – We talk about what it means to “follow” Jesus. We teach the centrality of unconditional love, others-mindedness, and the value of trusting God. We talk about how faith isn’t only knowledge of God, but that it should cause us to live our lives differently. There are temptations, trials, and negative influences all around us. We talk about how we can respond to those things.
Christian Community – We discuss how Christian community should offer us a place to find love and encouragement, learn about faith and God, and be challenged to love and serve others more. We emphasize how everyone can contribute to a community like this in meaningful ways. We challenge our campers to prioritize a Christian community back at home, and to let us know if they have trouble finding one, because maybe we can help!
Going Home – As campers leave camp, we share with them our hope that their positive experiences and growth at camp would greatly impact their lives and the lives of their families, friends and communities. We desire for each camper to return home renewed, full of great stories and memories, and confident in who God has created them to be. We encourage campers to share with family and friends what they got to do at camp and what they thought about and learned. We encourage them to continue the conversations we began during camp throughout their year.