By Olivia Browning and Nellie Owens
This weekend, 300 young people from across the east coast of North America are gathered to participate in Fall Camp together at Victory Conference Center.
It’s Friday, October 28th at 6pm. Young people are arriving, setting their things in their bunks, hugging their friends, and heading into the hall to await the countdown.
Five, four, three, two, one!
Shouts rise throughout the crowd. The camp has begun!
Fall Camp 2022 is the first camp of the BUK (Brunstad Youth Club) year. BCC holds four worldwide camps per year: Fall, New Year’s, Easter, and Summer. BUK camps are filled with God’s word and fun, planned to enrich the lives of the younger generation and to win young hearts for Jesus.
While centralized in Norway, new technology has allowed young people from all over the world to participate in BUK camps, regardless of location or local time zones. This weekend, 300 young people from across the east coast of North America are gathered to participate in Fall Camp together at Victory Conference Center.
“Be a Young Person with the Power to Take Action”
The theme for the camp, and Friday’s opening meeting, is clear and relevant. Focused around the story of David and Goliath, BUK members hear about the strength, joy, and blessing that comes from serving God, and living and acting in the spirit of faith.
“To be living for God in the times in which we live today, and have a connection with Christ as your Head, as a member of His body, is the greatest that you can do with your lives,” Kare J. Smith says, before reading 2 Corinthians 4:13: “As we have the same spirit of faith, I believe, therefore I spoke.”
Camp attendees hear about being grounded in faith, and confident “that He who has begun a good work… will complete it, until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).
“[Paul] was confident. He was perfectly convinced,” the young people hear. “That is to have a living faith: That God, who has started a good work, He will also complete it. God is someone who carries things through. He doesn’t just start and then finish things half-way through. No, he carries things through. He finishes them. He completes them… and faith is the way we can get to what is promised.”
After several other encouraging messages and testimonies, the opening meeting concludes, and young people head down to the “Hub” area. Here, a large charcuterie board is set up alongside fire pits, couches, and warm drinks. BUK members enjoy one another’s company over live music and snacks before participating in group games of glow in the dark frisbee, volleyball, and kickball.
The energy is high, even as young people head to their beds at the evening’s close – the camp’s opening a clear success.
Youth are encouraged to choose an activity that most interests them, making each group’s afternoon rather unique.
At 8am, bright and early, youth hustle out of their dorms, suites, and cabins, and head to the main hall for a warm breakfast. Conversations fly to and fro, as many young people discuss their expectations for the day’s activities.
The activities for every camp vary. Youth are encouraged to choose an activity that most interests them, making each group’s afternoon rather unique. At Fall Camp in North America young people spend the afternoon hiking, playing hockey, volleyball, or basketball; or participating in creative activities.
When the day’s main action concludes, the youth gather in the hall for a feast meeting. Similar to youth meetings, feast meetings are full of God’s Word and encouragement, but often include games, panel discussions, or interactive questionnaires, as well, with the goal of making a particular theme or topic more living for the youth.
This evening, the youth hear that it’s possible to be strong in the Lord now, regardless of age. No one has to wait until they’re old or “have years of experience under their belt:” Just like David when he was a teenager, we can serve the Lord from a young age in the spirit of faith and carry out God’s will right where we are.
After a powerful and impactful feast meeting, the evening concludes with group bon fires, fellowship, glow in the dark dodgeball, and snacks and warm drinks.
“All the possibilities are open to you, when you allow God to do a work in you.”
On the final morning of Fall Camp ‘22, the young people pack up their belongings and work together to tidy their dwelling units. Breakfast is served in the hall, followed by a morning meeting.
Here, attendees hear that, “It succeeds for everyone who takes their refuge in God. All the possibilities are open to you, when you allow God to do a work in you.”
Regardless of feelings and personal circumstances, God’s word and promises are available to each individual. The important thing is that we, as young people, live in the spirit of faith, not allowing our hearts to be unbelieving – something Paul calls evil in Hebrews 3:12.
After several encouraging messages, many young people use the opportunity to testify of their own faith, and to profess their hope that God will do a transforming work in their own life in the days ahead. It’s clear that the weekend has made a big impression on many, and its message – to be a young person with the power to take action, already in effect.