Camp for teenagers helps churches develop young leaders
And adventure camp is the first part of a Czech training programme for Christians aged 13 to 17. “Pastors and Christian leaders shared with them stories of their calling and lives”.
PRAGUE · 22 SEPTEMBER 2017 · 12:09 CET
The Czech Evangelical Alliance recently launched a pioneer project: “Draft Camp”. This initiative is based on a successful and ongoing program of the Baltic Pastoral Institute in Latvia.
The purpose of the program in the Czech Republic is to help local churches invest in developing young leaders. 12 boys between the ages of 13 and 17 are participating in the first year of the project.
To begin, churches were invited to send these young Christians to a 5-day adventure camp, which was held north of Olomouc on the shores of the Slezská Harta Reservoir 28 August to 1 September.
THE GOSPEL IN ONE'S PERSONAL LIFE
The camp itself involved five days of intense physical and mental challenges. The purpose of these challenges was to help the boys explore the reality of the Gospel of Jesus in their lives and in the world.
From individual challenges designed to help the participants test their limits, to group challenges that required the participants to unite together, each activity provided opportunities to explore what the Gospel is and what it means to live out that truth in everyday life.
The boys also heard from a variety of pastors and other church leaders, who discussed their own faith journeys, sense of calling, and provided additional teaching related to each day’s theme exploring different aspects of the Gospel and Christian living.
A YEAR OF MENTORING AT CHURCH
The camp experience, however, is only the beginning. Each of the boys who successfully completed the camp will receive a year of mentoring from one of their own church elders.
This will provide the boys with opportunities to continue exploring the spiritual disciplines they learned about at the camp, provide them with wise guidance as they seek to follow through on commitments they made to ongoing spiritual growth, as well as help them to consider how God is calling them towards their future vocations as Christian men.
THE PROJECT IN LATVIA
The Latvian program the Czech project is inspired by provides a three year multi-level journey from the adventurous exploration of the Gospel through to, under appropriate guidance, serving in a leadership position. The Czech project is still considering how it will develop its own future direction, including the possibility of a parallel project for girls that could be launched as soon as summer 2018.
“THE NEXT ENERATION OF LEADERS”
Jirí Unger, General Secretary of the Czech Evangelical Alliance, states: “Draft camp proved to be an excellent program for teenage boys that combines experiential physical activities and games that always point to important principles with teaching, self-reflection, group feedback and a lot of fun”.
“Particularly important was the presence of top Czech Christian leaders who shared stories of their calling and lives and expressed how important the next generation of leaders are”.