Know - Confirm - Live
Credo Confirmation Camp at Lakeview is not your conventional classroom experience. Students and adult leaders gathered from across the conference in February to learn the core beliefs of the Methodist faith. Amidst the East Texas surroundings, participants experienced many exciting “God moments.” Hoping for 50 youth and adults to register for the first-ever Confirmation Camp, imagine Lakeview staff members’ excitement to have 279 sign up this February for a ‘new adventure.’
This was the first effort in Lakeview’s history to create, run, and promote a retreat type ministry. “Lakeview has long hosted camps and programs for the Methodist church and other groups, but never did we create our own program,” says Rev. Matt Idom, superintendent of Lakeview Conference Center, “so it seemed natural and right that we begin with Confirmation Camp and that we embrace our role of supporting and leading the Texas Annual Conference in the making of disciples for the transformation of the world. Where better to begin than Confirmation?”
Adults and students made comments including:
· "The Faith Walk and outdoor communion was amazing."
· "Great team... clear, funny, inclusive, confirmand-friendly and theologically clear and helpful."
· "Cool way to learn about my faith and meet new friends”
· “Great camp, lots of information to go back and reinforce."
Based on the inaugural event’s success, Lakeview will offer congregations the option of choosing between two weekends next year. Adds Matt, “We are also in conversation with leaders of the Louisiana, North Texas, and Central Texas Annual Conferences with the goal next year of inviting and including those congregations that are relatively close to Lakeview.”
Camp curriculum was based upon CREDO, United Methodist Confirmation material designed to teach and equip the students and adults and send them home with a 6-week schedule and curriculum so they could complete the confirmation experience for their youth. Adds Matt, “Many of the congregations came with 2-6 youth and this was exactly what they needed and wanted. A few were larger congregations with dynamic confirmation programs already in place, but they felt it was a very positive retreat experience for their confirmands.”
TAC Youth and Young Adult Ministries director Thera Freeman gives special thanks to Stacy Anzick, Christy Hale, and Jeff Gage as the ministers who led, taught, and preached, to Freda Wood who served as the registrar, and to Lakeview staff for their leadership and help.
Matt is excited to begin planning for next year. “For a youth event, this Confirmation Retreat had the best adult support and participation I've ever seen in a retreat. Next year we will build on that strength and utilize more of these lay and clergy leaders in the actual teaching and guiding of the confirmands,” he says. “My personal hope is that as Confirmation Camp grows, it will also include the Bishop and District Superintendents at some level of participation so they can be with the youth and leaders of this vital program in our local congregations. I know the Lakeview staff is thankful to share in the growth of young Christians and the growth of our church.”