Confirmation Camps Offer Sacred Time in a Serene Setting

Date Posted: 2/13/2014

Conference youth recently enjoyed a weekend full of prayer, worship, learning, fun and special God moments at confirmation camps hosted at Lakeview Conference Center.
Amidst spiritual training and discussions at recent confirmation camps at Lakeview Conference Center, close to 140 youth from fifth grade through ninth grade squeezed in a healthy dose of fun. “If you haven’t seen Gaga Ball, it’s a fast paced, high energy sport played in an octagonal pit and a good way for the students to get to know others,” says Caleb Estrada, program director at Lakeview. Two weekends in February were dedicated to confirmation camps that drew students from 19 different TAC churches across the state. Lakeview’s confirmation camps are designed for both the students experiencing the confirmation process and the adults who will lead them through this faith-journey event at their local church.

Each weekend featured worship, study, learning, and this year an added bonus included guest bands to lead worship. “We heard from Broken and Perfect the first weekend, and SFA Wesley students in Hearts of Fire brought the music during the second camp,” he adds. Several children’s ministry leaders noted how “pumped up” their students seemed to be after the retreat. 

“One of the parent leaders told me he felt the Holy Spirit present at the bonfire as he watched his group of students worshipping in many different ways, as they felt God in their lives,” notes Caleb. One of the campers said he understood better how to trust God with every direction in his life after experiencing the “trust walk” activity.
During the weekend, the adult leaders also enjoyed firsthand experience with the confirmation curriculum in a training session geared for them.  Adds Caleb, “Enhancing the local church confirmation process and equipping confirmation leaders with tools and knowledge is our goal. We believe the CREDO curriculum material is one of the best available for our United Methodist Churches, but adult leaders are welcome to explore other resources as well.” Another new addition to this year’s camps was a teambuilding element. “We put students on color teams designed to break the ice and facilitate new friendships,” he explains, “and that was well received. Additionally, we have heard a lot of excitement building about future camps this summer.