“Inspiration and perspiration.” Few phrases more accurately describe what happens in a young person’s life at FCA Camp. Camp Week begins with an assembly hall full of strangers and ends with a community of inseparable friends.
A key ingredient to the relationships developed at Camp are the Huddles, the small groups of campers and their Huddle Leaders. The secret to the success is in the careful formation of each Huddle. Campers are not placed with their friends from home, which instantly levels the playing field between those who have many friends and those who do not.
When young adults are given the opportunity to spend a week with new friends, they get a chance to view life from a new angle. At the beginning of the week, campers barely speak to one another. But by the end of the week, after sweating, talking, praying and worshipping together, they are seen exchanging email addresses and phone numbers with their new friends.
It would be easy to think that the most influential people at Camp are the speakers or coaches. While they do have a wonderful and tremendous impact, the most influential people are the Huddle Leaders – typically college athletes who love Jesus and want to help campers come to know and love Him.
Huddle Leaders are with the campers 24 hours a day. They sleep in the same dorm. They eat together. They work out together. They compete together. They study the Bible together. Huddle Leaders are skillfully trained and have the amazing power of the Holy Spirit to guide them. They certainly leave a permanent imprint on each camper’s life.
For five days, campers are surrounded by a completely positive environment. They come from every state, from every racial background, from every type of family and from many spiritual maturity levels. For five days they receive love and encouragement without the negative things that can pull them down in everyday life. Campers leave on a “high,” wishing that they could stay in that environment forever.
The four different Camps (Athletic, Leadership, Coaches and Power Camps) have given FCA the opportunity to impact different populations. Those attending Athletic Camps are given instruction on specific sports, while focusing on Christ. Leadership Camps offer campers practical disciplines for a deeper walk with Christ, and they are taught how to minister effectively on campus. Coaches can attend a week of FCA Coaches Camp for a chance to be encouraged and to learn from like-minded individuals with the same profession. Power Camps focus on kids under the age of 13 – the population with the greatest probability of accepting Christ as their Savior.
Every summer at the conclusion of the Camp season, FCA staff members are blessed with the reports of lives changed eternally through the Camp ministry. Whether they are inner-city kids who never before had heard Jesus’ name outside of profanity, college coaches who used to believe that the scoreboard was the only way to measure success, or future leaders of our country who are beginning to understand what godly leadership is all about, nothing impacts a person like a week at FCA Camp.
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden once said, “You’ll be no saint after leaving an FCA Conference, but you’ll be a better person than you were.”