Washington Camp Meeting Trains Young Disciples

July 24, 2015 | Heidi Baumgartner

The children’s divisions (ranging from infancy to young adults) typically have large attendance on the weekends and a smaller but steady attendance during weekdays. Not this year!

"We’ve grown," says John Mutchler, one of the junior department leaders for ages 10–12. "We’ve had 95 kids this week. The parents have been very supportive and tell us how much their kids love the program."

Every camp meeting morning, the junior division takes prayer requests. Four children (two boys and two girls) are selected to be prayer missionaries. They walk around campus with a pastor leader, introduce themselves, and ask camp meeting attendees if they may pray for a prayer request or praise.

Through worship songs, personal testimonies and presentations by Karyle Barnes, Andrews University seminary and social work student, young adults are unpacking how "Jesus Is Enough."

The youth division for high school students and the earliteen division for ages 13–14 are both talking about choices in life with their respective program themes. The youth theme, "#ThingsThatMatter," is delving into topics like purpose in life, making a decision for Jesus, engaging in worship and sharing faith with friends. Earliteens are learning about living life with God’s ideals.

"The kids have really connected with the speakers," says Jonathan Fetrick, earliteen department leader. "Some of the kids have made some good life and spiritual decisions at camp meeting."

Stepping into the tent for the primary division (ages 7–9) or peeking into the kindergarten division (for ages 4–6) is sure to bring a smile to your face as you see the pure joy of Jesus that these children exude while listening to stories, singing with gusto and participating in activities. The same applies to the two sections of the beginners classes for ages 0–2 and 2–4.

"We’re teaching children about Jesus in a fun, memorable way," says Cristian Bobocea, primary division leader.

No matter the age group, the young people at camp meeting are learning how to become young disciples for Jesus.