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Life Teen Camp
Hidden Lake

Week 15 | July 7th - 12th

Host: Steve Allgeyer

With an on-fire passion for the Faith and for teens, Steve Allgeyer is unlike most youth ministers you will ever meet. As Life Teen’s V.P. of Mission and Ministry, he helps us reach out to thousands of people around the world to let them know about the movement of Life Teen and how it affects families, parishes, culture, and teens. Steve loves hanging out with his family and spending time with teens.

What is Hidden Lake?

Camp Hidden Lake is a Catholic summer camp located in scenic Dahlonega, Georgia. It’s a place where parish youth groups from all over the country come together to experience summer camp at its best. Campers are given the opportunity to dive deeply into their Catholic faith and strengthen their relationship with Christ while having unforgettable experiences.

SESSION 1: Inspire(d) by the Journey

Many campers have been planning for and anticipating this week for months.  They have wondered how warm the water will be when they jump into it, how great the food will be and how much fun they will have with their friends.  Parents have worked hard to make this week a reality in the lives of their kids.  They have filled out enough paperwork to send their child to the moon and back, not to mention the financial sacrifices that were made so that their kids could enjoy this incredible journey.  Even with all that preparation, there is still a greater power at work this week.  God has called these campers to come to camp.  Isaiah 43 reminds us that God calls us by name and claims us as His own.

The word “inspiration” means to breathe LIFE into (Genesis 2:7).  At their Baptism, the Lord breathed His life into each of your children and put an indelible mark on each of them.  This indelible mark can never we washed off or removed from their soul.  Tonight we will talk about that mark and how God inspired them to become a character in His story.  God wants to be the author of this week as well as their lives.  Throughout this week they can chose what kind of character they want to be, for example, a selfish character that makes the story revolve around what they want or a selfless character that gives life to everyone around them.

In order to allow Christ to be the author of your life, we must begin to trust that He is there for us.  God is working through everyone this week, if you give Him permission.  Tonight the teenagers will be invited to trust God by trusting each other.  They will perform a trust fall in which their small group will stand behind them and catch them.

As parents, you all began this exercise of trust with your children.  So tonight I am asking you all to take a few moments and pray this prayer with us as we place our trust in Jesus.

The Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Oh Lord Jesus Christ, to Your most Sacred Heart I confide this intention {name petition}. Only look upon me, then do what Your love inspires. Let Your Sacred Heart decide. I count on You. I trust in You. I throw myself on Your mercy. Lord Jesus, You will not fail me.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Your love for me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your kingdom come. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have asked You for many favors, but I earnestly implore this one. Take it, place it in Your open Heart.

When the Eternal Father looks upon it, He will see it covered with Your Precious Blood. It will be no longer my prayer, but Yours, Jesus. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You. Let me not be disappointed. Amen.

Today's Top Shots:

SESSION 2: Inspired by St. Paul

So, we have been inspired by the journey and inspired to trust the Lord to write us into the story.  Our next step is to look at what kind of character we are going to be.  Are we a villain or hero, a lead role or an extra?  The choice is ours, and tonight we get a chance to look at our lives and see what kind of character we have been living as up to this point.  When we choose our needs over other peoples needs we are choosing the villain.  When we pick on our siblings, or disobey our parents, or tear down someone at school, we are not choosing the role that Christ wants us to play.  In the movie “The Amazing Spiderman,” Peter Parker chooses not to help the store clerk catch the thief; he chooses to be an extra instead of the hero and then finds out that the thief would go on to kill his uncle.  When we choose a smaller or more selfish role, we need to turn back to God for His mercy and forgiveness.

In Acts 9, we find Saul persecuting Christians and playing the role of the villain.  Christ calls out to him and shows His mercy as He encourages Saul to become St. Paul who would go on to become the most well known evangelist ever.  This conversion story and the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) both show the mercy of God waiting for us when we turn from our selfish ways.  In Luke 15, verse 20, we see that the father, who had been disowned by his son, ran to his son and embraced him and kissed him, when the son decided to return home.  We too are welcomed back when we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In the Sacrament, we receive the grace to overcome our selfish desires and we are inspired by God to become the hero, putting others before ourselves.

Tonight, your child will go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  You as parents have been the inspiration for them as you were there with them in second grade when they first went to Reconciliation.  This week we are encouraging them to take ownership of their faith and not just believe because Mom and Dad do.  So I encourage you to pray an “Our Father” for your teen making special note of the line where we ask God to forgive us our sins: “As we forgive those who sin against us.” It is not an easy prayer because we can’t ask God to be merciful with us if we are not merciful toward others.  OUCH!  Don’t forget that the Sacrament of Reconciliation does not have an age limit, all are welcome…even you.

Today's Top Shots:

SESSION 3:  Inspired by Christ

God has invited us on a journey this week to become the person that He created us to be.  Last night the Sacrament of Reconciliation washed away our sins and put us back on the right path.  The path of holiness is often times a lonely road.  Living a life for Christ is not popular as Christ says in Matthew 7:13-14.  Like many heroes that we see on the big screen, it can be a lonely road of sacrifice for a larger cause.  This lonely walk is where Christ meets us.  His love and grace is poured out for those who are willing to go against the grain.  When everyone else is leading their lives according to what they want rather than what God wants, it takes a strong person to stand up for what they believe in.  As Catholics, our strength comes from the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, “When we receive the Eucharist our relationship with Christ is strengthened, the graces we receive at Baptism are deepened, it cleanses us and helps preserve us from sin, and we are united more with the community of the Church.  The Eucharist is the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death” (CCC 1392-1396).

God’s love is revealed through Christ our Savior.  Before Christ died, He left us with grace to live as He did. The root of the word “EUCHARIST” is the Greek word “CHARIS” which means “GRACE.” Christ gave His life for us on the cross after giving His body and blood to us in the Eucharist.  Tonight your teens will experience the love of Christ from the moment of the Last Supper until His death on the cross for them.  They will witness many different characters in the story (i.e. Judas, Peter, John, Mary, Roman Soldiers, Mary Magdalene, Pharisees, etc.).  Christ’s love was available to all of the characters, but it was up to them to decide how they would respond.

Tonight your teens will have some time in prayer with the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration.  Adoration is a time when we come and find refreshment and belonging with the One who knows us and loves us best.  As parents, I encourage you to spend some time today with Christ in Adoration.  It does not have to be a long time, just enough to offer a prayer for you and your teenager.  Our journey as parents can be even more lonely and difficult and we too need Christ’s grace to make it through—I know that I do.

Today's Top Shots:

SESSION 4:  Inspired to Serve

The Crucifixion is not the end of the story.  Jesus shows us the depth of His love so that we will have nothing to fear when we become the lead characters (apostles) in His great story of Salvation.  Once we experience the love of Christ, we cannot contain it, it must be given to others.  After Christ’s Resurrection, He reappears to His disciples and commissions them to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).  The teenagers will be reminded that this is the same calling that their parents responded to when they dressed them up in the white gown to be baptized.  What might have seemed like cruelty, dunking a perfectly sleeping baby in cold water and snapping pictures of the whole ordeal, was really a powerful witness to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of their lives.  The real question posed to your teen tonight is: What are you going to do about it?

Serving others is our way of expressing gratitude to our parents and to Christ for all they have done for us.  Loving our family and our siblings is a clear way that we live that out.  The teens will watch a story about two brothers, Conner and Cayden and how Conner inspires others to live out his faith in service.  Below is the link to their story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Lax4zFFoA

Being young should not limit the impact we have on others.  Inspiring others does not have age limits.  Paul (yes, the one originally known as Saul) writes in his letter to Timothy, “Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Tonight, your teens will be asked to think about and pray for those in their lives that are most in need.  They will be asked to pray for YOU, their parents.  They will be asked to pray for their siblings, their friends and family members.  They will light a candle for their families and offer prayers of intercession for them.  So I invite you as parents to do the same.  It does not have to be long, just gather the rest of the family together, light a candle and pray for your son/daughter, and invite their siblings to pray for their brother/sister.  One decade of the rosary, for example, or a simple spontaneous prayer, whatever you feel like.  Lastly, I just want to say thank you.  I am truly blessed to be with your teens this week.  You are amazing parents with amazing kids.

Today's Top Shots:

SESSION 5:  Inspired by the Holy Spirit

Going home after such a great week can be very difficult.  Even though we miss our families while we are away, we know that we will go home a different person than when we arrived on Monday.  Our friends and family back home did not experience this week with us and might not understand how our hearts have changed.  We look the same on the outside, but we must stay strong on the inside so that we can show our family and friends the love of Christ.  We won’t be perfect and it is not easy.  This is why Christ gave us the Holy Spirit.  Like a great sidekick, the Holy Spirit gives us the courage and grace to live out our faith in new ways.

We cannot give into fear.  Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from sharing our faith with friends and family.  We must be bold, follow God’s path, and inspire others to do the same.  We do this by taking full ownership of our faith.  Christ encourages us not to light our lamps and then put it under a bushel basket, but to put it on a lampstand so that those who enter might see the light (Luke 11:33).  God sends us the Holy Spirit so that we can share our talents with others and bring more people to Christ. (Matthew 25:14-30).

Tonight the summer missionaries, who are examples of allowing the Holy Spirit to move them, will pray over the teens.  Summer missionaries are college-aged teens that have returned to camp to serve your son/daughter.  Each week for five weeks, they get up early to pray in Adoration and they go to bed after everyone else.  They bring the energy of the camp, by planning and playing games and having fun with your kids all week.  I know for me, as a father of seven, I am always overwhelmed by the sacrifices that these college kids make.  I was not making such choices as a college student and stand inspired by their passion and energy for Christ.  So please join me in praying in thanksgiving for all these college students that have given up their summer to serve kids that they have never met, your children.

Today's Top Shots:

SESSION 6:  Inspired to Go Out

Today you will welcome home your child after a long week away.  Thank you for trusting Life Teen this week.  As Vice-President, it brings me so much joy to share a week with your kids.  These weeks of camp are what keep me going throughout the year.  A month after leading camp last year, we found out that my wife had stage 4 cancer.  Our life was flipped upside down and it was camp families and the experiences at camp that kept me going.

Through the grace of God, she joined me this week completely cured of her cancer.  God is amazing and still performs miracles.  I know that when you signed your child up for camp this summer you might not have realized the miracles that would happen in their lives.  I pray that you and your family will grow stronger in your faith as you welcome your son/daughter home today.

Know that all our staff at Life Teen pray for your families daily as we do everything we can to Lead Teenagers closer to Christ.  Please pray for us and the movement of Life Teen so we can stay true to God’s plan, not ours.

Lastly, I want to humbly ask you to pray about supporting Life Teen through prayer and financial support.  We know that not everyone will have the opportunity to financially support us, but if you can please visit www.lifeteen.com/donate to help us as we move to purchase Hidden Lake camp so that we can have amazing summer camps for years to come.

In Christ,

Steve Allgeyer
VP of Mission & Ministry Development
[email protected]