Eric Porteous wrote this fantastic blog about our summer camp in Arizona called Tepeyac. Take a look!
- Chris Turner
I’m gonna go ahead and admit something right off the bat. When I was a youth minister, I never wanted to bring my teens to summer camp.
Let me repeat that.
Weekend retreats? Great.
Leadership Conferences? Perfect.
Training Conferences for me? Wonderful.
But 6 days of summer camp with my teens?
No, no, no, no, no!
I didn’t want to get dirty.
I didn’t want to play messy games.
And, believe it or not, my back did not want to “sleep” for 6 days on some lousy plastic mattress that would leave it begging for the therapeutic qualities of anything I could rest on at the Motel 6.
I did everything I could to avoid summer camp.
But, wow, those Life Teen Staff Members were persistent.
They tried every trick in the book to guilt me into…I mean convince me that I needed to bring my teens to summer camp.
“Ok fine. So, what dates do you have available at Covecrest?”
“Oh…um…Covecrest is sold out. You should take them to Tepeyac.”
So, there I was, in my sixth year of Youth Ministry, reluctantly taking my teens to Summer Camp at Tepeyac in Northern Arizona. And you know what? It was one of the best decisions I made during my entire career as a Youth Minister.
As a Life Teen Staff Member, you probably expect me to say that you should take your teens to summer camp, but what I am about to say may shock you. Now, keep in mind, that I may be the only Staff Member who feels this way, but I believe that Tepeyac is a better summer camp than Covecrest.
And, here are 5 reasons why I think you should take your teens to summer camp at Tepeyac this year:
- 2 Ropes Courses. Camp Tepeyac has 2 amazing Ropes Courses. There is the Tango Tower and the High Ropes Course (which has 2 levels). There are also a lot of elements, allowing for more teens on the course at the same time.
- The Weather. One of the biggest misconceptions about Camp Tepeyac is that it’s in the desert. Yes, it is in Arizona, but technically it’s not in the desert. It’s up in the mountains of Northern Arizona, where the temperature is much cooler, and there is still minimal humidity, making for a gorgeous week.
- Paintball. Now, I know you love all your teens, but do you ever have one or two that annoy you a little bit? Here’s your chance to get them. All kidding aside, paintball is a lot of fun. It’s safe. It’s supervised, and playing in the forest makes for an awesome setting.
- Relational Ministry. At the heart of all youth ministry is a relationship. Six days with your teens at Camp Tepeyac can do more for your relationship with them than an entire semester of Life Nights. Some of my greatest leadership teens started their journey with Christ at camp. Many of them would say that without Camp Tepeyac, they don’t know where they’d be.
- The Sacraments. Ultimately, the goal of any youth minister is to bring teens to Jesus Christ fully present in the Eucharist. Is there a better way to do that than 6 days at camp with Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, opportunities for Confession, Liturgy of the Hours, praise and worship, powerful talks by great speakers, and authentic small group discussions? Jesus is alive at Camp Tepeyac, and He will be alive in your teens when you return home.
I never wanted to take my teens to summer camp, especially at Tepeyac. But after seeing the many ways God moved in my teens’ souls, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I request to host a week every year at Tepeyac and am excited to do so again this year. I’d love to have you and your teens join us for one of our four weeks at Tepeyac. Would you consider joining us? It could be one of the most transformational decisions you ever make for your youth ministry.
Question: What is your favorite part about summer camp?