Ready. Set. Go. Tennessee’s Amazing Junior Camp

Tennessee’s Junior Camp (ages 8-10) was held June 29-July 4th at Camp Hickory Hills in Dickson, Tennessee. This year’s theme, “Ready. Set. Go.” was based on the popular hit TV show “The Amazing Race” and had special emphasis on missions locally and globally. Shay Griswell and Kim Batson served as the directors for this camp and worked hard to ensure campers and staff had a camp experience that was fun-filled and rich in growing closer to God. The main verses for the week were Matthew 28:19-20 and emphasized God’s command and call to all believers to GO and share the Gospel.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Campers began each morning with a large-group devotion led by Scott Bohanon. Topics were relevant to the lives of the campers and practical. Each morning after the devotion, they would spend time with their cabin in prayer and complete an application activity of something tangible they could do to reinforce the lesson at home after camp was over.

After morning devotions, boys and girls split up and participated in Morning Missions with Michelle Brooks-Young and in an Amazing Race challenge where they had to learn the memory verse and complete a series of obstacles and challenges. Afternoons were jam packed with swimming, a giant slip-n-slide, concessions, activities, and cabin devotions lead by their leaders.

Joy Hensley who serves as Children’s Pastor at Spring Place Church and Office Assistant for Children’s Ministries served as the camp evangelist this year. Messages were focused on what it means to be a believer (conversion), being set apart like Jesus, Holy Spirit Baptism, hearing God, and water baptism. Each evening karate expert, Chuck-Foo, visited the children and helped to introduce the theme of that evening’s message. Joy’s favorite part of camp this year was seeing the children’s willingness and eagerness to respond.

The last day of camp was unique and special. Due to storms and bad weather, the electricity at the campground was constantly going off and coming back on during the final service. While many were still praying and seeking God the power went off again—soon the chapel was filled with the voices of children worshipping and praising God. It was a very sweet and intimate time of worship that really helped to seal all of the great works God had done. Later that evening, Junior Camp celebrated the 4th of July complete with a cookout, movie, gaga ball, and fireworks!

We thank God for the seeds planted and the things brought to fruition at Junior Camp 2019! There were 73 total campers who attended and a great staff that worked together perfectly in unity. God did work not only in the lives of the children, but met many of the staff members in a deep and meaningful way. Several accepted and testified of their calling and shared testimony after testimony of how they experienced Him. Out of the children who attended 17 say they became believers, 22 sanctified, 7 filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and 26 baptized in water.

Camping ministry is more than just a few nights away from home. For the children and staff who attend it is life-changing and forever a part of their spiritual journey.