I. Love. Camp. It was through volunteering at camp as a college student that I was first introduced to FCA and fell in love with the ministry. I can still vividly remember my very first year as a huddle leader, pouring into 10 high school volleyball players, practicing with them, praying with them, and rejoicing with them when 8 of the 10 made first time decisions to dedicate their lives to Jesus.
Though this was my 7th FCA Total Athlete Camp, I never cease to be utterly overwhelmed by God’s power and presence as he uses this camp to draw high school athletes into relationship with him. Check out some highlights from this incredible week below!
Between FCA staff, coaches, huddle leaders (college athletes serving as camp counselors), and campers, over 1,500 of us swarmed UCLA’s campus for a full week of camp. The students sweat during double day practices, engaged Scripture in morning Bible studies, worshiped and learned during evening program, and grew in community and relationship in nighttime huddle. During program, students had an opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior. I am always moved by God’s love for his children as countless students raise their hand and declare that they want to respond to God’s invitation to be in a relationship with him.
Worshiping together during evening program is always a highlight for campers and huddle leaders alike. The Spirit of God is so present and palpable as students come together and lift their voices to God.
“By a far margin, my ultimate favorite part was the worship every night. It was amazing. To be in that gym, surrounded by these people experiencing God with you, was just truly life changing. I can’t even put it into words really. Once in a lifetime moment.” – Sam, Soccer Camper
Chrissy Baird is a basketball player at UCLA and this was her second year serving as a huddle leader at camp. Here is what she had to say about her week:
“Going into this year I didn’t know if I was ready to lead anyone. I had a really hard year and emotionally I didn’t feel like I had the capacity to lead, so I came into camp really scared that I wouldn’t have the right things to say to my girls or if I shared any piece of my story they would see me as weak and ill-equipped to lead them to Jesus. On the third night I had the girls write down a lie the devil has put in their head and share it. It turns out two of the girls were really really struggling as a result of a sibling who tried to commit suicide this year. I was wrestling with the same thing and in that moment I saw God use my own brokenness and feelings of inadequacy to connect with those two girls unlike any way I have connected with anyone else. They understood me, and I understood exactly what they were feeling. In addition to those two, I felt like I could see a little piece of myself in every story my girls shared. That week, God taught me that he uses brokenness, inadequacy, pain and hurt to shine his light because I was able to look them all in the eye and tell them that even though I felt like I’m in the middle of a storm He was standing right next to me. God brought each of the girls to my group because in my brokenness I could connect to them on a really deep level. In addition to what I was able to teach the girls, they taught me that God equips the people He calls and I never have to feel inadequate in Him.”
This year, over 30 Newport Mesa students attended camp. It was so much fun to see students from my campuses experience God in new and powerful ways that week. These are four of my students from Estancia High School and here is what couple of them had to say about FCA Total Athlete Camp!!
“During camp, I excelled not only in tennis but with my relationship with the Lord. There were many messages this week but the one that really impacted me was realizing that I am a child of the King and I should carry myself as one. I recommitted my life to the Lord and will do everything in my power to continue to strengthen it by reading the Bible and attending church.” – Danielle
“Not only did my tennis skills improve, but my relationship with God has never been so strong. I learned so much about God this week at worship and huddle meetings and I couldn’t be mor thankful.” – Meg