For years, we have offered our Teen Staff program to high school students. It has been said to be one of our greatest strengths. This program is one element of our high school ministry. We believe, as many of you have said, that this program is a rich program that contributes to the spiritual growth of our teens in a way no other program can.
As a result, we are dramatically expanding our Teen Staff program, not only at camp but also throughout the ministry of Youthfront. With the expansion of Middle School Camp programs moving to both Youthfront locations, the launching of a new Day Camp Program, the expansion of our Something to Eat initiative and other programs being developed, more opportunities are available for teenagers to serve. And, we can involve a lot more high school students in our Teen Staff program each week! It's a great win-win!
In order to grow, we have to fund this program. As with any program, Teen Staff requires significant resources to operate. To help us offset the significant ministry costs, we are creating a Teen Staff Fund where donors can sponsor a Teen Staffer. We need to fund each position at $100 per week. Teen Staff students are covering the first amount by contributing $25, leaving $75 that we need you to fill. Your $75 donation sponsors a Teen Staff position for one week. We have 700 positions to fill for the summer at all our camp locations. We need you. Will you consider sponsoring one week (or more) for a gift of $75 per week?
When we talk about our faith, we become more faithful people. Dr. Amanda Drury will present about the power of our story. She'll share why and how it is important to create an environment where young people learn to tell their story and share their faith, to each other, to the church and to the world.
A very special thanks to Museum of the Bible for sponsoring our Youth Worker Training Events:
For years, we have offered our Teen Staff program to high school students. It has been said to be one of our greatest strengths. This program is one element of our high school ministry. We believe, as many of you have said, that this program is a rich program that contributes to the spiritual growth of our teens in a way no other program can. As a result of these dynamic realities, we are dramatically expanding our teen staff program, not only at camp but also throughout the ministry of Youthfront. Remember, our teens want and need to make a difference—this program allows that to happen. It is important for us to provide as many teens with the opportunity to do this. Now, with the expansion of middle school camp programs moving to both Youthfront locations, the launching of a new Day Camp Program, the expansion of our Something to Eat Initiative and other programs being developed, more opportunities for kids to serve are available. And, we can involve a lot more high school students in our teen staff program each week! It’s a great win-win! Now Meet two new Youthfront staff members who will be working year round with our Teen Staff youth.
"Even though I wouldn't have predicted that this would be my career path when I first started studying engineering at Iowa, I am confident that my new role of leading and walking alongside these students at Youthfront is the intersection where my passion has met God's will for ministry in my life." - Mac Maser Learn more about Mac here.
"I don't take it lightly that I get the honor and responsibility of being a person who gets to pour into these people for so many hours this summer. I am so ready to learn their names, hear their stories, and soak up all the beautiful things they have to offer this world." - Haley Stafford Learn more about Haley here.
Emerging Adults, Spirituality, and the Church Featuring Dr. Steven Argue | 9a - 1p | Colonial Presbyterian Church (Wornall)
Emerging Adults are those who self-identify as no longer being adolescents but have yet to see themselves as adults. They are living in one of the most significant developmental periods that often determine the trajectory of the rest of their lives. Currently, they may be one of the most misunderstood populations in the church. In conversations with ministry leaders, there seems to be three recurring questions regarding emerging adults. The first is “Why are they leaving us?” This only adds insult to young adults’ already-vulnerable dispositions. The second, is “How do we get emerging adults back?” The third is often asked in whispered tones, “If they do come back, what do we do with them?” This reveals an honest apprehension about what it really means for churches to connect with emerging adults. Sadly, there are some narratives where churches bemoan emerging adults leaving them and emerging adults condemn churches for abandoning them. There are more thoughtful and hopeful ways to move forward if we are willing to listen to the voices of emerging adults, consider their quest for meaning, and envision what “good news” might look like for them. We will explore the research and reimagine the Church’s posture toward emerging adults.
Dr. Steven Argue joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in June 2015 in a hybrid role as assistant professor of youth, family, and culture and as applied research strategist with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). A thought leader and researcher with decades of on-the-ground ministry experience, he comes from Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served since 2009 as pastor and theologian-in-residence. Prior to that he was executive director of the Contextual Learning Center (CLC) at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, where he designed the seminary’s residency program that provided experience and assessment for seminary students. He has worked and led parachurch organizations that focused on youth ministry strategies and leadership development. Also, he was associate pastor of high school ministries at Elmbrook Church. Prior to his ministry experience, he worked for Hewitt Associates, a firm that provides human capital and management consulting services.
Dr. Argue has worked with FYI for the past five years: as a Sticky Faith coach and speaker, a contributor on projects such as the Churches Engaging Youth People Project (CEYP), and as an Advisory Council Member. He has also taught as an adjunct at Fuller Seminary, as well as at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Cornerstone University, Bethel College (Indiana), Biblical Theological Seminary, Northern Seminary, and Jos Evangelical Theological School (Nigeria). His speaking engagements include Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) since 2008, and his publications range from numerous blogs and articles on the Fuller Youth Institute website, in Group magazine, Inside Track magazine, andYouth Worker Journal to coauthoring a five-volume set of training materials for youth workers. Argue is also a chapter contributor to Adopted, edited by Dr. Chap Clark (forthcoming in 2015).
Argue’s doctoral research focused on how undergraduate students who attend public universities perceive and work through spiritual struggle. He hopes this work can contribute to better understanding emerging adults—one of the most misunderstood groups of people in our churches today—and provide more meaningful ways for faith communities to support emerging adults in one of the most important periods in their lives.
His professional affiliations include the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, Association of Youth Ministry Educators, International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, National Network of Youth Ministries, and the Association of Theological Field Educators. Argue was ordained in 1994 by Elmbrook Church, Brookfield, Wisconsin, as an Ordained Minister of the Gospel.
REGISTER NOW for the rest of our Youth Worker Training Events for the 2016-17 season!
We are excited about the lineup of presenters scheduled, from nationally known presenters like Andy Root and Steven Argue to local leaders like Tina Harris. This season you'll find a range of topics that will inspire, challenge, and equip you for ministry with youth and young adults.
Thursday, DECEMBER 1: More Than 'Getting Together': Youth Ministry and Race, by Rev. Tina Harris and Dr. Brandon Winstead. Location: Nazarene Theological Seminary
Thursday, JANUARY 26: Emerging Adults, Spirituality, and the Church, by Dr. Steven Argue. Location: Colonial Presbyterian Church
Thursday, MARCH 30: Saying is Believing: The Power of Testimony and Storytelling, by Dr. Amanda Drury. Location: TBA
For several years, we have been at maximum capacity at Youthfront Camp West. We are so very thankful for God's overflowing blessing. Youthfront leadership has been praying / thinking for a couple of years about how we can best steward the mission, families and churches that Youthfront Camp serves. After much deliberation and prayer, we are excited to announce that we are expanding! In addition to Youthfront Camp West, the Youthfront Camp experience will now also be offered at Youthfront Camp LaCygne.
This is a major and exciting decision for us as a ministry. We understand you may have some questions, but in the meantime, we can assure you that we will provide the same excellent programming, the same quality / trained staff and the same age appropriate experience at both of our camp locations.
With this decision comes expansion and growth at Youthfront Camp LaCygne. We are adding numerous attractions (e.g. new Splash Park, Gaga Ball and more), improving cabins and adding a few other surprises that we are excited to announce soon.
In addition to our expanded Camp program, we are excited to offer special pricing for our Youthfront Camp LaCygne sessions.
We have also added a session for grades 7-9 to accommodate the many 8th graders who have expressed the desire to have a Middle School Camp experience one more year!!
CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
You can register NOW for any of our available Kids Camp or Middle School Camp sessions. Click here to view the Camp session calendars. Just a reminder: if you register by March 1, 2017, you will receive $15 Early Bird Camp Bucks to spend at Camp. If you are coming with a group, make sure to get your Group Hold code from your group leader before registering. Sessions will fill up quickly! Don't delay and register today!
Cal Farley’sis an internationally renown residential community near Amarillo, Texas open to at-risk children ages 5 to 18. It is one of the best programs in the world for helping at-risk youth. Mike Wilhelm, Senior Chaplain at Cal Farley's, is a good friend and donor of Youthfront. Mike has brought several Youthfront staff to Cal Farley's for training staff. He has also brought Cal Farley residents to Youthfront camps. Mike is a giant of a man and an amazing spiritual leader. Mike launched a program called the Iona Project that is making a big impact.
The Iona Project is an innovative youth ministry internship at Cal Farley's (paid with benefits and housing). The program is currently in its third year. Participants live life together as an intentional community-- -fixed hour prayer - a weekly community meal - weekly spiritual formation - cutting edge trauma-informed childcare training - and soul-shaping Boys Ranch youth ministry responsibilities! Here's an important feature: The Iona community is comprised of 6 members: 3 gals and 3 guys. It is a one-year commitment with one guy and one gal being selected each year for a second year, to join with the 4 new incoming members. So there's an overlap built into the program that gives the community a seamless nature. Thus the beauty of the program is that it has great stability while at the same time considering the nomadic nature of unmarried millennials. Here's a sample of the things they do: Lectio continua: The community's 9-month consecutive read through entire Bible; Weekly lectio divina, utilizing the church calendar RCL readings; Group spiritual reading of Bonhoeffer's, "Life Together"; Group Enneagram work; No less than 56 hours of childcare training, that includes Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) and Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). Participants present a year-end reflection paper to the Cal Farley's leadership group. Those completing all requirements of the program receive a “Certificate in Spiritual Formation & Youth Ministry” from the Cal Farley’s Childcare Institute. Mike is currently recruiting now for 2017. If you know young adults who are looking for an amazing, challenging, yet rewarding opportunity, have them contact Mike Wilhelm - firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve worked at Youthfront Camp West for three summers now and it has become something I eagerly look forward to every summer. I first began working for Youthfront in the summer of 2014 after I decided that I wanted to work for something that I felt would matter and have a lasting impact on people’s lives. Youthfront has definitely met that hope.
There are many reasons I enjoy Youthfront and being a part of the summer staff. One of those reasons is meeting and becoming familiar with fellow summer staff. Everyone has a story, and something to offer the world from their life experiences. I enjoy hearing those stories and seeing how God works in people’s lives to accomplish His ends. I also love seeing the sacrifices people make to provide an opportunity for young students to hear the gospel. A lot of staff work very hard at their jobs, sometimes even when they don’t feel like it. We don’t always get to see the results of that hard work, but there is an enormous satisfaction in knowing that what we do matters in the lives of kids and has the potential to create a lasting impact on their spiritual journey.
I also think the atmosphere at Youthfront is a great example to churches and ministries. Even though different staff members might disagree about particulars in regards to faith, we all rally behind the goal of telling kids about Christ in a fun and safe environment. I have always felt accepted and encouraged as a person at Youthfront regardless of any of my traits or characteristics, and I think that is an amazing way Youthfront demonstrates their commitment to loving others as Christ loves us. Everyone has a place and can contribute in a very meaningful way to the mission of Youthfront.
Robbie Hotz, Ropes Course Supervisor at Youthfront Camp West