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YoungLife Camp

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Younglife is a church-oriented youth group that focuses on bringing high school students closer to God. There is club every Monday night at the Shalom center at 8 p.m. All 9th to 12th graders are welcome. I went for the first time my freshman year of high school, but I really became involved my sophomore year. That is how I ended up at Castaway Club this summer, the best week of my life.

There are Younglife summer camps located all around the world, from Minnesota to Africa, that high schoolers are welcome attend. The Fort Dodge chapter of Younglife always goes to a camp in Minnesota called Castaway Club on Pelican Lake and Lake Detroit. It is a 7 hour bus ride. There were about 500 high school students at the camp.

There were countless activities to do while we were at camp, but our leaders never told us what they were. They were always a surprise. The first night, we all dressed in black and participated in a obstacle course where we had to protect our cabin leader and the torch they were holding. The volunteers at camp threw water balloons and plastic balls at us, and made us climb through tubes and underneath hammocks. It might not sound that fun, but it was.

The leaders at camp almost always had an activity planned for us. While we were there, we had a camp wide volleyball tournament, a day full of field games, a rave, a carnival, a square dance, and so much more. When we didn’t have anything planned, we had free time. During free time we could zip line, swim at the beach, canoe, kayak, paddle board, sail, sit in one of the 28 person hot tubs, go to the ice cream, coffee, or gift shops, or play tennis, soccer, mini baseball, handball, volleyball, and frisbee golf.

I met many people at camp from Minnesota, Saint Louis urban, Saint Louis county, Rogersville Missouri, and Liberty, Missouri. We still keep in touch through twitter, Facebook, snapchat, instagram, and texting.

Every evening, everyone at camp meet in the anchor and we had club. Clayton Jones from The Madison Letter and Tate Kirgiss played their guitars and we all sang along to popular songs. Our ‘Geek Squad‘ would come out on stage and dance and show us a skit, and they would call up a person from each location to come onto the stage and play a game. Then, we sang a few church songs and our guest speaker, Tom Pruden, came out and gave a lecture involving our faith. After club, everyone went back to their cabin to have cabin time, which meant that all the junior girls and our leader, Aleah Lentsch, gathered together in our room to discuss what Tom talked about and how it applied to our own lives.

Castaway Club was the best week of my life. It helped me grow as a person and also in my faith. I would recommend to everyone that is going to be a junior or senior next school year to give it a chance.

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