Forty-nine years ago I was at Basic Cadet Training (BCT or “beast”) at the Air Force Academy. One of the most memorable experiences was the Confidence Course, where you and your classmates together scaled walls, walked across high ropes, and surmounted obstacles. The most memorable obstacle was a wooden tower about 35 feet tall with 5 floors. You had to go up the tower as a group and back down again, with no ropes or ladders. Your classmates had to lift you up so you could grab the edge of the floor above. Hanging by your hands, you swung back and forth until someone above grabbed your legs and pulled you onto the platform. You reversed the process going down.
The obstacle is still there. (No nets in my day!)
I’m terrified of heights. I only made it through because my classmates wouldn’t let me fail. I’ve forgotten thousands of hours of academics, but I will never forget the Confidence Course. And that tower.
Perhaps the most visible and vibrant ministry of our church is Ligonier Camp and Conference Center, 105 years old and going strong. It’s one of the great Christian camps anywhere. This is the Sunday where we commission the summer camp staff, and where we’re led in worship by Executive Director Patrick Myers and his amazing team.
Ligonier is an adventure camp which gives kids an experience of the good news of Jesus Christ.
It’s good to hear bible stories and sing camp songs. It’s something else entirely to leave your comfort zone and go beyond what you thought you could do, all while being mentored and cheered on by Christians who want you to be the best you can be.
Kids are safe at Ligonier; way safer than my “beast” experience of 1970. But they will never forget scaling walls or crossing high ropes.
And many will experience a bit of what it’s like to have Jesus take them where they could never go on their own.