A CHRISTMAS VACATION DREAM FOR 4500 YOUTH
A new youth camp is under way; after Christmas, participants from around the world have gathered in Vestfold. 27 nations are represented, and here you can read an interview with someone who traveled all the way from the East Coast in the USA.
By Ulrikke Andresen – Photo by Lidiya Lukashuk/ Iris Weißgerber
There are crowds of youth from far and near standing outside the conference center, waiting for the camp to start. There is excitement in the air, with many expectant faces glancing around.
It is time for the fourth and final camp of the year under the auspices of Brunstad Youth Club (BUK). The event is a collaborative project with several players, with BCC contributing by planning the evening programs.
Winter Wonderland in Vestfold
“Every camp has its own special theme, and the Christmas Camp should have a proper Winter Wonderland,” says Christina Nielsen, project manager for the event.
Everything has been arranged for a fantastic winter day. Both an ice rink and sledding hill have been set up, and on the path leading to Oslofjord Arena there is a Christmas market with colored Christmas lights. In the morning, snowflakes fill the air, sprinkling the whole area with a beautiful blanket of white snow.
But what is it that makes young people from so many countries come here during the Christmas holidays, when the trip is long, and airline tickets are expensive?
Joshua Pang, 22, is one of those who have come all the way from Connecticut, USA to experience what’s happening at Brunstad. He is impressed with the work put into the event.
“For me, it is not difficult to prioritize coming here. Everything is very well organized for us young people. The program is varied, exciting and educational,” he says.
25 activities to choose from
With close to 4700 participants, and a wide variety of interests to accommodate, there are 25 different activities to choose from, ranging from sports, creative expression, media, cooking, music and more.
The goal is for all the young people to have an opportunity to do something they can have fun with, and during the camp there are many involved with making happen.
“We couldn’t have done it without all the volunteer mentors who want to do something for the other young people,” says Christina Nielsen. “We have hundreds of young adults participating as mentors and chaperones. It is special to see so many people from different parts of the world who choose to spend their time and resources in such a setting.”
Joshua is one of these. He supports a team from his home church during one of the camp’s sports tournaments.
“I believe, and have experienced, the one who blesses becomes blessed. I want to do something good for those younger than me and be someone that they know cares about them. For me, it is practical Christianity, and it brings me a lot of joy.”
A Christmas celebration with a clear and hopeful message
After a long day of activities, it’s time for one of the camp’s highlights: a Christmas celebration with a focus on the gospel; where young people receive guidance for a life filled with good thoughts, words and deeds.
Through various elements such as films, speeches and music, a clear and hopeful message emerges. During the feast, pastor Kåre J. Smith had a few words on his heart. He spoke about the spirit of truth that Jesus brought, and how through that spirit we can be renewed in our thoughts and minds, words and actions.
“We are his work. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works,” he said, and read from Ephesians 2,10.
“Evenings like this are an example of why I prioritize the youth camps. Here I learn more about how I can become a better person for those around me and become happy. This is the course for my life,” says Joshua.