BRUNSTAD YOUTH CLUB – YOUTH FROM 35 COUNTRIES GATHER TOGETHER ONLINE
This weekend the Brunstad Youth Club arranged an online summer camp for 6,800 members throughout the entire world. The corona pandemic caused several limitations, but has also created new ways of gathering. This year more youth than at any time before were able to participate locally.
BY Johanne Reiersrud – Photo: Brunstad Youth Club/BCC
Originally it was planned for several thousand youth to attend the summer camp in Vestfold in Norway at the end of July. However, when it became apparent that the camp would have to be cancelled, the Brunstad Youth Club (BUK) decided to develop a completely new online event, held in conjunction with local activities. Because participants were able to monitor one another from their own location, they were – in a sense – meeting together anyway.
Local camps over the whole world and a common gathering place online
The original plans were ultimately replaced with a new and diverse online program from BUK. At the same time, dedicated people from all 35 countries labored to make their own unique camps within their local youth groups.
“The summer camp was twofold – many things were happening locally, and through common gathering points online, where you could get glimpses of what was taking place in many of the other clubs. The corona pandemic has brought about various national directives that must be adhered to, but one thing is common to all: that everyone has a part in our community through our online program,” says Peter Tischhauser, leader of the Brunstad Youth Club.
Online camp has record registration numbers
Tischhauser relates how they originally expected about 4,000 participants at the summer camp, but the online camp made space for many more:
“We presently have a total of 6,800 youth who will follow the online program, and they come from all parts of the world.”
He speaks highly of all the dedicated leaders and parents that made a massive effort to plan the local camps, and is impressed at the level of creativity and the scale of what they come up with.
“Many take hikes, some clubs borrow one another’s meeting hall and create fabulous experiences with the possibilities at their disposal. For example, we have youth clubs who have traveled to mountains and fjords, and organized activities such as Via Ferrata, kayaking, riding, water sports, and much more. Some have rented LED screens to follow the broadcasts outdoors. In addition to this, several of the clubs contributed by sending in film clips and tidbits that we use for our shared gatherings.”
BUK headquarters has distributed several suggested activities, and additional material so that the local camps can be decorated in the same way. Everything was done to create unity and an atmosphere of togetherness, regardless of borders.
Swipe to see photos of a local arrangement (photo: Brunstad Youth Club):
BCC Online contributes with TV- broadcasts and programming
There were five evening broadcasts from BUK headquarters during the four days of the camp, with an additional 3 morning broadcasts from different locations in North America, Africa, and Europe.
Summer Camp Online is a joint effort between the Brunstad Youth Club, the local BUK clubs, and BCC. All the broadcasts are via the BCC Online platforms, and the TV crew from BCC is on the job throughout the entire weekend. Tischhauser relates that several youth workers and church leaders from BCC will also participate with edification:
“We have a common desire to inspire the young people to live an active Christian life, so they can experience what faith can do for them, and the joy it brings both now and for the remainder of their lives. There will not be any long and dry broadcasts, but a Christian message for young people through a program and presentation that is tailored to them and their needs.”
He relates how the combination of activities during the day, entertainment and edifying messages in the evening, has been a proven success in previous camps. “We intend to carry this further and do all that we can so the broadcasts and the camps will be experienced as a real high-point for all our participants.”
Watch the video from last year’s Summer Camp: