Fall camp for the youth: “Everything exceeded my expectations”

This weekend more than 3700 young people from many countries gathered at Oslofjord Convention Center for BUK’s fall camp. Participants got to experience fellowship, activities, and inspiration for their faith, and for many this camp once again exceeded expectations.

By Ulrikke Andresen – Photo by Brunstad Youth Club (BUK)

The hall crackled with expectation on Friday evening as it filled up with teenagers and young adults. Here, the fall camp for Brunstad Youth Club (BUK) was started with an kick-off evening, music, messages, and performances. In addition to over 3700 who were physically present at the camp, many from local associations in all parts of the world followed the broadcasts online both on Friday and Saturday.

Kickoff in the main hall Friday evening. Photo: BUK

On both Saturday and Sunday, the conference area was alive with activity as the young people made their way to various activities. There was a lot to choose from: in addition to e-sports, which was the camp’s main activity, there were also 18 other activities to choose from. There was a variety of sports, including soccer, volleyball, hockey, and horseback riding, and activities of a more creative nature too – music, cooking, media, and photography, among others.

E-sports were the main activity at the fall camp. Photo: BUK

Theme evening with a warm atmosphere: getting to know our history

After a busy Saturday, it was time for a faith-building theme evening in the hall. The evening had a special theme, where the spotlight was on the 65 years that the church has been gathering for conferences at Brunstad. It was an interesting evening, where the young people got to hear about how the earlier generations transformed the place from a little rundown farmstead into a conference centre, and how today it has become a gathering place that can hold several thousand.

“When you get to know the history, and hear about those who have been a part of this from the beginning – then you also receive a future,” Kåre J. Smith began with. He was one of the panel members.

There was a warm atmosphere in the main hall this evening, with good stories and an audience that was eager to join the laughter. On stage there were interviews with some of those who have been there right from when the very first conference was held, and they had much to say about the significance of having a place to gather around the gospel.

A relaxed atmosphere and many good stories during the evening’s panel conversation. Photo: BUK

A lot has changed since the 1950s, in the physical structure, organization, and practical management, but new generations continue to come to conferences and camps with the same longing to hear God’s word and be a part of this fellowship in the faith.

Here, people from all over the world have made important decisions for their personal spiritual life; many revivals have been taken place here, young people have been born again and been gripped by a faithful and righteous life of following Jesus. Through films and conversations on stage, both young and old spoke of their personal experiences, about how they had come to faith in the word of God.

“It has been a very special experience”

“More than anything else, it’s the theme evening and all the good conversations there that make the camp special. What we hear creates an especially good atmosphere, which sets the tone for the whole camp,” says Vanessa (15).

She is participating from BUK’s local association in Oslo Follo, and says that being able to gather at a camp again has been a special experience.

Vanessa (nearest) participated in the photography group this camp. Photo: BUK

“Actually, my only expectation was to be able to gather with friends from other places again, but everything has exceeded my expectations. Just being here, hearing so many good things and being with so many good friends really makes the camp into something special.”

“Coming to camps is important for my faith”

While Vanessa takes part in the photography activity, there’s a hubbub of activitity somewhere else in the area: at the sports hall at Oslofjord Arena.

In the cheering section of the handball court is Teodor (17), who comes from Grenland, another one of BUK’s largest local associations. Even though there are a lot of fun things happening this weekend, he says that coming to the camp is important for his faith, first and foremost.

“To hear the gospel and be together with others who believe the same thing causes me to develop. I get a hold of God’s word here, which can help me in everyday life,” says Teodor.

Teodor (centre, with light-colored hoodie) is happy to be at the camp again. Photo: private

He also says he wants to help make sure the weekend is also a good experience for the youngest participants:

“Coming to the camp means a lot to them, when we who are a little older are ‘on the giving side’. When I was young I felt a lot of warmth and goodness from people who wanted to do something for the others. This obviously rubbed off on me, so I’ve also received a desire to give those who are younger the same experience that I myself have had.”

Christmas Camp, with an exciting game launch

After a rich weekend, the fall camp was rounded out on Sunday afternoon with a closing meeting in the main hall. The next youth camp takes place in the last week of the year, and there, among other things,  the participants can look forward to testing out the brand new bible game, BibleX. A test version of it will be launched for the young people from varioud BUK assocations during the camp.

We’ll have more updates here at bcc.no and we reccommend you take a look at the Bible X website.

You can see more pictures from BUK’s fall camp here: