In life, there are just a handful of experiences that forever change the trajectory of our lives. These experiences often creep up on us when we least expect it, and yet they impact our lives in ways we never imagined. While these pivot points of life come in all shapes and sizes, they are most powerful when they force us to encounter the Living God in a tangible way. As youth ministers, we desire nothing more than for our students to have life-changing encounters with Jesus Christ. We seek to provide them with experiences that shape the lens through which they view life. With a rich history in youth ministry and Christian camping, I firmly believe that a wilderness experience is uniquely capable of providing this experience and impacting lives for Jesus Christ.
Having sent more than three hundred of our Christian Leadership Training (CLT) campers to Eagle Quest, I am convinced that there is no better wilderness program in all of Texas. Each summer we send more than sixty campers to spend eight life-changing nights on trail at Camp Eagle. While on trail, campers are intentionally pulled out of their comfort zones and pushed into their stretch zones. Those seemingly impenetrable walls are broken down and our students open up, allowing Christ to touch the very core of who they are. The starry skies, crisp mountain air and deafening silence, provide an experience with Creation that is ripe for change. Without a doubt, our partnership with Eagle Quest is the most powerful part of our ministry at Camp Cho-Yeh. Each and every one of our campers come back from Eagle Quest knowing Jesus in a new way.
Eagle Quest does a fantastic job of customizing our trips and meeting the needs of our individual campers. They challenge our campers to grow physically, personally and spiritually. The adventures that they design and facilitate not only stretch our campers, but ultimately allow our leaders to forge authentic relationships with our campers. While camp is short, the relationships they form last a lifetime.
As you can tell, I’m a big believer in the work Camp Eagle and Eagle Quest do. I assure you, Eagle Quest is not just another camp event or another youth group retreat. The purpose of these trips is not simply to have fun, or do something cool… the purpose is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of teenagers. Undoubtedly, Eagle Quest is an investment in the lives of young people that will reap eternal returns.
Garret Larsen is the Summer Camp Director at Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference Center, Inc and a genius in the camping industry.