Large Group Session

Students attending 2022 StuCamps participate in a large group teaching session. SN6237

New Mexico Baptist’s summer student camps prompted 71 public spiritual decisions. Five hundred seventy students attended the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s three  2022 StuCamps. During those camps, 24 students chose to follow Jesus, 26 publicly renewed their commitment to Jesus, and 21 students surrendered to vocational ministry. Thirty-one churches participated in this year’s camps.

The first two StuCamps met at Sivells during two different weeks. The the last StuCamp met at Inlow. This year’s theme for all three camps was “ESSENTIAL – First Things First.” The camps focused on the Bible book of Philippians.

One student who attended camp said, “This week, I learned much about what is essential in your life and that the earthly things we worship instead of God are not as important as we think. Our status here on Earth does not matter as much as our status with God does.”

“They are realizing that social media is not as important to them as they thought. When the students were in each other’s presence, they were having a great time,” Swann said. “There’s fun and fellowship, worship and Bible study, challenge and community. We are there to reinforce what local churches are doing in their youth ministries.”

All of those activities created an atmosphere where some students made life-changing spiritual decisions. “This year, I decided to give my life to God,” one student shared. “I am one of the first people in my family to give my life to God. It is my first year at camp. And, I am really happy that I came.”

“Jesus saw that to redeem us, it was essential to set aside His rights and give up His life. So, of course, it is essential for us to worship Jesus,” Sam Swann said of the theme. Swann serves as team leader of the BCNM’s Leadership Development Team. Trevor Clark, youth pastor, Eastern Hills Baptist Church, Albuquerque, wrote this year’s Bible studies. Students used the studies throughout their time at camp. In addition to Swann and Clark, Scott Downing, X-Factor Church, Albuquerque; Ryan Robertson, First Baptist Church, Bloomfield; Randy Ramos, Real Life Church, Las Cruces; Philip Wright, Central Baptist Church, Clovis; and Dane Wilkerson, Hoffmantown Church, Albuquerque, helped plan the camps.

The Gregg Higgins Band led worship for StuCamp 1.0, and Hidden by the Light led worship for StuCamps 2.0 and 3.0. Chris Hurt, student pastor, Frisco First Baptist Church, Frisco, Texas, led 1.0, and Garrett Wagoner, founder, Garrett Wagoner Ministries, preached for StuCamps 2.0 and 3.0.

Behind the scenes, God worked to orchestrate camp programs. For example, traditionally StuCamps relies on college students to run activities and help as the week progresses. This year Swann learned that a college team he usually recruited could not help due to COVID-19 restrictions. “As soon as I hung up with the college, I called Anna Parker and asked her what she was doing. She said she had nothing planned for the month of June and would come help. She recruited a team of people to do recreation and anything else we needed. It was totally a God thing that she was available,” Swann said.

This year’s attendance exceeded 2021 camps, the first summer that camps resumed after COVID-19 closures. The 2021 camps drew about 400 students. “I expected 2022 to be just a little bigger, but it was a lot bigger than 2021,” Swann said. “I am looking forward to that momentum carrying into 2023 and that year being even bigger.”


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