This summer, 20 of our high school students and leaders will travel to Pigeon Forge, TN. They will join thousands of other high schoolers and leaders from around the country for a weeklong high school summer camp.

They’ll spend their days at a deluxe, mountain-resort that is sure to provide an experience they won’t soon forget. Three water parks, ten indoor and outdoor thrill rides, a 10,000-foot wave pool…. a teenager’s dream!

But the really cool part? Students will be inspired to encounter God in a whole new way. One of the things that makes this high school camp different from other church camps is their focus on growing closer and stronger in small groups. One of the major goals of the camp is building a strong relationship between the small group leader and the student so that the relationship can continue once camp is over.

“This is the second year of high school camp,” said Colten Kisner, interim Wired director at the Ridge. “We went last year, and their focus on small groups was amazing. It really fits into our model in Wired. That’s one of the main reasons I was so passionate about taking our students again this year.”

Another reason Kisner was so impressed by the camp last year – and why he can’t wait for this year’s group of students to experience camp – is that last year, he saw his students have a real, genuine emotional connection with God.

“Seeing other high schoolers connect with God through worship made it all relevant to our guys and girls,” Kisner said. “I think it really made our students realize that they, also, could own their faith.”

This is exactly why we want as many high schoolers as possible to attend this life-changing camp. Unfortunately, the cost to attend the camp is pretty steep. Several fundraisers were held over the spring to offset the cost of the camp. But the $530 price tag is still quite a burden for many high school students.

One of our attendees knows that firsthand. When her children were young, she was a single mom raising twin boys. They struggled financially, as many families do. But with God’s help, she was able to send her boys to 4H Camp, Boy Scout Camp, Band Camp, and Church Camp. And they are all the better for it. This could be why God laid it on her heart to fully sponsor a student to go to high school camp this year.

The students leave for camp this Monday, July 13. And plans for next year’s summer camp will likely get underway within the next few months. If you’d like to financially support a high school student’s summer camp experience, either this summer or in the future, you may email Colten.Kisner@theridge.church.

You can learn more about high school camp, and keep up with the students during camp, at highschoolcamp.com.