Granted, my list is coming from two viewpoints. First, as a guy who went to a lot of youth camps (quite a few years ago, however.) Secondly, I’m coming from the perspective of a worship leader who sometimes leads worship at youth camp. I’d love to know your list!
1. THE HOOKUP
Somebody’s gonna’ get a girlfriend at camp, right? The hookup is just a natural part of a week dedicated to spending time with God. Why? ‘Cause everybody looks spiritual at camp. Either that or they look like a rebel. Either way, it’s good for finding a significant other. At least for a week.
2. ACCIDENTALLY EATING WITH THE BAND
For most worship bands, this is a given: when choosing between camp cafeteria food and going out to eat at a restaurant, every band you’ve ever seen is going to want to go out. In fact, if you do see the band in the cafeteria, that means one of two possible things has happened. First, the band ran out of time and can’t make it to the restaurant and get back in time. Or, as a second, more rare but cooler reason, the band has chosen to hang out with students. (There’s a third reason, too…the band is too poor to eat out everyday.)
One thing that’s bound to happen in camp is that some kids are going to be lucky enough to be at a table where the band is going to sit and eat. This will be cool for about five minutes…then the rest of the kids will crowd the table and it’ll get weird.
3. EXHAUSTION WORSHIP
Leading worship in a room full of kids who are completely exhausted is always a strange thing. Take 100 kids who have been driven to their physical limit in 100 degree heat, then shower them, load them up with carbohydrates and stick them in a cold, dark room with music playing. It’s weird…some kids are wiped out, while others find themselves delirious with fatigue and getting crazier in worship than they ever thought possible.
4. WOODERSON SYNDROME
In the movie Dazed and Confused, there’s a guy by the name of Wooderson. He the 19-year old high school graduate who still trolls for high school girls. It’s sad and weird and funny…because we all know guys like that.
At camp, you’ll most likely see this in the “rec team.” You know, those college kids who have been hired to create a little worship exhaustion in the kids? Yeah…some of those rec guys need to slow their roll with the high school sophmores, don’t you think?
5. COMING BACK MAD
This is my favorite part of camp. Because it was my LIFE every summer. One thing that’s almost a given is that your students will get so super-charged by the worship at camp that they’ll come back furious at your current worship leader. Your church’s coolest songs are nothing compared to that rib-rattling, four-on-the-floor, delay drenched chorus. Try having your organist make that happen.
I can’t tell you how many summers I spent mad at the worship leader because he just wasn’t cool enough. I regret that now. (And hope it doesn’t happen too often to me as the old guy leading worship now!)
6. BUYER’S REMORSE
This has happened to so many of us.
It might be with the band or the comedy team or the plethora of camp pins, buttons and t-shirts.
You get all into camp and you buy that CD or DVD…you’re pumped. This camp is so awesome!
Then you get home and a few weeks later you notice the DVD skips a little bit or the band sounded way better live. Or the camp t-shirt isn’t near as funny once your home among people wearing normal human wardrobes.
Buyer’s remorse…youth camp style.
Somebody’s gonna’ get hurt. Probably one of the athletic guys. Probably during recreation. He’ll either sit in the nurse’s office for an afternoon or maybe – just maybe – go to the hospital. It’s horrible for him, his parents and the youth pastors, but it sets camp ablaze with drama, doesn’t it. Plan on his girlfriend crying a lot, too.
Somebody’s gonna’ fake getting hurt. This will be the guy or girl who really isn’t feeling the whole “go-outside-and-sweat” thing. They’ll spend an afternoon in the nurse’s office and possibly score a sling or a pair of crutches. Expect them to milk that all freaking week. Or should I say, “weak?”
9. SHOWER DRAMA
Show dram is hard, kids. It really comes in three forms.
First off…middle school boys who don’t want to shower in front of each other. (Or maybe even shower at all.)
Secondly…teenage girls taking four showers a day to beat the heat.
Third…somebody overhearing somebody else talking about somebody in the next stall over.
Ain’t no drama like camp shower drama.
Oh, yes…there will be tears.
And probably on Thursday night.