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Camp changes name, ‘goes more in-depth’

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–J.R. Rollinson thought he was committing his youth group to Ski Explosion. What he got was Fuge Winter Camp.

“I honestly didn’t look at it that closely,” said Rollinson, youth minister at First Baptist Church in Campwood, Texas. “We have come to ‘Ski Ex’ twice before and it is something the kids enjoy and get a lot out of. It was a no-brainer that we were coming again.”

Instead, Rollinson learned after committing his group that Ski Explosion, after 10 years in existence, had become Fuge Winter Camp, an event also hosted by the LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center staff. He decided his group would make the 12-hour drive anyway for the March event.

“I’m not disappointed with the change at all,” Rollinson said. “We come from a small community where a lot of families are struggling financially. I’ve got kids who’ve never been out of Texas before. We have to make the most of our opportunities when we do get to do something like this, and I’ve never been disappointed coming to Glorieta. This camp has always been real user-friendly, and I see the difference in the kids spiritually after being here.”

The change from the more open format of Ski Explosion to the more scheduled format of Fuge Winter Camp was based on feedback from leaders who have brought groups throughout the years.

“I think this is a natural evolution of Ski Explosion,” said Jim Strickland, Glorieta’s program manager. “We want groups to come to this type of winter event and reinforce what they may have gotten at a summer event and what they’ve learned throughout the fall. Fuge Winter Camp goes more in-depth with structured age-graded Bible study times led by camp staff as well as a Bible study time for leaders.

“We also found that a lot of the groups that came wanted more activity time on the campus, so we are able to facilitate that with team-building activities like the high-ropes course and paintball. We do have a lot to offer.”

The camp offers a diversity of people, which is just fine with Michael Johnston, 18, a member of Campwood’s youth group attending the winter event for the third time. Looking at the nearly 200 youth gathered at Glorieta is the same as looking at about a fourth of the population of his entire hometown.

“There are about 800 people in Campwood, so you see the same people all the time,” he said. “One thing I’ve always enjoyed about coming is being together as a group and getting to meet others from all over. I always believe our group comes together during this time, and I always feel like I grow spiritually from it.”

Meeting other groups is one of the major reasons the leaders of Korean-American First Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, made the trip.

“This is a real great opportunity for our kids to interact with the majority culture,” said A.J. Key, a layman at the church and a trip chaperone. “We have about a third Korean-speaking only, a second generation that speaks both, then a third generation that is primarily English-speaking. We want our ministry to be multicultural, but we realize the beginning of that is to help our kids assimilate with other cultures,” Key said. “This is a great environment to help them with that while feeding them spiritually and also having fun.”

For Rollinson, the mix-up wound up being a serendipitous mistake.

“I thought I was getting Ski Explosion and got [Fuge Winter Camp],” he said. “I’ve already seen enough to know I’ll probably be bringing my kids back. Besides, I never get tired of being [at Glorieta]. It is one beautiful place to spend a week.”
Chris Turner is a media relations manager at LifeWay Christian Resources. For more information about upcoming events at Glorieta, visit LifeWay.com/Glorieta.