Encounter Increases Identity of LCU CampusOct. 3, 2012
One of the rites of summer at Lubbock Christian University for the last 40 years has been Encounter, a camp for ninth graders and up that is one of the most anticipated events on the university campus. Encounter 2012, entitled “Identity,” has been going on this week with 719 campers in attendance. Lubbock Christian University students serve as counselors for the camp and there are 60 of them involved with Encounter.
According to the camp brochure and information on the LCU website … "Encounter was created to encourage and support teenagers as they explore and express their faith in an unfailing God. The atmosphere created by such a focused week creates moments people encounter God.”
Interactive classes combined with vibrant devotionals, up-lifting evenings of worship and powerful keynote speakers create a camp experience unlike any other. Evening entertainment proves to be the perfect way to end each day. One night you can relax and laugh at the antics of a comedian, another you’ll listen to the inspirational music of the national touring band Fireflight. To put it simply … you will never find another camp like Encounter.
“The experiential learning classes are what makes Encounter so unique,” said John King, camp director since 1973. “Students can go to 15 of the 25 classes that are offered, and they would like to attend all 25 if time allowed. Great keynote speakers and first class entertainment are also key components.”
Encounter began as Youth Lectures in 1959 and was directed by Dr. Wayne Hinds. It evolved into Encounter in 1972 with King's involvement. The ideals and goals of what the camp staff and teachers hope to accomplish not only have an effect on the campers themselves, but there are many adult sponsors who have an experience that transcends age.
“My wife and I get excited each year when it’s time for Encounter,” said John Foster, a teacher and coach at Haskell (TX) High School. “We brought 16 kids to the camp this week and they are all having a tremendous and enriching experience. I’ll tell you this … I think we, as adults, need to have something like this in our lives. It’s a great week and I look forward to it all year long.”
The daily schedule for Encounter is full of spiritually uplifting classes, devotional opportunities and ministry moments as well as fun, interactive activities and entertainment. Throughout the day one of the major components of the camp experience is the chance that campers have to bond with their friends, some that they have known for years and others that they only met during the week.
“Encounter is a great week for making new friends and getting to know each other better,” said Madeleine Hammond, a senior-to-be at Lubbock Christian High School. “Some of the best friends I have are people I met at Encounter these last few years. It’s fun to be able to hang out with them. The classes are always fun and the entire week is just an experience I will never forget.”
As one might imagine there are a good number of the Encounter campers that eventually find themselves as LCU students and, later on, as counselors for the camp. Recruiting new students is a year round endeavor by the Admissions staff as well as the entire campus community at the university. Encounter, though, proves to be one of the most enticing recruiting tools that LCU provides prospective students.
“Encounter is a wonderful spiritual experience for teenagers,” King elaborates. “They encounter God for the first time or learn to trust Him more. At least 32 graduated seniors from Encounter are enrolling in LCU this fall. After this week that number will increase.”
Encounter is alive and well on the Lubbock Christian University campus. Like the four seasons that we all anticipate through the calendar year, Encounter will continue to be something that is looked forward to each summer for generations to come.