10 People That Are At Every Christian Youth Camp

youth camp

10 People That Are At Every Christian Youth Camp

By Shane Pruitt

(This Article also got picked up by ChurchLeaders.com)

One of my favorite things to do in ministry is preaching at Christian youth camps. It’s something that I’ve had the privilege to do for over a decade now, and it’s been truly humbling to see many students’ lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter where the youth camp is, God always seems to show up and show out in truly life-changing ways! There is just something meaningful about getting a bunch of teenagers away from the distractions of life, electronics, and everything else for a week to focus on Jesus, the Bible, and the beauty of community with other believers.

These camps are also a great opportunity to bring together different kinds of people from different areas, different local churches, and totally different backgrounds for a week of worshipping the King as one church family. However, even in the midst of “different”, there is always the “same.” No matter which youth camp it is, what churches are there, or where the camp is located, there are always a certain few kinds of people that are at every single camp, without fail.

Yes, that’s right, we’re throwing on the preverbal handbrake and going from super spiritual to super snarky in the blink of an eye. So, here are the ten people that are at every Christian youth camp:

1.The Over-Zealous Adult Playing Recreation Games. youth camp 3

This is best known and diagnosed as the Uncle Rico syndrome after the character from Napoleon Dynamite. “I bet I can throw a football over that mountain.” In their mind, the older they get, the better athlete they once were. And, they’re going to prove it by drilling a seventh-grader in the face with a dodge ball for the glory of God.

2. The “Are You Looking At Me While I Worship” Person.

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They’re in the moment, singing Oceans off-key with hands lifted high, and while a single, solitary tear streams down the left-side of their face. . .then they give a quick glance to see if anyone else sees just how passionate they are about “walking upon the water.”

3. The Teenage Boy Who Tries To Hug All The Crying Girls.

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The Lord is moving and so are the tears. Then, almost out of thin air, here he comes, the teenage boy who is just perfectly placed in order to be available to comfort all the crying girls. But there are no friendly side-hugs in this bro’s repertoire; he’s got one pitch, and every hug is a full-front disaster.

4. The Student Who Makes Multiple Decisions At The Same Camp.

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It’s a busy week of walking aisles, praying prayers, and filling out cards for this student. It’s a steady progression of re-dedication, a call to missions/ministry, then re-dedication again, but for real this time. . .all in one four-day span.

5. The “Sneaker-Offer” Couple.

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The scavenger-hunt is on for the couple who keeps “sneaking-off” or “getting lost.” “Hey! What are you two doing?” “We were just standing here, praying.” “Well, it looks like you’re praying in tongues, so how about we call timeout on this prayer session?”

6. The Teen Who Is At Camp On Scholarship, But Brings $200 Cash.

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The student pastor cut some back-room deals with the senior adult Sunday school class, they sacrificially and generously gave, and now this one student is able to come to youth camp totally free of charge. He may not show up with a Bible, but by golly he’s got enough money to buy two of every shirt at the band’s merch table, plus enough sugar snacks at the snack shack to put a Clydesdale into a diabetic coma.

7. The Student Who Spends All Their Concession Stand Money On The First Day.

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She bought $25 worth of Sour Skittles and Pepsi on Day 1. Now on Day 2 she’s camped out in front of the concession stand shaking a Pepsi cup for spare quarters. (Note: In some rare unconfirmed cases, Person Number 6 and Person Number 7 may occur in the same person.)

8. The Teenager Who Returns Home With All His Clothes Still Folded In His Suit Case.

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The good news? There’s no laundry to do after camp. The bad news? That student came home in a dense fog of filth, adolescent stench, and enough Axe body-spray to choke a moose. Your church van will never be the same again.

9. The Student Who Thinks Swimming Counts As A Shower.

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They can’t even tell you where the showers are because they haven’t taken one all week. “How?” You ask? Well they’ve been in the pool, the river, or the lake already that day. That counts, right? (Note: Unlike the incredible and rare Person Number 6 and 7 Combo, chances are extremely high that Person Number 8 and Person Number 9 are the same person. Be warned.)

10. The Student Pastor Who Believes That What They’re Doing Matters.

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Alright, alright it got serious again. Student Pastor, keep you’re eyes on the prize. Your calling is so incredibly important because the Spirit is working through you to help reach, disciple, and empower the next generation to be on mission right now for the glory of our Risen King. God bless you for your sacrifice and obedience. May the Lord constantly fill you with energy, patience, and perseverance, because what you’re doing really does matter.

“Text SHANE to 444999 to receive my FREE downloadable Devotional eBook”

Shane Pruitt

Jesus follower, Husband, Father, Speaker, Writer


  1. Bruh! I got one for your list…the kid that brings his acoustic guitar to camp but has never tuned or learned how to play it ?

  2. Number 11 is the “girl that tells her whole life story during church group time and by the time she’s done, everyone has forgotten what we were talking about or is totally out of touch and mad that she took so long!” ???

  3. Oh and one more, “that one teenage guy who thinks he’s gets cool points for eating anything and everything people dare him to eat, no matter if it causes the mud butt or scares off every girl he’s encountered for the rest of his high school life!”

  4. The scavenger kid who uses everyone else’s deoderant, soap, toothbrush, wash rag, towel, food, bible, girlfriend, {insert item that should not be shared}

  5. The disorganized middle schoolboy. You spend the whole week trying to help him find the items he lost each day. His Bible is somewhere in the chapel. He thinks. He must have forgotten to pack his socks and underwear because your pretty sure he hasn’t changed either all week. At the end of the week his mother calls you to ask if you have his sleeping bag, and is upset that it can’t be found.

  6. I will be honest- I don’t find this particularly funny. I know that it is meant to be, and I know that you even stated that it was snarky. However, this is exactly why so many people are afraid to come to church when they are preteens and teens. So many kids who really NEED to be at a church camp are so worried that people will be pegging them into some hole and making fun of them- on the Internet no less. Yes, I am sure there are girls who tell their entire life story. Perhaps they are hurting and your group is the only place they feel safe. Yes, there are boys who won’t shower. Perhaps they have dealt with being made fun of tlfor their body in the past. Sure, adultsight get overzealous. Maybe they struggle with connecting with the kids and athletics are the only way they know how.

    I love to laugh. I lI’ve articles that don’t take life too seriously. However, when you are calling young kids out for celebrating Christ in the “wrong” ways, I don’t really think that is very Christ-like. It feels more mean spirited to me.

    • It’s not about how anyone worships God don’t care as long as you walk & talk what your professing to be or preaching…There’s so many fake ones out there…trust me I’ve been there…
      Then the kids that belong to administrators that can do no wrong & sneek down over the hill to where the boys are…while someone else is being lectured by their parent on how they’re acting when they need to be watching their back door…oh I could go on and on…but I won’t it’s not worth the headache!

    • Believe me Jordan. I love these students and this generation. That is why I spend so much time with them at camps, d-nows, conferences, etc.

  7. Jordan, my husband was a youth pastor for thirty years. I can tell you that, without fail, we loved on those misfit kids as much or more than the others because we remembered Paul’s admonition “and such were some of you.” Still, the article is funny because he pegs these types so perfectly.
    Some of them have their lives forever at camp and a few go on to be youth pastors and sponsors.

  8. Or the kid who just will not go to sleep, until they are in the an heading home.

  9. #11: The group of teenage guys that play the game “I BET YOU A DOLLAR I CAN KISS YOU WITHOUT TOUCHING YOU”…..Grabs your face for a smooch and says “OOPS I LOST…HERE’S A DOLLAR”.

  10. The girl who puts her wet swim suit in her suitcase and she wears wet, smelly clothes the rest of the week.

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