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33 teens meet for CEM camp in Oklahoma
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33 teens meet for CEM camp in Oklahoma
By Lora Hufton
The 23-year-old writer is a lifelong member of the Church of God and a senior student at Texas State University, San Marcos, working on a degree in fine arts with an emphasis in photography. She has served as an associate at CEM's YEA camp for four years and before that was a camper for seven years. For two years she has also been in charge of crafts at the camp.

WEWOKA, Okla.--Christian Educational Ministries once again operated its annual teen YEA Summer Camp this year near Wewoka.

During the last week in June, 33 teenagers came together in the hills of south-central Oklahoma to learn more about God and the Bible, meet other teens of like mind and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

The camp took place at Wewoka Woods, a Seventh-day Adventist facility near here that CEM rents each year.

The facility has a lake, swimming pool and full-sized gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and meetings, as well as dormitories, stables, a dining hall and about 100 acres.

Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins that will accommodate up to 28 people each.

The daily routine this year involved two Bible studies, three square meals and four activity periods.


Having an effect

In addition, the campers enjoyed social activities in the evenings such as a game night, a pool party, a cookout, the annual fun show and dances.

Because this year's camp happened just before the Fourth of July holiday, attendance was somewhat down, but participation in activities was high, and spirits soared.

The Bible studies, written by Paula Hughes of Arp, Texas, were centered on the theme "Making a Difference."

With the design and printing help of CEM's YEA (Youth Educational Activities) editorial division, each camper and counselor had a full-color lesson book.

The lessons concentrated on the lives of David, Esther, Daniel and Ruth and the differences they made in their world, even while young.

In the morning the campers gathered in small cabin groups for an interactive Bible study with the lessons. Then, after two activities and lunch, the campers and counselors all came together for a group study.

Friday night the campers had a chance to ask questions and discuss pressing issues with each other and the college-age associate counselors.

The counselors and staff had come from Georgia, Texas and Illinois as volunteers to help make Camp YEA happen.

Activities included tie-dyeing, group initiatives, swimming and mountain biking.

Cuyler Repine, a third-year camper from Atlanta, Ga., especially enjoyed horseback riding, volleyball and skiing.

Every night the campers met at Huddle (an informal discussion) to discuss the exciting events and personal achievements of the day.

Each day ended with praise-and-worship songs including "Here I Am Lord," "You Raise Me Up" and "I Can Only Imagine."

The last Huddle concluded later than usual because the campers begged to sing "Shout to the Lord" one last time.

For 10 years Larry Watkins of Big Sandy, Texas, has directed CEM's YEA Summer Camp.

He and his wife, Kitty, along with the other volunteer counselors, make it possible for the teens to grow and learn in a media-free environment, if only for one week.

As fourth-year camper Brittany Martin of Lindale, Texas, said: "What makes this camp so unique is its smaller size and caring staff. You get close to everybody and you get to know them."

Crazy world

This year brought together some of the most uplifting and amazing teens and was certainly considered a great success by all who attended.

In this crazy world, one week of our summer is often the only week of comfort and trouble-free growth we experience all year.

I think I speak for all when I sincerely say thank you to Christian Educational Ministries and each staff member who helps make camp happen.

Ready for next year?

If you are interested in attending summer camp next year, get in touch with Mr. Watkins at or write CEM at P.O. Box 560, Whitehouse, Texas 75791, U.S.A.

The next camp is scheduled for the week of June 25 through July 2, 2006.

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