About 300 to 400 people already have signed up forÂ ACU Leadership Camps since registration began Nov. 2. About 1450 campers participated this past summer, and the Leadership Camps office set a goal for the coming summer of having 1500 to 1600 campers next year.
ACU Leadership Camps conduct five different camps: Kadesh, MPulse, Learning to Lead and KidQuest on the ACU campus. In addition, the Cross Training camp takes place in the mountain of Sipapu, New Mexico.
“[The camps] are all about spiritual development for young people,” said Jan Meyer, executive director of ACU Leadership Camps. “Our desire is to equip all ages of students for a spiritual journey. We are training them to be disciples of Jesus.”
Next summer will be the 30th year for leadership camps on campus. Leadership Camps began in 1982 with a vision to meet a growing concern for leadership training among young people, Meyer said. Kadesh was the first camp offered for high school students. Learning to Lead began being offered to upper-elementary school students in 1985, and MPulse was first offered to middle school students in 1997.
Even though the primary goal is not to recruit students to ACU, that just naturally happens, Meyer said. Many students who have come to the camp end up attending in ACU.
“In the past a few years around 15 percent of campers actually come to ACU,” said Casey McCollum, director of ACU Leadership Camps said. “We have camp chapel once a month and we invite them to come. We also encourage former campers to be counselors for us.”
Each camp includes different activities. Kadesh has service projects in the afternoons, leaving the campus to do service projects around the community of Abilene.
“We want to really teach them how to read the words of God by themselves, experience community with God and with each other,” Meyer said. “One of the things we worked on is for each age group, asking them what can you do with your faith in the world to make difference.”