When the last week of July rolls around each year, the youth roll in to Lake Poinsett for Leadership Training Camp (LTC). Each year LTC looks similar, but this year’s dean, Rev. Peggy Hanson, had to get creative on how to follow camp guidelines and ensure the campers get the full experience that only LTC can offer.
This year, after missing the entire camp year in 2020, there were twenty campers and nine counselors, which is smaller than normal, but that doesn’t stop being able to spread the light of Jesus.
Morning classes at LTC this year included bible study, Disney short clips, discussions with different lay and clergy members from the Conference, and cabin time. In the afternoon campers had classes in social justice taught by Rev. Nicole Clade, Relationships and Conflict Resolution taught by Rev. Jeff Lathrop, and Creativity taught by Rev. Valerie Hummel LaBounty.
With these classes, campers can learn how to have difficult conversations and how they can bring what they learned back to their local churches.
Camper Alex Jensen said the reason he attended LTC was, “If I’m able to meet new friends and grow closer to God, then it’s a win, win.”
LTC gives campers the opportunity to grow in their faith together. On Wednesday night the camp has Silent Night. Silent Night is when, after their evening worship, both campers and counselors leave in silence. The silence is broken later that same night with a song. This night gives the campers time to have one on one time with God.
When asked what Peggy’s hope is from LTC she stated, “That the youth can do this at home. They can be leaders and have these conversations, it’s not just all theoretical that we did this at camp.
“What I want to take back home with me is my stronger sense of faith that I can share with my local church, community, and anyone I encounter,” stated Sophia Maunu from Pierre, South Dakota.
LTC is planned, organized, and led by the Conference Council on Youth Ministry (CCYM), a group of up to 20 youth and ten adults from across the Dakotas Conference. By organizing and leading this leadership camp, they are developing skills they will use in their local youth groups and in their lifelong journeys of discernment, leadership, and ministry.