Each year families in our area sit around dining room tables deciding what summer adventures to select for the summer. On the other hand, teenagers in our urban (under-served and economically-challenged) areas dread the end of school because they will be confronted by new responsibilities and challenges. Urban area teenagers often are responsible to watch brothers and sisters, clean their houses and prepare meals for the family during the summer. Given the lack of structured activities for urban teenagers, they are prone to follow negative influences around them, including those which involve drugs, violence and crime.
Tampa Urban Young Life believes every teenager should have a chance to be introduced to Christ while enjoying the “best week of their life,” through participation in a Young Life Camp. Each year, many PCPC young people attend a week at Young Life’s SouthWind camp near Ocala. Consistently, they report it was the “best week of their life” and they became closer to Christ. Urban teens also should have a chance for the same experience.
Tampa Urban Young Life provides camp scholarships for as many urban young people as possible. For a teenager to receive a scholarship for a week at SouthWind, they must “earn” it by participating in at least 7 Community Service Projects, directly serving other people in need. For urban youth, “community service” often has a negative stigma because often it comes as an alternative sentence for criminal activity. Young Life hopes to teach youngsters that “giving back” is important for everyone.
Beyond that, no camp scholarship is free. Each student also must pay $100 toward camp tuition (the full cost of camp is $825 for high school students and $585 for middle schoolers). The requirements placed on camp scholarships are designed to help to assure each young person has “skin in the game” so they will fully appreciate the value of camp.
Camp season is just around the corner. Half of the PCPC Pentecost offering will be used to provide camp scholarships for urban youths in our area. Please prayerfully consider giving an urban youth the “best week of their life” while they have the chance to meet or grow in Christ.