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The teenage years can be hard on young people. There are already the typical challenges of adolescence: managing friendships, navigating the constantly changing world of social media, and carving out your own identity. Add to this the unique challenges of the pandemic years, and the instability and fractured relationships that are prevalent in today’s society. Each takes their toll on students and athletes.
Where can a young person turn to find hope, support and encouragement during these trying times?
This dilemma is exactly why JAM Camp, which stands for Jesus, Athletics, Mentorship, exists. This camp, created as a partnership between Athletes in Action® and Cru® Inner City, is designed to equip teenagers in inner city communities with spiritual, mental and physical tools for living out the hope that comes from knowing Jesus.
During their time together, campers are introduced to Jesus and coached as they grow in their relationship with Him. Afterward attendees return to their community ready to share the truth and hope they’ve found.
“Camp has been great! I feel like now I know that God is good and always watching over me,” shares one camper. “For a couple of days, I’ve been getting my little brother to start to understand more about God by going to church more often and to start praying and worshiping God so when he gets older he can have an understanding like I do.”
Mentorship is a cornerstone of the JAM Camp experience. Individuals leading the camp also serve as mentors to the campers and take a biblical approach in relating their experiences to their young audience. Because the majority of JAM Camp leaders come from backgrounds similar to those attending the program, they are able to offer credible advice and encouragement.
mentorship is a cornerstone of the jam camp experience.
The mentors remind the young athletes that through God’s love and strength they can become responsible leaders who are empowered to persevere through tough times — something that all are bound to face in the course of their lives.
“My children have been involved in church and church activities since birth,” shares the mother of three attendees. “However, I have never seen them as excited and motivated to live a Christ-filled life as after attending JAM Camp.”
“This camp helped me notice that I’m a real leader,” says one participant. “The mentors at JAM Camp really showed me how much I’m worth,” added another.
Organizers are looking forward to hosting a week-long camp in July at the Athletes in Action Sports Complex and Retreat Center in Ohio for young men in grades nine through 12.
In order to attend JAM Camp each camper pays a $15 registration fee with the remaining expenses covered by gifts from individuals like you. Through your generous partnership, you can play a part in ensuring young athletes get the opportunity to encounter Jesus and positively impact their communities through JAM Camp. Click here to learn more.