Sydney’s Summer Story: Every Detail Counts

If you have ever been to FUGE, maybe you have wondered how the process of putting students and adults in tracks actually works. Maybe some years you have gotten the exact track you wanted, or maybe you have gotten the exact opposite of what you wanted. We know camp often pulls people out of their comfort zones and getting to camp and doing a track you were not expecting is not always ideal or easy.

During the summer, our MFuge Site Directors work hard each week to place students and adults in tracks. We call this process “PIT,” which stands for “Put In Tracks.” This is not a responsibility that the Site Director takes lightly. The Site Director is intentional during this process and spends time, before, during and after, praying over the placement of every student and adult that comes to camp.

Below are portions of a letter from Sydney, a senior in high school, in Phoenix, Arizona. Sydney has been a MFuge camper for five years with her church, Church on Mill, in Phoenix. This is a letter she wrote to the Glorieta Site Director, Eric Mayo this summer detailing how she has seen the Lord work through the PIT process and stretch her in new ways each summer she has been to camp.

Dear person who selects MFuge track groups,

           At the beginning of the week my track leader mentioned that we were all put in our specific tracks groups for a reason and that the person who puts us in those tracks took the job very seriously and prayed a lot about each decision. I just wanted to let you know how much it means to me to know how seriously you think and pray before placing us. This is my fifth year at MFuge and every year God has grown me and challenged me through the groups and tracks I have been placed in.

           My first year at camp, I was placed in a social track along with the rest of my youth group and all of us being in the same group turned out to be exactly what we needed.  Our youth group was broken and separated – serving together brought us closer and by the end of camp God had broken the barriers between us. We became able to be honest with each other about how we didn’t feel included. Since then, I have always felt that the youth group is a safe place for me and always felt accepted.

           Of course, after an amazing first year at camp, I wanted my second year to be exactly the same, and of course God had a different plan. Our youth group was split in half between the social track and creative track. It was interesting that God put me and other introverts in Social and the extroverts in Creative. On the first day of camp, God showed me that I could be the person in the group to step up and bring excitement to the group and that I did not need to hide behind someone else’s huge personality. So I screamed and cheered, participated more heavily in Bible study, and I talked to the people in my group from other churches. It has always been hard for me to keep that energy going, but God showed me that I didn’t have to because energy is contagious. I later realized that God had used that track and group to prepare me to go to high school. That coming fall, I was going to a completely new school where I only knew one or two people out of 3,000. Through meeting new people at my Social site and within in my track group, I became more experienced in making friends and putting myself out there. Even though I was scared, God gave me the courage to talk to people at my new school. Through camp, God showed me another side of my personality where I could be less quiet and more open.

           My third summer, I was again placed in a social track. (Every year, I requested social because I felt that was an area I needed the most work in and every year, it helped me become a little bit more comfortable with talking to people about my faith.) But last year and this year (years 4 and 5), God had different plans for my track. Last year, I was placed in a children’s track. We ran a camp at an apartment complex and were not allowed to talk to the kids about Jesus. At first, I was confused and questioned why we would go if we couldn’t tell the kids about Jesus. As the week went by and as we continued to come back and talk to the same kids, I saw how God was showing himself through our actions. The kids knew we came from a church camp and, it was cool that through our actions alone we could be witnesses to both the kids and their parents.

           This year, I again requested social because I thought it would be the most challenging for me, and again God had other plans. I was placed in PCY. I was somewhat confused and disappointed because serving behind the scenes is my comfort zone and I wanted to be stretched. (I obviously failed to remember that God has always put me in my track groups for specific reasons.) I have yet to see the big picture of God’s plans for me in my track this year, but I have gained experience in interaction with other Christians outside of my youth group.  Interacting with other Christians is a struggle I never realized I had. Making Christian friends seems harder than non-Christian friends because it seems like many Christian students do not own their faith, but rather borrow it from their parents. The people in my Bible study were the real deal and, it is encouraging to know that my youth group isn’t the only one with students who really care about their faith. Through PCY this summer God is showing me that it is okay to work behind the scenes –  I can still show His love through weeding.  

           I know God put me in all my track groups so I could learn each specific lesson and I wanted to thank you for believing that God works through track group assignments and taking the extra time to pray about the groups. Looking back on all my years at camp, I can’t remember the lessons, the bible verses, the worship band, the sermons, or the themes, but I do remember my track groups and how God changed my life through service.

Love your little sister in Christ,



Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Scott Huff serves as the Student Pastor at Coastal Community Church in Charleston, SC. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Hannibal LaGrange University and a Master’s of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Scott and his wife, Lori, had their first child, Carly, in August of 2014. Scott is also the owner of – a resource community for student pastors. Scott has a calling on his life to impact the lives of teenagers with the Gospel and to lead them to strengthen their faith for use in an ever-changing world. He has been a FUGE camp pastor since 2011 and is aggressive in the area of campus ministry as a mission field for teenagers. You can follow him on Twitter: @scotthuff

FUGE this past summer was extremely encouraging. I love seeing students as they worship with everything they have. They are intent on listening to the messages and serving in the community in which they have adopted for the week. I was even more encouraged by a young man at FUGE at Charleston Southern University this summer when he approached me after my message on one particular night.

Nick was an 18 year old young man who had grown up in a Christian home as the son of a pastor. He attended Christian school and was in the church building every time the doors were opened. He knew all of the Bible stories one might hear while being in church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. He even knew all of the lessons taught in vacation Bible school, children’s church, and AWANA’s. But what he never knew was Jesus Christ personally through his own, sincere and authentic faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. Most of us would ask: how does this happen to a young man who is entrenched in the very family dynamic, program filled life, and Biblically saturated teachings we all would say is an ideal situation?

I learned from talking to Nick that he had head knowledge but never heart knowledge. He knew what he was supposed to do and think but he never really knew why it was so important. He knew that Jesus loved him and wanted him in church, to read his Bible, to pray and worship, and to be nice to everyone by being a good kid. The ideas of what it means to be a Christ-follower never transferred over into his own heart where he was doing these things because he had a relationship with Christ. He actually thought these “disciplines” made him a believer; therefore he was good to go! But God moved in this young man’s heart that night and he realized he was doing these things out of discipline, not out of love for his Savior. He turned his life over to Christ because he was convicted about the sin in his life and because he was separated from God due to that sin.

Where did things go wrong for this young man while growing up? Was his Christian school to blame? What about his Christian family including his dad, the pastor? Maybe the programs at his church were not organized well or were taught by inferior teachers? I don’t believe it was any of these things. I believe God moved at a particular time in his life for a reason. I believe God was writing Nick’s story a little different than we would. I believe God wanted Nick to grow up in these surroundings before realizing his sin separated him from God and the “churchy things” he was doing were not closing the gap. God moved at FUGE that week and Nick is now a child of God for all eternity.

Do Unto Others

Marci Coleman

Marci Coleman is the author of today’s guest post. Marci currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is working on a degree in Worship Leadership at Visible Music College. She will graduate in the spring of 2014. Marci is a talented singer and guitarist and is beginning to work on an EP. She has worked two summers with MFuge, at Mobile in 2012 and Ridgecrest in 2013.
Philippians 2:1-4 speaks of looking to the interest of others and to consider others better than yourself. What exactly does this look like? I’ve heard this scripture many times before, but until I experienced it in a unique way, my perspective has been completely changed.

One afternoon I decided to go to a Taco Bell drive-through to order a cheap burrito, like every normal college student does. I was home that weekend visiting family, and was familiar with the cashier, who had seen me multiple times before. I had always been a friendly “drive-through customer” to her and she had always served me with kindness and a smile.

As I pulled up to her window to pay, I sensed gloominess from her. I didn’t want to impose on her private life, and especially through a drive-through, but I immediately asked, “How are you?” It was such a unique sensation, but when I asked her this, I could feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to make conversation with this lady. She responded with a sulky, “I’m okay.” So, then, I bluntly asked her, “What’s wrong?” She had no problem with pouring out her troubled soul to me—a death in the family, taking care of her own family, managing her work schedule, and not having enough time to herself. She ended with, “I just need a break. I need strength to get through.”

To be honest, I was a bit shocked that she felt so comfortable telling me these things. It took me a second to grasp what was happening. I responded sympathetically, and told her I would pray for her. I got her name and assured her that she would be prayed for. As I drove away, I immediately started to re-encounter our conversation and wondered if I had said the right things.

At first, I regretted not saying more about the Hope and Strength of Christ. But I couldn’t dwell on what I didn’t do or what I should’ve said. I realized all it took on my part was to listen, to encourage, to look to the interest of others, and to humbly put a cashier’s life situation before my cheap burrito. And that speaks more volume than I can even imagine!

Let us put on the attitude of Christ, having the same love, and seek out those in need! The world makes more sense when it’s not about us. We all need to be reminded that people are truly suffering and going through some hard times and they are ready to talk! We must be ready and willing to listen, even if it is through a Taco Bell drive- through.

May God bless our conversations!

A VP’s Perspective

AJ Chambers sqr AJ Chamber has a very rewarding history with FUGE.  He has worked 9 summers in various roles, such as track leader, actor, and video producer.  He currently lives in a suburb of Charleston, SC and serves as a high school broadcast journalism and film production teacher.  In his free time, AJ is a Zumba instructor and movie addict.


As a FUGE Camps video producer, I get to be a fly on the wall; I see everything as an observer. In these moments, God teaches me so much about our relationship with Him and other believers.

I could be out visiting MFUGE sites trying to fight traffic and the clock in order to capture as many campers as possible, yet gain endless joy from what I see.  It can be as simple as a little girl’s smile as she totally tangles the hair of a camper (who unbeknownst to her is about to spend all evening trying to get it back to normal for worship), or an elderly woman with dementia smiling from ear to ear playing balloon volleyball.  In these moments, I see God’s love for us.  My heart and mind are opened to the reality of how simple life is when you focus on serving God with everything.  These moments fill me welling with emotions.

More importantly, I see that same impact in the lives of those being served and the campers and staffers serving.  It is life-changing and truly inspiring.  I am reminded of what Jesus called us to do in John13:12-14 “When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”  It is beautiful, inspiring, and joyous to see this action in practice working with FUGE.

Ministry Tips

As a part of the FUGE Camps Blog, we will include posts called Ministry Tips. These posts will be focused on assisting leaders in student ministry. This will allow student ministers, or others involved in leading, to find useful tips for leading in ministry.

These tips will cover a variety of areas.  Here are some examples of the categories of which our posts will consist:

Ideas for activities

    • Themed nights
    • Creative organization

Game Options

    • Small group, large group, from stage
    • Will include debrief questions

Creative worship experiences

    • Prayer experiences
    • Scripture readings

Words of wisdom from other ministers

    • How to equip and involve leaders
    • Student involvement
    • Writing/using curriculum

Bible study/ small group options

    • Selections to help further students’ spiritual growth

Student fellowship ideas

    • Ways to get your students together outside of the normal meetings

Effective options for weeks you may be gone

    • In case you need time with your family, have an emergency, or have other reasons you may be out
    • Feel confident missing without leaving students empty handed

These posts will be focused to help set you up for success.  A new tip will be posted regularly, so check back for these Ministry Tips posts to find ideas to assist you in student ministry.

The Derby, baseball bats, and FUGE.

Louisville, Kentucky is a city with a lot to offer. There are several reasons you may have taken a trip to Kentucky’s largest city. Maybe you’ve attended The  Kentucky Derby, known to many as “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.” The Derby is one of the most famous horse races is the world, and is hosted annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Perhaps you’ve taken a visit to The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, corporate headquarters and production facility for the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats. The museum is also home to the World’s Largest Bat, which stands six stories tall.

You may not realize, however, that starting in summer 2013, Louisville became a host city for MFuge. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is home to FUGE in the Lou, and 2013 showed us what a great partnership FUGE, the Seminary, and the City of Louisville really make.  Great opportunities exist for ministry in downtown Louisville. For example, Louisville offers a Girls Only Track and International Ministry Track.

Southern Seminary has a beautiful campus that includes  a game room, indoor pool and indoor gym. Additionally, there is Founders Cafe (coffee shop), Fifth and Broadway (campus store) and a LifeWay bookstore.We hope you’ll join us in 2014 at Southern Seminary in Louisville! For registration information, click here:

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary campus

Southern Seminary campus

An MFuge ministry site

An MFuge ministry site