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,


Why FUGE? A Staffer’s Perspective…

</pMeagan has worked as a FUGE staffer for five summers, three summers as a track leader and two as a MFUGE site director. Currently, Meagan lives in Nashville where she works as a nanny and is also enrolled as a full time student to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where she is pursuing a Master of Divinity in Missions. Meagan loves road trips, good books, and big cups of coffee. 

It’s not every day that people ask me why I work FUGE camps. As I prepare for my sixth summer of camp, however, the question keeps popping up in conversation. The first summer I worked camp, I was in college and my desire to spend the summer serving students did not surprise people. The second summer I worked camp, people understood that decision, but they figured this would be my last summer. The third summer I worked camp, people became more puzzled, but since I was in a transitional season of life, they figured this summer would be my last “hoorah” after graduating from college. The fourth summer I worked camp, people were confused and instead of asking “why?” asked “do you not have a real job?” The fifth summer I worked camp, people were shocked I was going back for yet another summer and some people concerned for my future, looked at me and asked, “So, why do you keep going back? Why do you choose to work FUGE again and again?”

For five years I’ve traded summers of sitting by the pool, going on family trips to the beach, shooting fireworks with my friendson the 4th of July, mornings of sleeping in, and weekend road trips, to work camp where summers are full of cafeteria food (“Asian Delight” day, I’m still not over you), little sleep, dorm living, thousands of teenagers, and a wardrobe that has already been decided for me.

Why would I do that? Why would I quit my job, leave my friends, and give up my summer to serve churches and minister to students and the community?


I’ve seen students and adults lives changed

I love experiencing a staff of strangers becoming closer than family

I love serving the community through new ministries each summer

I love screaming about a relay race until my voice is gone

I love free t-shirts

I love worshiping with hundreds of people every night of the summer

I love how clearly I can hear the Lord’s voice when I’m at camp

There is nothing like dancing like a fool at 8AM

You get to meet and connect with more students and adults than in any other context

12AM after MEGA relay is when Waffle House tastes the best

Exhaustion has never felt more rewarding

I think camp gives us a clearer picture of the Kingdom

I love the community and friendship of a camp staff

The best naps I’ve ever taken are after closing celebration on the last day of camp

Camp is a small picture of what an abundant life in Christ should look like

It’s challenging, but the rewards way outweigh the hard days

I love helping equip people to do ministry

There is nothing better than being part of students and adults going from death to life in Christ

I could probably go on and on forever with reasons why I love and choose to work FUGE camps. The biggest reason I work FUGE, though, is because I believe in the life change that happens at camp. I have seen campers and adults come to know Jesus for the first time. I have seen and been a part of life change in Sub-Saharan Africa because of the missions offering given at camp. I have experienced life change for myself. Thanks to FUGE I have been able to serve in communities from Greenville, SC, to Johannesburg, South Africa, to Glorieta, NM, to New Orleans, LA, to Asheville, NC.

I feel beyond blessed to have been part of this ministry for five plus years. Six years ago when I applied to work FUGE for the first time I could have never imagined how different my life would look now because of the impact of this ministry and the work God has done in my life though camp. His grace is overwhelming and his joy is truly a gift.

“I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10

// // #mysummerstory // @fugecamps //



Listen Closely


Haley Lavergne participated in the Student Leader Apprentice (SLA) program for two years: 2012 in Nashville, TN and 2013 in Glorieta, NM. She is currently studying at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In her spare time, you will find her outside in a hammock immersed in a good book or creating art with various mediums.


“Welcome to SLA, where questions about the future aren’t allowed and getting thrown outside of your comfort zone is guaranteed.”

Although I wasn’t greeted with these exact words when arriving at Glorieta, they certainly sum up my experience. I arrived asking the Lord to move in mighty ways and left in awe of how He exceeded my expectations. Being quiet and being a friend to listen and encourage was the trend for the entire two weeks. It sounds small because I am a small part of what God did. He doesn’t need me but He chooses to use me. What a beautiful God we serve.  I was given the opportunity to watch God use something as simple as truly listening, in such a huge way as He began to heal hurting people. All the while, I had a front row seat listening to fellow SLAers, staffers, campers, site friends, and most importantly: the Lord. I was continually taken back by our innate desire to be heard and known. It was simultaneously: overwhelming, wonderful, powerful and humbling. SLA’s focus on service leadership taught me how truly listening and serving the people in front of me are crucial.

James 5:16a says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” I think much of the healing James talks about also comes from listening. I learned that that’s where ministry happens: in intentional moments packed with sincere love and genuine care for God’s people. Jesus took the time to not only heal people’s physical needs, but He took care of them as human beings with the desire to be loved. He saw desires to be seen, accepted, and deeply known. It went beyond physical healing. He went deeper to care for emotions. He loved past the surface. He loves deep and He loves well. I learned about that at SLA and it is something I am grateful to say I’m still learning.

A History of Giving

At FUGE, we’re about the Kingdom. As followers of Jesus, God calls us to live generous and sacrificial lives. This means praying for, serving, and going to the nations. That is why we collect a missions offering at camp. We know we have been blessed with much, and that we must hold loosely to the things of this earth. Like the church in Acts 2, we want to be a people who distributes what we have to all who have need.  Ultimately, we hope through our giving, Jesus will be made much of and new believers will be brought into the Kingdom.

Between CentriKid and FUGE, over $11 million has been given since 1984 to support IMB missionaries.

Check out this brief video from Dr. Tom Eliff, President of the International Mission Board, thanking FUGE and CentriKid for coming alongside IMB missionaries to join them in reaching those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus.

Holiday Traditions

Now that December is here, the Christmas spirit is filling the FUGE Camps office. Here are some of our favorite holiday traditions.

Holiday Traditions Blog from Fuge Camps on Vimeo.

Diagnosed For A Purpose


Rachel Patton bio thumb

Rachel Patton served as a FUGE Bible study leader for two years: 2010 at Carson-Newman and 2013 at North Greenville. She is currently working on master’s degree in Christian Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rachel loves the Phoenix desert, Sonic diet coke w/vanilla, and being spontaneous.


Watching God work through my life is by far my favorite part of working camp. As a Bible study leader for two summers, I saw God use my story and my past experiences to impact the lives of students, relate to students, and open doors for great conversation. When I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It has been a struggle over the last 15 years but has taught me so much about relying on God and his provision. I always knew that I had been diagnosed for a purpose. God has a bigger plan than my own and it has been so cool to see that unfold.

While working FUGE in 2010, we had a diabetic student one week and I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with her. Throughout the lunch, it became apparent that she had blamed God for her diagnosis and was angry with Him. I was humbled by the opportunity to talk with her about God’s plan and purpose for her life, the truth that He knows what is best and that trusting Him will far exceed our expectations. I got to listen to her, share life with her, and pray with her. Later that week, her youth pastor approached me and said that she opened up and shared her struggles with her youth group that night.

I was able to have similar experiences my second summer working FUGE in 2013. Students with diabetes in my Bible study, having one on one conversations, speaking with adults and parents of kids with diabetes, and simply sitting down to check my blood sugar with a student so they wouldn’t feel so alone. God had a plan when I was diagnosed with diabetes all those years ago, and it has far exceeded my expectations. I am so grateful for the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of these other diabetics and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Isn’t it good to serve a God who knows what He’s doing?!