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,