Camp Joshua trains and equips pro-life youth

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s first camp for students held this summer

By Paul Stark

A group of high school students from across the state gathered in August for three days of pro-life education and training. Camp Joshua, MCCL’s first pro-life youth camp, took place Aug. 9-11 at Chi Rho Camp and Conference Center in Annandale, west of the Twin Cities.MNcamp5

“Our first foray into summer camps was very successful,” said MCCL’s Jennifer Kistler, who coordinated and ran the event. “The purpose was to equip these young people to be knowledgeable and effective pro-life advocates and leaders, and to do so in a fun summer camp environment.”

Pro-life education

Educational sessions covered a range of right-to-life topics, including abortion, prenatal development, pro-life persuasion, the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, alternatives to abortion, assisted suicide, stem cell research and human cloning, and the importance of pro-life legislation. Guest speakers included a woman who shared her abortion experience and a state legislator who discussed his work at the Capitol.

MNcamp2The camp emphasized pro-life activism and leadership. The students also participated in games and activities together and made friends with other pro-life teenagers from different parts of the state.

Inspired to make a difference

“There was so much good information and so many good experiences,” wrote one high school student afterward. “I would like to start a pro-life club at school and I would love to volunteer,” said another. “I just find it important and it has been very life changing.”

MNcamp1To help them stay connected and engaged now that camp has ended, MCCL will host a monthly leadership meeting (in person or by Skype) for the students. MCCL also plans to hold Camp Joshua again next summer, and add a full day to the schedule.

Camp Joshua is part of the Life and Leadership Youth Camp Initiative, created by National Right to Life, Louisiana Right to Life and Wisconsin Right to Life. Similar camps have been successful in a number of other states.

MNcamp4“We hope these kids are both educated about the issues and inspired to make a difference,” Kistler concluded.