On July 12-23, 2018, the North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists held its annual summer Youth Camp with the theme “Mission Possible: Impact St. Croix for Christ.” Under the leadership of the Youth and Chaplaincy Director, Dr. Vincent A. David, this year’s camp was nothing short of a mission that was all possible through Jesus Christ our Lord.
With youth from some of the nine islands that make up the NCC, the campers embarked on this 11 day session that presented opportunities of outreach, witnessing, social and spiritual empowerment just to name a few. Special features for the camp included the NCC Bible Connection Finals from which Mahlana Graham won. She will go on to represent the NCC at the Inter-American Finals.
There were community connect projects that the campers did every day from 9 am-12 noon. They divided themselves into three groups: the Vacation Bible School group which went to the Christiansted Seventh-day Adventist church to be counselors for the children. The second was the Visitation group that visited some of the elderly communities on St. Croix to include the Herberg Grigg Home, Sunny Isle Housing for the Elderly, Carib Villas and Grand Princesse Manor. The youth visited the residents with singing, prayer, words of encouragement, and care packages that included personal hygiene items. The elderly residents enjoyed the visits, and the staff at these facilities thanked the young people and encouraged them to continue this kind of outreach.
The final group assisted with painting and cleaning. They cleaned several public beaches and painted the Island Center Theater for the Performing Arts as part of the restoration of this facility, damaged from hurricane Maria in 2017. Island Center hosts most of the major shows and events on the island, so this was a great initiative to get the facility up and running in the near future.
The youths also held a Health Expo and Community Concert at the Sunny Isle Amphitheater where they partnered with local government agencies to promote good health. Some agencies that set up booths were the VI WIC Program, Office of Child Care & Regulatory Services, Communicable Diseases Division, the Maternal Child Health, and Children with Special Health Care needs Program to name a few. The gospel concert included the youth campers as well as local artists from various denominations coming together as God’s children, giving praise and adoration to our Creator.
Other highlights of the camp included guest lecturers such as Adrian Edwards, a disease intervention specialist to educate the youth about the growing rate of sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of the choices they make in life when choosing a partner. Dr. Verleen Mc Sween also made a presentation on Temperance & Technology advising the youths about the dangers of excessive use of cellular phones that can lead to radiation exposure, mental disorders, sleeping disorders, and other negative health effects on the body.
On Saturday July 21st the Youth Department which includes the Pathfinder, Adventurer and Eager Beaver clubs joined with the campers for a March of Witness and Rally where all Adventist youths came together to take a stand against drugs, violence, and abuse in the territory. The march began at Bassin Triangle and made its way through the John F. Kennedy and Water Gut communities and ended at the Christiansted Bandstand with a closing ceremony. The youths were accompanied by the Advent VI Pulse Drum Corps Band that announced to the community that Adventist Youth were present. The Caribbean Union Youth Director, Pastor Anthony Hall, came in from Barbados just to be with the campers for the March of Witness and to give his full support.
As the week’s activities were coming to a close, the youth had their secret pal revelation night where they exchanged gifts with the secret friend who had been sending them treats and notes during the course of the week. It was a night of laughter and fun.
The final night of the camp ended with an exquisite and elegant banquet for the youth to look their best and share in their final moments of camp experience. It was the time to say farewell to their old friends and new found friends with whom they had bonded with over the past few days. Camp king and queen were also selected that night. Chosen were the Camp King, Juwencio Burnett from St. Maarten, and the Queen was Simra Desir from St. Thomas. Camp Prince was Kevin King from St. Thomas, and the Princess was Alexandra Landefort from St. Maarten.
e end of the youth camp three young people decided to give their lives to Christ and were baptized, and we say to God be the glory! The mission that this camp set out to accomplish was made all possible by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Next year’s camp has been announced for the island of Anguilla and the theme is “Camp IMPACT.” We have no doubt that it will truly impact the island of Anguilla. Get Ready!