Winter in July
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Hengelo, Netherlands
During the Nazarene youth summer camp on the Netherlands District, winter came in July.

Although there were summer temperatures outside, the 105 youth and 50 leaders attending the week-long camp from July 14 to 21 were awakened by Santa Claus one morning. They spent the rest of the day dressed in warm hats, enjoying a Christmas breakfast in the glow of lighted Christmas trees reflecting off of “snow.”

The purpose of “winter day” was to generate excitement among the youth for the first-ever winter mission camp, set for January 2 through 6, 2013.

The idea for the winter camp sparked when one enthusiastic attendee suggested summer camp be extended to two weeks next year.

“Everyone who has ever attended a youth camp as a leader could understand our reaction: ‘No way! No matter how much we love being on a youth camp, that will kill us!’” said district youth worker Wouter van der Zeijden. “But a new idea came up: Why don’t we organize a winter camp?”

District NYI President Matthijs Boor suggested centering the camp around a missional theme. Every year, the summer camp involves a one-day mission project that's always popular with the youth participants. 

“If our young people love it so much, find joy in putting their faith into practice and people so much appreciate it, why not spend a whole youth camp focused on missional activities?” van der Zeijden said.

Every year, the summer camp features themes like, “Love One Another.” The winter camp will help them implement these themes, said Dennis Mohn, a speaker at the camp.

“I will definitely subscribe for the first winter camp! Can’t wait,” 16-year-old Hermi Jansen said. “I think it’s a good idea. In the summer you can focus on your own spiritual growth, in the winter you can focus on helping others.”

The camp created a “lipdub” video promotion.
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region 
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