Junior Week has long been a part of the Tuscarora ministry. A program specifically designed for children who have finished 2nd-6th grade it is certainly one of the most energetic weeks of the summer, and the kickoff to a very busy month of July. The children who come are often away from home for the first time in their lives and have open hearts to hear the gospel.
There are so many stories to be shared, perhaps through this blog in the future, of people who came to know the Lord during their years as a camper.
While the ministry itself is focused on the children who attend, there is another key group who experiences the eternal impact - our volunteer counseling staff. Beginning at the age of 16, teenagers can come and devote a week of their summer guiding their groups to have fun, be safe, and know the love of the Lord. For many of these teens - Junior Week is their first experience serving in ministry, which can shape them to greater positions of leadership in the church.
Many of our counselors are former campers themselves. They are a powerful testimony to the power of teaching the gospel to children by choosing to serve in their teenage years. Often our counselors are surprised to learn just how God's blessings will appear when we need them most: giving strength to the weak, and patience to the exhausted!
They come together each year during the beginning of June for Enrichment Weekend to begin preparing their hearts and minds for service - and always have time for a little bit of fun. In recent years the tradition of Tubicide has become a memorable part of this time of preparation.
Tubicide is an extreme game involving deflated inner tubes and a large mud pit. Participating in Tubicide has enabled counselors who come into the program as strangers to begin to see each other as friends, fellow servants, and co-warriors in the kingdom.
Tubicide is more than a great Instagram opportunity - it is a symbol of service. It prepares even the most timid soul for a week that is dirty and difficult. It reminds us that we are called to be bold and courageous. It reveals that our counselors are a team, up to their elbows in the chaos the week will bring.
Every year as our counselors leave the Tubicide field and walk to the river to rinse off - it seems they are suddenly more than a group of strangers. They are willing to lean on each other and see each other as support. They are willing to join together to do the great work of Junior Week. They are reminded that no matter how covered in sin we are, Jesus washes us clean and uses us anyway.
Please consider making this experience possible for children by contributing to the Per Rune Larson Scholarship Fund at tuscarora.org/giving. Our ministries are made possible by supporters like you, thank you!