Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp Attracts Many Kids

June 24, 2006

Source: The News Tribune


On June 24, 2006 The News Tribune reported, "The middle schoolers who hope to spend Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 at the first session of Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp at Camp Seymour want more than the usual from their summer camp experience. Sure, they want boating, campfires and hiking. They also want to talk about the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. They want to run around and be silly, and they want to discuss their faith and understand their friends’ beliefs. There are 50 spots for boys and girls going into the seventh and eighth grades, and applications will be accepted until they are filled. The goal is to have an even mix of religions represented. The camp is free, though there is a refundable $50 application fee. (To find out more, click onto www.soundinterfaithcamp.org.) ...Camps run as youth ministries by religious groups are a grand tradition of summer. That’s practical and admirable. I can imagine most of the great prophets of world religions having a ball sitting around with like-believing kids, talking a little religion and weaving geckos out of plastic twine and beads. The difference is, this camp is gathering kids representing all the great prophets and teachers to the same session to converse deeply, honestly and without pressure – and weave geckos out of plastic twine and beads. It’s modeled on the experience of 33 Muslim, Jewish and Christian boys at Elk Shoals United Methodist Camp in North Carolina in 2002. 'Trust Me,' the Showtime film on the event, showed kids arriving warily, worrying about other kids from strange religions and concerned that the whole thing might be a veiled attempt at conversion. They left as friends, their understanding expanded and their faith intact."