My Experience with "Bible Camp"
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28-02-2014, 07:30 PM
My Experience with "Bible Camp"
I've kind of been thinking about this for a few days now, so I thought I should share. I wasn't quite sure what forum to post this under, but I think this one might fit best.

In 2009 when I was 14 I had my first church camp type experience and it was both amazing, yet completely fucked me up all at the same time. The camp was called CIY (Christ in Youth)/MOVE. It's kind of this huge well known event in the Christian world.

Anyways, the only reason I was able to go was because I was going through a rough patch in life, and my Godmother felt it would good for me to attend. The thing was...it required A LOT of money. The deposit to hold your spot was $50 alone. I was not aware of this until years later, but the way she got me on the list to go was by writing the church this huge sob story about MY life. This sob story got me a "scholarship" to go on the trip for free.

When I left I did not have one friend...I didn't know anyone at my church. My only friend I had was not going into high school yet, and this was an event only for high school students. Everyone was assigned to a group with a group leader. I think they divided the groups based on school districts or something. The girls in my group wanted nothing to do with me, and they did not try to include me in anything, hell, the group leader barely even tried. We were also assigned a dorm roommate (we stayed at a college). My roommate was just a complete bitch who didn't say one word to me. I ended up latching onto a different group because I knew the group leader...I don't think I was actually allowed to do that, I did anyway...they kind of adopted me in a sense. I did make a few friends, which made the experience a bit more tolerable.

For the 5 days that we were there, there was a set schedule that looked something like this:

7-8:15am Breakfast
8:15am Adult Leader Meeting
8:30am Morning Show
9am Morning Session (Church Service)Lecture_preist
9:45am Encounter/D-group (Bible study)
Noon Lunch
1:30pm General Session/Electives
2:30pm Free Time
5-6:30pm Dinner
6:45pm Evening Session (Church Service)Lecture_preist
9pm Youth Group Time (Bible study/prayer)
11pm In Dorms

That is the current schedule at least...I remember breakfast starting at 6, not 7 however. One of the days we had extended free time and went to the beach which was pretty fun...I even had my first romantic event happen on that beach, but that is completely off topic. Offtopic

So basically we woke up, went to breakfast, went to church, group bible study, devotional time, lunch, free time, more church, more bible study, then bed (that is if everyone else in the dorm didn't keep you wake). I remember feeling so sleep deprived....as you can see, they kept us up doing bible study until 11pm, then with any luck you might be asleep by midnight, but the thing was.....the other kids would goof off and run up and down the stairs all night keeping you awake...I actually felt like I was in college. Then you had to be awake early enough to get ready while sharing a bathroom with 3 other girls to get to breakfast on time. This literally left you with about 4 hours of shitty uncomfortable sleep every night for 4 nights. The morning church services were always fun and lighthearted, so I don't have many complaints about that. I hated small group because it was so boring, then afterwards we had to sit by ourselves reading the Bible for 30 minutes or so. I never actually did that, I would just sit there. The evening church services are what fucked me up.

These services were always so much more deep, and emotional. I can't remember the topics of any of the services but one. I do remember though that at the end of each service every person in the room was just on their knees in tears. The sermon that stuck with me the most, and that made me feel like scum of the earth had to do with sin. Basically, before the sermon started, everybody was "handcuffed" with those concert wrist bands. One on each hand, then one in the middle so that could not move your hands. We had to sit like this during the entire sermon. They talked about sin, and how we were shackled by sin. We (or I) was made to feel like a complete failure. They made me feel like I was not worthy of God's love, or anyone's love. They put this great fear inside of me and told us we had to repent for all of our sins. At the end of the service they had everyone stand up and rip free from the shackles and invited anyone who was ready to come to the front of the room and pray on our knees asking God for forgiveness. Every single person did...mostly out of fear I think...and because everyone else was doing it. I remember looking around and thinking we all looked like a bunch of sheep being herded to slaughter Worship Slaves At the same time though...I was such a devout believer that I was more scared than anything. The whole room (including myself) was just wailing. After the service, I was invited to privately confess my sins to my group leader. I broke down and confessed everything because I felt like such a shitty person. It wasn't until I looked back on it that the things I confessed and felt so horrible for, were not even that bad. Things like dabbling in pot, cussing, phone sex, anger, lust, basically anything and everything a NORMAL 14 year old girls does. I was made to feel unworthy...like a piece of trash for being NORMAL. I felt as if I had murdered someone...that is how guilty they made me feel. Then I had to promise God that I would never do those things again....but guess what..I did. All the fucking time...my promise to God meant nothing and I knew it. I knew in my heart that the things I had done were not bad. I knew that I shouldn't have felt the way I did about it. I think just remembering the helpless, claustrophobic feeling of my wrists being shackled for 2 hours with tears rolling down my face scarred me.

The next day I was so depressed I could not move. I had to tell my group leader I was very sick so that I could stay in bed all day. I felt...isolated. No one else was feeling the way I was. Everyone else was so happy and energized. They were having blast....then there I was this emotional basket case. I couldn't help but think what was wrong with me. Why wasn't I responding to this camp the way everyone else was. It wasn't until I became agnostic when I realized it was because I knew it was wrong. I knew it was abuse...it was manipulative and twisted.

When I came home and told my mom about everything I just broke down sobbing in her arms Weeping She saw the way it had affected me, it took me a good week or two to recover. She was so angry at that camp for doing that to me....she forbid me from ever going again, and I was totally fine with that. The next year after that was when I officially became agnostic. Now...when I look back on the sermon about being shackled with sin...I change the metaphor to being shackled by religion. Instead of breaking through the shackles of "sin" I broke the shackles of religion, of slavery, fear, depression, feeling unworthy. I broke away from the real shackles, that ones that were actually holding me back. I chose freedom.
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28-02-2014, 08:13 PM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
Hug Very powerful!


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Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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28-02-2014, 08:41 PM
Smile RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
(28-02-2014 08:13 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Hug Very powerful!

Thank you
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01-03-2014, 04:05 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
Get 'em while they're young. Christians know about marketing... At some sorta subconscious level, mostly, I suspect. They know that kids will question their faith when they grow up, so they devote a lot of time to hammering the ideas in right at the beginning, when the little buggers can't reason properly.

Congrats on chucking the whole deal Smile Takes a bit of thought, especially if you've been brought up that way.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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01-03-2014, 07:22 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
I remember my one experience at camp similarly, at least with all the sin talk. Though mine was drama filled in a completely different way. I was still really naive when I went and stayed a believer for quite a few years afterward, though I never attended a church camp again. I'm glad you broke free so quickly. I wish I had.

Atheism is the only way to truly be free from sin.
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01-03-2014, 08:46 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
My heart hurts for those of you that we're put thru this shit.

Heart and Hug to all of you.


Be excellent to each other and party on, Dudes!
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01-03-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
(01-03-2014 04:05 AM)morondog Wrote:  Get 'em while they're young. Christians know about marketing... At some sorta subconscious level, mostly, I suspect. They know that kids will question their faith when they grow up, so they devote a lot of time to hammering the ideas in right at the beginning, when the little buggers can't reason properly.

Congrats on chucking the whole deal Smile Takes a bit of thought, especially if you've been brought up that way.

Thankfully I did not experience these types of things until I was a teenager. My mom is a Christian, but we never went to church, and we only talked about religion on the holidays. I think that if I had been brought up in it stricter it would have been harder for me to see the things that were not right.
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01-03-2014, 09:07 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
(01-03-2014 07:22 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  I remember my one experience at camp similarly, at least with all the sin talk. Though mine was drama filled in a completely different way. I was still really naive when I went and stayed a believer for quite a few years afterward, though I never attended a church camp again. I'm glad you broke free so quickly. I wish I had.

We all go at out own paces. All that matters is the end result, not how long it took to get there Smile
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01-03-2014, 09:08 AM
RE: My Experience with "Bible Camp"
(01-03-2014 08:46 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  My heart hurts for those of you that we're put thru this shit.

Heart and Hug to all of you.

Thank you love Hug
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