Young Life Camp Changed My Life

Source: Michael Butler

Young Life Camp is a summer camp located in Lampe, Missouri.  It is in Clearwater Cove by Table Rock lake. This camp’s main focus is to help people get to know Christ better.  I volunteered on their summer staff crew. Various volunteer positions that you can take are boat drivers, program techs, archery instructors, truck drivers, kitchen cooks, and lifeguards, just to name a few.  During my two sessions at Young Life, my first position was an AM cook, and the second month I spent there I was a program tech. We were not allowed to have cell phones except once a week, which broke my phone addiction quickly. Young Life helped me get my life back on track, as day to day I focused on serving others and serving the surrounding community. Everyone at this camp supports others and wants them to grow in their faith. The people on summer staff go to a group bible study every day, so by the end of the month, I was much closer to the other 40 summer staff attendees.

Source: Young Life

When I got to Clearwater Cove, the first thing that I did was give up my phone and then went to my cabin and unpacked my bag. After that, I went to job training in the kitchen where I learned how to clean the grill and make food.  I cooked and prepared food for a lot of people, depending on the week. Most days, I had to wake up early in the morning at around 4:30 to get ready for work at 5:15. I had to walk to the kitchen from my cabin every day which was a pretty long walk. As soon as I got there, we prayed and started working on breakfast food. I flipped pancakes, and we made all the food from scratch. The food was amazing; we served french toast and homemade biscuits and gravy. I would work until the intern or their boss told me that I was done which would be anywhere from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. After dinner, I would help the other summer staff set up events and run the games for the campers. The campers were full of energy all the time. They loved the food; it is what everyone talks about at Young Life.

Table Rock Lake.
Source: Michael Butler.

There are many activities like tubing, the barge, rope courses, archery, diving board pool tables, Frisbee golf, and more. They have the best living accommodations with super comfortable mattresses for all the campers. More importantly than the great food and living spaces, they introduce people to Christ. This camp changes people’s lives, and you can witness it everyday. During the two months I was there, around 700 people gave their lives to Christ. It was amazing to see. Working on summer staff, there are no days off and not much sleep, but volunteering is not about you. It’s about sacrificing everything for a month for kids to get to know Jesus and have a relationship with him.

Clearwater Cove
Source : Young life Clearwater Cove staff.

During the second month, I worked as a program tech which follows a program team that does skits for the campers, and I was the one controlling the audio equipment.  This was one of my favorite experiences. I watched some inspiring sermons and did behind-the-scenes stuff like making sure the programs are ready to go and check the microphones.

Source: Young Life

Every five days, I would get the rest of the night off before a new group of campers came in.  Once, we went to Silver Dollar City and Branson Landing. I also went tubing, but before we had any fun, I had to clean up the camp which took hours to do. If I had to give up two months of my summer again to serve others and grow my own relationship with God, I would do it again in a heartbeat! God changed my life in so many ways when I attended Young Life camp this summer for two sessions. I hope others will choose to spend a summer at Young Life camp too. I promise no one will be disappointed.


  1. I got to serve with Michael during his second month at camp last summer. I had a front row view of how Michael actively actively stretched and grew not only his faith, but also his ability to build rich personal relationships with others, including middle school campers, his college co-workers, and the adults and leaders working on camp.

    It is such a challenging, powerful and rich experience, and would second what Michael says in the post: “I hope others will choose to spend a summer at Young Life camp too. I promise no one will be disappointed.”


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