BROWNWOOD – July 1, 2016 – Howard Payne University recently hosted the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Super Summer camp, a weeklong leadership event for Christian students. Hundreds of youth from Baptist churches all across Texas participated in the camp, as well as many HPU alumni, students, faculty and staff members.
Super Summer is designed for Christian students who exhibit leadership attributes and desire to learn more about how to maximize their effectiveness in sharing the gospel and living a godly lifestyle. Each year’s camp theme is emphasized through all aspects of the camp. This year’s theme revolved around 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Debbie Childs, HPU’s director of university events, said that she always looks forward to Super Summer each year.
“It reminds me of how grateful we are as a university to have students and leaders on our campus who follow Christ and then step up to be leaders these teens can follow as well,” Childs said. “It’s about relationships and I love that.”
This is the BGCT’s 43rd year to present Super Summer camps. The organization held seven sessions of Super Summer this summer, with the fifth session hosted at HPU. The other Super Summer camps are held at five other Texas Baptist universities throughout the summer.
“HPU has an amazing honor and privilege to host a week of Super Summer,” said Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs. “This means that we have the opportunity as a university to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of these students. It’s a joy to get to walk around campus and talk with students who are hearing God speak to them through His word and beginning to own their faith.”
Campers are divided into schools, designated by colors, based on the grade they recently completed in school, from seventh grade up to recently graduated high school seniors. Within these color schools, the students spend time in a very disciplined schedule of teaching sessions, worship sessions, small-group discussions and quiet time for personal reflection. They also get to have fun during recreation time, playing games that help emphasize the year’s theme with a focus on sportsmanship and teamwork rather than athletic ability.
“It is amazing to see these young Christian leaders at Super Summer continue to grow in their faith while having a great time and making lifelong friends,” said Kathy James, HPU’s special events coordinator. “I love having them on our HPU campus each summer.”
Cutlines: Super Summer campers cheer during recreation time on the HPU campus.
Campers in Super Summer’s Blue School have fun on the HPU campus.