Our friend Garrett wrote a news story about us!
As an assignment, Garrett was to write a report like a journalist. He decided to write about our Real Relationships retreat back in March! Here is what he had to say:
Oakridge Christian Camp hosted their first annual spring retreat last weekend. Entitled “Real Relationships,” the retreat taught teenagers and young adults about the importance of relationships and how to obtain and develop good ones. Students from three different youth groups in Oklahoma and Texas attended the retreat near Anadarko, Oklahoma.
During the retreat, which lasted from Friday, March fifteenth to Sunday, March seventeenth, students attended a total of five chapel sessions. These sessions consisted of worship music and preaching. Tabatha K., from Dayspring Community Church in Lawton, Oklahoma, said that her “favorite part was the worship … Everyone was free to worship as they pleased with no judgment.” Indeed, many people freed themselves to worship in extravagant ways during the weekend. People raised their hands, danced, kneeled, and even lay prostrate on the concrete floor of the chapel during worship.
Brian Ball’s teaching also impacted the attendees of the event. Ball, who with his family runs and coordinates Oakridge Christian Camp, preached on the importance of relationships in the lives of Christians. Using relatable examples to impress his points, Ball began by reminding the listeners of their relationships with Christ. In his sermons, Ball implemented that many people attempt to “date” God, loving Him one day and forgetting Him the next, whereas the Bible tells Christians to remain faithful to Him always, using the Scriptural analogy of marriage. Building off of this foundation, Ball related one’s relationship with the Lord to his or her personal relationships, romantic and nonromantic.
Many people learned from the teaching. Tabatha said, “One teaching stood out to me the most … It was about saving your purity … If you hand yourself out like you’re cheap, then people will treat you like you’re cheap.” Rachel L., also from Dayspring, said, “What primarily stuck with me was that we are the Bride of Christ, not just His girlfriend so to speak.” Even those who work at the camp learned from the retreat. Megan M., who has volunteered to work at Oakridge for three years, stated, “I learned that my value isn’t in the mistakes I made, but in Christ and the quality of relationship that I have with Him that branches out to all my other relationships.”
In addition to receiving spiritual feeding, those who attended the retreat spent plenty of time bonding with those around them, thus living out the weekend’s theme of “real relationships.” Garrett C. said, “It was fun because I didn’t know everyone in my dorm so I got to know some new people.” On Saturday and Sunday mornings, everyone gathered to play fun games like Nine-Square, Gaga Ball, and “Brian Ball.” During the afternoons, opportunities arose to partake in activities like go-carting, laser tag, skeet shooting, and archery. Rachel said, “My favorite memory was skeet shooting and how proud I was of myself for being able to shoot a twelve gage shotgun (something I never thought I’d actually do).”
At the beginning of the event, Ball welcomed everyone to Oakridge’s “first annual” spring retreat, stating that they will host another retreat next year. Successfully blending spiritual teaching with personal bonding, Oakridge provided, as Kobi put it, an “experience unlike any other camp I had gone to. I had been fed spiritually to the fullest and had fun bonding time with my friends, which you don’t get usually as a package deal.”
Note: We changed Garrett’s style of writing just a little, putting in people’s first names rather than last.