The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville hosted the third annual “Elevate” Worship Arts Camp July 10-14 on the BCF Blue Springs Campus in Marianna, Fla. Forty-one motivated campers from across the state participated in this year’s camp designed specifically for students sixth grade through the twelfth grade. The campers engaged in multiple worship experiences to “elevate” or increase their abilities to lead and participate in worship through singing and playing instruments, as well as through other creative expressions such as sign language, drama, puppets, and photography. The BCF Music and Worship Division Faculty, accompanied by other talented clinicians from throughout the state, provided instruction during the break-out sessions and encouraged students to reach the next level in their areas of interest.
“It is thrilling to see teenagers express a desire to worship the Lord and to improve their skills to do so,” stated BCF Music and Worship Division Chair and Camp Coordinator Bill Davis. “Their enthusiasm and joy is contagious. I deeply appreciate our BCF faculty, students, and guest faculty for their willingness to pour their experience and knowledge into the next generation of worship leaders.”
Back for the third year, BCF Alumnus and Senior Worship Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Leesburg, Fla., Stephen Wolgamott, served as the camp worship pastor. Rev. Ryan Shipp, Pastor of Worship and Missions at Mandarin Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., served as the camp pastor. Both men exhibited strong Godly leadership and a genuine heart for worship.
The overall camp experience provided participants with opportunities for spiritual development through Bible study, youth-oriented worship services, and daily devotional times. Students were shown the importance of their God-given gifts and abilities, and the joy of using those talents to honor the One who created them. “Our schedule was jam-packed with amazing activities,” stated Katelyn, one of the campers. “But if I had to pick a favorite, I would have to choose the worship leadership class. Elevate is the best way to elevate a teenager’s spiritual gift of music.”
Elevate was filled with enjoyable activities. According Davis, each day featured recreational opportunities around the BCF Blue Springs Campus including swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, paddle boats and canoeing on the lake, a cardboard and duct tape boat race, blob-jumping and numerous fun-filled games led by BCF Alumnus and Camp Activities Director Buddy Goodman.
Two returning campers had much to say about the activities this year. “I’ve been to Elevate for three years now,” stated Sarah. “My favorite part this year was the family group skits and cardboard boat race. I can’t wait to come back next year.” Antonio said, “This was my second year going, and I liked it! The counselors have been great—they’re very nice, kind, and good people to talk to when you needed something.” Many of the students shared that they thoroughly enjoyed the comfortable motel-type accommodations, the beautiful chapel/worship center, large classrooms for break-out sessions, and the delicious meals in the dining hall provided by Valley Services.
In addition to the inspirational worship experiences, class instruction, and fun activities, the campers enjoyed the fellowship of getting to know other Christians their age from around the state. The camp concluded with a combined choir concert and presentations from the various worship classes. Graduating seniors received a $1000 scholarship to attend The Baptist College of Florida and continue studying worship arts or one of the other degree fields where the Lord may be leading them.
For more information on the music and worship degrees offered at The Baptist College of Florida or information on next year’s “Elevate” Worship Arts Camp, please contact 850-263-3261 ext. 427.