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Cascade Youth Camps

Cascade Youth Camps

Kelly was stirred. Looking for opportunities to get involved at her local church she saw a chance to combine her love for kids with God’s heart for the overlooked and undervalued. Her first time serving at a youth camp for foster teens completely changed her. God transformed these youth from lonely, hurting, hard-hearted teenagers to softened, joy-filled kids again. Kelly’s experience watching God work planted the seed for Kelly to bring these youth camps to Central Oregon when her family moved. Kelly currently serves as camp director for Cascade Youth Camps (formerly TRAC).

For the past three years, Westsiders have devoted three days of their summer to lavish undivided love and attention on kids who otherwise would be overlooked. Each year God assembles a staff of outrageously fun, adventurous, and rowdy adults to create an environment where these kids feel safe, heard, and deeply valued. Through outdoor adventures like kayaking, archery, and games, the kids are free to shed the weight of their challenges and breathe easy. It is a beautiful thing to watch these youth peel off the layers of distrust and hurt and find their way to hope and joy through the listening ears, hearty laughter and community found at Cascade Youth Camps.

Troy’s Story:

From the get go Troy*, a boy who attended camp last summer, was all in. His enthusiasm was contagious as he took part in all of the activities with endless banter about how this was the, “best thing he had experienced all summer!” He wholeheartedly wanted to come back every year and even had hopes of being a camp counselor when he grew up. Troy was having a total blast…until the evening gathering. When he realized it was a Christian camp (something he never knew), he abruptly left the room and positioned himself on the porch outside. With a heart of patience and love, each night that Troy skipped the gathering another staff member would sit with him, listen and encourage him right where he was at. Each night seeds of faith, love and acceptance were planted. As the final night came Troy chatted with his counselor and within minutes joined the gathering to hear the worship and camp speaker. God was doing a slow and steady work in Troy’s life. This camp was undoutedly one more nudge towards Troy finding real life in Jesus. What a tremendous blessing that we get to be a part of the story for kids like Troy. God is pursuing these sometimes forgotten ones with His passionate love. His love might be felt through a camp speaker in a gathering, a laugh over a talent show or a patient counselor who gives space for these kids to grow towards God. We believe no matter what, they will find Him. Cascade Youth Camps are dripping with Jesus and we get to join the adventure.

*Name changed

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Cascade Youth Camps (formerly known as Teen Reach Adventure Camps-TRAC) is a ministry of Westside Church in partnership wth Exel Gideon Ministries. The vision is to see at-risk youth find true hope as they experience a fun and meaningful outdoor camp with mature and Christ-like mentorship.

Get involved: 
Join our camp staff and change the lives of youth this summer.
Email: kelly@cascadeyouthcamps.org, gina@cascadeyouthcamps.org

Boys’ Camp: July 14-16th
Girls’ Camp: August 18-20

Roles needed:

Camp counselor
Kitchen help
Photographer
Outdoor activities staff
Support staff