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Young Life Is For Everyone

How a laid back youth group has offered many teens' opportunities to bond and give back to their communities.

Dallastown%27s+Young+Life+group+at+summer+camp%2C+in+front+of+the+game+room+at+Lake+Champion.+This+was+formal+night%2C+so+all+of+the+campers+dressed+their+best.
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Young Life Is For Everyone

Dallastown's Young Life group at summer camp, in front of the game room at Lake Champion. This was formal night, so all of the campers dressed their best.

Dallastown's Young Life group at summer camp, in front of the game room at Lake Champion. This was formal night, so all of the campers dressed their best.

Matt Von Stein

Dallastown's Young Life group at summer camp, in front of the game room at Lake Champion. This was formal night, so all of the campers dressed their best.

Matt Von Stein

Matt Von Stein

Dallastown's Young Life group at summer camp, in front of the game room at Lake Champion. This was formal night, so all of the campers dressed their best.

Arielle Lebouitz, Reporter

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When a group of DHS students were recently surveyed, only 45% had heard of Young Life. However, an even more surprising find was that only roughly 20% had a reasonable understanding of the purpose of the organization.

The vision of Young Life began in the 1930s, in a small town just north of Dallas, Texas. The movement has stretched across the globe, with over 40,000 leaders worldwide.

Young Life is an organization that focuses on teenagers, and helping them make the best version of themselves. Although it does involve Christianity, those who attend do not need to have any religious background whatsoever.

With hundreds of Young Life camps all over the world, there are separate, more specific establishments based on the needs of individuals. For example, WyldLife is a group designed for middle school students. Capernum is a group for the disabled, ranging all the way to adulthood. YoungLives is a group for teen moms. With so many loving leaders in every group, there is never a lack of acceptance. 

Kassidy Ward
Dallastown student Kylie Delaney at Capernum summer camp.

Personally, I have been attending YL for about a year. Before I went to the first meeting, I was super anxious. I thought I was going to be judged for not having much knowledge of the Christian religion.

However, I learned that Young Life is only influenced by the religion, and not limited to. Everyone is welcome, no matter what religion, race, or social rank. The goal is to inform high school students about Christianity, not pressure or force whatsoever.

Katherine Lofland, one of Dallastown’s leaders attended Young Life in high school. The term “Dallastown Young Life” is just the area where  the group meets. There is another group in our area focused in Susquehannock. Anyone around the district can ultimately attend whichever they choose.

“Young Life was a really awesome chance for me to meet real friends in high school. I loved having a place to hang out every week where the friendships were real. My leader was always there for me and is to this day. She is someone I call on a regular basis just to talk with,” Lofland said. 

She spent her free time playing sports and doing normal teenage things. She felt that Young Life was a safe, real environment for her to feel welcome.

Young Life encourages everyone to come join. Even if it’s just once, all students should take the opportunity.

Regan Good
Dallastown students: Shaley Mills, Arielle Lebouitz, and Kylie Delaney at Northbay for Fall Weekend.

Mondays are club, which is just hanging out, food, music, and games. On Wednesday’s, campaigners is held. Which is more related to religion. It’s extremely relaxed, and not at all required or pressured.

There are many opportunities throughout the year as well. Fall weekend is a short trip full of games, cabin time, great discussions, activities, and good food. Work Crew Weekend is another. There are many different camps that this is offered at. It is a free weekend trip, and the benefits are priceless. Every work crew member is assigned a job. And at the end of the day, the rewarding feeling is so worth while.

Summer camp is a week long trip, which is normally the most popular. This can also be held at any camp in the US, but is mostly within 5 hours of the Dallastown area. There’s jet ski, tubing, water slides, lake sports and activities, dancing, worship, so many meaningful talks, and most importantly, amazing opportunities to meet influential people and friends. 

My first time attending Young Life was summer camp. The group travelled to Lake Champion, which is in the countryside of New York. I was very intimidated, but by the end of the week I had made so many friends, and grew incredibly as a person. I knew that Young Life was something I wanted to be apart of for as long as I possibly could.

Another one of the best opportunities I had last fall was to go to Work Crew Weekend. Myself, along with my best friends got to drive down to Lake Champion. We served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We prepared, cleaned, and bussed tables for about 300 kids. It was very challenging at times, but felt so good to help and be selfless about it.

Kassidy Ward
Dallastown students Arielle Lebouitz, Danika Moose, Kylie Delaney, and Jake Crowther at Lake Champion for Work Crew Weekend.

My favorite part of the weekend was being able to go back to the cabin at night, sit around in the lobby, and talk with my friends about how I had been impacted by the day and the people I met.

Junior, Kylie Delaney has been going to Young Life for almost two years now.

“Work crew weekend was all about devoting my time to God and making that weekend the best for the campers. It strengthened my relationship with Christ and motivated me to do work crew for a month over the summer,” Delaney said. 

Delaney’s life has changed dramatically because of this organization, and she recommends students give it a chance. 

For more information about Young Life, students can check their instagram page, @dtown_yl for dates, times, and locations.

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