The Regional Training Institute hosted the third in a series of youth intensive camps over the Labor Day 2022 weekend with over 100 youth attending from all over the southeast region. Youth studied courses from the Ruhi Institute and had the opportunity to immediately apply their learning and build their capacity to serve by field visits throughout the cluster. Four youth attended from Decatur. There were field visits to the Ebster neighborhood and also a youth night at Agnes Scott College. Auxiliary Board member Jasmine Miller Kleinhenz was deeply involved in preparing for the camp and also served as a tutor to one of the study groups. We were thrilled to ask her a few questions and learn from her about her understanding of the significance of the camps and how we can contribute to their mounting success.
Auxiliary Board member Jasmine Miller Kleinhenz shares her reflections: At the camp, we could all really feel the spiritual forces released by the unified manner in which youth came together to study and to serve. The camp brought together large numbers of youth who were diverse and who all had a common purpose. The Universal House of Justice has told us that the youth are the sacred charge of the institute and the intensive camps are allowing the youth to view the institute as their sacred charge as well...There was so much love and care put forward by the tutors before and during the camp and these endeavors to enhance the effectiveness of the training institute was central to leading to a concomitant striving for excellence on the part of the youth. Youth at the camp were surrounded by tutors and also by the institutions of the Faith all of whom lovingly created an environment for them to become enkindled.
How can those who are not youth support future camps? During the camps, there are always opportunities to serve onsite with logistics, rides, hosting youth overnight, and meals. Another central way to serve is to open your homes for visits. Such visits are one of the most important elements of the camps and are so energizing for everyone. Many of the youth who attend the camps are from Metro Atlanta and opening your home for visits is a path of service between camps as well.
How do the camps fit into the Nine Year Plan? Regular youth camps are envisioned as part of the cycles of growth and are another way for the community to access the training institute. One of the beautiful things that has come from this camp is that entire families are engaged and going forward it will be wonderful to learn how to engage children and junior youth as well with educational experiences that release the society-building power of the Cause.