Camps Keep Campus Busy
July 27, 2011 -- Even though most PLNU students are back home enjoying their summer vacations, there are still crowds of people on the oceanfront campus. PLNU is a hot spot during the summer months for youth camps, weddings, graduation ceremonies, and other group visitations. Julie Alexander, director of Conference Services, doesn’t need to seek out or solicit any groups to come to the campus. She constantly gets calls from camps or church groups that would like to stay at PLNU over the summer.
There are roughly 600-900 people a week from various groups, most of which are church groups. If a single group has 600 or more members in it, PLNU allows for them to be on campus exclusively. Hume Lake is one that spent four weeks at PLNU and has been visiting the campus each summer for about five years. The camps that are here from June 1 to the end of July have stayed over the summer for many years, most for 10 or more. Because of their continual attendance, they are each given a week, reserved by Conference Services, to stay each year. If a spot opens up, new camps or groups are able to stay at Point Loma as well.
In selecting new groups that want to come to PLNU, Conference Services must check to make sure that the groups are “mission fit,” says Alexander. This means that they adhere to the policies and doctrines put forth here at PLNU. On July 17, a new group came to PLNU for the first time called Christ in Youth, with 1200 campers for one week. Alexander expected almost every bed to be taken in the dorms during that week.
PLNU exists as a satellite for the camps and groups to use. Conference Services sets up their meals in the Nicholson Commons cafeteria and room situations in the dorms.
The camps run their own activities, which include trips to the beach, air soft games, and renting bikes to ride. They are able to rent classrooms from PLNU as well. Brown Chapel can also be used. Hume Lake, for example, used Brown and had chapel two times a day. They designed their own chapel presentation, and Alexander said it looked very good.
The youth camps sometimes overlap with other camps. They typically run from either Sunday to Friday or Monday to Saturday. Weekends are when weddings and graduations take place. So far this summer, there have been two high school graduations and one ROTC graduation. Different departments also host seminars and bring groups to PLNU to stay for those, which can last anywhere from four days to a week. Group members are able to use the dorms, as well as certain buildings for seminars, depending on how large the group is.
For Alexander, organizing and overseeing the various groups that come to PLNU during the summer is wonderful. She especially enjoys meeting and coordinating with youth camps staying at PLNU in hopes that she will one day see their faces on this campus again in the future.