All students invited to participate in Young Life

Joe Snyder talks with the students about the Young Life camp. The next camp will be from July 3 to 9 in 2018.

Lyndsay Valadez

Joe Snyder talks with the students about the Young Life camp. The next camp will be from July 3 to 9 in 2018.

Rachel Bayler, Madeline Hollaway and Isabel Turner, Spanish 4 students

When sophomore Olivia Neville walked into her first Young Life meeting, she got to partake in the various games, activities, and winning prizes, which occur at every meeting. Since going to that first meeting, Neville has met many new people and made new friends, as well as attended a Young Life camp in Michigan.

Young Life is an organization dedicated to giving kids and teens a community where they can feel accepted and appreciated. It has its roots as a Christian organization, but the leaders stress their desire to make everyone feel welcomed, no matter their beliefs or personal backgrounds.

One of the club’s leaders is math teacher Mike Johnson. He says the club is open to all, offering the opportunity of meeting new people to everyone, no matter their beliefs.

“You don’t have to be from a church background or any kind of religious background to want to be able to come,” Johnson said. “We want it to be just a place for people to feel welcome, people to feel loved, and they can come have a lot of fun too.”

Sophomore Alexa Haines testifies to this and said “it’s cool, because I’m not a Christian personally, but they definitely go out of their way to make sure everyone is included, whether or not you’re a Christian, or you have different beliefs.”

Another club leader, Joe Snyder, said that “the biggest impact from Young Life isn’t the clubs that we have, but the relationships that kids have with their leaders.”

The meetings generally consist of pizza and games, including raffles that allow members the opportunity to win prizes. The club leaders say that the purpose of these games is for members to have fun and get to know each other. Neville recalls that her favorite memory from the club was when the members played a game where they passed around a jar of baby food and whoever had it when the round ended had to eat some of it.

Each meeting ends with one of the adult leaders giving a sermon over a small passage of the Bible. The leaders also share their personal experiences that relate to that passage.

The leaders of the club stress that everyone, no matter their background, is invited to join the club. They want people to always feel accepted there, and encourage anyone who is interested to come visit and experience the club for themselves after school on Fridays in room 153 with Johnson.