​YOKE hosts weekends of camp for middle school students in the spring and fall, each one with a different theme, so every experience is unique. Bootcamp was this fall’s theme and featured activities and skits with a military motif. Students were divided into groups representing the various branches of the military and competed against one another. More than 400 kids and leaders participated over the course of two beautiful weekends in the mountains.

Camp is always a highlight for kids and YOKE Folk alike. “YOKE camp is no doubt one of my highlights each semester,” said Haley Cloud, a YOKE Folk at Union Grove Middle in Blount County. “God did some amazing things this weekend at YOKE camp!”

Camp is also a favorite because of the community that forms when leaders from all five counties come together for the weekend. “YOKE is having fun with some of my most favorite people,” said Megan Neubert, a YOKE Folk at Jefferson Middle in Jefferson County. “Camp was awesome this weekend and I am so blessed to have been able to go once again!”

Our team of talented YOKE Folk helped with skits and games, led the students in worship, and spent valuable time answering questions and encouraging students in their faith. High school students in our Future Folk program helped prepare the meals and cleaned up afterward. Keith Allmon, a former YOKE kid and YOKE Folk who now serves as the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist in Sevierville, and Jimbo Watson, Youth Pastor at Smithwood Baptist, were our guest speakers. Over the two weekends, nine students made first time commitments to follow Jesus.

“I love to see the diverse spectrum of YOKE kids enjoying camp together,” said Jonathan Haskell, YOKE’s executive director. “It’s also thrilling to see our YOKE Folk loving and serving the kids together, encouraging and helping one another, and taking on the challenge of new leadership roles. It can be a stretching experience, but they always seem to rise to the challenge.”

There is a cost to camp, but YOKE provides financial assistance to families in need so that no kid misses out. Thank you to everyone who gave to help make Bootcamp such a success.