​Each semester YOKE hosts weekends of camp for the middle school students that we serve. Each camp has a different theme, so every experience is unique. This spring featured Superhero Camp, a favorite for the kids and YOKE Folk alike.  Over the course of two weekends nearly 500 kids and leaders joined in the fun, stretching Camp BaYoCa’s capacity to the limit.  

Superhero camp featured a trivia contest, a scavenger hunt, field games and the always popular messy wars with water balloons, flour bombs, and loads of shaving cream. The first weekend also featured frequent rain, which made the war even messier.

There were some serious times as well. Carter Brown, Director at Camp Tipton, and Chad Hartsock, a professor at Carson Newman University, were our guest speakers. Over the two weekends, seventeen students made first time commitments to follow Jesus. 

“Cabin time” offers the kids an opportunity to talk with their leaders about questions they have or issues they are struggling with. “Our cabin time was really special,” said Ryan Hudson, a YOKE Folk at Farragut Middle. “The boys love to talk about sports and joke with each other, but for them to open up about things they struggle with was super cool.”

“We only had one girl come to camp from Gresham, so I was kind of worried about how it might go, especially at cabin time,” added team leader Astrid Martinez, team. “She had a blast, though, and I think she loved being the only one because we were really able to love on her the whole weekend.”

​This was the first camp experience for Eli Smith, who joined YOKE’s staff in January. “I was extremely impressed by the positive attitudes of both the YOKE Folk and the kids,” said Eli. “Even when the weather got nasty and things didn’t go as planned, I never heard a single complaint or negative comment. It made me realize just how committed our leaders are to investing in these kids and loving them well.”  

“I love that the idea of a hero can move past the idea of tights and capes,” said Joshua Landon, YOKE Folk at Vine Middle. “It was special seeing so may young men and women pull together and lift each other up.”