Training Youth to Trust God
July 23, 2007 - After swinging down 45 feet from the high ropes course at Camp Daniel, 12-year-old Kaley smiled and said, “That was really scary. But you trust the rope like you trust God.”
Daniel teaches me not to fear other people and the way they’ll treat you because you believe in God.
by Ann Marie Chilton
As she removed the helmet, harness, ropes, and clamps that secured her, Kaley shared another experience that has been intimidating for her. “I was really scared to tell people about Christ,” she said. “But if you tell others, it shows that you believe.”
Kaley was one of 87 campers who attended Camp Daniel last year.
This year, from July 19 to 25, the campers will return to Camp Cedar Cliff in Asheville, N.C. The adventure created exclusively for Team D2BD Members (students who have completed Dare to Be a Daniel training) will stimulate Daniels to go deeper with God as young evangelists.
Dare to Be a Daniel helps young people understand basic principles of the Christian faith—and gives them confidence to stand for God. All campers must first complete the Dare to Be a Daniel program’s training course, designed for “tweens” ages 9–14.
Anyone can complete the course online at daretobeadaniel.com.
While practicing at the archery range last summer, Joshua, who returned to Camp Daniel for a second year, said, “Dare to Be a Daniel has empowered me and made my relationship with God stronger. I’m a lot more thankful. It’s really a blessing to be here.”
A Model of Faith
Dare to Be a Daniel provides a biblical role model for tweens in the prophet Daniel, because he faced several challenges when he was only 13 years old. Young people are taught that Daniel exemplifies four characteristics that begin with the letter “P”:
- Daniel Purposed in His Heart That He Would Obey God
Daniel narrowly escaped death because he was unwilling to worship idols or eat food that was sacrificed to pagan gods. Joshua explained Daniel’s faithfulness and said, “Through everything Daniel went through, like Job, Daniel didn’t curse God. He stuck with his faith, and it turned out for his benefit.”
- Daniel Prayed Often and Studied God’s Word Regularly
Dare to Be a Daniel asks participants to memorize several key verses from the Bible. Even though memorization can be tricky, young people become equipped with godly wisdom and familiar with God’s character when they learn Scripture.
A 12-year-old camper named Rachel shared how Dare to Be a Daniel has helped her deepen her study of the Bible. She said, “I think I’ve almost read the whole book of Matthew. I’ve been reading more of it in my spare time. A couple days after I got [to Camp Daniel], I felt this strong urge to read the Bible more.”
- Daniel Picked Godly Friends
Dare to Be a Daniel connects young believers with each other through online interaction at daretobeadaniel.com, the 13-Session Training Resource for small groups and Sunday school meetings, and friendships made at Camp Daniel.
After dinner one night, a camper shared about the special “Team” section of daretobeadaniel.com. He said, “I have a bunch of friends on the Dare to Be a Daniel message board. It encourages me. It’s really cool because you share your opinions. The Web site is great… The prayer request section is really cool, just so many people praying for one another.”
- Daniel Pointed Others to God
Because Daniel was faithful amidst difficulties, he was able to point others to his source of strength. He cared about other people. Sitting next to a campfire, a camper named Scott ate a roasted hot dog and spoke about sharing his faith. He said, “It’s their choice if they accept it or not, but you want to at least tell others about Christ… I want them to fill the empty spot in their heart.”
A Solid Foundation
Life forces countless young people to walk the tightrope of faith. “Sometimes life’s a bummer,” one camper said. But Dare to Be a Daniel teaches young people to be as brave as Daniel, entrusting their lives to God’s care and following Him daily.
Another young girl said, “Daniel had a lot of faith. Daniel teaches me not to fear other people and the way they’ll treat you because you believe in God. God will help you through the journey.”
Despite life’s difficulties, young people who participate in Dare to Be a Daniel learn to anchor their hope in Jesus Christ. And for Kaley and the other 86 campers, this is a lesson they won’t soon forget.
Suspended 45 feet off the ground, Camp Daniel’s rope course taught them there’s no limit to how far their faith can reach when their anchor is secure.