Young Life in Grand County |

Young Life in Grand County

kids and leaders at Lost Canyon last summer in Williams, AZ. (L-R back row: Isaac Elliott, Garett Whitford, Evan Petras, Skyler Anderson, Garrett Norris, Dylan McKee, Sam Little, Graham Webb, Tim Little, Ian Nicklas, Nathan Thum; Front Row: Ashley Thum, Madeline Clancy, Samantha Tracy, Amelia Clancy, Ben Gould).

Young Life is a Christian-based organization with its home office in Colorado Springs. There are camps all over the country including one in Fraser named Crooked Creek Ranch near County Road 5.

“People in other states typically travel far to go to Young Life camp, but we have one camp in our backyard,” said Ashley Thum, 29, a volunteer leader along with her husband, Nathan, 32.

The Young Life organization is led by five principles, Thum said. The Five C’s begin with Contact work, which is making contact with kids and relationship building. Club meets every Monday night at Java Lava to hang out, play games and listen to music. Club ends with a 10 minute talk about Jesus and The Gospel. Camp is held at Crooked Creek in Fraser in addition to 25 camps located all over the country. Committee is a group of adults who are not leaders, who raise money and go out to the community to share information about the Young Life program. Campaigners are kids that realize after Camp they want to learn more about God and want to go deeper with their relationship with God. Campaigners start a group after camp in the summer and meet regularly.

Last summer, the local Grand County Young Life group went to Williams, Ariz. for Lost Canyon Young Life Camp. This camp is similar to Crooked Creek.

“Young Life Camps are different from Christian camps,” Thum said.

“Young Life doesn’t supply leaders, leaders are brought with the group and will go with the kids to camp. This facilitates the contact work and relationship building.”

Committees will fundraise to help share the cost of the trip, but campers are responsible for the majority of Camp costs.

The Young Life organization began in 1941 in Gainesville, Texas, as a local ministry for high school kids. Jim Rayburn, a youth minister, started a weekly club for kids. During the club, kids would sing, perform a skit, and share a message about Jesus Christ. Club attendance increased when they started meeting in the homes of the young people. Since then, other organizations have branched out from the original concept of Young Life: College Young Life, Wyld Life for middle school kids, Capernaum for disabled children, YoungLives for teen moms, and a Young Life for kids overseas who live on military bases. Urban Young Life for inner city high school students has expanded over the years.

– Kristen Lodge can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.