Camp Kogape Studies God’s Story
This summer, Districts 6, 7 and 8 collaborated and combined two of their summer camps, Camp Agape and Camp Kohoe, to create Camp Kogape! Camp Kogape was created by the youth for the youth to support True Mother’s vision through forming a new Midwest division. Although the two camps differed in experiences, expectations, leadership styles and traditions, they both had the same goal in mind: To create a camp experience that God had intended.
A total of 118 participants gathered on July 1 in Blue Grass, Iowa for their first summer at Camp Kogape with the set theme of “God’s Story.” Participants learned how God’s story has been told through the Divine Principle, and that the Divine Principle still connects with everyone today.
To kick off the theme of God’s Story, Immanuel Rinkema talked about The Principle of Creation and made complex concepts understandable and relatable to the youth. The following days consisted of two messages on The Human Fall by Rosia Schmitt, a message on The Consequences of The Human Fall in Today’s World by Andrew Love, lectures on Restoration, Jesus’ Course, and True Father’s Course by Director of Education, International Peace Education Center Rev. Andrew Compton, and a video presentation on The Importance of Being a Second-Generation Unificationist by the Camp Kogape staff.
Throughout the week, there were a couple of intensive internal activities. One activity, exclusively for the high school age group, taught participants about the importance of their portion of responsibility by instructing each person to hold a small bucket of water out in front of them while the team leader held a larger bucket of water. If one of the team members could not hold their bucket any longer, the water would be poured into the team leader’s bucket, making it harder for the leader to carry. If one person was unable to fulfill their portion of responsibility, the weight fell on to another team member.
The evening sessions included praise and worship, which later lead into “Radar.” Radar was an activity where a statement was read aloud, and participants would step forward if they felt a statement related to them. However, the statements became more difficult and personal after time. This pushed the youth to be courageous and honest with their teammates, but also helped individuals see that they were not the only ones who have struggled. Afterward, everyone was separated into gender groups to begin an old camp tradition, Brother/Sister Night, where there was no judgement but only acceptance for each other and created bonds of brother and sisterhood.
To conclude the workshop, the Camp Kogape staff scheduled a Testimony Night for participants to share what they have learned or gained from the camp experience. A few participants admitted their initial disapproval for the combination of the two camps because it meant stepping out of their comfort zones and meeting new people, however, everyone was truly grateful for the experience of creating lasting bonds with new people.