Truth Bible Camp is just around the corner.  With it set to take place June 10-14 of this year, it is currently on the minds of so many.  This camp is a special time of training for our youth as those of the ages of 12 through 18 will be involved in the full-time camp, which lasts the duration of the camp, and others of the ages of 9 through 11 involved in the day camp, which will begin on June 11 and go through June 14.  This is one of the highlights of the year for Tennessee Bible College.  It is also one of the highlights of the year for myself and everyone associated with it.
While this article is titled, “A Guy’s Guide to Preparing for Truth Bible Camp at Tennessee Bible College,” it is not the case that this camp is only for young men.  It is also for young women.  There is another article that has been prepared by my lovely wife that will address preparing for Truth Bible Camp from a young lady’s perspective.
As I prepare for this exciting time ahead this summer, I have reflected upon ways in which I could help explain more fully how to prepare for this camp for all of the guys who plan to attend.  I have also thought of ways in which I could present a “big picture” perspective of our camp for everyone who may read this article, so that all can understand what this camp is all about and thereby have a greater understanding of this valuable work conducted on the campus of Tennessee Bible College.  I felt that it would be helpful then to present “A Guy’s Guide to Preparing for Truth Bible Camp” using “Truth Bible Camp” as an acrostic.
T – Truth teaching.  The truth, the whole truth, and nothing, but the Truth is taught at the Truth Bible Camp.  This is refreshing.  In a day and time in which our world is filled with so much error, such will not be found at this camp.  Jesus says in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  This, first and foremost, must be understood about this camp.
R – Rejoicing with others.  I Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice evermore.”  Are you prepared to do a lot of laughing and smiling?  I hope so, because you will at this camp.  You will be around fellow young people who will help to cheer your day.  The faculty and staff of Tennessee Bible College as well as those who are camp staffers will make your days brighter.  Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  This camp will do you good.
U – Understanding instilling.  Understanding, when instilled, is that for which we should never want to part.  In Proverbs 23:23, we are told, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”  At this camp, not only knowledge is taught, but understanding is instilled.
T – Training Future Preachers and Teachers.  With almost 7 billion in this world, according to the latest statistics, we have a lot of work to do in converting others.  We have all been given that Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.  Christ says, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  The full-time camp for guys is focused on training preachers and teachers as the girls are focused on being trained to teach young ladies and children.  The day camp is focused on learning more about Christ and being more Christ-like.
H – Hope-Inducing.  In the midst of all of the fun activities, hope is encouraged.  The camp never loses focus as the days go on of inducing hope in the hearts of our youth.  Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”  We are reminded every day that our hope must be on Heaven.
B – Bible as our focus.  Considering that the Holy Bible equips us for every good work and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness that we may be complete, then it is surely understood why this Book in which we find all things that pertain unto life and godliness is the focus of this camp (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:3).  The Bible is the main curriculum.  All instruction is from this Book, not from any creeds or traditions of men.
I – Impacting lives.  Lives are impacted every year by this camp.  This is why our hearts are filled with joy to learn of our campers who have gone on to become Christians, preachers, and teachers.  It thrills our hearts to hear of good works in which our former campers are involved.  How many opportunities in this area do we have for hours and hours of training in growing more Christ-like and in fun-filled activities and games with like-minded young people who are determined to be more like Christ over the summer?  There are not many opportunities like this in our area.  This is why young people will come here and often return year after year.  If you want to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this camp is for you (II Peter 3:18)!
B – Busy in service.  How many guys spend hours playing the same video games over and over during the summer?  There is nothing wrong with recreational video games that are pure, but why not take a few days out of your summer to be impacted in ways that are going to help you for life at this camp?  This camp will instill within you a desire to serve.  After all, Christ says in Matthew 5:41, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
L – Loving God and others.  Christ says in Matthew 22:37, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind..  He says in verse 39, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  We are commanded in John 15:12 to love one another as Christ loves us.  Love is a key component of this camp.
E – Empowerment for our youth.  Guys often learn at this camp that they are capable of doing more than they were aware.  This camp encourages enthusiasm for Christ and His church (Titus 2:14).
C – Christian atmosphere.  I Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”  At this camp, you will be surrounded by people that love you and care about you.  You will make friends with other young people, who will help you in this life and help you to have eternal life.
A – Activities that are fun.  All of the activities of this camp are fun.  There are sports, games, crafts, and spiritual activities that make this camp so much fun.  Each day will begin with a devotional and each day for our full-time camp will end with a devotional.  This camp will help you to have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).
M – Memories that will last a life-time.  From the games to the crafts to the lessons taught and the times of singing spiritual songs, this camp will provide for you times in which you will make memories that will last a lifetime.  I do not want to fail to mention that the food is delicious, also!  Food is provided for each meal of the day, so you won’t go hungry physically, and you sure won’t go hungry spiritually with devotionals to begin and end each day, classes at various times in the day, Bible-based craft activity times, and night-time Vacation Bible School classes with the Northeast church of Christ, you won’t go hungry spiritually!  Ultimately, this camp will help you to remember your Creator in the days of your youth as commanded in Ecclesiastes 12:1.
P – Preparation for eternity.  Finally, this camp is really another avenue by which we can help you to prepare for eternity.  We know that life is short, and yes, even as a young guy, it is still short.  We do not know when our life here will be over or when the end will come.  This means if we want to be  pleasing to God and go to Heaven, while avoiding Hell, we must live faithfully (Matthew 24:46, Revelation 2:10).
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” This is the big picture of life.  It is my hope that if you are a young person between the ages of 9 and 18 that you will set your heart upon attending Truth Bible Camp.  If you know of someone in this age range, I hope you will encourage them to attend.  We thank God for this avenue whereby Christ is exalted and our young people are given tools that will help them to succeed in this life and make Heaven their home in the end!
-Jason Gann, TBC Online Instructor and Truth Bible Camp Day Camp Director