What could be more uplifting than a weekend when men and boys come together to worship, share, laugh, eat, study, engage in challenging games, and learn about building a missional lifestyle? All that and more happened in March 2018 during Adventure Weekend at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in the area known as Adventure Camp.
According to Larry Hyche, an associate in Global Missions with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, the accommodations were perfect for the group. “The bunk houses, meeting rooms, chapel, and dining hall were great for doing exactly what we wanted to do.” In addition, the “adventurers” were able to use all the other features of Shocco, such as the high ropes course and walking trails.
The goal for the weekend was to offer men and boys an opportunity to grow in discipleship and to commit or re-commit to a totally missional lifestyle. Blending this goal with a weekend of energy-packed fun made for an unforgettable experience for the 176 men and boys who attended.
Two worship sessions (Friday evening and Saturday morning) were led by Jeremy Jones and Kevin Boyer, who both serve on the ministerial team at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in Elmore, Alabama. “One of the most gratifying things I saw during the weekend,” said Hyche, “was seeing dads holding their sons in their arms or on their shoulder as they worshipped together.”
After Friday night worship, competition was keen as the boys participated in several outdoor adventure activities which included high ropes, bazooka ball and a Pinewood Derby.
Although some of those attending were involved in RAs in their home churches, the invitation for the weekend went to all churches, including those who don’t sponsor RAs, and also to Awana groups and other children’s ministries. One of the goals was to involve as many individuals and churches as possible in the missional format of learning and encouragement intertwined with fun activities.
The worship service on Saturday morning was followed by a “Global Challenge” on the recreation field. Several stations set up in the field area were designed to represent countries where Southern Baptists have missionaries. The boys rotated through the stations, learning interesting facts about mission work in the various countries and then playing a challenge game based on what they learned.
Dads and boys left Adventure Weekend on Saturday afternoon with a better understanding of the need for believers of all ages to develop a global missions mindset. “If we get our leaders in churches to demonstrate that and educate the boys, then as they grow up they will have a true heart for missional living,” said Hyche.
The next Adventure Weekend is already on the calendar for Shocco Springs for March 22-23, 2019. Individual dads and sons, as well as groups, are invited to attend. For more information, contact Larry Hyche at the Alabama State Board of Missions by emailing: LHyche@ALSBOM.org.
Sammie Jo Barstow is a freelance writer living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.