Making Friends is Hard These Days, Part 1: Young Adults
It's hard to make friends, right? Have you noticed this too?
On top of that, have you noticed how hard it can be to keep friendships up and support each other for the long haul life throws at us? I think we're all living that reality these days to some degree, but at Camp Magruder we've been thinking a lot about young adults particularly. You know that odd time in life fresh from finishing school, moving into some kind of work, not quite settled into a family, but out of a structure that puts you with lots of people your age every day.
Young adults are out of the nest in a lonely new frontier navigating how to find friends, how to socialize around a work routine, and moving from the question of "what are you going to be" to "what are you now?" Young people are questioning and exploring lots of deep questions of faith, and a supportive community can be key to pursuing those meaningful questions further. Finding peers to explore with leads to a more fulfilling faith life inwardly and outwardly, if those peers can be found.
In this time of life where people are learning so much about how to be in the world, a camp experience sure would come in handy. We know well how much children and youth depend on their annual camp experience to rejuvenate, to find a supportive, accepting community, and to live for a few days in a lifestyle that doesn't put so much pressure on achievement and status. And, at a time when these needs are more present than ever, the options and ability to take part in them often drop off.
Our Program Director, Hope brought up this conversation she has had more than once on one of our magical family camp weekends where a parent talks about coming to Camp Magruder for years as a kid and teenager. Then they graduated and opted not to work on summer staff, and their time to be a camper went on hiatus. They talk about how they looked forward to having kids so they could finally return to camp and have the experience again. This seems like an unfortunate situation to us, and an unnecessary one at that. Young Adults need a place to gather, to experience community, to play, to be inspired by natural beauty, and explore faith in unique ways. It doesn't just stop because you turn 18 and don't have kids.
This Spring Camp Magruder is working to fill in the gap years for those still hungering for a camp experience. We hope these retreats will fill some of the deep need our Young Adults have, especially now.
March 4-6, we will host a retreat for all Young Adults, ages 18-25. There will be time to socialize, to play, and engage in the deep spiritual conversations many of us are seeking to explore.
May 20-22, we will host Q Camp, a camp exclusively for Young Adults, ages 18-25 from the Queer community. We'll combine our typical camp offerings set aside specifically for connection and community building for LGBTQ Young Adults.
Help us meet this need by sharing this information with people you think would benefit from these camp experiences. We will continue to try to build opportunities to engage our Young Adults so they can better engage this world they move through. We're looking forward to it.
We want to hear from all of you. Is this struggle real for you? The pandemic has surely made an already difficult issue even harder. In the days we emerge from this isolating period, let's prioritize enriching our communities of faith and friendship. Think of how much better we'll be for it.
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