Camp Forest Springs – Lasting Faith Formation
Something that sets New Life Academy apart from other schools is the ability to integrate the Bible into everyday learning. This happens in obvious ways like weekly chapels, Bible courses, and prayers at the beginning of class, but also in more subtle ways like servant-hearted staff and faculty, compassionate classmates, invested families, and more.
Because they know the importance of faith-formation for all students, teachers and administration take many steps to create opportunities for students to experience Jesus.
One of these experiences is an annual trip that has been a fixture at NLA: Camp Forest Springs. During the spring semester, the entire 6th grade class travels to a Bible camp in Wisconsin for three days of hands-on learning and spiritual formation, all set against a beautiful lakeside backdrop.
Camp extends the classroom into the outdoors and results in a unique opportunity to equip students with deeper insight, greater empathy, and a stronger connection to God – all without the distractions that tend to consume our daily lives like cell phones, video games, and more!
Removing students from their daily routines and distractions allows them time to focus on strengthening their faith. Students can ask questions in a safe environment to teachers, friends, or high school students who volunteer as counselors on the trip – many of whom actually attended Camp Forest Springs when they were in 6th grade at NLA!
For the majority of students in 6th grade, the story of Jesus is not new. It is something that they have been taught since kindergarten at school, at church, and at home. High school seniors shared that looking back, they recognize how important this trip was and still is in their own walk with God.
“Camp Forest Springs is definitely a pinpoint in my faith journey,” shared Simon (class of 2022). “That’s when I really made my faith my own.”
Bryna, another senior counselor, said that while she was at Camp Forest Springs in 6th grade, she made the decision to renew her faith. “I decided that I wanted to make it a bigger part of my everyday life.”
Chapel services at camp present the Gospel message in a new way that shows students the depth of Jesus’ love for them and what salvation really means.
Noelle (class of 2022) explained, “Being at the camp chapels, I realized the meaning of unconditional love, understanding each step Christ had to go through to actually give us salvation. Having it visibly in front of me, it opened my eyes to what he actually went through in order for us to have eternal life.”
When talking about his experience in 6th grade, Jacob (class of 2022) shared, “You could see the Holy Spirit moving in the room, and you can begin to understand it more through all the emotions.”
Creating experiences for our students to encounter the Holy Spirit is central to the mission of New Life Academy. Beyond academics, athletics, and arts, we are dedicated to the hearts of our students as they are here at NLA and as they go out into the world.
Even though graduation is many years away for the 6th graders, the camp experience is one of many opportunities along a students’ academic journey that helps shape them into a faith-filled and future-ready leader that will influence the world for Jesus Christ!