Alumni News

UVF Runs Camp Creation at Creation Festival

by Sarah Cushing - University Communications | Jul 29, 2016
Maurio at Creation
Maurio at Creation
The University of Valley Forge (UVF) again traveled to Mt. Union, Pennsylvania, for the 2016 Creation Festival Northeast, a Christian music festival with over 80,000 people in attendance. UVF was again one of the lead sponsors this year, sending three teams to serve at the festival, which included an admissions team, the Digital Media Production Team, and this year's new addition, the Camp Creation team. This new team organized and ran two programs at Creation: Camp Creation and Youth Leader Oasis. 

In the midst of the music concerts, vendor booths and the famous cheesecake on a stick Creation treat, there was one room and one tent specifically designed for youth leaders and youth groups where they could spend time focusing on God. Assistant Professor Carrie Maurio, youth specialist, led a team of 10 students to run Camp Creation and Youth Leader Oasis simultaneously. She handpicked each student because of their passion to serve youth and also because of their selfless attitudes. “I don’t think I could’ve brought a better group of students with me. On the first day I said, 'at the end of the week I want you to leave so tired with nothing left to give.' I think they gave that and then some.”

Camp Creation is an exclusive summer camp for youth groups, which serves ages 12 and older, and youth leaders. It was first offered last year by Creation organizers to help youth groups and youth leaders bond and connect. It was then that UVF, as well as other colleges that were in attendance, were asked to help with the camp on an informal basis. While other colleges were unable to offer assistance, the servant-hearts of UVF representatives jumped at the opportunity to help make the camp a success. “That’s one of the reasons they called us this year,” Maurio said. “The person who organized Camp Creation last year asked me if UVF would like to bring a team and actually run it in 2016.”

A tent housed Camp Creation and was where part of the team served. They set up and tore down the tent for meals and ate after all of the other volunteers were fed. During Camp Creation chapel, they sat with the teens, encouraged them to worship and prayed with them. After chapel, the team started the Camp Creation activities. The team offered a dodge ball tournament, a photo scavenger hunt and a mile-long obstacle course which student-leader Carrie Knorr designed.

The other part of the UVF team served in the Youth Leader Oasis room — a place for youth pastors and youth leaders to refresh and connect with one another. Every morning, five UVF students led the room in worship and Maurio shared a brief devotional to encourage and inspire youth pastors. Throughout the day, the room remained open and UVF students offered light refreshments and snacks, free youth ministry resources, and hosted artist talkbacks and training sessions with guest speakers. Each day there were between 300–400 youth pastors visiting the Oasis room. Additionally, Maurio was one of the guest speakers. She spoke on the subject of managing mind games in ministry and shared practical methods youth pastors can use to focus on God’s truth and love their youth groups. 

The time at Creation was a testament of UVF students' servant-hearts as they spent a week of their summer break selflessly serving others. From the humility displayed by the worship team, to the students who ate last and rested last, they labeled the week a success based on the connections made and the exhaustion they felt at the end of the festival. "Multiple times the students had to sacrifice what they wanted for the good of getting something done, and there was no hesitation to do that," Maurio said.  "They had the attitude that it's not about me this week; let me go serve someone else."

Look for UVF at Creation Northeast next year, June 28 - July 1, 2017. Stop by the booth or Camp Creation to pick up a free gift and say hello!