In early July, about 100 youth and leaders, primarily from PCA churches in the West, gathered at Horn Creek camp near Westcliffe, CO, for the YXL (Youth eXcelling in Leadership) conference. The purpose went beyond an ordinary youth camp, as the students experienced a rigorous schedule designed to test and sharpen their leadership skills it also provided counselors with many opportunities to assess the students in their leadership development. YXL-West is one of a network of camps that are under the oversight of CEP. Consider these comments made by students as they closed the week with testimonies and prayer:

  • “The greatest amount of my [spiritual] growth over the last few years has been from this camp.”
  • “After the death of my aunt, YXL really refreshed me. I think I am now able to accept the story God has set out for me, rather than resisting it.”
  • “Last year was hard. I’ve had healing, but there are still scars. This week at YXL, I have been at peace. I’m at peace because Jesus has already won the race for me. Please pray that I will remember that throughout the year. I can face the trials [of life] because I can look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.”
  • “During the prayer time on Thursday morning, God worked in my heart. In the devotion time that followed, I was reading in the Psalms and I began to pour out my heart to God for a half hour.”

The theme of this year’s YXL-West was “The Amazing Race.” TE Ryan Hughs, RUF Campus Minister at Colorado State University, taught every night from Hebrews 11, and other PCA pastors conducted seminars designed to help students better understand how to lead well in context of home, school, and church. Other YXL camps have been conducted in Ephrata, PA and at Covenant College.