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Mar 09, 2016 | Jordan Dietz

Camo Mania Brings Ecumenical Youth Groups Together

Three… two… one… GAME ON!! Was shouted as it initiated the first ever night of CAMO MANIA for St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in east Texas. What is CAMO MANIA you say? Have you ever played capture the flag? Have you ever played capture the flag at night using glow sticks? Have you ever played capture the flag at night using glow sticks while everyone is wearing some sort of camouflage? That’s exactly what CAMO MANIA is. Our youth group invited nearby youth groups from different churches to exemplify how we can all talk about God and build friendships beyond our church community.


Allow me to set the scene for you. 600 acres of farm land with the border of the land surrounded by massive pine trees. Towards the back of the property lies a beautiful, rustic, 80’s style farm house over-looking a private lake. From the front porch of the house to the shores of the lake is 100 yards of a newly planted hay field, green as if it had not been touched by the harsh winter. Amongst that field lay family tents that housed teenagers and their families and well as their mascot, Soggy Bottoms Grizzly Bear, who happens to be their youth ministers pet chocolate lab. In that field, as well, lay five bales of hay that formed as obstacles or barriers for the chaos that would go on that night.


Once you got there you would have the option of hanging out and relaxing up at the farm house or kayaking and fishing down on the lake. Once everyone arrived, then the fun would begin. Everyone quickly covered themselves in camouflage from head to toe and met down by the bonfire, ready to get the game started. Once the teams were split up, the flags, two fat and large glow sticks, were hidden, then the chaos would begin. People were so creatively camouflaged that you could be running through the pasture and not see the person laying on the ground as you briskly pass by them. It was an exciting night full of fun and cow manure.


That night it had dropped down to 40 degrees, so no body slept very well. Either because of the cold or because you could hear the girls talking all night! Once the sun rose and you were brave enough to step outside of your tent, you were in awe of the beauty of the fog coming off of the lake. It was so breath taking that you couldn’t help but to stop and thank God for the beautiful morning he had given you. It didn’t take long for someone to jump out on the kayaks and pulled out fishing poles and start reeling in some fish. Between kayaking and enjoying a round of bows and arrows, you would have started questioning where those teens had gotten that sudden burst of energy! Especially after all of the running they did the night before. Teenagers are usually not morning people; but for some reason if you throw camouflage and kayaks in the mix they are ready to go at 6:30am.


So what is Camo Mania? It is nothing but a little bit of fun and a whole lot of camouflage. You can have this kind of event anywhere. All you need is some space for tents, a little bit of creativity for games and capture the flag, and you can have your own CAMO MANIA!