Innovating for a better tomorrow
"I think we have done all we can do with the EFY program" I told my wife after spending 13 years as the director of all things EFY at BYU, and trying to improve upon a program that had pretty much followed the same pattern and experience for the past 2 and a half decades. During my tenure we peaked at nearly 50,000 youth and 120 week long sessions per summer, all taking place in the 12 week span of late May thru mid August. Beginning in 2006 I travelled to Europe and Mexico nearly a dozen times to set up and train leaders in various countries with what has eventually become the FSY program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints administered locally in most Areas of the Church.
As the world changed, the Church did, too, making available more opportunities, along with increased expectations, at younger ages. Steeped in the traditions of the now past three and a half decades, making needed changes in the program to keep up with changing times was not to be done. Leaving something I had put my heart and soul in was not easy, but I knew there was more to do. With teenagers of my own, and now grandchildren coming along, we couldn't just keep doing what we had always been doing and expect our children to be prepared for the world they were, and would be, living in.
Enter BASEcamp. We have often heard leaders say "testimony is not enough in our challenging world; we must deepen our conversion." Just as the base camp of a high mountain is at least halfway up, and it takes tremendous skill and effort just to get there, we believe the youth are coming to this experience with a pretty good understanding of gospel principles and scriptures, so we are going to engage the skills and talents they bring with them in contributing in meaningful ways in the world around us. We believe conversion comes during the application of gospel principles in daily living. Much of the BASEcamp experience will not be in a classroom, or sitting around just talking about what we should be doing; we will be out doing it!
So, we invite you to join us. But don't come thinking you'll have a lot of "free time", and don't come thinking everything is planned out for you. You've got skills and knowledge and ideas so come change the world with us! Bring who and what you are to BASEcamp and be the difference!