FUGE Camps Hone Students' Ministry, Service Skills

MFuge campers at PBA during service project in 2014

Palm Beach Atlantic University will host three FUGE Camps this summer with nearly 500 middle and high school students participating in week-long programs focused on building their skills in ministry and community service.

This year, FUGE Camps – a student ministry division of Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources - is marking 40 years of student ministry and PBA has been one of its summer camp hosts for more than a decade. LifeWay is the publishing division of the Southern Baptist Convention, and is considered one of the largest suppliers of Christian and religious resources worldwide. 

“We’ve been here quite a few years,” said Amanda Craft, FUGE coordinator for the West Palm Beach camps.

On Monday, the first FUGE group of about 150 students began arriving at PBA for MFuge and XFuge on Mission programs designed to offer life-changing community service experiences and worship opportunities to deepen their relationships with Christ.

Participating students range in age from 12 to 18 years old and hail mostly from churches across Florida, Craft said. “There are different churches participating each week.”

During MFuge week, the students will engage in Bible study, fellowship and team-building activities and also in service projects within the neighborhood. The program offers several ministry tracks including beach evangelism, children’s ministry, games and recreation, painting, construction and yard work, and a social track.

Students can generally participate in either recreation or missions with everyone else at camp, or churches can stay together and choose their own customizable experience, according to FUGE Camps.
For example, XFuge students typically participate in daily camp-wide morning worship and then will leave campus to go into the community for a specialized mission trip experience. 

This week’s participating congregations include Emmanuel Baptist Church Parrish, Florida Avenue Baptist Church, Francis Baptist Church, Sand Hill Baptist Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Tropical Farms Baptist ChurchEau Gallie First Baptist Church, Oak Grove Baptist Church and GraceSpring Church.

Among the local organizations FUGE camp participants will work with on community service projects  include Palm Beach County Food Bank, Paint Your Heart Out, Boys and Girls Club, Vickers House, Gray Mockingbird Community Garden, Feeding Palm Beach County and the YMCA.

MFuge campers during a worship session in 2017


The next FUGE summer camps at PBA are scheduled for June 18-22 and June 25-29, Craft noted. 

During the first and second weeks of PBA FUGE camps, the camp speaker or pastor will be Duke Dismukes and worship leader, Landon Lingenfelter, according to its website.  Another campus pastor, Jon Harper,  will join Lingenfelter during the third week. 

“This summer’s theme is ‘The Mission,’” said Joe Hicks, LifeWay’s lead coordinator for FUGE Camps, in a statement announcing its 40th anniversary. “Students will study the life of Paul and discover how to live a life on mission for Christ.”

Since 1979, FUGE Camps have seen God work in the lives of more than 1.7 million students and adults across the country, according to LifeWay. And this summer alone, more than 55,000 students and adults will attend a FUGE Camp.

“We are thankful for all of the ways God has and continues to use this ministry in the lives of students,” said Ben Trueblood, LifeWay’s director of student ministry, in the company statement.