Church plans diversity boot camp experience for teens

Saturday, July 20, 2002

STRUGGLING TOGETHER

Southeast Missourian

A summer youth camp program has expanded to a community event that includes several area churches and a diversity theme.

Greater Dimension Ministries, an arm of Greater Dimension Church, is sponsoring the event called "Xtreme Xperience" for area teen-agers today. As many as 1,000 youth are expected to attend.

Registration for the "boot camp" begins at 9 a.m. and the events start at 11 a.m. The camp concludes at 4 p.m. All events will be at the Greater Dimension Church at 723 Hackberry St.

The "Xtreme Xperience" is a relationship-building effort among the community churches, said Broderick Brevard, an event organizer.

"We want to break down stereotypes, whether they are racial among blacks and white, religious denominations or cultures," he said.

The activities include team-building games like TNT where the youth have to diffuse a "bomb" using clues. But during their search for clues, several team members are kidnapped. The youth have to decide whether to let the bomb explode and rescue their teammates or just diffuse the bomb. "They'll learn they can't make it alone," he said.

Other games are human knots, in which the teens are tied together as a group and have to unwind without letting go of each others' hands.

"They'll sweat and get frustrated but they'll depend on their partners to make it through," Brevard said.

The event includes free food and concerts by two Christian bands.

Brevard hopes the experience will help teen-agers develop more friendships outside of their close circle of friends at school or in their neighborhood.

"It's about the relationships that form," he said.

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