Since 1977, the Christian organization known as Young Life has been a part of FHC. Young Life offers students an opportunity to bring students together and gives students a place where they feel safe to truly be themselves and understand that they are loved for who they are.
In 2013, Kaitlin Vermeer decided to become a leader for Young Life. After being a member of Young Life at her own high school as a teenager, Vermeer learned how much Young Life can truly transform your high school experience, so when the opportunity arose, she began volunteering as a leader.
As a leader, Vermeer volunteers as someone for students to be able to place their trust in. She is available to give students advice, and she is always ready to help guide students through their high school experience and beyond.
“My favorite thing about being a Young Life leader is being a safe person for high school students to share life with,” Vermeer said. “It’s a place where students can be known and be loved and belong.”
With its growing popularity, the Christian ministry has spread across the world to more than 90 countries and has established over 32 camps for students to attend. These camps offer students a place to build a stronger relationship with their friends, leaders, and their Christian beliefs.
Students who have been to camp describe the experience as one of their favorite high school memories. Camp serves as a place where all students feel safe and are able to disconnect from the rest of the world back at home.
“I love going to camp because it is super fun to get to hang out with your friends and leaders,” junior Sydney Kushak said. “You just have the best time and it’s fun to learn more about God around all of your best friends.”
Although the school only travels to camp a few times per year, every Monday night members get together for a couple of hours to play games, perform hilarious activities, and learn lessons from the Bible.
Commonly known as “club,” this weekly get-together is an excellent place to make new friends with students of different ages and genders; it is an experience unlike any other offered to high school students.
“Going to club on Mondays is really fun because it’s a really good study break, and it’s fun to see your friends and the leaders,” Sydney said. “It’s nice because you can get a lot closer to people at your school.”
Hosting and attending club is one of the easiest ways for students to get involved and become members of Young Life. Whether it’s upperclassmen bringing younger students or members luring in other kids in their grade, every club proves to provide a friendly environment for anyone looking for a group to be a part of.
“I got involved because my older siblings did it and club would be at my house,” freshman Marissa Lunt said. “I got to see how much fun they had, and now I go to club because it’s a place where I can just be myself.”
In addition to club, Young Life ministries offers students many opportunities to build relationships and learn more about their beliefs.
Volunteer opportunities, mission trips, summer camps, and opportunities to be mentored by a leader are all available to any member of Young Life. Through these opportunities, students can learn much more about who they are and what they wish their life will look like in the future.
“Going to Young Life has taught me that I should be grateful for the things I have and the people around me,” Sydney said. “Now I know I can always turn to God and that there are people around me who truly care about me.”
While Young Life has a steady set of members from all grades of high school, leaders are always looking to recruit more students and show them how powerful Young Life can be. Those who participate understand the lessons it can teach you and the escape it can provide, so they encourage any others to come and see what Young Life is all about.
“People should join because it’s always an amazing experience,” Marissa said. “There are so many possible ways to enjoy yourself with others who will accept you for you.”
After being involved for so many years, Vermeer truly understands how beneficial Young Life can be for high school students. Providing a safe place for students to express themselves and their emotions is one of Young Life’s many missions, and Vermeer makes sure that FHC Young Life accomplishes this every day.
“I think kids love Young Life because it’s a place where they can show up as themselves,” Vermeer said. “They don’t have to perform, they get to laugh and have fun with friends and leaders and learn more about who they are.”