YoungLives Camp at Washington Family Ranch


This is my 11th  summer at camp. 11 summers filled with wild games and delicious food and late-night dance parties. 11 incredible summers at Young Life camp, but as I stepped out of my car into the hot shining sun a few weeks ago, I knew this camp was different than the rest.

I scanned the grounds around me to see strollers lining the sidewalks, pack and plays in every corner, and high chairs scattered throughout the dining hall. This was my first time at YoungLives camp. As I looked around at the way this camp I’d been to countless times transformed itself into a place of safety and comfort for teen moms and their babies, I realized the weight of truth behind Young Life’s statement that everyone is invited in.

Everyone gets the opportunity to say yes to the radical love of a God who knows them by name. In Young Life, we will go to the ends of the earth to give people a chance to get a glimpse of the sweet goodness of Jesus, and these teen mama’s and their babies were no exception.

For five days, I had the privilege of witnessing lives be transformed. I saw faces of girls light up during meal times who had never experienced sitting around a table to eat with family. I saw the surprise in their eyes when they were brought second and third helpings of delicious home-cooked meals- and their babies too. Unlike the homes of many of the teen moms at camp that week, this was a safe place. A place of abundance. A place where fear had no space to grow,

and it was in that atmosphere that I got to watch one of our sweet girls, Jaelyn, a student from Oakland and mama to Mia, go from a posture of skepticism and fear, to a spirit of confidence as she found freedom and joy in the love of Jesus.
Bringing teen moms and their babies to camp is no easy task. It takes a village.

More specifically, it took 106 nannies to watch 149 babies, tubs full of beach towels, soap, and shampoo, and complete financial assistance, as 100% of the moms who attended camp were under the poverty line. Besides the basic necessities, it takes YoungLives leaders who are willing to step into hard, dark places full of pain and brokenness. Leaders willing to press in to resistant teen moms with crying babies and broken hearts. And finally, it takes the heart and generosity of people like you, who see that 5 days away isn’t a vacation, it’s a long-term investment in the lives of our girls, because this ministry is about more than just camp.

Camp is really just the beginning. I am in awe over the tireless love and support that our YoungLives leaders so selflessly give day in and day out to these teen moms and their babies. Since coming home, Jaelyn has dove head first into going to church with her YoungLives leader, Laura. She is excited to continue growing her relationship with Jesus and raise her daughter surrounded by a new community. The beauty of Laura and Jaelyn’s relationship is that Jaelyn has the opportunity to see what motherhood and family can be like, despite what has been modeled to her. YoungLives isn’t just impacting her future family, it’s impacting her family right here and now.

Jaelyn’s is one of many beautiful testimonies from camp that week. And one of countless stories since YoungLives started ministry close to 20 years ago. Thank you for supporting this ministry. Thank you for loving teen moms and their babies. Heaven is dancing for all of the girls who have decided to come home.

Sarah Lowe and Tacoma YoungLives Leaders


Young Life Univ Place/North Tacoma | 3102 S 23rd St Tacoma, WA 98405-1606

Phone: (253) 272-7399

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