GAYLORD — Since its beginning, the Big Ticket Festival has had youth groups attending the event together. The idea for creating a special experience and interaction between these groups came about last year festival director Drew Spanding and Dave Baragrey, youth pastor at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church worked on the idea of turning the experience into something special for these groups. 

  Musician Dave Mead is in charge of the Youth Camp this year. He explains the experience this way. Youth groups gather together for breakfast to start each morning. They split up into community groups where they are not just hanging out with people they already know.

  The community groups have small group studies, listen to speakers designated for their age group and share worship time with bands in their own space. The youth also have their own designated area to watch the night concerts from. They end each day with testimonies around a campfire. 

  “Our primary agenda in this,” says Dave Mead, “ is to set these kids up with the best experience possible to begin their summer.”

  For more information on the BTF Youth Camp, visit their website at .

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at
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