JACKSON, Tenn. – June 10, 2005 – Nearly 6,000 teenagers and their chaperones will spend time on the campus of Union University this summer for the annual Centrifuge camp.
It’s the 19th year for Union to host Centrifuge, a program of the Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn. Each week-long camp will average about 700 in attendance.
LifeWay hires and places the staff members who conduct and lead the camp. Union students typically serve as support staff members.
“Its basis is a recreation and Bible study summer camp,” said Linn Stranak, a physical education professor at Union who directs the summer camp. “The main goal is to change the lives of young people, primarily in junior high and senior high age, and to influence their lives for the Lord.”
The first group of campers for this year’s Centrifuge arrived June 6 from 35 churches, and the camp will run for eight consecutive weeks. Stranak said over the past 19 years, an average of 32 states are represented at Union each summer.
Union is one of about 20 sites across the country to host Centrifuge each year, and is annually one of the top choices. Stranak said enrollment at Union fills up faster than any other location, and he credits that to the way Centrifuge participants are treated.
“We want Centrifuge, we like the program, we believe in its ministry,” Stranak said. “Therefore, they feel like they’re going to get what they need when they come here.”
Recent studies have shown that Centrifuge has an annual impact of more than $1 million on the local economy.
“We’re delighted to welcome Centrifuge participants to our campus again this summer,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Their presence enlivens our campus in the summer, and we’re grateful for our role in contributing to the spiritual development of these young people.”