Students spend summer in South Carolina to work and grow in their faith
Culture | Mindy Schweizer
After spending time evangelizing on the beach, the group goes back to the hotel to debrief and pray for the those they encountered. | Courtesy of Campus Outreach
Spending the summer in South Carolina through the Summer Training Project has been a popular option for numerous college students. This project takes place each year in Garden City, S.C, from June 1 to Aug. 4. The Summer Training Project, also known as STP, is a opportunity for college students to participate in activities that allow them to grow in their faith and work experience.
Typically about 70 college students participate in this project each year. These students come from Bethel University, Northwestern College, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Sioux Falls and St. Thomas University.
Participants work at local stores during the day and are involved in worship outreach projects during the evening. Businesses that students are commonly employed at include Wal-Mart, Piggly Wiggly, McDonald’s and BI-LO.
Brent Cramer, a sophomore at Bethel, went on STP last summer. This summer he will be returning in a leadership role. He will be a room leader for three or four young men.
Cramer said he enjoyed working with and making friendships with students from other campuses. He also saw the community aspect a key part of the trip. “The community is so Christ-centered that conversations about our Savior come out of the blue, and it is just so exciting to always talk about.”
The purpose of the trip is for students to be put in a challenging environment where they can grow in their faith, as well as develop leadership skills. Bethany Hanson, a sophomore at Bethel, also went on the trip and said that by the end of the experience, she was very comfortable with the evangelism aspect and was confident in her ability to clearly and concisely discuss her faith.
With a full-time job, the students are kept busy, and once their shift is over, they do not simply sit back and relax at the hotel. They participate in many other activities such as Bible studies, ministry training and fellowship. Although a vigorous schedule, Cramer said it was an unforgettable experience. “[It was] basically a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in that type of community,” said Cramer.