Snow-Blast_INCARNATION, Wash.—For junior high students in Northwest churches, SnowBlast at Camp Gilead can be a life-changing experience as they grow in their relationship with the Lord and build friendships.

“Arriving at camp this time was slightly different than any other time I have been to camp,” says Josh Pagel, a youth leader in University Place, Wash.

As the various groups arrived on Jan. 19 for the two-day event, the Seattle Seahawks championship game was playing over the PA system. “I was combining some of my favorite things in life: Camp Gilead, building relationships with the students, and of course, Seahawks football.”

Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and on the banks of the Snoqualmie River, Camp Gilead has been ministering to students and families since 1948. It is one of several camps affiliated with the National Association of Regular Baptist Camps.

SnowBlast is an annual event for junior highers. Every year they enjoy tubing down Snoqualmie Pass and studying God’s Word with a special speaker.

This year Hayden Leroy, youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Richland, Wash., “challenged the students to really dig deep into their lives and clean out some of the ‘stuff’ that is cluttering their hearts and keeping them from a deep relationship with Jesus,” Josh says.

SnowBlast, he says, is “a great weekend of relationship building, memory making, and growing together as a youth group and in our relationship with the Lord.

“Listening as the Seahawks clinched a Super Bowl berth was exciting, and that doesn’t happen all that often. But what was really the most exciting thing, something that is going to last far longer than any Seahawks victory, was the friendships that my students were able to form and the growth that they experienced.”