Top 10 Reasons from a 10-Year Mark Camp Veteran

Students studying scripture at one of our Mark camps

Students studying scripture at one of our Mark camps

by Communications writer Elsie Lee.

I remember clearly saying “yes” 10 years ago to attend the first Mark Camp in Ontario. I had just finished my second year at the University of Waterloo – I burned out after a semester on leadership with another campus fellowship, I ended a dysfunctional dating relationship, and I had nothing to lose when my friend Grace from the University of Toronto invited me to go to a week of Bible study with Inter-Varsity. So I said yes.

I have never regretted that yes. My feeble little “yes” began the journey that our every “yes” to following Jesus takes us on. In my years as both learner and teacher at Mark Camp, I have lived and breathed the story of Mark – the walks around the lake, the storms, the questions, the parables, the feedings, the cross, the resurrection…. Life with Jesus is incredible – incredibly challenging and joyful. It is filled with suffering, joy, pain, doubts and fears. It is by no means easy, but oh, it is so Good.

This will be my tenth Mark Camp in 10 years. I keep going back because studying the life of Jesus with a bunch of people for a week is amongst the most life-giving things I have experienced… along with lactose-free sour cream.

So take it from a 10-year Mark Camp veteran – say “yes”.

Top 10 reasons you should go to Mark Camp (register here):

10. It’s a good deal! $400 for 40 hours of instruction, that’s $10/hr! Not to mention a clean bed, three meals a day plus lots of snack food, camp activities (see #7), and oh yeah, life-changing stuff.

9. You’ll make new friends from other campuses. Who knows, maybe you will find your new BFF over your favourite colour of highlighter or your pre-study stretching ritual.

8. You’ll get in on the secret… 

7. You’ll experience a week at camp – kayaking, rock climbing, making art. But for grown-ups.

6. You’ll worship with a diverse group of people – from different schools, fellowships, countries, cultures, abilities and languages. A little taste of heaven.

5. You’ll receive prayer. You know that question you’ve been mulling over all year. Come work it out.

4. All your friends ARE going. The power of peer pressure is pretty strong.

3. Your summer job CAN wait a week. Ask your boss to start a week later, there’s no harm in trying. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. But they haven’t said no yet!

2. Your summer course CAN start without you. If it’s a semester long class, you will miss one lecture, usually the one where you get the course syllabus and get out early.

1. The only way to find out how good it is – is to go see for yourself.

Glimpses from my 10 years of Mark Camp (previously City/Script):


Students Meet Jesus Through Friends and Studying Scripture

What is Jesus really like? What did he say about…?

This generation of young people did not grow up in a Bible-reading culture, and they are looking for answers to their many questions about faith. According to the Hemorrhaging Faith report, 60 per cent of those disengaged with faith would consider studying the Bible if a friend asked them. When young people spend time studying scripture, they come to know who Jesus is and what it means to follow him with their whole lives.

Take a look at Alexis’ story. He met Jesus during a week-long intensive study of the Gospel of Mark. “You could understand him abstractly as a concept and leave it at that,” he says. “I’m lucky enough that this isn’t the turn my life took.”


Alexis was first invited to an Inter-Varsity event by his friend, Louisa.

Take a look at J*’s story. She had many questions about faith and God, and her parents didn’t like the idea of her becoming a Christian. But with the support of her friends and time studying scripture, she decided to follow Jesus.

Read the stories of Alexis and *J , who met Jesus for the first time through studying scripture with friends.

“Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of Mark – Friends lay foundations of faith for university student” – Alexis Chicoine

“A Skeptic Meets Jesus – An International student embraces the faith she sees in her friends” – J*