Old Dominion University hosts well over 300 campus organizations giving students many options to socialize with peers outside of the classroom, get involved, try something fun and unique, and gain experience working with others.
Organizations are placed in categories like honorary, professional, religious, governing, or even special interest groups. One of the clubs that strives to be as fun and unique as possible is YoungLife.
YoungLife is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization that reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in all 50 of the United States as well as more than 70 countries around the world.
“We believe that every adolescent deserves the right to hear about Jesus Christ in any way that they can understand,” said Nicki Kristol, the director of YoungLife at ODU.
Kristol said what sets YoungLife apart from other organizations on campus is, adventure, community and significance.
“We have a blast whatever we are doing. There is always an element of adventure with whatever we do. We want YoungLife to be a place where students can develop good friendships throughout their college experience. A place for them to belong. We want this to be a place where students can understand what it means to really go after God and understand what He wants for their life. No matter where a student is on their faith journey we want to create an atmosphere where they can find a connection and begin to understand the significance that God created them for,” said Kristol.
Although YoungLife was officially recognized as an organization on September 2011, the leaders behind YoungLife were already on campus for about five years to recruit volunteer leaders for schools in the community. Ever since YoungLife officially launched the club continues to see constant growth and involvement with all the members.
YoungLife has hosted many events, such as a weeklong series called Rush Week that included a welcome back picnic, Frisbee, Jersey Mikes giveaways and “carnival extravagance,” said Kristol.
The members and leaders of YoungLife ODU encourage students of all different ages, race, backgrounds, to come out and see what ODU YoungLife is all about.
YoungLife ODU meets on Tuesday nights at 9:01PM in the VA Rice Webb Room in the Webb Center. A typical club session includes “controlled chaos that is almost impossible to describe, followed by a talk about life and what makes it work,” said Kristol.
Outside of the Tuesday night meets, YoungLife also has smaller group meeting for that who wants to get involved or go deeper in faith. These small groups generally offer leadership training and meets on a weekly basis.
Some events coming up in May is the first ever YoungLife College Camp at Rockbridge in Goshen, Va. YoungLife college clubs across the east coast will all meet for this first ever-special event filled with “high adventure and the best week of their lives,” reported YoungLife.
by: Chris Ndiritu