The first time I took my teenage son, Will, to an Outback America weekend on a rural farm near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I was not so sure I wanted to go. I didn’t know anyone there. What were we going to do for an entire weekend with strangers out in the middle of nowhere? How could this possibly be fun? I guess sometimes you just have to take things on faith and go. I could not have been more surprised at the way the weekend turned out.
More Than Just A Good Time
Immediately we were welcomed and put with a team of mothers and sons that were the same age. The weekend was awesome. From “glamping” (luxury camping) in a beautiful place, to fun activities, to spending precious time worshipping with my son. I don’t remember a time when just the two of us had ever gotten away and had our own adventure.
Outback America was really fun and yet I think I loved it because it was more than just a good time – it was meaningful. I was reminded of what is important in life—my relationship with God and with my family. I learned some things about me that I hadn’t realized before and came away with some practical tips for enhancing both of those relationships at home. The weekend was more than just an outing; it was a blessing both personally and spiritually.
Since Outback America began in Huntsville in 2010, I have worked at each weekend as a volunteer, just hoping to pass the blessing on to other parents and teens or husbands and wives (there is also a marriage program). Each camper pair is prayed over from the day they sign up. The weekend program is carefully planned for both groups – focusing on relationship building and learning by doing.
Over the years, I have seen people forgive each other, broken relationships mended, and saving faith in Jesus born. Some couples have torn up their pending divorce papers; teens have now gone on to pursue a career in ministry. We even had a couple that remarried on the property because of the healing that started at an Outback America weekend.
It’s just 48 hours, but it is well worth trying out. Many campers, like my son and me, come back together as volunteers and are encouraged all over again. I don’t know of many ministries that parents and teens can participate in together. Outback America becomes something you can belong to and the blessing multiplies even further with volunteering and ongoing weekly prayer groups.
Outback America Huntsville hosts events of all kinds on a farm in the picturesque Paint Rock Valley. Don’t miss the opportunity to get away with your son or daughter or spouse for a transformational, uniquely Christian experience. It has been called an everlasting adventure. Take the chance that it might just be that for you.
Learn more at OutbackAmerica.org.