Bags are packed and boarding passes are printed out. After morning prayer and breakfast, the students and staff of the 2012 Duke Youth Academy will head home. Some of them will have a short drive down the street, and others will fly cross-country to California. But all of them are leaving this community to go back to their home communities — hopefully carrying with them rich experiences of Christian formation that will continue to shape them for years to come.

Each year at DYA is unique, and this year has been no exception to that. I am continually amazed (and challenged!) by the experience of living in an intentional Christian community where all aspects of life are shared: work, prayer, meals, study, worship, and service. I’ve written about the Youth Academy elsewhere, so I won’t repeat a lot that here. But I do want to encourage any of you readers out there to think about the Youth Academy if you know kids who will be rising juniors or seniors in high school next summer and who might benefit from attending DYA.

If you’d like to find out more, check out the DYA website.