Story and photos by Claudette Perrin, Youth Correctional Counselor
Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp
Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp hosted volunteers, musicians and pastoral staff from Northern California and Nevada during the 25th Annual Victory Outreach Soul Express Christmas Concert Dec. 16.
Twenty-eight youth firefighters on two crews missed the festivities to extinguish blazes in Southern California, but Pine Grove kept the fervor alive in their absence.
Guests shared their musical talents and life-changing stories with the youth in attendance.
“All youth in camp were delighted at the opportunity to listen to inspirational tunes and amazing, heartfelt stories of transformation and victory,” said Pine Grove Superintendent Alicia Ginn.
The concert featured the Soul Express Band of Victory Outreach Church, a group that fuses new and old soul, chill and jazz, with a Latin flair to create musical delights throughout the region.
Ginn said Victory Outreach Church strives to inspire and instill within people the desire to fulfill their potential in life with a sense of dignity, belonging, and destiny. This unique vision allows for a values-driven approach to their ministry, personal growth of youth, and global community involvement.
Pine Grove also welcomed Nevada pastors Mike and Karen Kuhn, who brought food, drinks, Christmas candy bags, and cards for all youth. The pair has ministered to Pine Grove for nearly 30 years and has been involved in the numerous outreach programs for camp youth.
“Pine Grove Camp extends their sincere appreciation to all the volunteers and pastoral staff making a positive and genuine impact on the lives of so many youth and staff within DJJ,” Ginn said. “The down-to-earth, real-life stories connected the youth to the volunteers in an enriching and personal way.”