Pro-Life Boot Camp is the first and longest running Catholic Pro-Life camp for teens. We provide a totally immersive experience in the Pro-Life movement, allowing teens to not only learn about pro-life issues, but also get involved right away.
Our goal is to provide total pro-life immersion with a combination of top-notch pro-life speakers, prayer at the abortion centers, volunteer projects, and lots of good fun. Boot Camp aims to train and inspire today’s pro-life leaders, preparing them to live out the pro-life mission for the rest of their lives.
Why “Boot Camp”?
One question we often get is “Why do you call it Boot Camp?” Over the first few years of the program, we discussed and tried several different names to describe the experience until we finally settled on the name Boot Camp. We felt this was the proper way to describe the experience of pro-life immersion.
We are more than a “summer camp,” although the teens do have a ton of fun and make meaningful relationships. We are more than a “conference,” although the teens have the opportunity to hear leading Pro-Life speakers. We are more than a “retreat,” although we do provide an escape from the influences of the outside world, at least for a short week in the summer.
It became clear that the only accurate way to describe our immersive, boots on the ground program is Pro-Life Boot Camp.
Pro-Life Boot Camp began as a dream to train teens to be leaders among their peers in the Pro-Life movement. The first Youth for Life Retreat was held in 2003 with 8 campers spending a weekend immersed in the Culture of Life. In 2005 we partnered with Catholics Respect Life’s Youth for Life from Fort Worth to reach even more teens across the metroplex. This partnership lasted 10 years. We wanted more time with our teens, and in 2006 accomplished this by extending the camp to 5 days, 4 nights. This is when we first called the camp Pro-Life Boot Camp. In 2010 we had 100 youth in attendance, a record setting number for us. Our high numbers and waiting list in 2010 inspired us to hold 2 Sessions in 2011, allowing us to accept as many youth as possible. In 2018 and 2019 we experimented with a Day Camp option, allowing us to take the camp to different locations throughout the Diocese. As COVID hit in 2020, we adapted to host a virtual Boot Camp. As we celebrate 20 years of training Pro-Life leaders in 2022, we have added a brand-new Boot Camp Jr for Middle School, expanding our Pro-Life training to an even younger group. We have also shared our program with groups from around the country, inspiring 4 similar programs.
Previous Speakers have included:
Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, PhD, National Catholic Bioethics Center
Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America
Monica Ashour, Theology of the Body Evangelization Team
Maria Graham, Sidewalk Counseling Training
Lucas Pollice, Augustine Institute
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Jill Stanek, Whistle Blower Nurse
Crossroads Pro-Life Walks Across America
Carol Everett, Former Abortionist
Lauren Muzyka, Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance for Life
Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute
Stephanie Gray, Love Unleashes Life
Trent Horn, Catholic Answers
Ramona Trevino, Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director