Unsure about sending your student to Gauntlet? I was, too.

Lauren Hamby

Gauntlet 2026 will be the best Gauntlet yet.

Why 2026? Because that will be my son Reese’s first Gauntlet experience.

Gauntlet is NewSpring's week-long trip to Daytona Beach, Florida, for students in sixth through 12th grade. The idea of sending your middle or high school student away for a week with 5,000 other students can be intimidating. Admittedly, I sometimes feel anxious when Reese and I are in separate rooms. A parent’s mind can race:

How do I know they’ll be OK?

What do you mean I can’t text or call my child?

Who will their leader be?

However, as a former Gauntlet volunteer and now a mom, my only question is: How many more years until Reese can go?

I trust the process, believe in God’s provision, and have seen God's power through Gauntlet.

Here is why I will send Reese to Gauntlet with confidence: I trust the process which prepares the people, I believe in God’s provision, and I have seen first-hand God’s power through Gauntlet.

1. I trust the process.

As a Gauntlet leader for five years, I attended mandatory volunteer meetings every year. These were detailed and well-planned meetings to set clear expectations and cast vision for leaders. For my fifth Gauntlet, my husband and I were out of town on the meeting date, so we had to arrange a time to view the training separately. It’s that important for new volunteers and veterans alike.

I was background-checked and interviewed prior to serving. One year I was able to help conduct interviews for potential volunteers, which affirmed how high the bar is set. The questions are rigorous because the stakes are high. The Fuse staff believes you can’t lead where you’re not going. And, James 3:1 says those who teach and lead will be held to a higher standard and will be judged more strictly.

2. I trust the people.

We are called to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). I wholeheartedly believe in our Fuse staff. I trust God has placed each person right where they need to be to make Fuse and Gauntlet excellent.

From my vantage point as a mom, I see the foundation of excellence KidSpring sets for Reese right now. Each staff member and volunteer is sold on the mission of creating a safe environment for children and teens to learn about Jesus.

3. I believe in God’s provision.

Isaiah 40:11 says the Lord tends to His flock. As a mom, this is where my peace is found. I trust the Lord is preparing Reese’s leaders right now. He already knows the timely, relevant messages Reese and his peers will need to hear each day. When questions or doubts arise from others, I can trust God will get glory from Gauntlet.

4. I have seen the power.

Many people have seen pictures of the sunrise baptism or heard about the epic worship and sermons, but I have had the privilege of hearing testimonies of God’s goodness, one after another, for the entire duration of the bus ride home. I have seen students choose to read the Bible and pray instead of sleeping late, and I have heard the chorus of a worship song repeated 20 times because the number of responses and salvations were so great.

From my experience, I know what I can expect from each year at the Gauntlet: salvation, healing, and growth. Walls will be lowered and relationships will form. If you want to know more about what to expect, visit www.gauntlet.cc.

I am thankful for each parent who ever entrusted their child to me, and I am already praying for my child’s future leaders and roommates (mostly, may the Lord multiply their sleep!). Come on, 2026!

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