The Lord's Boot Camp

700 Kids Turn Off Their iPods And Cell Phones As They Train To Become Christian Missionaries

On Saturday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 48 Hours presents a special holiday broadcast of "The Lord's Boot Camp." Through a unique collaboration Loki Films, producers of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Jesus Camp, the program takes an unprecedented look at three teenagers training to become Christian missionaries while also dealing with the pressures that teens face daily. This marked the first time a camera crew had been allowed to document the teens' experiences at camp, their missions and their returns home.

In the summer of 2007, Tabitha Taylor of Bellwood, Pa., Nicole Scrivener of Tallahassee, Fla., and Valerie Smith of Las Vegas, Nev. were among the 700 kids who gave up the luxuries of ipods and cell phones to attend The Lord's Boot Camp. At the two-week, no-frills training camp in central Florida, the girls face physical and mental challenges as they prepare to embark on evangelical missions in the U.S. and Africa and spread the word of God.

  • Taylor, 13, is passionate about her religion and a natural-born leader who excels at camp, but struggles to fit in among her peers.
  • Scrivener, 15, grapples with drug and alcohol abuse, straining her relationship with her family. Her rebellious attitude creates tension at camp, too.
  • Smith, 17, is dedicated to her religious beliefs but finds it difficult to be away from her boyfriend as she faces the physical challenges of camp.
  • Immediately following the broadcast, log on to to watch a spirited student panel of teenagers of different faiths and ethnicities. These students, from Staples High School in Westport, Conn. engage in a frank discussion and share their opinions about the kids in "The Lord's Boot Camp," and question the young missionaries' training and tactics.