This year we had our first Spring Camp Online. Things looked a bit different from our usual East/North Camp, but despite the logistical changes it was still an amazing opportunity to connect and grow in Christ. I was really encouraged to see so many youth eager to be involved in this different kind of “camp” (we had a whopping 101 campers register!).
While being online limited us in some ways, it also opened up new opportunities. On Saturday we had some amazing workshops run by special guests from churches around the state. I went to Sharon and Stu Pike’s (Darebin Presbyterian), where they tackled the question ‘How much Christian stuff do I need in my life?’ by challenging us to change our perspective—to not see reading the Bible and praying as something we need to do enough of (as a box to tick), but to see it as an opportunity to enjoy our relationship with God.
In our sessions we sang, heard God’s word preached, and listened to some great testimonies. Bill Medley gave us three fantastic talks from the book of Revelation, which were both challenging and encouraging. We learnt to recognise the destruction happening in our world (the murder, violence, sickness, famine), that we live in a flawed world under judgement. But we were reminded again, and again, in every talk and study that even though it can seem like evil is prevailing Jesus is still in control. Jesus is winning and Jesus wins! He is ‘the ruler of the kings of the earth [...] who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,’ (Revelation 1:5).
In our activities we fought (civilly) over a new COVID-free island somewhere south of Australia (definitely not just Tasmania). Scott and Noah did an amazing job making the activities engaging, entertaining, and fun. One of the highlights was a game of Family Feud that produced some heated conversations about planets and breakfast foods, as well as an interesting short story about a cannibalistic shotgun wielding melon (yes, all of those things at once). We ended each day with Late News Live, where Scott and Noah recapped the highlights of the day and shared their amazing singing (in)abilities.
While I hope this is the last Spring Camp Online (because I want to hang out and fellowship with people in person again), I’m grateful for this event and proud of how well it turned out. We had an amazing team of leaders and exec, headed up by our convener Jacob York, who faithfully served to make this a fantastic, engaging “camp”. It’s so good to see how God is working just as powerfully and faithfully as we do ministry online this year, and that His gospel and His people cannot be stopped—not by separation, not by COVID, not by anything.
- Elisabeth Roberts
Ode to Spring (Camp)
No one's quite sure
How the virus originated
P'raps in a lab created
The details aren't important
What's very clear is this
PYV's a negative
We'll have to give it a miss
"But no!" hollered the board
Of the Youth Directors Team
"We will, Praise the Lord!
We'll do something!" they beamed
And somehow they concocted
This ingenious online camp
The doubters, oh, they mocked it
But in the end their doubts were stamped
Scotty, Noah, Bill and Jake
They fronted the efforts here
Suzy worked without a break
Andrew Edmonds brought up the rear
Many others nobly fought
And battled for this camp
The Word of God they faithful brought
To our feet 'twas a lamp
Family Feud was raucous
Many other games we played
To our knees it brought us
When the Late Show jokes were made
Funny, rotten, or downright mad
Our activity teams were named
Even worse, indescribably bad
When Scotty's voice our anthems maimed
On this camp we have not failed
To see some merchandise a'sellin'
We even heard an outlandish tale
In which breakfast was a melon!
Sure the doubters, they may say
"It's not as fun online"
But it's sure better than nothing, hey
So stop and quit the whine!
So thanks to all the leaders
You've given us a time
I'm sure will never leave us
It's time to kill this rhyme
Anyway, I'll finish
With this profound line
Being online does not diminish
The light that Jesus shines
- Mitchell Letcher