Christ Faith Service

Reflection on Summer Camp 19/20

By Elisabeth Roberts

Well, this year's Summer Camp was definitely an eventful one. We had it all: 40°C weather, high fire risk, smoke haze, a brief storm, a 15-hour power outage, and a cursed prank in one of the boys bathrooms (which was all dealt with rather coolly by our phenomenal convenor Caleb Schulz). But through it all everyone stayed safe, and the potential disasters led to some great times of fellowship.

On the evening of day four, after hiding inside from the skin-melting heat all day, we suddenly lost power—back-up generator and all. This meant a Q+A session in the dark and the unfortunate cancellation of The Even Later Show with Shady and Di. It seemed like a pretty unfortunate situation, but ended up turning into one of the best nights of camp.

After Q+A everyone started to congregate on the deck outside the dinning hall in the dim light of dusk, chatting and enjoying a very welcome cool change. It started to trickle with rain, but no one was fazed, it was still nicer outside than in the stuffy buildings. Someone put on music and people started dancing and singing along. (The key demographic of the camp became quite obvious when everyone started belting out the chorus of Country Road, and when over a hundred kids were stomping their feet in unison to the Nutbush.) Instead of spiralling into disaster, our loss of electricity seemed to bring everyone together. It was an entirely impromptu night, but ended up being memorable for all the right reasons.

Among the unexpected occurrences one thing stayed consistent this camp: God’s word was faithfully taught. We were blessed to have Andy May deliver six gospel filled talks on what God’s will is for our lives. We were reminded each day that ultimately God’s will is for us ‘to know Jesus: Maker, Manger, and King’ as well as how to apply that truth as we make decisions like: ‘who should I marry?’, ‘where should I live?’, and ‘what should I study at uni?’.

Andy was able to bring such a big scary topic to a simple relatable level. I was so encouraged chatting with campers over the week, during studies and in free time, about how they were wanting to shape their lives and decisions around their relationship with Jesus, and their desire to know Him better.

After such a wholesome week, we finished things off on New Years Eve with a murder—facilitated by our activity coordinators Ben and Isaac. It was their crescendo to a week of board game themed activities. Luckily, the murderee didn’t seem super bothered by the situation and, after frantically running around the campsite in search of clues, we found the murderer. I’m not sure what happened to them though, they may still be at large somewhere at Forest Edge...

Anyway, it was a great camp, (I did definitely have a lowlight though: the return of Climb, Climb Sunshine Mountain. It should have stayed dead, how dare you Noah Patterson.) and as we move into a new year of PYV—a new decade of PYV—I look forward to being a part of more fun, Jesus filled camps and events (and Sunshine Mountain disappearing into obscurity once more).