Summer Camps are more than events that happen every January at Yarrahapinni. There's a huge amount of work that goes into them and they always keep our Youth Ministries Department super-busy. Summer Camps are also loved by people who attend as campers or staff.
My first — and so far only — Summer Camp experience came about because Rick asked me if I would come up to Teen 1 this year to check it out. Of course I said yes — who doesn’t love an adventure and doing new things? But as I drove up to Yarrahapinni, I didn’t really know what to expect.
You can read more about my Summer Camp experience in the February 2016 issue of NorthPoint. But more importantly, you can read about the experiences that a number of our Summer Camp staff have had below. I found it to be a huge blessing to get to talk with them about what makes Summer Camp so special, and I think you will be blessed by reading about it.
— Adele Nash
Matt is passionate about getting kids to Summer Camps because he knows what a difference they can make — "I love seeing young people’s lives change for good," he says. In his role as Pathfinder Director for the Newcastle Multicultural Church, he helped raise $2000 for kids to get to Summer Camps. "We did it by fundraising with the Pathfinders — chocolate drives and that sort of thing," he says. This fundraising effort saw seven kids from the church attend the camps.
Click HERE to read Matt's full story.
Emily Marsh has worked at Summer Camps for eight years as a staff member, following on from four years as a camper. “From coming as a camper, I absolutely loved it,” she says. “It was so much fun doing the activities, joining in the worships and getting to know heaps of people. The staff were always really cool and I had some good counsellors. That was part of why I wanted to give back and be a staff member! But it’s also because I loved it so much that I wanted to keep coming — I was too old to be a camper, so I became a staff member!”
Click HERE to read Emily's full story.
As hungry campers who have expended their energy during days filled with activities will know, Noo has been running Summer Camp catering for 10 years. “The first time was one week, then I did two weeks, and it’s been the full three weeks ever since,” she says. Noo’s involvement came about because the regular camp cook wanted a week off. “I liked the idea of a challenge and had never done anything this big before,” she says. “My own kids were coming to camp at that stage too.”
Click HERE to read Noo's full story.
Jared and Carina Martin
Jared and Carina both have very different Summer Camp experiences — mainly because, up until recently, the Summer Camps that Carina has experienced were in her home country of Denmark. The main difference Carina notes — apart from the weather, which makes outdoor activities so much easier — is the role of assistant girls’ director (which she filled this year at Teen 1). “In Denmark, they don’t have a role like that,” she says. “There’s no-one there to take care of the counsellors like there is here. It’s really cool that we have the opportunity to help in that way here. The counsellors in Denmark also don’t stay in the cabins like they do here. I love seeing the time that counsellors and co-counsellors spend with the kids here, and how the nighttime worships are such a precious bonding time.”
Click HERE to read Jared and Carina's full story.
Patrick’s involvement with Summer Camps stretches back around eight years. He went to Macquarie College and came to Summer Camps due to that. “I’m a baptised Catholic,” he says. “But I went to an Adventist School. We’re all brothers and sisters [in Christ]!” He started out at Junior camp, then progressed to the Teen camps. “Now I’ve been here as a staff member for four or five years,” he says. “Obviously as a camper coming back here, all of the staff when I was here had so much fun together helping out the kids. It was something I wanted to do and give back to the kids. The experience the kids get to have is so positive, and I love the feeling you get when you see the kids smiling and having fun.”
Click HERE to read Patrick's full story.
Music is a big part of the Summer Camp worship experience, and Mitch Wallace was the bass player in the band for Teen 1. He also worked as a co-counsellor. "It's alright — it's a bit of extra added work, but it's good," he said. This year was his third working as a staff member, following on from attending as a camper.
Click HERE to read Mitch's full story.
"I've been coming to Summer Camps as a camper since I was 10," says Sharri-Lynne, who now works as a staff member at every Summer Camp she can make it to. "So this is my 12 year of Summer Camps. I was almost going to miss this week and I was really devastated!" she says of working at Teen 1.
Click HERE to read Sharri-Lynne's full story.
If you've been to Summer Camps and enjoyed riding the horses there, you more than likely have Lee Hudson to thank for them being there. Lee has been working with Summer Camps for about 16 years now. "I've always done the horses for all three camps — Junior, Teen 1 and Teen 2," she says. "I have to get the hay, transport it all, ring up people who will loan me horses and so on. It takes a while for the horses to settle in, but by the end of Junior Camp, they're used to it."
Click HERE to read Lee's full story