My first adventure into the beautiful grounds of Sibford School, Oxfordshire came two years ago, just a week after finding out my wife was pregnant with Sophie.
I felt pretty bad leaving her!
However, there was gospel work to do and so she dropped me off on the Saturday and so it began!
My wife is a huge ebay fan and the joy of finding a themed costume for space gave her such excitement. My white overalls arrived in good time, she made me a special NOSA (North Oxfordshire Space Agency) badge and paper mached a balloon to make a helmet. Genius!
So many highlights of my first Sibford experience.
Martian Questborg became an instant hero with his deely-bopping news reel. Although I wasn’t that impressed with his mockery of my habit of adding “to be fair” into most sentences. To be fair, he had a point. In fact, he became such a legend that my wife, who wasn’t even on this Sibford, still refers to him as “Questborg”.
Joe-B-Wan-Kenobi was only there at the start and end of Sibford. His earthly bosses pulled him away in order to man the office back on the “planet of Manchester” which was a real shame. We had to manage without him – his leaders’ training talks being filmed in advance and beamed to us via satellite.
Having the youngest boys dorm, Apollo 13, was good fun – they were essentially end of Y6 children – and we certainly enjoyed winding up Endeavour (youngest girls dorm). Other dorm names included Sputnik, Enterprise and Icarus. Classic theme, topped off by taking pictures of an alien butternut squash around Banbury making friends with locals and finding love with a plastic unicorn. (You had to be there!)
I made my debut as an Ents act. Well, kind of. I remember a friend of mine being tasked with organising Ents on a similar 11-14 year old camp. He was petrified and I really didn’t envy him. Little did I expect to be involved. However, when you’re hosting a talent show, featuring Laura with all sorts of incredible random acts it’s quite an easy job. I was Seamus O’Leary, testing out limericks, while she rolled with a different character each night. It went down really well. Special mention for M-Peg, J-Peg, Dr Why, Richborg and Juby too – loved those characters!
As for the teaching, we got stuck into a Bible Overview, exploring God’s promises and their ultimate fulfilment. It was amazing to participate in helping young people get stuck into God’s Word and watching their lives transform.
The final highlight for me was Inflatables on the penultimate day. Springing around the bouncy castle, being taken out by others and taking out other people was amazing.
Sibford 2013 was fantastic…how could Sibford 2014 or 2015 top it?!