Schools out for summer.

The children in my class have left for pastures new, probably via some fabulous holiday destinations. The sun is (kinda) shining and the long vacation stretches ahead of me.

Sort of.

On Saturday I’m heading down to Sibford for the annual CYFA camp for 11-14 year olds with some guys from my church. It’s wacky, intense and busy.

But I can’t wait.

And with that in mind I thought it worth reflecting on camps I’ve been on  in previous years.

Some real highlights in there!

Maidwell 2007

Having not grown up through summer camps, my first real experience came in deepest darkest Northamptonshire at a boarding school set in beautiful grounds. I was there as a “Berean” based on characters from Acts 17 who wholeheartedly examined the Scriptures and had a real thirst for learning. Doing is camp certainly whetted my appetite for more Bible teaching!

Being a Berean meant a few things – first of all our service to camp was washing up, running games and generally being a segway between the 14-18 year old members and the leaders. Secondly, we got to sit at the feet of Mr (now Reverend) Andrew Towner, an amazing bible teacher who I have so much time and respect for. Not that I always demonstrated this.  More on that shortly!

Being part of a team about 17 Bereans meant we built up a really strong alliance and spiritual partnership along with just having great fun.  Highlights included playing water balloon volleyball with a bedsheet, discussing the entirety of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter in relation to the Bible and firing plastic toys using a giant catapult brought along by Mikey. Poor broken He-Man!

Getting fired in the sky! – click for video

The theme this year was all to do with films and Oscar Night- I think that might be why there was people wandering round in zombie costumes and the Bereans performed So Long Farewell to the rest of the camp. It’s a regret I didn’t get involved in that!

So Long Farewell! – click for video.

However, it was quite fun pushing Towner into the pool and filling his bed with pinecones on the last night – desperately trying to make up for a week of being completely dominated by him across various types of banterous conversations!

So many of the Bereans on Maidwell 2007 inspired me: Swithun with his hugely academic knowledge and understanding of doctrine. Josh with his athleticism, personality and genuine faith. Susie and Sarah who accepted a whole lot of grief from me. Cat who made me laugh, a lot, Shadow who was just one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. Nathan, Matt, Larry and Ollie – top Christian lads. Mikey who was comedy genius – sorry about Tranmere, mate! Saz, Caz and Fi – they of the rhyming names (well two of them anyway!) who were so friendly and warm. Lucy with whom I loved singing with during washing up!

The Bereans together!

The Bereans together!

My prayer is that they and everyone who went on Maidwell 2007, will still be persevering in their faith and being dynamic witnesses for the Lord in their own situations.

And still going on summer camps of course!