Socially distanced adventures are not really an option on most of our Camps - but the summer is not cancelled!
Camps are wonderful opportunities for children and young people to head away from home with their leaders for an awesome adventure. But how does that model work in a national lockdown? Thanks to the brilliant creativity and commitment of our volunteer leaders, lockdown has meant the model has changed but the ministry continues.
The Urban Saints team has been working on a Camps programme that can be run from home or even online - called 'Pick n Mix Supersize'.
Already during lockdown, our Spring Camps teams have offered 'virtual' adventures during the Easter and May half term holidays.
It was only a month before Easter when the Government made the necessary decision to enforce lockdown measures. With limited time and considerable pressures in all areas of life, the Easter House Party teams chose to make some big changes in a hugely challenging situation.
Caleb (Easter Boys’ Leader) writes:
“We decided on a two-pronged approach to reaching our campers. Firstly, we put together a video for each boy consisting of three shorter videos from three different Leaders, with the overall aim being to send a personal message to a camper they already knew and reminding them that we were (and are) praying for them. Secondly, I opened up a camp-specific email account that allowed campers (via their parents) to send prayer requests, which I would then be able to pass on to other Leaders.”
Anna (Easter Girls’ Leader) writes:
“For us, the most important thing was that the campers would still hear about Jesus and the Easter story, whilst communicating to them that they were loved and missed by all the leaders. We put together different resources that were shared on our Instagram page. We had daily devotionals on the Psalms, and a Leader shared a message.
We had different activity suggestions each day which were based on the girls’ favourite camp activities: craft, baking, worship sessions and movie nights. We were so encouraged by how the girls engaged with the material, proving a real answer to prayer.”
Recently our Whit Camp team embraced the challenge of running an evening over Zoom for the lads who were due to head to camp over the late May bank holiday weekend. Games were planned, talks prepared, and Zoom technical wizardry learned. In just a short space of time the team managed to create a packed programme to bring some of the campsite experience to the lockdown situations.
Shortly after 7pm on Saturday evening, 35 leaders and lads were online, ready for a fun-filled evening. The leaders had taken some of the favourite games from Camp and re-created them to work via Zoom. Hunt the Leader had a hilarious online makeover and the interactive nature of the activities was a hit with the lads. Long-standing Whit Camp leader Ken Morgan spoke on Moses holding up the serpent in the desert and then got the lads to make snakes at home. Judging was done by their peers and leaders with lots of friendly joking.
Overall the evening was a real success, encouraged the lads and helped build community at this challenging time. Well done to the Whit Camp team for their adventurous spirit and commitment to disciple-making. They are now planning their next online get-together to continue the journey throughout the summer too.
Most of our Summer Camps are now sadly cancelled too. However, the commitment to discipling children and young people is unwavering from our awesome teams of Volunteers as they explore innovative ways to create virtual adventures this summer. Please do be holding them up in prayer.
Final preparations are being made to 'Pick n Mix Supersize' - an online programme of activities and resources that group leaders can run with their group members either in their home or over a video call. 'Pick n Mix Supersize' will be available later in June and you can find out more about it on the Supersize web page:
Impact Team Leader - Camps