When we first had to cancel ('Westbrook Adventure and Challenge') Camp, we couldn’t see how we would be able to offer an online version. Surely the essential elements of Camp cannot be conveyed through Zoom?! A planning meeting took us no further forward, so we decided to ‘park it’ for a month whilst we prayed. It was almost as though we had to ‘let go’ of our usual expectations and come to it completely fresh.
A month later, the vision began to take shape. Although it would only be for two days, we wanted it be something which would keep us connected with the young people in preparation for a return in 2021, and we wanted it to ‘feel’ like we were at Westbrook so we retained a number of key aspects.
First up, of course, is the journey to Westbrook. We opened by having a scavenger hunt (“Pack something for the beach”) and then experienced a film of
a speeded-up hovercraft trip, jumping into the minibus, and then driving through Ryde and up to the main door of Westbrook. On arrival, the Campers usually dive straight into the tuck shop, so instead they opened up the goodie bags we had previously posted out and discovered their sweets.
Much of the two days saw the same basic shape to Camp as usual. The programme included a mixture of games and teaching, together with optional practical activities in the afternoon. Evening entertainment included Cluedo with dressed-up leaders popping into breakout rooms and an escape room (escaping from the underground bunker at Westbrook). 33 young people aged between 9 and 16 enjoyed Camp, alongside 15 leaders.
The spiritual programme was based around the Prodigal Son, as we wanted
a strong gospel message of ‘everyone needs God’. We challenged them to make a decision as we focused on the cross and forgiveness.
We were really pleased with how how the young people responded so enthusiastically to the programme. “It felt like we were on Camp” - there was the same camaraderie and pulling together as a team, stretching into areas we had never imagined going down before.
Corinne Brixton, Celia and Mark Macklin
Heard this somewhere before?!
If you attended the Thanksgiving Service back in October, you might recognise this inspiring and encouraging story! You can watch it below, along with another story of the impact of online Camps last summer:
Coming very soon: We are delighted to share details of our provisional 2021 Camps programme. Our desire is to run Camps where it is safe to do so, whilst recognising the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Find out more about the latest plans - and sign up to be among the very first to hear when the Camps are properly launched: