Over the last two years, children and young people have spent so much time in isolation. Now they need time together in a safe space, to enjoy new adventures, to be with f riends, and to have the space to ask the deep questions about faith which are on their hearts.
I want to ask you to consider making a donation today to help provide these opportunities for young people at Camp this summer. Every gift, £10, £25, any amount that’s right for you, will make a difference to what Urban Saints can offer young people.
Urban Saints Volunteers have worked incredibly hard to continue to reach out to children and young people throughout the pandemic. They have adapted to provide the best residential ministry wherever possible (sometimes running shorter Camps and/or on a new site because of COVID-19 regulations), and online Camps when face-to-face was not permitted. And now the adventure continues as we offer opportunities in different spaces across the four nations, to explore the fullness of life, develop lasting f riendships, hear the Gospel and journey with Jesus.
Will you donate today to provide the essential support and resources needed to equip our amazing Volunteers to run exciting, safe, fun-filled, Jesus-centred Camps?
A Safe Space
“Being at Camp made life feel normal again; for the first time in nearly two years, my anxiety level was manageable.”
Boy aged 15, quote from 2021.
I was thrilled to hear what this lad had to say about his Urban Saints Camp last summer. Isn’t that what we want to hear for each young person - to know that we can provide spaces where they can start to work through issues that have relentlessly assailed them all year, and have a safe space to process them?
To be able to provide a place of safety at each Camp, the Urban Saints Volunteer Support Team work hard to ensure all Volunteers are covered by safer recruitment checks and up-to-date references. The Finance Team support each Camp with all the financial assistance required, and also manage the provision of insurance. We have an experienced Camps Team who advise the Leaders of each Camp and who write appropriate Health and Safety policies whilst tracking and responding to the changing Covid-19 guidance in each nation. We also provide a 24/7 helpline to support Camps whilst they run.
You will understand, I am sure, the cost implications of providing this support to each Camp to provide the foundational basics which are essential to help ensure young people are kept safe.
Will you make a donation so that more young people like this 15-year-old feel safe again?
Space for Adventure
Once the young people settle at Camp and start to feel safe, the adventure accelerates! They begin to trust themselves and each other, and open their real selves to the Leaders. One 15-year-old girl told us: “The Camp was great, a place I felt safe, I could be myself. The activities were challenging but fun.”
Young people have access to a variety of activities across our Camps f rom bushcraft, high ropes, watersports, Hunt the Leader, and of course there is space for spontaneous fun. The kind that happens with a group of young people who trust each other and their Leaders - the moments you remember through the year and beyond. There is adventure around the bonfires and evening activities where young people have the chance to reflect and discuss the fun of the day and the fresh faith that comes as we explore the adventure that is following Jesus.
Will you donate to give young people a sense of personal achievement as they challenge themselves with new activities?
Space for Questions that lead to Faith and Life
“What happened after Jesus was resurrected?”
This was one of the questions f rom a young person that started a big discussion at a Camp last summer. Whether it’s in dorm time, or outside on a canvas camp, the small group discussions where young people have the chance to ask their deepest questions are invaluable. One of our Campers said: “Camp never fails to bring me closer to God, whether through evening meetings, morning groups or the people who I can ask questions.”
Because of the safety and adventure that Camps provide, young people grow in confidence and feel comfortable asking vulnerable questions and, in the relaxed setting of a Camp, there is space and time for in-depth discussion.
At the end of the week, one Camper reflected and said: “Listening to the talks and also my dorm-mate talk about God made me so interested. It made me trust God.”
Will you give so that young people have space to ask the questions that progress them along their faith journeys, whatever their starting point?
Space for Everyone
At Urban Saints Sprees and Camps across four nations, we want all young people to feel welcomed and included. Our Additional Needs Ministry Director, Mark Arnold, advises our Camps Leaders through training, and supports Sprees by providing ‘safe sensory spaces’ for children and young people with additional needs to access when they are struggling.
One Group leader and parent of an Autistic child told us how much this sensory space had helped them: “Huge thank you for the sensory room at Spree Central this year. My Autistic son loved it. It prevented many meltdowns on Saturday in the sun...”
Will you donate to make Camp accessible to some of our most vulnerable young people?
Space to be Discipled into Leadership
Tom (16) and Sam (13) both helped as young leaders for the first time at Studland last summer. Their mum, Rachel, helped in the cookhouse, alongside her husband, Matt, and her mum, Iris. Rachel has been attending and serving on Camps with her mum since she was 6 years old, and she explains the journey her children have had:
“Our children have grown up spending summers site-sitting / camping at both Studland and Stoke Fleming and, when old enough, attended both Chattabox and Purbeck Venture as campers themselves. Being at Studland and sharing fun and fellowship is an important part of their lives. I feel very blessed to know that my children’s lives are richer from the experiences Camp brings. I hope that my children’s children will be able to have similar opportunities to continue with Urban Saints Camps as they mature and grow deeper in their faith and love of the Lord.”
We are hugely privileged to see Rachel’s story replicated across many Urban Saints Camps. Young people grow up through Camps, and many stay on as young leaders, and then Leaders because they understand the value of sharing the gospel at Camps. We want to continue to see that legacy develop as we encourage our young people to grow in leadership as they enter young adulthood.
Previous donors like you have given in years gone by to enable Rachel to attend Camps as a young person, and also her children.
Would you consider making a donation today to help invest in Urban Saints Camps and young people so that we can build into the future and create space for future Leaders like Rachel’s children and grandchildren?
Space for Friendship
Urban Saints Camps are places where many lifelong f riendships begin and develop over the years. There is a unique quality to the shared life experiences that make space for deep f riendships to grow.
A parent shared with us how their children had experienced this last summer: “My children thoroughly enjoyed it and felt very much part of the group, even though they didn’t know anyone at the beginning of the week.”
Peter Graves attended and then led on Crusader (now Urban Saints) Camps f rom 1957 to the late 1970s. He says: “My gratitude to God for those friendships, and to Cru’ Camps that made them possible, is unbounding. Alongside faith in Jesus the greatest legacy of Cru’ Camps for me is the many deep friendships I made, some now going back over 60 years. These friends have been a constant source of support, joy and sheer fun. We remain as close as ever, and they have enriched my life more than I could ever say. As far as friendships go, I feel as if I’m the richest guy on earth!”
Will you consider making a donation today to help provide opportunities for young people to find space for similar lifelong, deep friendships?
Urban Saints have been providing Camps for young people since 1908 when we first camped at Bognor, and countless thousands have come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through these Camps. This is what Urban Saints is about! This is why we do this, isn’t it? This is why I am asking you today to pray and give so we can continue to provide safe spaces for children and young people to have the opportunity of finding Jesus at Camp.
Chief Mission Officer
P.S. Please would you consider investing £20, £40 or whatever amount is right for you to help provide space for young people to explore faith at Urban Saints Camps this summer? Thank you.
P.P.S. We know times are hard for many right now and we do not want anyone to feel under any pressure to donate. We also enormously value your prayers.
Find out more about praying for Camps