The buzz around our Sprees was incredible this summer. After a three-year hiatus, youth groups were so excited to be back, experiencing an action-packed weekend together. Four Sprees ran: Spree in the Borders, Spree Central, Spree South West and Spree Wales with over 2,000 young people and leaders attending.
Spree in the Borders saw over 200 people enjoying wonderful weather, fantastic fellowship and teaching which focused on what it means to have God with us. One group leader shared her experience with us:
“For most of our young people it was the first time they had spent any significant time away from their families post-Covid, which brought some anxiety, yet God was so gracious and comforted them in their time of need. They formed real friendships with one another, and it was great to see them looking out for each other and encouraging one another during the challenges and activities. There was great boldness and raw honesty amongst our young people as they tackled everything in their stride! And what a joy it was to hear laughter coming f rom their rooms as they chatted about the day’s events (albeit at 1am in the morning). As a leader I was also challenged during the weekend and found my young adventurous side rise up. I can’t say however that I’ll be jumping off a trapeze platform at a great height again... well, maybe next year, the things we do for our youth, eh?!”
Spree South West was next to run at the stunning Shobrooke Park and tickets sold out three months before the event. With around 1400 people onsite it was a fantastic weekend where the teaching focussed on God as the number one priority in our lives and there was an abundance of activities including the return of Spree’s Got Talent. The energy on site was wonderful and seeing God at work in many different ways was genuinely humbling – over 200 young people made first time commitments. Spree South West moves back to the Devon County Showground in 2023 so that we have space for all those who couldn’t get tickets this year and more. Here’s some feedback group leaders shared with us:
“Our diverse group didn’t really know each other before going to Spree and they got on really well with the older ones looking out for and after the younger ones. They all moved further along their faith journey with two commitments being made for the first time.”
“On return from Spree, children started reading their Bibles without being asked! They also created prayer journals on their own initiative and began praying each evening.”
This was followed by Spree Central. Jo Slater was part of a Luton-based group that went along. Jo shares:
"We took 21 of our group to Spree Central along with four Service Crew. There was a bittersweet feel to some moments as we realised this generation of children and young people had missed out on childhood rites of passage such as spending their pocket money at the tuck shop, being able to choose for themselves how they spent their spare time rather than being told where to go next, and being in a marquee filled with other youngsters worshipping God. Saturday evening saw a good number of young people responding to the call of Jesus on their lives, and we’re so grateful to all those who were praying about this."
Another leader shared,
“This camp has been more diverse in terms of people leading from the front than most camps I have been to.”
Our final Spree for 2022 was Spree Wales. We caught up with Andy Hughes in the middle of a very full summer Camps season in Wales. Andy reports back on his Spree experience:
“Great to be back running Spree Wales, with around 250 people coming along. Many of those who came in 2019 were unable to be there but we did pick up a number of new groups. The theme was around God being with us in the midst of difficulty – pandemic, war in Europe, personal circumstances etc. The activities programme was great and a number of young people made first time commitments to Christ.”
We have so much to thank God for as we look back over all four Sprees – many young people coming to know Jesus, the incredible servant-hearted nature of the hundreds of volunteers who served and much more! Head to www.urbansaints.org/camps to find out more about our plans for next year including 2023 dates as they become available.
Lou Bailey - Camps Team Leader
“This space made it possible for my son to enjoy Spree..."
Additional Needs provision was available for children and young people attending Spree this year, including sensory safe spaces: