As I look back, I know the hardest time for me as a Christian was my teenage years. I found it really hard to follow Jesus faithfully at school and sixth form. As far as I knew, I was the only Christian in my year, and so it was incredibly tempting just to fit in with everybody else and live for myself instead of Jesus. When I look back now, I can see that God faithfully kept me through those years, and second to my Christian parents, one thing stands out as absolutely crucial to my keeping going: Summer Camps!
The camps we at All Saints take our young people on are Venture Camps (11-14s – Stanbridge Earls 4; 14-18s - Maidwell 2), and they are just brilliant! We spend a week staying at a school, sleeping in dormitories, eating delicious food, doing all sorts of exciting activities, playing sports, creating crafts and taking part in huge amounts of silliness.
There is sport, drama, arts and crafts, swimming, film making, off-site activities such as rock climbing and kayaking and much much more! There is also plenty of time to relax with old and new friends. Most importantly of all, the priority of the camps is that we all grow in our relationship with Jesus.
There are meetings and bible studies each day where we learn from the bible about Jesus, and how we can know him and grow in our relationship with him; there are bible studies to work through and apply the truths to our own lives more deeply and there are dorm times to chat through all sorts of issues and ask any questions.
From my own teenage experience, I can say that spending a week with Christian leaders and other young people and being removed from my normal situation freed me to take real steps in my walk with Jesus and grow in my knowledge and love of him. I wouldn’t have done anything else with that week for the world!
If you’re aged 11-18, go on: ‘Stanbridge Earls 4’ or ‘Maidwell 2’! You will have an amazing time!
If you are a parent, encourage your children to go!
If you are neither, pray for the camps as they are very significant to many people’s lives.