Synod family camps

synod family campThe March long weekend is traditionally a time of camping in the Uniting Church.

The Synod Social Justice Family camp at Adekate is in its sixth year. This year approximately 70 people (16 families) with ages ranging from four through to 18 explored the theme of ‘the personal is political’, looking at prayer and social justice.

On the first day, families discussed their personal values and what sort of a world they would like to see. In the afternoon, people played countries as part of a UN role-play game where they were challenged to negotiate a deal in order to stop climate change. This led the teenagers to create a movie about standing up for what they believed in which was shown as part of worship on the last day.

At Norval Lodge, the Presbytery of Western Victoria ran PC4U, which stands for Presbytery Camp for Youth. The theme – ‘B You, B +ve, Believe’ (Be You, Be Positive & Believe) – aimed to build self-esteem in teenagers from grade 6 through to Year 12. The camp focusedon bible texts that show the young people that they are God’s incredible work of art [Eph 2:10] and included tips on praying and improving their inner self-talk.  Leader Rev Linley Liersch said, “Camp is a place for young people to ask questions and explore faith as well have stupendous fun.”

In Gippsland, the Traralgon district Family Camp met at Coolamatong. Their camp has been running for 15 years (meeting originally at Lake Tyers). Bill Degnan, an organiser of the camp said one of the things he enjoys most is the tradition of “sitting on the waterfront eating our fish and chips while we watched the boats arriving in the Marley Point Yacht Race, with the little children playing on the beach, digging in the sand or splashing in the water.”

For all three camps, the opportunity to connect and share with others in a faith context keeps people coming back year after year.

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