THIS year Uniting Church camps hosted hundreds of people from schools, sporting clubs, craft groups, large family gatherings and other faith communities but they are always on the lookout for more visitors and will even help pay for them.
UC Camping (UCC) director Daniel Murray said the organisation offered financial assistance and tailored programs to appropriate groups but this was not always widely known.“
A community care unit for people with intellectual disabilities came to us wanting to do a program. They didn’t know there was any capacity to support them,” Daniel said.
“It was evident early on that financially they were really struggling, so we went to the presbytery in Port Phillip East and they were very supportive.”
Daniel said camps worked closely with their presbyteries to decide which missional initiatives to support.
“Some are for UCA groups but others might be a school where the kids are on EMA (educational maintenance allowance),” Daniel said.
“We might go ‘all right, let’s contribute x-amount to this camp’ so that each child’s camp cost is reduced from $250 to $150.
“Uniting Church Camping is entirely self-funded. What we generate in revenue goes back into managing the camps in terms of capital development and program development. We also present five per cent of that gross revenue to missional activities.”
Daniel has witnessed the ripple effect of UCC’s missional work in the community.
“Our maxim is creating opportunities – it’s the UCC byline, if you like,” he said.
“That is not just opportunities for people who come to the camps, it is also creating opportunities for others to participate in something of value.
“For example, the bus company that we use will oft en reduce their rates for a school that is really struggling. We have surf schools that provide lessons at no cost if it’s a special needs group.
For more information about group bookings with UCC go to www.uccamping.org.au
or phone 1300 304 560.