Force, force, force, force field around me, Your love, is a force field around me. If you have never heard this song by Bright City, then have a listen and you can transport yourself (in your head) to May Camp. God was truly a force field around all of us and the other 500 or so that we joined at Plumpton in May, all worshipping God in all sorts of ways. It all started on the Friday evening when we had an eventful journey, the children arriving before their belongings. So they were very relieved to see Karen’s car arriving. In fact I think that many of the other campers knew Karen had arrived too! The best things about Friday were being able to meet up with old friends and make new ones. The hog roast went down pretty well too! Bishop Martin was involved in the opening video claiming to be too busy to help but playing with his paper toys on his desk. Now we know what he does all day!! Bishop Richard set the bar for the ‘young person in a reasonably slow scooter’ race!
Saturday dawned all too soon for some and heralded a day of seminars, axe throwing, archery, inflatable assault course, tag rugby, crafts and much, much more. Showering was an interesting experience for some, and some just didn’t bother! Our football team, #flying salmons, won the tag rugby which is a miracle in itself and happily everyone came back with all limbs intact from the axe throwing and archery. Phew. Worship topped and tailed the day and one of the things that our young people really appreciate is the fact that the speakers speak to them in language that they understand but in a mature way – they ‘get it’. Before the evening entertainment, our group sang the JUMP song to Anna who was filming it, to send to Beverley so that we could feel part of JUMP the next day. I am not sure if it was played as the JUMP service sang it or at another time, but our kids really enjoyed that feeling of community even if it was from afar. Worship once again topped and tailed the day. After dodge ball and Incredibles II (which Anna and I enjoyed from our day tent) another day was over and sleep came a little easier and quicker!! The best things about Saturday were … everything!
Sunday dawned windy! And stayed windy but that didn’t blow away our enthusiasm and energy. Imagine if you will, being in a Eucharist service with 500 parishioners. They managed incredibly well, with 10 stations to take communion from or to receive a blessing. I am so incredibly proud of our youngsters in their maturity and understanding. More seminars followed before lunch and then the football tournament. Incredibly we didn’t go out in the first round! Achievement!! I think we need a special prize just for that. Some of our youngsters willingly helped out anther church to make up a football team and they all had a good time and did better than last year. The plasters came out as the carpentry workshop got underway – in fact they ran out of plasters at the first aid station! Luca entered our tent with his finger leading the way, asking if I had a plaster, and proudly holding his wooden spoon with the other hand. Happily, all limbs remained intact once again so no awkward phone calls home.
After supper came the D I S C O. Those of you of a certain age will now being singing a certain song – or is that just me?! Anna and I once again went to do a bit of mum dancing and embarrassing the youngsters which I feel is compulsory. Worship topped and tailed the day as always. 10:45 came which was the time for them all to be back in our tent community but … they weren’t ready for bed! Oh no. Questions, thoughts … they wanted to talk … and talk in an adult and mature way! It was a fantastic time of growth and exploration for them.
I asked them for 9 words which describe May Camp and this is what I got …
Loud (it is very loud!!)
We were challenged to catch the spark and take it out to the world. Please let the children give you a bit of their spark by asking them about the camp and engaging them in conversation on their level. You may be surprised by their questions, thoughts and willingness to understand you and help you to understand them.
So May Camp simply explained is faith … faith on ‘our’ level but in a mature way.
If you are in year 6 and above and want to find out more about camp, come along to ViVa on the second Sunday evening and join in the fun. Catch the spark!
Maggie, Anna, Beth (and in no particular order) Alex, George, Caedan, Sam, Luca, Ed, Bailey, Ella, Billy.