We had a group of Americans over for camp this year, from 28th July to 11th August. The two weeks were split into a week for inreach and preparation, then a week for outreach. During the first week we had teaching from Bert Gamble on shepherds and sheep, and David Roy on the Covenanters. On two of the days we went to visit some of the memorial sites of the Covenanters. During week two, the teaching was from Donnie Black on the armour of God.
Some people were here for one of the two weeks:
We arrived around 3pm on Saturday. The American group had been on a tour of the Highlands for a few days and arrived soon after 3. To introduce them to one of the traditions of camp, we all went out for a game of football. After introductions and explanation of the camp meals system (breakfast, dinner, tea and supper) we had an evening fellowship meeting before quiet time and bed.
We went to Gallowhill Adelphi Church on Sunday morning and had our own meeting in the evening. During the day we went for a drive to Dumbarton, and the grounds of Overton House. From there we climbed the hill behind the house to enjoy the view over Dumarton Rock and the River Clyde.
On Monday, after our morning lessons, we travelled to see some of the Covenanter memorials. We went to Bothwell, where the battle of Bothwell Bridge was fought, and we went to Drumclog. The restaurant at Drumclog has some impressive murals concerning the Covenanters.
This was one of our longer outings. We went to Loch Katrine, and took a trip on the Sir Walter Scott, a steam boat which travels the Loch. The boat runs on steam so as not to spoil the water in Loch Katrine, which supplies Glasgow, and is said to be some of the best drinking water in the world. We had a little time to explore before the boat took us down the Loch and back up again.
Once the boat trip had finished, we drove through the Trossachs to Callander, a town closely associated with Rob Roy McGregor, and which contains the Rob Roy visitors centre. It's also a good place for a cup of tea and a scone.
On Wednesday we heard more about the Covenanters, and travelled to a place near Cumnock, in Ayrshire, where Richard Cameron, one of the Covenanter leaders is buried. This was a place where the Covenanters held their conventicles, outdoor meetings where they worshipped God and preached the Word against the wishes of the government. When they held these meetings they had to watch out for soldiers approaching, and some went to the meetings armed. We held our own short conventicle here, before heading back.
The good old Scottish weather returned with a vengeance on Thursday. In our free time, some went into Paisley to visit the shops and get some washing done, while some stayed at the centre.
The weather looked a good bit better, so we visited Luss on Loch Lomond. There we could have a shot on the speedboat, and on the jetski, walk on the beach, play football (of course), visit the local church, and the local tea shops.
On Friday night, after our meeting, we had a time of party games.
Our first week over, we had learned a lot, got to know each other, seen the strengths and weaknesses in the team, and now it was time to prepare for the week of outreach ahead.
We divided ourselves into three teams for the three clubs we were going to run at Gallowhill, Erskine and Linwood. Once the teams were decided, we gave them a chance to practice the various disciplines they would lead in the clubs (memory verse, quiz, etc) and get used to the programme, as well as spend time together in prayer. This covered the weekend, and by Monday we felt ready to go.
We started our lessons on the armour of God, with Donnie Black this morning, then we travelled into Glasgow to visit the cathedral for a short while, then take a tour around the City Chambers. The Chambers are very impressive, with rooms designed in very different styles. Perhaps most impressive was the marble stairway, built with many different types of marble from around the world. It was interesting, as well, to see the Christian influences in the architecture, in the city motto (Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word) and in the founding of the city.
After our tour we were given a reception tea by the deputy Lord Provost. The scones with jam and cream were lovely.
After tea we left for the clubs. All the clubs had a good attendance from the first night, which was encouraging, and all went well.
Because of a booking problem, the trip to Edinburgh, with the Military Tattoo, had to take place today instead of last week. The American group went for a day looking around Edinburgh, some visiting the graves of some of the Covenanters in the Greyfriars churchyard, while the rest of us stayed for a rest and to do the clubs at night.
Wednesday was a big day, and the focus of the club week. We had arranged for the kids to come to the centre for a sports day, which would last from 2pm until 8pm. We had most of the kids from the three clubs running that week, plus some who had been at camp or who had heard about the day who came along as well. In all we had 103 kids at the sports day.
When they arrived they were given free time, to play in the park, on the football pitch or chat in the meeting room. Once everyone had arrived, we had the sports events. They were divided into four teams and played various games out on the pitch and in the games hall. We were thankful for decent weather, as the indoor alternative programme was quite complicated and involved rotating the kids between three locations.
After the sports, we took half of the kids in for dinner, while the rest had free time, then took the other half in as they swapped round, making sure no one missed out and no one had two dinners.
We had our meeting early due to bad weather, and this gave the team who weren't at the three clubs a chance to teach they kids. After a bit of free time later on, the minibuses took the kids back to their homes, and we all tidied up and had a bit of a rest.
Thursday is traditionally Hansel Village day, so our trip was to Ayr, which is near Hansel. We had a chance to wander around the shops in Ayr, and walk along the seafront for a while, before we drove to Hansel Village for a game of football and tea. Hansel Village is a community for mentally handicapped adults, and has had associations with the Centre for over 20 years. The team not working at clubs stayed at Hansel to run a club in the evening, while we went back and took our clubs.
After our morning sermon from Donnie, we took a trip to Stirling. Some of us went in to the castle, while others went down to look around the town. As the castle is built on top of a hill it was a good day for excercising the legs.
After we got back and had some tea, we had our last night at the clubs.
After the clubs, we had a time out at the camp fire, where we had some supper, sang songs and had a time of sharing what the Lord had been teaching us over the two weeks. Then we had party games again before bed time.
Saturday was tidy up and leave day. The American group took a trip into Glasgow to see the Barras, while others went home for a sleep.
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This page by David Meiklejohn.