Date: 5-12 July 2003
Junior camp filled up very quickly this year. We had 40 children, along with 5 buddies, so it was a very busy (and often noisy) camp. Here's an idea of what a typical camp day includes:
Here's why my dorm never won the banner:
The morning always started with time to get up and ready, then morning devotions. Before breakfast we had ten minutes of exercise to prepare for the day. We call this stretch and bends. One morning we had a visit from the following character, who called herself Arnie!
After breakfast, and cabin cleanup, there was a session each day of Bible lessons. Our lessons this year were on David, with the theme "Our God is able". Each day we learned a bit about David's life, along with a memory verse. The campers were tested on their verses at the end of the week.
On three days of the week the campers had a handcraft assignment to do. This year they had to choose between a pencil holder, hand made cards, an indian mask and a sunflower puppet.
An important part of the camp is the missions slot. Our missionary this week was Jim Weir. He told us about the people, and especially children, suffering in Africa as a result of AIDS. His missionary group provide help and support for those who are affected by this disease.
Each night we had our evening meeting. This included lots of singing, a quiz, a sword drill (with the final on Friday) and a serial story. Gail told us a story about a boy called Doming from the Philipines who became a Christian in difficult circumstances.
As well as the daily events, we had outings each day: two full day ones and the rest during the afternoon.
On Sunday morning we had a treasure hunt. The campers were split into teams, and had to find and arrange items from around the camp grounds.
We treat Sunday as a special day, and we took the kids to Gallowhill Adelphi Church, in Paisley, for the morning service. After lunch we went to the Parklea beach area outside Port Glasgow. We had a competition for most interesting object found at the shore. One or two of the interesting finds were too large to be brought back on the minibuses though.
The time before and after dinner was set aside to prepare for charades. Each dorm had to prepare and act out a Bible story, most of which involved copious use of blankets and painted on beards. The dorms were judged on accuracy, performance and costumes.
Monday was our first full day trip. We had planned on going to Edinburgh Zoo, but the weather looked a bit dismal, so the plan was changed and we headed for the Big Idea in Irvine. We had a coach for the journey, and when we got there each leader was given a group of kids to look after during the day.
The Big Idea was full of demonstrations and experiments for the kids to play with. They also each got a kit to build and take home with them: my favourite was the catamaran. We managed to go to a couple of the talks in the auditorium as well, one about electricity and another about rockets. Thanks to Bunny for answering the kids' questions and letting them have a go at the rockets at the end of the show.
We had an afternoon trip on Tuesday, to the Waterfront swimming pool in Greenock. Swimming is always a favourite for the juniors, and they all enjoyed it. It was also a handy way of ensuring that they'd all had a shower.
Sports day is traditionally on the Wednesday, and is a chance for the teams to earn big points. They competed in various games, from a variant on netball to an obstacle race. As always, the sports day ends with a water fight for those willing to stay out.
The weather on Thursday wasn't a great deal better than Monday, but we were running out of days, so Edinburgh Zoo it was. After the coach trip there we split into groups and explored the zoo. The Siberian tiger was a favourite, as were the penguin walk and the monkey house. The reptile house was good for those who were brave enough to venture in. There's also a swing park if you can make it to the top of the hill, and a free ride up and down if the walk is too much.
Despite hopes being raised before the trip, we were unable to exchange any of our party for the equivalent number of chimpanzees. Apparently the zoo keepers had heard what the dorms looked like before cabin cleanup.
The afternoon activity on Friday was a trip into Paisley town centre to visit the shops. This was handy for those looking for presents to take home for family, plus a reasonable supply of sweets for the midnight feast.
After team games on Friday there was a time for party games, which featured most of the old favourites, such as 1-2-3-4-5, musical arms, chinese laundry and catch the plate.
As last year, we split the camp fire session in two, with supper and singing outside, around the fire, then a time for giving thanks around a cross in the games hall. A number of the campers said they had rededicated themselves to Christ during the week, and camp was officially closed with a prayer.
There was still time for the midnight feast, though.
I had more photos of people than I could fit into the page, so follow this link for some more pictures.
Bible Centre pages
This page by David Meiklejohn.