Date: 3-10 July 2004
Another year, another camp, and quite a few first timers this year. We saw many of God's blessings this week, including the weather we had, which reduced us to just one trip to the swimming pool all week. We also went to Erskine, Biggar, Coatbridge, Kelburn and Paisley.
This year we had a theme: Trailblazers. We learned about the pioneers who took the Oregon trail across the United States in the 1800s, to make a new life for themselves. This gave the kids (and some of the leaders) a chance to bring along their cowboy gear, and everything about the week had a wild west feel - even the menus. We also welcomed a real, live Texan, Amber, who joined us from the States and taught us much about the ways of the West, plus the shark song.
The Bible teaching was on the life of Peter, the serial story was The Source of the River, about a boy called Frank who liked adventure, and the memory verses were the most difficult we've had in a long time. The kids did really well in memorising their verse (teens take note).
Each mealtime was a chance for service, and Ewen seemed keener than most to serve: his name seemed to be on every dishes team. The cooks did a good job of keeping the pioneers well fed.
Erskine Beach, or Hay Fever Gully as it should be known, was our venue for a quiet walk after lunch on Sunday, and there was a prize for the best sand fortress among the group who arrived first.
All experienced campers know that the Jewish societies of 2000 years ago wore blankets with safety pins holding them together, so the charades gave a truly authentic taste of well-known Bible stories. Competition was tough, but Ewen's dorm ran away with the "most wooden acting" prize.
Evening meetings were a chance to settle down, enjoy the praise time, earn team points in the quiz and book your place in the sword drill final.
We journeyed to Biggar for our Monday trip, to the puppet theatre. It was lunch time by the time we got there so we ate outside and made use of the play park.
The kids went in to start work on their puppets. They were to prepare and rehearse a show about Noah's Ark, making their own puppets and scenery. The puppet people took over, so some of the leaders and buddies were excused for a while.
Once the kids had made their puppets, coloured them in and practised their scripts, they put on a show for us, complete with song and musical accompaniment.
Our second day-trip took us to Motherwell for a swim, and then to Coatbridge, to the Summerlee heritage centre. The play park has been expanded since we were last there, there are a lot of displays of old machinery and living environments and some of the group managed to fit in a visit down the mine there.
They also had an area where the children could have their face painted, or make a mask.
It's Wednesday and we haven't even had stretch and bends yet. The day trips have meant getting away early and the usual activities were sidelined. But we did manage some morning excercises on Wednesday and Friday.
We even had a special guest visit from the Doughnut Man.
On the days we didn't have a whole day trip, we had games and handcraft. It was sunny enough to have our games times out on the pitch.
With just two days for handcraft, the handcraft was changed a bit. Instead of one project over three days, the children made one thing each day for the two times we had handcraft. They made fridge magnets in the shape of wagons, and prayer pockets for holding prayer ideas.
A day for big point scores, sports day starts at 2pm. The campers immediately got stuck in to the various events, winning points for their teams. The buddies immediately began running into each other and injuring themselves. At the end of the sports, a little water was splashed around in the water fight.
A day out at Kelburn is great if the sun is shining, and it did. There's lots to do, with a fortress playground, an assault course, the secret forest, a waterfall to visit, birds of prey to see, and even some grass to play football on.
On Friday we had our second session of handcraft, plus the memory verse competition. After lunch we had a trip into Paisley to buy sweets and gifts.
After dinner we had our party games, followed by the last evening meeting and then the camp fire.
We gathered round the camp fire for supper, had a praise time, and then went into the games room, sat around the cross, and had a testimony time.
All over again for another year. We hope to see a lot of the campers again for camp reunion.
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This page by David Meiklejohn.