Date: 8-15 July 2006
This year's camp had a pirate theme. We learned all about Paul, imprisoned at Rome as he wrote the letter to the Philippians, we watched Treasures in the Snow, and we learned that the greatest treasure we can have is to know Jesus Christ.
Our missionaries this year were Anne and Doreen from Mission Africa. They told us about life in Nigeria, about how Mission Africa was started and about the many children affected by AIDS in the country. We learned how to sing in local language, had a chance to wear some of the local clothing and sampled some Nigerian bean cakes, thanks to the shelling efforts of the cooks.
In line with the pirate theme, the camp was decorated with pirates, crocodiles, flags and treasure. Each dorm was given an appropriate name, and we even had a pirate ship outside in the courtyard, which was put under the control of whichever dorm won the banner that day for good behaviour and tidy rooms.
On Sunday afternoon we went to Lochwinnoch for a walk along the lochside. Our task for the walk was to come back with some treasure. Some collected flowers, some even found some strawberries. Some brought back stories of people they'd met and some brought pictures of the local wildlife. Rod came back with a virus and couldn't get out of his bed for 2 days.
Each dorm had a chance on Sunday afternoon to act out a passage from the Bible. The judges marked the efforts on accuracy, acting ability, and whether they could tell which Bible story it was. The girls put up a valiant effort, but couldn't top the acting effort of boys dorm 3, who portrayed the Good Samaritan with great talent, and even an authentic sounding head knock.
Activities and games are an important part of camp, and there were plenty of opportunities to get out and play. Among other things we had football, frisbee, hockey, kickball, capture the flag and a special party games time on Friday night.
Monday's trip was a whole day trip, and we travelled down the coast to Heads of Ayr Farm Park, next to the old Butlins. This is a fairly large park, with plenty to do, including slides, sand, bouncy cushions, animals, swings, rides, zip slide and even a camel.
The favourite was definitely the bouncy cushion, guaranteed to turn your legs to jelly after just 5 minutes.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday followed a similar pattern, with games, handcraft and missions in the morning, and an outing in the afternoon. On Tuesday our afternoon activity was swimming at Greenock. Some were learning to swim, some were quite happy in the water and some just went on the flumes the whole time. Jack managed to surpass his usual efforts and lost his shoe for half an hour.
Sports day was a mixture of points earning and fun. There were a few races, welly boot throwing and a tug of war, but we also had two big inflatables, which were enjoyed by all the children, even the old ones(!). The games were finished with the traditional water fight.
A few years back we had a day trip to Biggar, where Purvis Puppets are based. This year the puppet people came to us. They got the children to make puppets of fish, frogs, jellyfish and the likes, and paint them with flourescent markers. The kids then put on a show to music, using ultra-violet lighting to light up the puppets in an underwater play.
Friday is traditionally the day to take a trip into Paisley to go to the shops. Here we could buy presents for those back home, plus plenty of stores for the midnght feast. Many thanks to the purveyors of "everything for a pound" in the shopping centres.
The evening meeting is the highlight of the day, with singing, sword drill, quizzes, intense rivalry between the teams and the video story. Treasures in the Snow is about a boy and girl who live in the Alps, who both need to learn about forgiveness. At the final meeting on Friday night we had the sword drill final (well done Sarah) and the results of the team competition. This year the Ruby Reds beat the Gold Nuggets by just 3 points out of over five thousand.
After the Friday meeting we met outside around the camp fire. We had supper and sung some songs before testimony time, where those who wished talked about what God had been teaching them over the past week. Many could say that God had spoken to them, and one professed to have asked the Lord into his life during the week.
Camp was for juniors: 9-12 year olds, but there was a definite family feel to the week. Bruce and Cheryl brought along Thomas and Amy, while David and Claire brought Cate for the week. Ian and Nicola also brought their boys to visit and Jack came with Alastair for sports day.
And so it's over again for another year. Except for those lucky few who still have a whole week of Teen Camp to go through, that is.
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This page by David Meiklejohn.