Wild Camp is SU’s longest, most remote camp, but God is everywhere and his voice was loud and clear – through Big Nature, through scripture, and through his Spirit straight into our hearts. One of our leaders Rachel took the group through the book of Ruth. It seemed at first a strange choice in a way, as for the first time in years we had only boys apply for Wild – but God had chosen our text and the studies were deep and beautiful, thought over daily by the mix of young dedicated Christian boys, atheists, and the undecided. The testimonies of leaders brought these old stories further to life, showing how God continues to love and guide us.
The bonds were strong by the end of nine days hiking through the land of the Murrum people (Walpole). A wonderful testament to Wild Camp’s draw was two boys who live with their ex-pat families in Timor Leste flying over just for Wild. One of the lovely Timor teenagers sent me an email on his way back across the seas: “I would just like to say thanks SO much on behalf of the Timor crew (Andy* and I) for this year’s Wild Camp. We both gained so much from it, and both of us developed our faiths even more. We’ll miss sleeping in a tent tonight and will miss all you guys so much (* name changed)”
One of my treasured moments from camp was being instructed by God which way was best as we navigated by compasses only with the boys through an untracked area to an inlet. It’s a beautiful thing to trust the voice of “The Big” and know it’s always leading to the right path, whether metaphorically or literally. Amber Flynn, Wild Camp Team Leader.
This year our theme for CHIC was “Daughters of the King”. Our speaker took the girls on a journey to understand this idea for their lives: Who is the king? Is it all sunshine and rainbows being a daughter of the king? Is Jesus the King of your life right now? We finished the week with a special themed dinner, complete with crowns and beautiful decorations to make the girls really feel like princesses in God’s amazing kingdom!
We had a fantastic week, hiking mountains and surfing, doing craft, making warm fuzzy bags, a quiz night and more. We were blessed by God in so many ways: amazing weather, safety, great community amongst the girls, and the Holy Spirit working through the leaders to challenge the girls to consider themselves as daughters of our mighty and incredible king. One of our repeat campers, Leah*, remarked, “I think the talks on camp this year have shown me that being a Christian has challenges but it is so worth it to know God and be a daughter of the King. It has convinced me to become a Christian.“
There were a few girls on camp this year who had never heard anything about God – we were able to give bibles and help them to begin their journey of seeking God. One of these girls, Jen*, had almost no idea about God and comes from a difficult background. She took a little while to adjust to the culture of camp, but she soaked up the love and encouragement that our leaders poured out, and showed a hunger for Jesus, wanting to learn more. She said at the end of camp, “I learnt God did create us and now I think He’s real.”
We are grateful to God for His provision and love, and pray He will continue to reveal Himself to the young women as they return home. Thank you for the prayers of the SU community, and all praise and glory be to our incredible king. Emma Shaw, CHIC Camp Team Leader (* names changed)