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Teenage boys often don’t sit still. Ask them how they ‘feel’ and their response will be “hungry”! So how do we connect with our teenage boys? How do we teach them to be men? How do we teach them about God?

Now girls are easier. Often they love the heart-to-heart times, the small group times, the ability to share their feelings and experiences at a deeper level.

Sailing camp and now Odyssey camp have a long legacy of growing boys to men and it’s not necessarily through small group time on camp. Even though it’s 2018 it still seems sailing in a boat with a leader and campers has an important place for growing and connecting with our male campers.

On Odyssey camp during a race, Rachel (leader) struggled to get any camper to sail with her because she capsized too much. Josh* took the challenge and soon Rachel and Josh were in second place until they caught the wake of another boat and their boat filled with water. Seeing as they were losing Rachel thought she may as well make the most of being swamped in the ocean. She started to ask questions about life and camp, to which Josh responded he was having the best time and that he had finally learnt who this “God” person was! Josh told her how emotional he had been in all the Odyssey Time talks and how amazing God was to love someone like him!

Rachel was so encouraged and they continued to talk about life after camp. Josh told her about his non-Christian family who send him to a Christian school to get good morals and the subsequent great Christian friends he made there who invited him on camp. He told Rachel he doesn’t have a Bible yet. Rachel offered him one of the spares which he took gladly when they reached shore. He also wrote on his feedback form that one of his favorite things about camp was having fun with God.

Kane, now a camp leader, shares that as a camper Sailing camp was a place where he could make his faith his own, moving away from the faith of his parents. For Kane, being on a boat with two other people is where great moments of growth, sharing and faith formation happened. Another camp participant Elijah, an Odyssey camper and experienced sailor, said one of his favorite things on camp was being able to teach some sailing skills to other teenagers.

Odyssey and Sailing camps both provide opportunities for leadership both practical and in “heart” knowledge. What better way to grow our young men by creating spaces to have fun with God, and share life and faith with great leaders through sailing and enjoying God’s creation.

*campers name changed


Joyce Arnott



Eight camps, eight holiday missions, hundreds of Christians serving God and countless individual people experiencing God’s grace and love in Jesus, hearing the gospel offer of redemption, and choosing to move closer to, or follow Jesus.

This is the snapshot of another great summer of SU ministry. Like the camper and leader on Camp Odyssey who had a great chat while they were stuck in a slow boat and he dedicated his life to Jesus: read more of the story here.

A great picture of the fun, community and life-change of SU ministry.

Let’s continue to pray together for the work, as we face sizable challenges and opportunities in doing this. We need to fund and support ministry; sharing faith in Australia is changing and people’s need of Jesus is great. It is God’s work and He will provide the resources and continue to change lives through us.

Thank you to you, the volunteers, pray-ers and financial supporters who make this possible.

In 2018, we continue to pursue God’s heart for Western Australians to know Him – our core purpose as a movement.



Kent Morgan



Many volunteers who were a part of our Summer Missions teams around the southwest are breathing a sigh of relief, as the culmination of many months of planning and effort has been achieved. Team members who are part of our missions program have been responsible for sharing life, love and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with literally thousands of campers and families.

One boy can’t get enough of our mission team at Augusta… Last year at a Big Book Story time when his parents were leaving the caravan park to travel home they almost had to drag him away. This year, from the time we got to Augusta to the end he was glued to our team. One day he stayed with us as we ate lunch and then joined a few of us for dinner. One of our team members got to chat with him about Jesus and his mum tells me he wants to help us set up next year and is talking about how he might be on team in the future.

Lots of conversations happened with campers – light conversations, conversations about fishing and other camp-life activities, conversations about key struggles and deeper conversations about Jesus… I could tell of probably 20-30 conversations of significance that happened over the 10 days. It was a team who were looking for every opportunity to give a reason for the hope that we have, who knew that we were sent by Jesus to dwell amongst people, and to share good news with those that we came across.

Barb Totterdell – Augusta Flinders Bay Family Festival


In January, the Cervantes Family Festival team needed to find a new place to store all the mission equipment. God intervened in an unexpected way. Kerry, a local fisherman, has been part of the Cervantes community basketball team who have pitted their skills annually against a team from Cervantes mission for many years. A fierce competitor, Kerry has seen his team to victory for most years the competition has been running. When Kerry heard of the team’s predicament, he offered the use of a large shed at a house at Cervantes free of charge. We pray this will open up opportunities to further show the love of Jesus to Kerry and his family. 

Paul Edwards



What better way to enjoy the Australian summer than adventuring in some of WA’s best locations? This summer campers had extraordinary experiences including meeting new friends, building relationships with leaders, learning about God, gaining new skills and enjoying creation.

‘One of my best experiences, it’s thrilling and fun’

‘The food is always good and all of the leaders are kind and caring’

‘It is a happy place to be’

‘(I plan to) read my bible more, open myself to God’

‘God always wants to be close with you’

These are some of the simple ways campers reflect on the huge experience of an SU Camp. Pray with us that the spirit moves in the hearts of our campers as they go back into their lives and school starts again.


Leavers Ningaloo and Leavers Melbourne both went off! The programs are full of activity and holiday fun and also incorporate spaces where leavers are inspired and challenged to think about their outlook on life as they step in to adulthood, and see how God fits into that space.

On Leavers Melbourne, Lynton Allan, a local Melbourne speaker/artist drew and told stories for the leavers. He drew a beautiful landscape, then smeared it with ugly black marks representing how life can feel at times. He then transformed those marks to become a fuller, richer landscape to represent how God transforms the pain and hurt in our lives to become something that can bring Him glory.

At Ningaloo, Jordan Thyer leads the gospel tent, opening up conversation and teaching on life’s big topics; Sex and all that stuff, Why trust the bible?, Why suffering? These talks were coupled with leader testimonies and Q&A panels. Hear some feedback from the Leavers at Ningaloo about the Gospel Tent topics:

Perfect topics for a crowd heading into the real world of being an adult

God + science – very engaging as I am aiming to study science next year. Not ‘dumbed down’ either – very relevant topics and treated us as adults.

Sex and relationships – because it’s usually so censored at church/youth so it was encouraging to hear someone speak so openly and honestly without feeling like it was beyond discussion or shameful.

Science and God – Many Yr12s do science as a subject at school and are religious, so it was interesting to see the perspective of how they work together rather than oppose one another!



A BIG thank you to everyone who was able to give to the recent Summer Appeal. Over 130 donations were made which goes towards helping reach our everyday budget.

However, if you didn’t get the space to send in a donation over the Christmas & New Year season, there is still time. Just click here to donate now. Your gift will help to provide opportunities for the gospel to be shared and lives to be changed in 2018.



At SU, we believe our camps and programs offer something unique and special, and we embrace this through our training program. We aspire to offer training that energises and equips the movement to fulfil our Aims, and to be active, contributing members of their local churches. We want to see a culture within SU where Christians, young and old, invest in one another, eager to grow and serve God together. 

We’re focusing this year on having a more hands-on, experiential approach to leadership training, with experienced SU people investing in and supporting upcoming leaders and team leaders. We’re also holding two leadership development camps in 2018 – LEAD Summer (concluded) and LEAD Winter (in July) offering a mixture of practical and spiritual growth opportunities.

Click here to go to the Skill Up page for details of upcoming training events!



Since our last SU News, Wally Poulter a great SU supporter and long-term volunteer with Cervantes Family Festival, SUNO and SUPA, was promoted to glory. 
For over 20 years Wally served in so many ways as well as storing all of the Cervantes FF gear in his shed. Wally is greatly missed and the SU family extends our sympathy and prayers to Bev and the family.