YL Camp Report Cairn Brae, 20-26 July 2019

YL Hoddesdon joined with YL Hatfield for a week of fun and adventure from Sat 20 to Friday 26 July 2019. We had 13 teenagers (4 girls and 9 boys) and 3 leaders (Josh Gibson, Dorothy and Stepanka) from Hoddesdon. Hatfield had 4 boys and 2 leaders (Alex and Sam). During their time at Cairn Brae the young people have strengthened their friendships, made new ones and heard more about relationship with Jesus. All of us have been touched by God’s love.

Travel

Travel to and from camp went very well. All connections were fine. We have received a very warm welcome when we arrived - with Scottish pipes playing and work crew (including Laura) giving us high 5s as we entered camp.

Accommodation

Dorothy and Stepanka were with our 4 girls in a cabin that they shared with 5 girls and 2 leaders from YL Edinburgh. All girls mixed well together. The facilities were adequate with 2 bathrooms and a kitchen to share between us. Josh, Alex and Sam were with 13 boys in a full cabin with only one bathroom and no hot water. They managed but it wasn’t ideal. We have given feedback.

Other facilities and outdoors

The camp has a wealth of facilities for all to enjoy. A large playing field stretches between the side of the loch and the chalets. There is basketball and an octoball court and lots of balls and Frisbees available. Around the field parameter there is a games tent, craft caravan and plenty of benches where outdoor lunches, lots of chats and games took place.

There is a large loch water front with an inflatable floating trampoline, pedalos and fire pit with fire burning for swimmers to warm up. The focal point consists of several buildings – including a shop, a bothy (space for leaders), kitchen, office and a white tent built on a tennis court called the Swan where we had most of our meals and evening clubs. We were blessed with beautiful weather and an absence of midges.

Summer staff and work crew

We have been amazed how well the whole camp is run! There were program team leaders, Craig and Annelie, who oversaw smooth running of all activities. They also led regular update meetings and devotionals, which were priceless for us leaders. Josh, Kaitlyn and Erik from YL London did an amazing job at entertaining kids at club, introducing themes of team, balance etc illustrated by ping pong, and during different activities. We had a superb speaker, Ali from YL Northern Ireland, who did a talk from the Bible each night.

We were very blessed by all the summer staff and work crew who worked hard to ensure smooth running of camp. They fulfill all sorts of roles in any one day. We could see firsthand how tiring their workload can be and yet they were always smiling. We were very pleased to see Laura, Josh Wilkins, Millie and Harry Bushel all serving at camp!

Our kids

We were so proud of all of our young people. They were so much fun, were considerate and friendly with everyone. Their feedback on this year’s camp was very positive and all that can go to camp again next year would love to do so.

There is nothing more precious than to see kids giving their lives to Jesus. The preaching was powerfully illustrated and leaders had time and space to have quiet talks with each of their campers. Five of our young people have given/recommitted their lives to Christ at camp and Stepanka has followed up with them about linking them into local churches. Four young people contributed to the YL service at the URC Broxbourne on 11 August.

Our boys won the golden toilet brush in the ‘Cabin Clean Up competition’!!

Quotes: 'Best thing about YL - somewhere to go and have fun with friends!' 'Best thing about camp - dressing up in 50s outfits.' 'Best thing about camp - it's the whole time Fun!' 'Best thing about YL - you make freinds who are like family.' Best thing about camp - my crazy feeling going down the zip line!'

Activities and games

You can never get bored at camp because all the games and activities are so much fun. Our favourite ones were messy games, paddle boarding and going on the 3rd longest zip wire in the UK! Some of our teenagers, but not many, found some of the sports activities challenging but they all had a go and were proud to have faced their fears.

Stepanka and Dorothy were a crocodile and shark in ‘Leaders got Talent’ and were soaked at the end of the obstacle course! Leaders were pied and water bombed at the carnival.

Special thanks

Thanks go to all camp Summer staff and work crew, with a special mention of Annelie, Craig, Erik, Kaitlyn, Josh and Ali.

To Alex and Sam – they took our boys under their wing and loved them. They did an amazing job!

To Josh Gibson – it was so great to have Josh with our kids at camp. They know him well from club and they really benefited from his friendship.

To Dorothy (written by Stepanka) – Dorothy was simply an exceptional leader. Her drive, positive outlook and enthusiasm had no end. Dorothy became YL camp’s legend as the oldest leader that took part in everything they possibly could while encouraging and loving everyone. Having Dorothy leading with me was the best experience ever. She was a friend and a Mum to us and she cared for our every need!

To Stepanka (written by Dorothy) – It was such fun to lead jointly with my friend Stepanka. She threw herself into the activities wholeheartedly. I especially appreciate her talents and caring for cabin discussion and prayer time.

Prayer

Please pray for new leaders for YoungLife and for the younger group. Wyldlife, so that the club can continue to run and to reach out to teenagers locally. Please also pray that the new Area Director for YL raises enough sponsorship so that she can take up her post soon.

The Next Fundraiser: a Hoe-down at St Cuthbert's on 9 November.