Youth End of Year Camp

‘Let it Be

It’s been almost two disruptive years of school, life, travel and family from the impact of the Covid pandemic.  Students of course are not exempt.  Senior students being directly impacted in the NCEA exams.  From sports to the arts, or just social life in the teen years has been drastically munted.

So, three youth pastors of neighbouring parishes got together to organise an end of year camp-retreat.  Of course, in mid-December not everyone can go… but those who did – even in the week with record unexpected rain – were not disappointed.

‘Let it Be’ was an incredible combined youth retreat.  After what a turbulent year, the youth groups of three parishes got away…together.  St Barnabas’ (Fendalton), St Christopher’s (Avonhead) and St Timothy’s (Burnside)came finished the year refocusing and recharging. On Tuesday 14th of December at ‘4451 Little River’ (retreat centre) the groups arrived, with a variety of factors working against them. Many were tired, there was a severe weather warning and we had limited inside spaces with more rain in a day than a normal month!  However the 14th to 17th of December became one of the great highlights of the year.  During the retreat, the three youth groups bonded as the rain fell and the wind blew. The weather conditions actually created opportunities for individuals to get to know each other as we hung out in close proximity.  Highlights included the hike and wharf jumping, board games as well as the talks and reflective moments.  We heard from a range of speakers that encouraged and inspired us in our walk with Christ and with each other.   Josiah (St C) and Nathan (St T) guided them in the reflection of actually being with God, along with Rory Smith (who is MC & a speaker for Easter Camp.  Michael, Vicar at St C’s, talked about “what is so compelling to make one become a Christian’ and shared Eucharist with them.”  They saw students refocusing their lives on Jesus at the end of the year, and eager to invite friends to their groups.  Robyn H (St B’s) organised the meals operation – the engine to youth ministry!  All the groups are eager to do this again.  This was an 11 out of 10 experience!