Long summer holidays, bored kids, desperate parents?
Have you thought about encouraging children and young people in your church to spend part of their summer holidays on a Christian youth camp, house-party or Venture?
Several Christian organisations run summer events including the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS Ventures), Urban Saints and Scripture Union (X:site holidays).
CPAS Ventures are running 71 different ventures this year, some involving clergy or lay people from our own diocese.
This year, a special offer is £35 off ventures for newcomers, and Diocesan Children, Youth and Families Team Adviser, Anne Carter (pictured right) can be contacted for a voucher. Email Anne here. There are also special offers available to churches who have never sent young people to Ventures before.
The Ripon Experience with Sam and Claire Corley!
Two CPAS Ventures are the Ripon house-parties for 12 to 18 year olds, held each summer at Ripon Grammar School and run by Rector of Leeds, Canon Sam Corley and his wife, Rev to be, Claire Corley.
“There is something about gathering together that seems to be a significant factor in many growing in faith” they say. Sam and Claire have led camps for 16 years and they say they count it as a great privilege to get to know fantastic young people from all walks of life, and be part of their faith journeys. “We wouldn't want to spend our summer doing anything else”, they say.
Claire explained, “Each year we gather together between 40-50 leaders from the age of 17 upwards, determined to run holidays for about 60-75 young people from across the country aged from about 12-18. Each holiday is great fun and filled with opportunities to meet Jesus, ask the questions that matter, and deepen their walk with Christ.
“We have an on-site, heated swimming pool, we go to a theme park for a day, and also to an outdoor adventure place where we can canoe, gorge walk, go caving and the like. We also explore the local town, watch some films, play sport or relax with crafts or a good book.
“Unlike some of the bigger festivals, we focus very much on mentoring and building relationships. One of the key emphases on our camps is developing a 'community of communities ' where young people from across the country can gather, make friends for life, and be inspired by those who are seeking to follow Jesus. Therefore, we work hard to make sure that camp is a place where questions can be asked: some of our young people are not Christians and come curious to know what we think, or with some deep question that they are struggling with. Some come from small churches eager to meet up with other Christian young people, others as part of a larger youth group. Even more come from Christian families and want a place where they can 'own' their faith, and many more come for the great activities and time away with like-minded people.”
The Ripon 1 Venture runs from 29 July to 5 August and Ripon 2 from 6 August to 13 August. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scripture Union X:site holidays
New Adviser in the Children, Youth and Families Team, Katherine Grasham (pictured left) , will be helping to lead the Scripture Union X:site holiday at Rugby from 31 July to 4 August. X:site events are known for their live bands, whacky team challenges, silly songs, gunge, craft and time to X:plore the Bible. They are among a host of different SU camps and houseparties and for more information visit the SU website here:
More information on the national X:site holiday here.
More advice and ideas from our Children, Youth and Families Team here.
Credit for the image of backflipping boys (linking this page from the diocesan website banner) goes to the United Benefice of All Hallows' Church, Kirkburton and Emmanuel Church, Shelley. The image was taken when they took 10 children from Shelley and 11 children from Kirkburton to the Lightwater Valley Theme Park for the Big Night Out in May. The Big Night Out is an annual amazing evening of exclusive rides, followed by top class Christian bands and entertainment. The boys provided impromptu entertainment between rides and concert.
One of the leaders of the group commented on their experience of the Big Night Out:
"The leaders were reminded of the amazing teamwork that goes into such events and once again felt privileged to be involved.
"The sense of camaraderie, support and professionalism and seeing people having fun was energising.
"We had an abundance of laughs and an appropriate amount of 'silliness' and antics."