From the 25th of December 2016 to the 1st of January 2017 I was given the opportunity by United Youth Corps in conjunction with the Good Works Program to attend and participate as staff and a camp counselor at the united youth and family camp in South Africa. The camp was held north west of Johannesburg at a camp called "Camp Nelu." This was very exciting for the South African youth as it was the first camp that has been organized and executed in over seven years.
There were a total of 20 campers in attendance. These included, 10 seniors (11-19 years of age) and 10 juniors (3-10 years of age), nine parents including the camp director Jason Webster and National Elder Roy Demont. Finally, six United Youth Corps volunteers; four from America (Lewis & Lena VanAusdle, and Nick & Megan Lamoureux) as well as Lawrence Chick and myself representing Australia; making a total attendance of 35.
The overall Christian living theme for the camp was “Guided by Gods Grace,” with compass checks given by the Van Ausdles and Lamoureuxs. Subjects covered included: building your foundation; the choices we make; resisting wrong; fellowship & relationships and our focus and goals in life.
The camp built a safe environment in which the campers could face their fears together, support each other and grow through activities that would not be in their day to day routine. The camp also provided the opportunity for the youth of South Africa specifically to bind together and support each other as the children of God. The youth in South Africa are few and far between and it was great to see them get to know each other and see that they are not the only youth that God is calling in the church in South Africa.
The activities provided for enjoyment included: Compass Check, Nature and Reptile, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Zip line, Swimming, In-door challenges, Drumming, Volleyball, Soccer, Boomerang, Archery, Riflery, Indoor Obstacle Course, Jacob's Ladder, Giant Swing, Low Ropes, Dance, Mission Impossible (team obstacle challenge), Water Bomb, and Orienteering. In between activities much time was allocated for fellowship to get to know each other and build friendships.
The youth camp in South Africa provided a magnificent opportunity for youth from across South Africa and volunteers from across the world to come together and be unified by each others company and learn to trust and work with each other to grow in God’s ways. The camp was a wonderful success and the unity displayed expounded Psalm 133:1, “How good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity.”