Senior Camp 2009

14 Jul

Senior Camp began for me with victory over Steelo in the inaugural tennis match of the week as we waited impatiently for the buses bearing the other Campers to arrive. There were initial concerns that this year’s earlier tea time was designed to remove the historic Saturday afternoon football but thankfully sufficient free time (code for football) was scheduled  before the evening’s Icebreakers which were enthusiastically hosted by Offy and Claire Wilson. To be honest Saturday was a blur of excitement out of which I can recollect only a few moments, one of which being John’s Memory game with a twist.

The highlights of Sunday included an accidental Muff Glen Reunion and Rev. Philip Murphy’s challenging sermon on Listening as he explained the Parable of the Sower. I also loved the Sabbath night Psalm Sing, it’s such a privilege to sing and learn from the Word of God with so many others who love Christ.

Often I wake early on the Monday morning of camp bursting with excitement, like a kid on Christmas morning, but this year common sense prevailed and 7am tennis did not take place. After David Crawford’s talk each morning there was a time of prayer which has already received a mention on the Modblog and I don’t think I can better the description found there:

“Over 100 young people crammed into a large room, all huddled round in small groups of 5 or 6.  And then the prayer began, voice after voice lifted up to the Majestic Lord.  Not a moment of silence as one prayer after another ascended into the presence of the Eternal God.  Young voices pleading with God for the saving of sinners and the building of the church.”

Everyone enjoyed the best-ever Chip’s Challenge on Monday afternoon which was so good it is no exaggeration to say it equalled the excellence of Gregg’s Games. Greasy Football was stroke of genius and it is rumoured several IOC members are keen that this new sport should form an integral part of the London 2012 Olympics.


In previous years mats were used to stop you cutting your feet, this year Alex, Brian and Steelo stepped into the breach


Bun screams as Beka attacks with spear


Skip Pete


Esther and Emma fail to name that song




OK, I can’t resist the obvious joke – it’s Gavin Slidewell


Minister in training loses temper and dispatches Andy with a kick to the head


Warren and Ruth would definately not approve!


Ali makes a save


Greasey Football should definately be an Olympic sport


Andy Mo clears

Monday evening saw Simon Cowell, Pierce Morgan and a very attractive looking Amanda Holden judge Camp’s Got Talent which included Stavos Flately Tribute Acts as well as other dancing sensations. Thankfully it appears that no one has footage of Andrew and my joint antics.


Ali G in da house

Tuesday’s afternoon offered the oppertunity to participate in Go Karting, Paintball or Teddy Bear making. Having been robbed of last year’s Karting title by the DJ Tommy K, Andrew  failed to qualify for this year’s final whilst Ali was unable to prevent Philip Aicken taking the crown. Several guys including P10 and Mark McCavery signed up for the teddy bears but it later emerged that they had intended to Paintball but had spotted Pistol Pete’s name on the sheet and chose the safer option. The Christian Institute and Release International made an appearance at camp that evening for two seminars.


Sarah vs Sheep


Teddybear making

The tortuous journey to the Share Centre was wisely scrapped this year but the Ulsterbuses were still called upon to take us to Newcastle where some ate icecream and the more adventurous followed Mary McCollum on what we were reassured was not a hike but a merely “walk” past the controversially named “Bloody Brindge”. The title of the local landmark was soon forgotten as Campers’ attention turned to whether Mary actually understood the definition of a walk and discussed whether scrambling up cliffs formed a regular part of a McCollum afternoon stroll. A great day climaxed with a BBQ in Donard Park before returning to RSA for a movie, football or free time.


“Follow, follow, we will follow Mary…”



Glad I didn’t wear my flip flops


BBQ time!


Some couldn’t hack the pace


“Why don’t you go home!”

Thursday afternoon offered dancing or more football so there are no prizes for guessing what I chose.


Spot the looneys

Steelo joined Juggling Joel in hosting this year’s excellent concert where the final Mastermind sketch stole the show.


Hayley was looking forward to her bro’s performance


Erin and Jess give a beauty class

The Moderator’s visit was greated enthusiastically on Friday morning and he provided us all with a serious schooling. Competitive sports had been moved to last afternoon providing a fitting climax to the week’s activities whilst the Steve and Mark provided another excellent party in the evening. Thanks must go to the committee and the Robbs for the brilliant activities throughout Camp. An appropriate standing ovation was given to the real leader of Senior Camp for the past 26 years, Frances McCollum, who has faithfully provided quality food for Senior Campers across three decades. I may be guilty of occassionally over using the term “legend” but Frances is undoubtedly a true legend whose service for the church through camp will be remembered by many.


Tough choice ladies


Party time



Other photos

Happy Campers
P10 the Orangeman
Brenna complained she wasn’t in the video so this should keep her happy


They got tired of the jokes in the end


Putting a brave face on
The dining hall
Mealtime banter


Hostage Pete returns


Saturday morning club
Bus journey home

My most significant moment of camp this year did not come in the talks, the discussion groups or the prayer time but on the football pitch. On Saturday evening as football began and a fantastic week lay before me, I realised what I’d failed to acknowledge in previous years. I’d failed to hear what God was saying in all the good things provided. Through whatever you enjoy God is shouting “Look how much I love you”. Has He given you friends? Has He given you hobbies you enjoy? Has He given you enough health and strength to enjoy good gifts from Him? Has He poured out upon you spiritual blessing? Has He given you teaching, role models, and godly advice? Often we make the mistake of separating the spiritual and non-spiritual activities, wondering whether we should have more “God-stuff” or more “fun-stuff” but this is not how we are to view life. The things we enjoy are to fuel our praise of God, as we meditate upon His gifts we cannot help but talk about Him more, sing His praises enthusiastically, come before Him in prayer and long to be taught more about Him from Scripture. In all things we are to enjoy God and glorify Him at camp and beyond.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31


Senior Camp 2009  (though Rebecca seems to have thought she was at Summer Madness)

4 Responses to “Senior Camp 2009”

  1. Creambun July 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    there is a question asked at around 2:36 during the camp mastermind video. i shall not be putting on my clarifier hat at this moment in time!

    good work jamesy, and yes all good things about all the camps that have been attended are from God! it is just easy sometimes to forget about such things!

  2. Peter July 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    I definitely don’t recall booting Andy in the head but it’s pretty hard to defend myself in light of that evidence!

    Although almost as incriminating, is that the fabled lesser-spotted Andy Mo grin in the same photo?!!

    ‘Amen’ about God’s goodness to us Jamesy.


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