Senior Camp 2010 – Part 1

14 Jul

The official build up to Senior Camp 2010 began on Saturday 3rd July at 12.00pm at the Valley Leisure Centre Football Pitches. It was quite literally a case of men against boys as the Renwick Old Boys XI faced the Renwick New Lads XI for the first time. The game ended 4-0 with Peter Loughridge, Conor Hyndman, Mark McCavery and Ian Buchanan all getting on the scoresheet in an enjoyable encounter played under good conditions. After shaking hands and showering, the true preparations began for making our way down those familiar roads to the Royal School Armagh and where Germany vs. Argentina Senior Camp awaited…

That night, we enjoyed the usual Ice-Breaker games, highlights included Steelo’s ‘soak whoever he wanted’ game and Strob’s ‘marginally dodgy water balloon’ game (which he was loving!). However that strange old Senior Camp tradition rose it’s head again as another pretty bad injury was picked up on the Saturday, by Colin Buchanan this time, official reports show that it was more to do with Bran Flakes than Ben Hanna.

The pre-Camp nerves were all but gone come Sabbath morning as we arose to a cracking breakfast from Stanley and Ruth (who were winning a lot of accolades from seasoned campers very early on in the week) and then all minds were focused on Morning Worship and Rev. Albert Baxters first talk. (All of Albert’s talks can be found on Enniskillen’s very snazzy new website) For me, the fears of another unknown speaker were put to bed immediately as Albert opened up God’s word to us and preached with confidence and with practical application. But we’ll come back to the talks…

The rest of Sunday flowed very smoothly, as well as the usual walk around the bustling city of Armagh, we had a chance to listen in on an interview with the Committee which proved to be insightful and helped us to get to know them a wee bit better. Nathan Hawthorne led Evening Worship and then the usual time of Psalm Singing followed which is always a highlight for me, not just the way the tunes are marvellously sang, but the meaning put behind the words which are belted out.

Sabbath Afternoon Walk

Our Speaker for the week, alongside one of many of Andy Harvey's legendary t-shirts!

Monday Morning brought that excited feeling to pretty much every one as we looked forward to a week of teaching, fellowship, exercise, food and fun. Having laid the foundation for the talks on Sabbath Morning by challenging us all on our Love for One Another, we went to look at our Link with One Another on Monday, a message which this writer was heavily challenged by and Rev. Baxter gave great insight into how we have a responsibility to look out for others and not live as solitary Christians.

Of course we all knew what awaited us on Monday afternoon, Chip (and John’s) Challenge, consisting of quite a few wet and tricky games, but mostly provided every one an opportunity to soak every one else. To the sweet relief of the boys, Slippery Football made a return!

Tom had definitely got that Monday Morning Feeling!

Enjoying the success of the Afternoon

Letitia and Cromie both left bemused by Monday's Dinner

Tagging also commenced on Monday, Ben seemed to be every one's target...

Monday evening was the usual Team Challenge brought by both Mary and Deborah. This year, focusing on a World Cup Theme, there were various tasks given to us. These included doing the most Keepie Uppies (which Conor Hyndman won?), making the best Goal and Celebration combo (where Ben excelled as a Pastor and Jonny McCollum’s group sniffed the Touchline) and then we were given the chance to doll up two members of the team to design the ultimate Footballer and WAG pairing. A Fashion Show followed, which led many of the guys to question the Theme which so far had included dancing and dressing up, however, some hilarious commentary for each couple was provided and it turned into a great night.

Rebecca and Brendan

Our Team was shocked at how good they looked together!

Aaron Bell with his WAG and Steelo's Irish Commentary

'Bing the Merciless' and Mark

The one thing a Senior Camp Supper shouldn't be without!

Monday's Nightwalk

So back to the talks, we recieved 4 more during the week, each as challenging and as practical as the last. This made it so easy to talk about them with other Campers, to share our views and thoughts on them and you could tell that the majority of the Camp was enjoying them because of how most said of the challenges they had recieved from them, how easy they were to listen to and how you could really see practical applications in our own lives. I’m not going to go into a massive exposition of the talks, simply to say that the first three dealt very much with ourselves and our faith compared to the last 3 which then built on that by including the practical outworking of our faith. (I’d really recommend to listen to these if you have the time over the Summer!) Straight after the talk each day, the usual prayer time took place, which as in previous years has been such a blessing. To get in a group of different people each day and pray to God, you can learn so much during those times as well as be greatly encouraged to hear the numerous voices and whispering around the room, each praying to the same God.

Tuesday meant that it was time to get on buses at Senior Camp and head for Newcastle, the usual jokes about how long it would take came and went and we finally left Armagh to head for either an afternoon of Football, Bouldering or dandering around the promenade and inevitably ending up in Mauds. To Steelo’s disappointment, we only got the usual “Warren-point” and “Aaron Bell” songs sang before the guys became deeply involved in a game of 5-Star which took up both bus journeys.

Jonny and I were still friends at this point of the journey...

To be continued….

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