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Participants gather at this year’s Oxley Uniting Church day camp. Photos: Holly Jewell

This boy never went to a day camp before … what happened next will inspire you

Day camps are a great way for children to have fun during school holidays but also learn the Christian message in a safe and supportive environment. This year’s Oxley Uniting Church day camp welcomed Iris and her son Ethan who were attending for the first time. Both reflect on their experiences.

Iris

School holidays were approaching and I wanted to give my son an opportunity to experience an outdoor adventure. I wanted him to spread his wings and connect with other children his own age. However, I sought a Christian element and therefore enrolled him into the Oxley Uniting Church day camp program.

We arrived at day camp and Ethan was eager to meet his team. We spotted Team five and I whispered into the young leaders’ ears that it was Ethan’s first time at day camp. They immediately welcomed him and continued to shower him with love and attention for the duration of the week.

Each day around noon the smell of fire signalled warm fellowship as I watched Ethan’s team huddle together to cook lunch. I would hear screeches of laughter as he enjoyed afternoon team games. It was a delight to see his daily creations from the craft tent and his sense of pride in what he had accomplished.

The Christian message was threaded across various activities. Ironically this year’s theme was on Joseph and his brothers, and it turned out that Ethan was one of three “Ethans” in his group, along with a Rueben and a Benjamin (Joseph’s brother’s names)!

The day camp experience exceeded our expectations and created cherished memories!

Ethan

Before I went to day camp I felt nervous about what was going to happen there. But I was keen to go because it sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.

I felt excited when I arrived because I saw lots of children. The best part of day camp was going on the jumping castle, riding on camels, meeting new friends and playing ball games with them. I loved cooking marshmallows and sausages on the fire. I also enjoyed painting clay in the craft tent and visiting the story tent where I learnt about Joseph. My leaders were caring and helpful and made sure that I enjoyed day camp.

The assemblies were super fun with singing lively songs, dancing and hearing “Newsy the News-hound” do a daily report from “Egypt”. On the last morning at assembly, we said a very special prayer to Jesus to become his follower. I said the prayer and I felt very close to God.

I was very sad when day camp ended because it was so much fun and I will miss my friends and leaders. My week at day camp was full of laughter and happiness!

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