Family Camp

Family Camp 2011 report 
  
On the May Day long weekend (29 April-2 May) 81 church family members from the Queensland Reformed Churches had a fantastic time of fun and fellowship with each other at the annual Family Camp held at Currimundi Recreation Centre near Caloundra.  There were also 14 day visitors over Saturday and Sunday.  30 people were attending their first Family Camp.  There were 42 young people under the age of 17.  Four of the eight Qld churches were represented.  Numbers from the various churches were Mansfield (76), Inala (12), Nerang (4), Redlands (2). 

Murray Capill, Principal of the RTC, was the speaker.  Murray led us in two sessions on Saturday morning and for the morning service on Sunday, on the topic of 'End Times Living'.  Murray took us through Matthew 24 & 25 and through the six signs that precede the end of the age.  The first five are: false Christs, wars, natural disasters, persecution, apostasy.  These have all been happening since Christ was first on the earth 2000 years ago and will continue until Christ returns again.  Christ will come again when the 6th sign is fulfilled, which is the spreading of the gospel to all nations.  The completion of this sign should become our passion in life.  We have all been given talents and Christ expects us to use these talents.  When Christ returns He will then ask for an account of how we have used our talents, and we will be rewarded accordingly - heaven or hell.  We definitely needed more time for discussion, as Murray was brilliant and most of us wanted to hear more.   

Marius & Henriette Muller and Neil & Melony Struik (Mansfield) ran the Kid's Program while the seminar sessions were on.  Francois van der Walt (Mansfield) led the Sunday evening service.  Marike de Waard (Mansfield) and her team led the music and singing in both Worship services.  Herman & Nadia Janse van Rensburg (Mansfield) ran a Trivia event on Saturday night which was fun for all ages.  Sunday night was an entertaining night of board games with lots of fun and laughter.

There was heaps of free time for relaxing, talking, swimming, fishing, walking on the beach, playing cricket, footy and handball. Catering was provided by the site caterers and the food was good in quality and in quantity. 

Accommodation was a mixture of dormitory style and individual family units.  All inclusive costs were from $110 per person up to $430 for a family unit. 

The whole weekend was relaxed and incident free with no accidents or injuries.  New friends were made, old acquaintances were renewed, and everyone went home in a happy and relaxed frame of mind.  The weather was perfect all weekend.  Everybody interacted so well.  It was so enjoyable to see people of all ages sitting together and doing things together.  The young people really bonded and had a great time together.

Family Camp is one of the best weekends of fun and fellowship that our church members and friends can have as a large group together.  It is the ideal setting for building relationships, particularly with members of your own church who you may not know that well.  Our young people form lifelong friendships with the youth from the other churches.  All the younger kids have so much fun together, and it is a totally safe environment.  Parents usually only get to see their kids at mealtime and bedtimes.  The location is perfect with all the facilities we need.  We need to keep the contact between the churches happening, and Family Camp is one way of doing this. 

We had a major problem with the timing of the camp being so close to the school holidays and the extended Easter/Anzac Day break only finishing a few days earlier.  This affected the number of people attending, with up to 40 fewer than previous years.  Many of those not attending, who were regular attendees, indicated they had already committed to being away for the school holidays and could not afford to do both.  As the time of the camp drew closer it became obvious that we would not reach anywhere near our target numbers and we may have to consider cancelling the camp.  We had already outlayed $1500 for the camp deposit and for Murray's flight expenses.  If we cancelled we would loose this.  If we were to continue the campsite would be charging us for a minimum number regardless of whether we reached that number or not.  In the end we decided to go ahead once we had reached the numbers that would give us a loss similar to the loss if we had cancelled.  Fortunately we did have enough funds in the account to cover for this loss. 

The costs of the camp is always a concern.  This will be a constant battle for future camps, as it won't get any cheaper.  Keep it in your prayers that monetary support will be provided to ensure the camps can continue into the future.   

Lord willing we plan to book the same site again for next year's camp.  Dates will be 4th-7th May.  We can only make the booking six months in advance, which will be 4th November.  Please pray that the site will still be available when we try to make the booking on that day. 

Phil van der Kley 

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