In early October a group of 30 came together at Kingswood Activity Centre in Doncaster for a weekend of adventure, fun and sharing together. It was particularly special and exciting as this was the first time that we had brought young people together from across the synod in almost two years.
The first (and most important) thing that we did upon arrival at the centre on Friday evening was eat! We were all very pleased with the generous portions of hot food and puddings and from then on looked forward to getting back into the cafeteria for our 3 meals a day. Immediately after tea we were taken off site and onto the Trans Pennine Trail for a short, dark and muddy hike. This didn’t put off us tough Yorkshire folk! The noise of young people chatting, laughing and walking with one another was thrilling. We were definitely all excited to be together.
Once back at the centre we gathered in our communal yurt to take some time to get to know eachother a little more. We played games, got into smaller groups to reflect and share on our experiences, both the joys and the challenges, of the past 18 months.
Morning came and our camp was alive with the bustle of young people heading to and from the shower rooms, shouting across to their friends in other sleeping pods, drinking cups of tea and leaders banging on doors encouraging the sleepy ones to get up and get dressed! Anticipation for the day ahead was in the air…
We were blessed with cool and crisp but dry weather for the morning and we enjoyed the outdoor climbing wall, laser tag and aero ball. The rain arrived in the afternoon so we were taking indoors to practice our archery skills and we completed technical team challenges in our smaller groups. Later that evening we warmed up around the log burner and enjoyed hot chocolate and smores while taking some time to think about our lives in the present, who we are, the decisions we make and most importantly the choice we have to be in a relationship with God; God who loves us beyond anything we can imagine!
Sunday morning was a time for packing and tidying and getting ready for going home. The sun was shining so we all headed off to get harnessed up for zip wire before gathering together one last time to pray together and to say our goodbyes.
It was one of those weekends where time seems to pass so quickly, yet it felt like we were there for so much longer than just a weekend. We all faced challenges, whether that was overcoming our fear of heights or being brave enough to share something of our lives with another person, or even saying hello to a brand new person; we all made new friends and deepened existing relationships, and we all embraced the opportunity to spend some time reflecting on the great love that God has for us, and how we can accept that into our lives and share it with others.