Around 30 campers and staff assembled together for ten days in August 2017 at Chevetogne, Belgium for our annual Youth Summer Camp. Chevetogne is an extensive private estate that has been transformed into a comprehensive, multi-purpose recreational facility for the general public.
A full and varied program of activities designed to inform, challenge and develop our teens again proved most enjoyable and profitable. Daily Forums presented a variety of fascinating and relevant subjects from a biblical perspective, forming the backbone of what we are trying to achieve with our camps — i.e. to present God’s Way in action, based on the Bible’s enduring message. These sessions were augmented by Bible Studies and sermons on the Sabbaths.
All of the campers managed to succeed at water skiing, sometimes overcoming natural reluctance and fear. They received instruction in how to give a speech, and then all succeeded in giving one! Teamwork blossomed on the soccer and cricket pitches, at speedminton, and on the netball and volleyball courts. Swimming sessions included proficiency testing. A fascinating Nature Awareness session dwelt on the ability of birds to communicate. Rather amazingly, we broadcast recorded bird-calls – and the same birds answered from the surrounding woodland! A session of Orienteering that included learning how to make a fire without matches proved to be a novel and enjoyable challenge.
In Arts and Crafts it was impossible not to get “hooked” on the art of quilling, a type of North American craftwork involving the shaping of paper into delicate shapes and patterns. An impromptu choir learned a piece of special music to perform at services in Charleroi, Belgium on the Sabbath. Expert dance instruction may have been challenging, but it was also enjoyable and a big hit. Canoeing provided a “buoyant” and entertaining session, and crazy golf was … well crazy. As was Crazy Olympics!
All this was great fun, proving that character development doesn’t have to be dull or boring. We were “well fed and watered” throughout, with delicious food prepared by our expert catering staff. Everyone had a good time, and strong bonds of friendship were built; but inevitably going home reminded us that “parting is such sweet sorrow”.
Summer camp was once again well supervised, safe, happy, cosmopolitan and hugely enjoyable. Over many years we have learned that this investment in our youth greatly benefits their character and pays rich dividends in their lives. Though our numbers in Europe are small, providing for our youth remains one of the Church’s core goals. We continue to train new staff where we can, and reach out to the Church worldwide for participation in the camp’s continuing success. We look forward to doing even better this year.
2018 Application forms are all ready and waiting online, so why not take the plunge. Our camp is not limited to Europe, and church teens from around the world are invited to join us. We would love to see you! Go to the LCG.org website and look under “Youth Website – camps — teen camps — UK/Europe” for a full description of details, costs and how to apply. And, while you are there, check out the excellent photo coverage of the 2017 camp in all its glory.