Summer camp creates memories for life

Last weekend around 170 children from all over Norway met for an unforgettable Activity Club summer camp. Over the course of four days, the children got to experience the beauty of nature, a variety of activities, new friendships and camaraderie. Not least, there was a common thread throughout the weekend – a theme centred around reassurance regarding their value as individuals and the value in choosing Jesus as a friend.

“The summer camp was terrific, it was so much fun! exclaims Celine (12) from the Activity Club’s local group in Hønefoss. “I swam a lot, and I have made several new friends.”

“Actually, my new friends and I have agreed to meet up again at the summer conference”, says Celine. She is referring to BCC’s summer conference at Oslofjord Convention Center.

The Activity Club organization planned the weekend, which was held in Hallingdal, Norway. Local groups from all over Norway gathered there, where volunteer youth and adults had organized several days of experiences for the children.

The children could have fun doing a wide variety of activities, including competitions, swimming, and games. On Saturday they could choose activities according to their interests, such as paintball, a climbing park, a water park, ATV, and minigolf.

This is the Acitvity Club

To be who you are

During the weekend gatherings were planned based on the theme: “I am young. I am valuable. I am who I am.” The children heard that this is an important foundation to have, so that they can boldly follow Jesus, even at a young age.

The program also included an atmospheric bonfire night with stories, good food, and not least an original camp song made especially for the occasion. On Saturday night, the stage was set for a top-notch closing evening.

“It’s hard to say what the best thing about summer camp has been, because there was a lot that was very fun. But if I had to highlight one thing, it would have to be the festive evening we had on Saturday night and the multisport race. We had a strong competitive spirit on my team. It was a really cool team.”

“I thought it was also good to hear that God has created us as just as we are, and that we don’t need to be anyone else”, says Celine.

From the bonfire on Friday, with stories, food, and music. Photo: Activity Club

As good as possible for the children

Around 80 young adults from the various local teams participated as voluntary mentors, and were a part of creating a good scope for the weekend. Edward Helgheim (25) from the local team in Bergen was one of them:

“I think that this trip has been completely magical for the kids, and that they’ve created lifelong memories. I heard one of the kids say that he’s never experienced anything this epic.”

“Another one of the kids expressed that Friday (the multisport race, theme gathering, and bonfire) was the best day of her life”, Edward says. He hopes that the children are left with the sense of being valuable and loved, with exactly the characteristics and personalities they have as individual children.

Edward says that part of what motivates him to volunteer for summer camp is the memory of similar experiences from his own childhood. He remembers well how significant and memorable Activity Club trips were, and now wants to be a part of making sure others can experience the same:

“Besides, it’s written in the Bible that those who bless will thrive, and that’s really true. It’s also been a really good trip for me, as an Activity Club mentor, and I’m thankful that I can be a part of this. The community spirit that I sense with the other mentors has been especially good. The focus has been on making it as good as possible for the children who are participating.”

During the closing evening several of the children got up the courage to go up on stage and express their thankfulness for the weekend and for the mentors who had put together such a good trip for them. Celine from Hønefoss expresses that she experienced the same:

“I totally agree with the ones who spoke up at the gathering on Saturday to say they were thankful.”

In answer to the question of whether she would recommend to next year’s group that they participate in summer camp she responded:

“Yes! 100% – of course! And they have to remember to bring both bug spray and sunscreen, because you’ll need them both, she says with a sparkle in her eye.