Next-Level Northern Division
By Mat Badger
1 The amazing young people without whom camp would be so very boring! Our young people came to have fun and engage with God and they were not disappointed! This includes the boys who skipped a session and had to do recycling duty (they did it with so much enthusiasm they got a shout out at the all-of-camp leaders’ meeting!)
2 Camping with our Midland brothers and sisters! Who knows how many future generations could benefit from Mum and Dad having met at Easter Camp 2018?!
3 The hard-working, long suffering, passionate and servant-hearted volunteer youth leaders and workers! These guys went hard out making sure their youth had fun, made it to sessions and seminars on time, ate lunch, brushed their teeth and got to bed by midnight! What an amazing bunch of people!
4 Historic moment—Shout out to Janine and Ian Wells who served as camp parents for the 10th—yes you read that right—10th year! Please don’t retire yet, ’cos we love you guys heaps!
5 The young people who returned to the mud-pit every day! Big shout out to our two Sallies workers Lisa Gatwood (Midland) and Ben O’Byrne (Northern) who were on mud-pit police duty for the entire of camp!
6 The presence of the Holy Spirit over the entire weekend. Never before has a camp run so smoothly and peacefully! Big shout out to the
Baptist Youth Ministry Northern crew who put in so much work every year to make camp happen!
7 On Easter Sunday an announcement was made that only 500 pies had been ordered instead of 5000—and the teens dashed to get in line. April Fool’s! On the same day, a tent mysteriously appeared on the toilet roof—Mat Badger had nothing to do with that, of course!
8 Our young people represented strongly in the talent quest, and Westgate’s band ‘Besorah’ made it to the finals, performing on the main stage on Sunday evening.
9 Our Sallies space was even better than usual with the camp leaders voting it best hang out space. Boom!
10 Sunday evening response time—it was amazing to see so many young people being prayed for, or praying for each other or praying for leaders. Young people were seeking, making first time decisions or re-commitments, receiving healing, and getting the call to officership and ministry.
Mad-As Midland Division
By Rob Cope
1 Our wonderful young people. It really was all about serving them the best opportunities possible to discover God and his great love for them. So many had encounters with him that will impact the rest of their lives and consequently their families and communities.
2 Lisa Gatward took out the Tough Girl competition—again—finishing only three seconds slower than the winning Tough Guy, and twice as fast as the next fastest female entrant! Lisa loves Jesus, loves people and was a model worker at Easter Camp!
3 Sharing the space, workload and experience with our whanau from north of the Bombay Hills.
4 ‘What I give attention to grows within me’. How true this is? What are you giving your attention too?
5 The 105 campers and leaders from the Division, with significant numbers of first-time campers.
6 The camp parents! These are the guys that really help the camp run smoothly by making our hang out space welcoming, clean and constantly supplied with hot drinks and more than a little chocolate.
7 Our youth workers—mostly volunteers—served our young people with humility, grace and a heap of energy. And are all keen to do it all again next year. You lot are inspiring!
8 Camp organisers Blue Bradley and his team of around 400 volunteers, they served as a united force for Christ that made a great environment for young people to have fun and grow in Christ.
9 The ‘tribal wars’ game with a difference—which involved 3–400 young people passing a squid (yes a real squid) around the boundary of your tribe’s area.
10 The powerful reminder that for all the passion, drive, sacrifice, work and prayer that went into the weekend—God desired kingdom results even more than we did. We were partnering with God for the sake of the youth of this nation.
Central Division SWAG
By Kate Geddes
1 The numerous times we encountered Jesus, either for the first time, the third time or the 20th time … it was so epic.
2 The moment that five leaders, all with really long hair, were blind-folded and in danger of having their hair shaved off in a ‘trust exercise’. This turned out to be an elaborate April Fool’s prank.
3 The MC games were next level, and people had to skull a can of Coke through one of their own socks. It was gross.
4 The day that camp woke up to every single item in the café being turned upside down, including the smallest of decorations. Attention to detail was a high priority to these pranksters.
5 The epic dance parties and mosh pits that happened during the night worship sessions.
6 The messages of the main sessions:
- Victory is to win, and this is what Jesus did on the cross when he died for us. He is the well that gives life to all and we need to be orientated and moving towards the well.
- What would the disciples have experienced in the silence of Holy Saturday, when they didn’t know the end of the Easter story? Sometimes we don’t know how things are going to work out, but God meets us in that place of confusion, distress, despair, failure, fear and hurt.
- Peter denied Jesus three times, and the rooster crowed, reminding Peter of his betrayal. But the good news is that after his resurrection, Jesus was still there waiting for Peter to embrace him in his open arms. Our mistakes don’t change what God has for us, and we don’t need to be followed around by the ‘roosters’ in our life—instead we can turn to God because he loves us.
7 The feeling of team and community amongst the camp and being able to hang out with all the awesome young people and leaders from Central Division.
8 When campers were searching all day and into the darkness of night, following clues and riddles that leaders had given them, for the elusive Easter egg hidden around camp, which all turned out to be another April Fool’s prank.
9 The silence that we got to sit in during the Saturday night response time.
10 Each corps was asked to give one word that summarised their Easter Camp experience, and this is what they said: vulnerability, gold, whānau, affirmation, transition, unity, discovery, SWAG (saved with amazing grace), raw and journey.
The Sick Southern Division
By Alison Moody
1 ‘Big Top, Big Top, Whoop Whoop!’
2 ‘Joy is coming to town, take that joy and spread it around … ’
3 The Sunday evening before Easter Camp the Sydenham and Christchurch City groups got together for a run through of all the things that they needed to know before camp. One of the tasks was to write down a question they wanted to be answered by God during camp. All of the Sydenham crew fed back to Tracy Boon that their questions had been answered! Woohoo!
4 The weather was fantastic for the whole weekend, no rain at all.
5 A highlight was having Esther Greenwood, Create team director at Equippers Church Auckland, come to our marquee for a visit—there were many photos taken.
6 The charging station was a hit, as always.
7 Our Salvation Army crew came from six corps: Dunedin, Christchurch City, Blenheim, Sydenham, Nelson Tasman Bays, Queenstown … a good effort by all who attended!
8 There were many significant encounters with the Holy Spirit and many of our young people made huge steps in their journeys.
9 Pie Day is always a highlight.
10 Mat Badger and Ben Maxwell of the Territorial Youth team visited and stayed the night. Our Divisional Commander, Major Earle Ivers, also visited—it was great to have their support.