2009 South NSW SDA Big Camp

From the 16th to the 25th of January I was up at Jindabyne for the 2009 South NSW SDA Church Big Camp, which I have to say, was absolutely amazing!

The speakers and meetings in general were great, the events were heaps of fun (the ones I got to anyway – I had to work over most of them), and the people were so friendly!

In the youth programs, we had Tony Knight speaking every night and in church on both the first and last Sabbath of the camp, along with a number of other speakers for the morning meetings on Sunday through to Friday, all of whom were very interesting to listen to and had really great messages to share with us.

The program for the youth was:

Breakfast Morning Worship Afternoon Program Evening Program Cafe
Friday Pr Tony Knight Free Cafe
Saturday Free Brekkie Church – Pr Tony Knight Pr Andrew’s Ordination Free Concert in Big Tent Cafe
Sunday Brekkie Pr Andrew Kingston Free BBQ picnic from Sanitarium followed by impromptu water skiing on Jindabyne Lake Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Monday Brekkie Jonathan Duffy Water skiing on Jindabyne Lake Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Tuesday Brekkie Paintball or shopping in Canberra Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Wednesday Brekkie Youth lead worship in the Big Tent Free afternoon Pr Tony Knight Cafe
Thursday Brekkie Herb Larson Service scavenger hunt 1920s themed banquet
Friday Brekkie Pr Grenville Kent Rock climbing and sports at the Jindabyne Rec Centre Pr Tony Knight Free Cafe
Saturday Free Brekkie Church – Pr Tony Knight Combined afternoon Staff dinner Pack up

Aside from Tony’s sermons during church and the evening meetings, we also had a song service, drama, various challenges and other things, all of which were great! The overall theme for the youth was “Entrusted”. We are entrusted by God with his word to share and spread among others.

Unfortunately I missed the meeting on the first Friday night, but on the first Saturday morning during the church song service, I noticed there was no one playing bass in the band so offered to play if anyone happened to have a bass around that I could play. If there wasn’t one, I was contemplating driving back to Wagga to pick up the bass I have at my parents place, it’s only an SX bass, an imitation Fender P-Bass, but it does have a good sound, and it’s still a bass after all. Fortunately though, and I’d say God had a hand in it, Estelle and Daniel Williams, the music coordinators brought a long a bass just in case!

So for the rest of camp, I played bass in the song service, an OLP (imitation) MusicMan bass, again a nice sounding imitation bass. It was really great to play music with all the great musicians in the youth. We had two guitars, keyboard, drums and two alto saxophones. Then there were the musicians that played different instruments depending on the song, Deb and Stef, Deb alternated between tenor saxophone and trumpet, and Stef played more wind instruments than you could poke a stick at! I’m pretty sure she alternated mainly between trumpet, soprano saxophone and clarinet. Then to lead out with the worship we had 5 vocalists.

The drama with the theme “Drive” built on the overall “Entrusted” theme and was written specifically for the South NSW youth program by one of the youth. Amy I think her name is, I’ll have to check that though! The actors played their parts very well and really did the script justice.

There are so many extremely talented youth in the South NSW conference, it’s great.

Back to the program though, some of the youth organised and ran a breakfast for the rest of the youth every morning. It was free on Saturdays and the other days it was a minimal cost to try and cover the costs of the food for the week. $3 if you just turned up for the morning or included free if you got an activity pass which covered the cost of all the activities.

The cafe in the evening after the meetings were run the same way. They were free on the Friday nights than a minimal cost to try and cover the costs of the drinks. Janita and Charlotte, a couple of youth from Wagga were organising and managing the cafe and got my sister involved before camp to help out. I also decided to help out at camp, since I didn’t really know anyone, it was a great way to meet people and find out about them. We made hot chocolates, milkshakes and spiders in various flavours with different syrups, they were delicious, even if I do say so myself!

The morning meetings were great as well, rather than a sermon, they were more of a group discussion or chat, between the youth and the speaker, so I gained a lot of insight from these and the speakers involved had some really inspiring things to say! Unfortunately I missed the ones on Monday and Tuesday, but the others were all great! I’ll be writing up some of the things we talked about in these later on, it was really quite interesting hearing what these people had to say!

As I mentioned earlier, I had to work instead of going to most of the afternoon activities, I did however go to the lake on Sunday and had a lot of fun on the jet ski! The way I hear it, all the other activities were a lot of fun though! I would have loved to get to them but ah wells, what can you do. I did really enjoy working with a view out through the hills over Jindabyne lake though.

Luckily, I made it to the 1920s banquet as it was so much fun! It had a murder mystery theme with 55 unique characters with their own background stories, secrets, items and goals. Apparently the game that was purchased only came with 13 characters and then the rest were written by the youth that organised the evening, Amy and Jess. It was well worth their time doing it though, it really was a whole lot of fun and made for a great opportunity to make friends and have a chat with people I hadn’t yet had a chance to properly meet. Not to mention the food was absolutely delicious!

Saturday night, Gloria Jeans in Jindabyne opened up exclusively for the youth staff where we were provided with free drinks and food as a way of saying thanks for all our help throughout the week, after which we ended up playing cards for a good few hours.

Overall it really was a great week, the South NSW conference really is very different to the North NSW and South QLD conferences that I am used to, I found it much more inviting and generally a whole lot more fun, despite having to work and missing some activities. I’ve been to them in the past when they were at Goulburn, but this one was different to how I remember those being, and I’ll definitely be going there again next year, it is well, well worth it! A big thank you to everyone that was involved in making it happen, all the effort paid off and it was an excellent program!

I took a stack of photos whilst I was there, probably the most I’ve taken in a while, you can check them all out on Flickr at my 2009 South NSW SDA Church Big Camp collection. Enjoy!

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