ReCreate2: Trust and Canoes

When promoting the Recreate2, the second Recreate camp organised by the diocese of Newcastle, I was aware that I was asking a lot. Working families today no longer enjoy a clock-on clock-off approach to the world of work. An uncertain job market, difficult housing markets and high interest loans mean that families find themselves time and energy poor. More often than not, time with friends and family is sacrificed. So to ask people to invest time and money in a families camp, perhaps with people they haven’t met before – and Christian ones at that – seemed like a tall order! But I was wrong, it was great to see families bucking the trend and signing up. With a 17% increase in the number of attendees from last year, it was a reassuring sign that this community is a growing one.

Set against the sublime backdrop of Wallis Lake and surrounded by Booti Booti National Park, Camp Elim is a great place to see that God is a genius! The view across the lake is just breathtaking, and what better way to enjoy it than in a canoe – just one of the activities on offer in the 4-hour instructor- led activities on Saturday afternoon. Archery, giant swing, climbing wall and raft-making kept everyone, young and old, very active for hours.

Worship sessions were diverse and fulfilling, with all ages finding an expression of worship in the styles represented. Peter Oates was our guest speaker, giving us some great ideas for shaping a Christian family. Rob Woolfrey, Youth Worker at St John’s Cooks Hill, ran a fantastic kids program whilst the adults enjoyed the workshops. Jane Sinclair coordinated the crèche for under 3s, keeping them more than happy with stories, painting and all sorts of activities. Will Johnston and Liz Robinson did a great job with the teens and tweens.

For me the weekend became an exercise in trust. As I was belaying for my seven year old son, I was impressed that he trusted me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised – children are supposed to trust their parents. But to trust is such an important thing, as Neal Roese puts it: “Trust is the essential glue that holds interpersonal relationships together.” Our children are trusting us to guide them through life, and the weekend became an elegant, simple way to demonstrate the trust we have in our biological families, church families and God. So just as the parents who handed over hard-earned cash to take part in the weekend trusted that it was the right thing to do, children trusted their parents belaying for them whilst they climbed a 30ft wall.

The weekend was sublime, messy, loud, quiet, ordered and chaotic; full of life’s contradictions. It was these contradictions that made the weekend epic and fulfilling. I know I’m not the only one who had a great time and I was so glad I put in the effort to get my family there. We were rewarded with fantastic memories, enlightening conversation and a sense that we were in exactly the right place at the right time!

By Rachel Yates.