Summer activities have been a staple of part of the mission of churches for many years.
Whether that’s running holiday clubs for local children, beach missions for visiting families, or taking groups to festivals such as Soul Survivor, New Wine, Greenbelt, Walsingham, or the Keswick convention.
For leaders, this can be the time when all the relationships and teaching from over the year come together and we rejoice to see a young person take a step forward in their faith; for parents- it’s a week with extra childcare and a chance to restock the cupboards that hungry teenagers have emptied; and for young people, it is quite often the highlight of the summer.
For some young people, the prospect of leaving home for a week to go to a festival in an unknown field in England can be a daunting one, and so Diocesan Youth Camps are a more reassuring option.
Diocesan camps also have the bonus that the young people will tend to know most of the people who will be leading them, as well as the other campers. They can be supplemented by other diocesan events and fit into an annual programme that supports the young people. Over the last few years, the Diocesan Camp for Swansea and Brecon has been the Gateway Camp. It has been held at Gwernyfed High School near Brecon and is now at Silver Cross Scout Camp at Penllergaer, Swansea.
The camp runs from a Tuesday to a Saturday at the end of the summer holidays and is always a highly anticipated week in the lives of the young people who attend. We make the most of the fantastic site to do archery, air rifle shooting, orienteering and field games, and this year we have a new game of Splatapults! The outside space gives a lot of room for camping, as well as allowing campfires, and the opportunity to explore Forest Church. We also spend an afternoon making a trip into Swansea to go swimming at the LC2.
This year we’ve put together a packed teaching programme, with the young people looking at the foundational aspects of living as a Christian, alongside daily worship, and plenty of opportunities for prayer. We’ve also introduced a young leaders programme for anyone aged 18-25 who is exploring, or already part of the leadership team of their youth groups. The leaders aren’t left out either, as they have their own sessions looking at the seven essentials of Christian leadership.
After a full day, there’s opportunities to relax in the evenings with a campfire, games, and quiz night, and to show off the incredible gifts the young people have in ‘Camps Got Talent’. We’re also having a special guest visit from Archdeacon Alan from Brecon, who has agreed to let the campers grill him about the church and faith!
Gateway Camp is open to anyone who is in secondary school and is from Tuesday 28th August- Saturday 1st September.
The cost for the week is £50 which includes all meals and activities. If you’re not sure about camping or can’t stay for the whole week but would like to be involved, you can also visit for the day for £10.
If you’d like any further information, or to access a booking form, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to your youth leader or vicar. Everyone who comes is excited to make new friends, so you would be very welcome!