Eighty-one campers and over sixty staff celebrated the 30th National SEP camp in Australia at SEP 2016 in Morisset, NSW. The camp started off with rain. Three consecutive days of rain. Sheryl Richardson who has been to every SEP at its current site in Morisset, doesn’t remember a previous camp there with that much rain. The rain caused the schedule to be revamped several times throughout camp, and the whole SEP staff did a great job at being flexible and proactive in helping sort out the schedule through the early days of rain. The amazing thing was that the campers were the same, energetic, bright, enthusiastic group no matter what the weather was throughout camp. At times they had to learn basketball skills under a small sheltered area no bigger than 2 metres by 4 meters, with metal poles in the way. But they cheered each other on during the relay skills and gave a huge thank you at the end of class the same as they did the second week of camp when the sky was blue and the temperature was soaring into the 30’s.
The theme this SEP was “You Belong”. Through morning discussions with dorm chappies the campers were able to explore the good news that God accepts them just as they are, and that they are part of his great love story with all mankind. We introduced some new activities this year at SEP. We had a teamwork session and a Rogaine session. The Rogaine class consisted of the teens using a compass and map to search out different check points and were rewarded with different amounts of points depending on the checkpoint. One vital part to the activity, the teams were in groups of three and they were tied together. They had to achieve everything together as a team.
This camp was full of special treats. John McLean came down and taught the Christian Living class over four days as well as giving the sermon for the Celebration service on the middle Sunday. It was great seeing John, who has served at so many SEP’s throughout the years, getting to know the next generation of campers. Dr. Susannah Ramirez came and spoke to all the teens on the Saturday night about how some of the biggest issues in the world will be solved by individuals just like them doing the small things that matter. After two hours the teens still had their hands up wanting to ask her more questions. Then on the second to last day of camp Julius Peters arrived after having only been checked out of the hospital two days before. It was a great boost for the staff and the campers who know Julius and know the physical trials he’s been through the last two years. Julius had been accepted for a staff role this year before he had to be admitted to hospital. He loves SEP so much that as soon as he was released from hospital he asked his dad if they could drive all the way from Qld down to camp. All these treats made this SEP a very special one for the campers and for the staff.
Here are some comments from the feedback forms handed in by the campers:
- Thank you SEP for an amazing time!!!!
- All the staff are very enthusiastic which ensured the success of camp
- Tough at the start, went out on a big high though and overall a big success
- I loved the water skiing and the worship. At my Christian school, we don’t really worship. I loved this because I have never been with so many Christian teenagers at once, all singing together, worshipping together.
- The guest speaker was really interesting, even though I THOUGHT it would be boring.
- I love SEP. It is so fun and enjoyable, and I love how Christian-oriented it is. SEP is the best!!
- Make camp longer.
- SEP EVERY YEAR!
- I enjoyed the theme as it really worked to include all campers and staff.
- Christian Living class – 9 out of 10
- Exhausting but all fun!
- All of the activities were awesome and enjoyed all of them
- Any suggestions to make camp better: No because it’s better already
A big thank you to all those that supported SEP in prayer, support, and donations this year.
Al Kurzawa (Camp Director)
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SEP 2014 - All the photos.