Kids Camp Out builds intergenerational community
Kids Camp Out (KCO) saw 150 people from 12 congregations and communities come together for a weekend of learning, playing and connecting. It was wonderful to have so many young people and their leaders/supporters have come from all over the Synod. From up the coast, the Riverina, to our blessed friends from Canberra region Presbytery and communities all over Sydney.
KCO is an annual camp for primary school students in years 3 to 6. The camp gives opportunities for young leaders and families to participate in a truly inter-generational community. Not only for Primary School students but also a time for families and junior high schoolers to gain leadership training and be helpers. The weekend is peppered with games, worship celebrations and opportunities for church groups to develop friendships and discipleship.
For 2022, we took time to learn more about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. We invited children to explore who Jesus is. We unpacked a little of his story, beginning with the traditional Christmas narrative, moving on to explore some of Jesus’ teachings, stories he shared and miracles leading up to and concluding with the Easter story. The overall aim over the course of the KCO22, the children can answer Jesus’ question, ‘Who do you say I am?’ (Luke 9:20) for themselves.
A highlight of Kids Camp Out 2022 was the intergenerational community that was built. The temporary community formed at KCO is shaped by all ages contributing to the fun. Congregations making intentional relationships to their young people and vice versa.
One of the key goals of KCO is allowing all ages space to join whether in worship, building tents, small group discussions and even being together roasting marsh mellows by the bon fire. There were opportunities; to meeting new people, share meals with each other and other campers, and storytelling from leaders and children.
Knowing while the groups travelled to KCO, congregations back home were praying for the young hearts and many church folk wanting to be part of the KCO story. Offering to cook breakfast, bring homemade goods made with love from older church members, as well as a few volunteered joined us as group leaders. Noting that ministry with young people is a priority for our Church and doesn’t end only at church but becomes part of the wider church story.
For several years, Congregations that gather at KCO have used the junior Leadership program as a strategic opportunity for their young leaders to prepare, engage and reflect as a team. With young leaders participating in the Saturday night leadership stream, it has become a key element of the weekend program. With the concept of leading our campers on Sunday morning plus taking the tools and learnings back to their home congregations.
We’ve had such a great time at Kids Camp Out 2022, all coming together IN PERSON again at Wedderburn Christian Campsite.
We hope you can join us next year at Kids Camp Out 2023.