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Young persons report

Going on the weekend away was a great experience for me. I met a lot of new friends, got closer to old friends and got a lot closer to God.

When we arrived on the Friday evening, we unpacked and met all the people in our dormitories. We then gathered in the big lounge to do a game to get to know people there, both children and officers. Then, with our stomachs bulging with lovely lasagne, we went on a night walk. We split up into groups of 4 and were each given a map and a phone. Then, with Tony leading us, we were set off with a couple of minute’s gap between each of the teams. At each corner, Tony dropped a little bit of flour to guide us the right way. Basically, if you didn’t see any flour, you were going the wrong way!

On the way, many teams, including mine, sang songs to help us go on further into the darkness. At the end of the walk, we hid in bushes to scare the next team! When everyone had arrived, we found a fire lit just over the dunes of the beach. We all sat around the fire giving feedback about the work and how the flour on the floor was just like God showing us the way to his light. Then we had a couple of minutes to reflect before toasting some marshmallows!

We then had a choice whether to walk back or get a lift back in the minibus. We ended up with a 50/50 split. The people in the bus went paddling before they got into the bus whilst the walkers were walking back with an order from Tony of no torches on. We got back and went to bed at just after midnight.

We were woken up in the morning at 7:30 with half an hour before breakfast. After breakfast we met our teams and chatted about the night before. Then we split into three groups for a certain activity we had chosen. Some people did mountain biking, some archery and crate towers and some surfing. The best surfer was Chris followed by Luke. The team that won crate towers was Jessica and Matthew. I think all the mountain bikers were good with a lot of perseverance for the big hills.

When we were all back we had a bit of free time with the majority of us spending it outside on the zip wire, the basket swing and the fireman’s pole. Then we had a little feedback in our groups about how our morning activities were.  We then had lunch before another activity based in the house. The choice was fire lighting, psalm writing, cooking or craft. Again we had some free time before another team time.
During our team time we did a little bit of work in our prayer journals that we were given either last year at Lea Abbey or Friday night. Most people had brought magazines and they cut out words to make collages. I personally wrote a poem called ‘The Edge of Forever’.
Before a time of worship we had another fabulous meal of bangers and mash followed by a chocolate fondue – or biscuits for the few of us that had given up chocolate for lent including me. In our worship time we sang a few songs including the favourite ‘Consuming Fire’. The worship was led by Selina.  We as a large group made a collage of bad news from newspaper headlines where we then put a candle representing Jesus on top.

After worship we had free time before bed where 90 % of us where playing a great game of Charades. We went to bed at 11.
Once we had breakfast, we walked in a big group the exact walk we had Friday night but in the light this time. We were then led over the dunes and onto the beach. Gradually, as we walked along the beach, we were dropped off one by one with about an average of 15m between us. We then had half an hour alone on the beach with God and our prayer journals. Again I wrote some poems.

After our half an hour, we were collected up and gave feedback to the group about how we had found the time. Then we had some time on the beach. Most people paddled in the sea but Luke Horne and I dived into the waves fully dressed. Everyone had great fun there. After tea we had a last bit of time with our teams before a last time together for worship.

Overall, I and I think everyone else had a great time getting to know God more, making new friends and doing fun activities.

Written by Louisa – age 12. 

Louisa also shared this wonderful poem with us:

Where the Sea meets the Sky
Where the sea meets the sky there is very little. Not much apart from Gods Spirit. It is one of those things you can’t get close to. It will stay at a distance, always out of reach, but always there.
Where the sea meets the sky is mystery. You’ll think of something but it will slip through your fingers like sand. You will almost have it but it will slowly sift through your fingers.
Where the sea meets the sky is time. Hours and hours of time. All the time in the world. Few will experience such a luxury properly, but it is one they will never forget.
Where the sea meets the sky. A place for you and God.