WHATIPU – Mountains, beach, black sand, light house, caves, sand flies, no campfires, long drop, no door COLD shower, 5 adults and 9 young people.
This was the setting of a long anticipated family camp, 3-5 November 2006.
Friday – Five carloads of camping gear and very excited young people arrived and were soon engaged in the usual set up of camp. As soon as we opened Sabbath, we walked to the caves and used some lanterns, torches and citronella candles to light the cave we were in while we had a sing-a-long. We sang for “ages” as some young people put it, but in reality, it was approximately 1 hour. While we were
singing, a group of trainee soldiers marched past the mouth of the cave. When we got back to the camp site, the oldies (parents) sat around the campfire while the young people (led by Krystle) went for a walk on the beach. By the time we returned, we all just wanted to “hit the sack” (go to bed).
Sabbath – We awoke about 7.30 am and had a leisurely breakfast. We still had time before Sabbath School to go for a walk on the beach. In the afternoon we had two discussion groups, adults and youth. Each had a set of questions to discuss about the theme of the camp which was “The Youth of the World”. Some of the things learnt were what it means to be the youth of the world, what the world is, and that we are to be in the world but not of the world. The youth then needed to use their energy, so we all went for an adventurous walk on the beach, which included climbing around a light house which was on a big rock in the sea. Thankfully the tide was out. The girls amused themselves by making starfish pools. After Sabbath we were informed by the ranger that campfires were not permitted, sowe had our kebabs cooked over a gas fire. While disappointed, we still enjoyed the evening together telling riddles.
Sunday – The morning started with an early morning tramp which was attended enthusiastically by most; but after climbing a rather steep incline, the enthusiasm of some diminished. Coupled with a few aches and pains, four returned while the other six continued and finished the hike two hours later. To cool off from the hike, some youth went for a swim under adult supervision due to the dangerous sea. Because the water was so cold, we decided to dam up a stream. It was quite hard work, as we were only using sand and a few logs. Following lunch, we had a cave quest. This involved four group activities which were basically lifting a heavy cross on your shoulders, bandaging a wounded bleeding arm (tomato sauce), a riddle, and making a human clock.
The camp finished around 4.30 pm and a bunch of very tired, burnt and sandy, but contented people headed home. (Some adults even had to take the next day off work due to exhaustion!!!!!! No names mentioned.)
We all thanked God for this opportunity to spend time together, and that we had “fine weather” all weekend (a real treat for us Kiwi’s). We are now looking forward to more camps like this.
By Krystle Thiel