By Lidia Voncina
Bristol Point is one of the campgrounds by a beautiful coastal cove situated in Jervis Bay NSW, approximately three hours’ drive south of Sydney. Catering especially for groups, Bristol Point is a very clean and well-kept camp, offering hot showers, BBQ areas and even an outdoor amphitheater which could be used for meetings.
For weeks many were preparing and looking forward to this event. As we were driving on the motorway Friday afternoon, the rain was bucketing down to the point where we could hardly see the road. Since a number of people were concerned about the weekend being a very wet one, I must admit that on the way down, I also started to worry a little; so I quietly I sent a prayer to God asking if He could help us, at least to hold back the rain until we put up our tents and tarps. But God must have been smiling as my prayers went up because He had already worked everything out. As we were getting closer to camp, the weather was clearing up more and more until we could even see some blue sky. How grateful we were to God for His goodness and for answering our prayers.
As we were looking around for a place to setup camp, we were greeted by friendly, beautifully coloured parakeets and other birds, which put a smile on everyone’s face. The boys had a number of them landing on their arms, heads and shoulders.
One by one the cars started pulling up, and tents were being erected, soon looking like a tent city!!! A couple of large tarps were put up in the middle of camp to be used for meals etc. and they were the best investment the Youth Department made. After setting up camp, some of us took a walk down by the seaside, and it was just gorgeous. Such white sand, lovely aqua-green and blue water, sun glittering between the clouds, brown and cream rocks and later the evening glow with stripes of soft purple, pink, orange and blue made us feel immediately relaxed. I couldn’t help think what a Master Designer our God is. The boys were also very excited to spot a stingray which was captured by Harrison with his underwater camera.
We opened Sabbath together, and as we were quite hungry, dinner was extremely appetizing. There were a couple of very special people who turned a year wiser within two days apart: Nathan from Melbourne on the second, and Denise from USA on the fourth, the day the camp started. So we shared a cake together and wished them God’s blessings for the years to come. At night, some youth went for a walk on the beach and witnessed the very interesting sparkles of the plankton as they kicked the water and sand.
After a good nights rest, the morning daylight got us out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy God’s day in nature. Brother Joe and I went for a morning walk to Green Patch before breakfast and saw kangaroos quietly grazing on the lush green grass, so tame that they could be patted. As we came around the corner at Bristol Point rocks, we met Kayli who was enjoying looking at sea anemones, gathering shells etc. Self-catered breakfast was next.
Brother Matthias let us know that the Sabbath Bible Lesson study would be taking place down by the rocks. A number of people carried their chairs, drinking water and books to where we met, a place not short of the beauty of God’s wonderful creation. Many favourite hymns of praise went up to our Heavenly Father, and Sister Denise took us through the lesson for the day. We felt so blessed, as again the weather was gorgeous even to the point that some got a little sunburnt. Lunchtime came far too quickly for some, while others seem always hungry… and so together we shared a delightful combined lunch.
After lunch, most of us enjoyed a walk in the Botanical Gardens, which was only a short drive from camp.
Upon arriving back at camp, a special activity for the youth took place at the beach. Brother Matthias asked them to divide themselves into groups of no more than four or five and they had to depict a Bible story on the sand. The adults and those who remained were to guess what the story was. They were quite creative.
The displays were well done as you can see by the pictures; some of scenes were very detailed. It was lovely to see the youth participate in this activity. The stories portrayed were:
- Daniel in the lion’s den
- Conversion and baptism of the Ethiopian
- Jonah in the whale
- Feeding of the multitude with five loaves and two fishes
- The demoniac made whole and pigs running down the cliff
- Three different portrayals of the walls of Jericho
While there, we sighted a large stingray swimming gracefully across the beach. On a couple of different occasions, dolphins were also spotted by various people.
Just before sunset, we gathered together around the BBQ fire to sing some more favourite choruses and David led out for closing of Sabbath. All brought something to add to the combined BBQ dinner; and so we enjoyed another delicious meal of burgers, sausages, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, super sweet corn on the cob, salad and bread rolls (and that’s just some of the yummy foods enjoyed). After tea, a number of people went down to the beach again to see some more plankton.
Daylight saving finished on Sunday morning giving us an extra hour in bed, but unfortunately the rain started pelting down around two o’clock in the morning and didn’t give up until about an hour and a half before we had to leave. God again held back the rain at the time we needed most, so we were able to pack the tents and the tarps without getting drenched. Even though it was a wet Sunday morning, it never deterred some keen water lovers from taking a dip early in the morning finishing the camp on a high note. The hot showers were very much appreciated after the cool experience.
Morning worship was led by Melissa, and all were in good spirits and thankful to God that we were able to spend time enjoying such beautiful nature and each other’s company. We are looking forward to our next camp which will be held during the October long weekend.
I would like to share some thoughts expressed by some of the youth:
Breath-taking weekend. The white sandy beaches surrounding the campsite were just so beautiful. It was such a blessing to spend a weekend out in nature. From the ginormous stingrays and fluro plankton in the beach to the wallabies and birds surrounding the camp God’s name was written in everything. Thanks to everyone for making the weekend so memorable… and to the leaders who made it possible.
~ Veronica & Kiara-Shaye Hake
“The best camp. The place was awesome; however, the people even better! Great people I have met here down under. The fourth was the best…lol! Thank you for remembering young Boje and my birthday. Cake was great. Thanks Sister Lidia! It was great to enjoy Sabbath by the beach. Phenomenal! Would definitely do this again. God bless everyone!!!”
~ Denise Gutierrez
On Friday, 4 April, a group of about 40 youth and young at heart gathered at the Jervis Bay Campgrounds for a weekend of camping. Despite the rain, everyone had a wonderful time. Some of the highlights of the camp were illustrating Bible stories in the sand, climbing the rocks on the beach, seeing how dry you can be after running between the tents and the covered tarp area, and seeing the little glowing plankton in the water on the beach at night. Everyone is looking forward to the next campout!
~ Alyssia Thiel
I really enjoyed the camp, especially the bioluminescent plankton in the water.
~ Cameron Thiel
The decision had been reached. We were going to be attending the youth campout at Jervis Bay. The dates were locked in, and as the days drew nearer, the weather forecast was not being very agreeable with a camping weekend. Still we decided to attend, and it was amazing. The beautiful scenes in nature, having the Sabbath School lesson taken by the ocean, and enjoying each other’s company in such a serene location made the nine-hour drive, each way, seem trivial. Praise God that 50 people attended, and even though the weather should have been miserable, it wasn’t until Sunday morning that the clouds released their payload, and the showers came pouring down. That made it a memorable challenge, and we still played ball on the beach, and went for a swim; after all, once you’re in the water, you cannot get any more wet. I’d like to thank the leaders for organizing this weekend, and everyone who attended by making it special. The way everyone got along; the fact that there were only two ‘official’ combined meals, yet I ate all my meals together with the group. Everyone was happy to share, help each other out, and spend quality time in nature. Till next time,