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Issue 35 - Autumn 13

OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL Camp Kedron's Testimony

And More Great Articles... • CCCA Conference & Camp Tour • Our New Chaplains! • Our Visitors from Canada • A Courageous Young Man • A Perspective on Camp Elim


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How do w e find sup through C port hristian Ve support, h (CVA)? I fin nues Asso elp, share, d it fantas ciation and encou ti c to s be a part o erving our the vision rage all to f CVA and of The Sp Lord throu keep ir gh this gre it of Sharin w weaved th o u ld at ministry encourage g, which is roughout .I centres to the new S in mentori The more team up fo trategic In n I work wit g r e s a te u c p nts. h other. In port h differen to work w Victoria, w centres, th t groups a ith centres e are goin e more I co n d g to make th me to und is really ex are all in th is happen, erstand th citing. We is togethe w a t h w ic h e a re r, e a ven if we ll different getting su different d are from but just pport from enominati o ons, have th e r s p p in ministry e ir o it p d s le if g fe c re a re n lift our atly. nt prioritie and opera s te our cen tres differe H When Jesu o w do we fi ntly. s began his nd support ministry, w through C s u first? (Mat p port of CV ho did he VA? Our 4: 18-25). A is c a a ll p a rt of this Jesus picke us, we sho to do an e a d s o they supp rd uld be sup xtra ordina inary peop ort porting th le they ry job. He from the S e co m d o . Everythin uld have p is for us! A adducees ic g n k y e th d o r Pharisee ing we do on this Sp rabbis or T s or elders will help b irit of Sha he Essene uild or ri s n (a g, like usin m Campfinde onastic co the poor, w g CSC, r and Venu mmunity) hom God h or efinder. Th ad a real co make them he picked ey serve u ncern for ordinary fi s e lv e s and s a b vailable ab ut sherman. normal du o v e and beyon ties - this “God love d is their Sp s to do ex the netwo irit of Sha tra ordina rk is far big through o ri n g ry . But things ger than ju rdinary p office - an st the Nati eople”. (Q d it Jacoby) in volves you onal uote Dr Ma ! tthew So togeth er, not alo God’s callin ne, we fin g is in us w & encoura d this supp h e g n ement as we serve h ministry. S ort, help w e ometimes im in this fa c h e each day ave an iss you can ge u . e S all the pap , o a if you n y issue, ca t caught u er pushing representa ll the offic p with , s ta e ti ff , v menu and a state issues, rep e or anoth program p er membe orting, contact th rep but Go r, or make ro u serve him g h C d VA Membe has called - isn’t that r Developm you to & conferenc fantastic! e together is ent Days s b W e h cause this a t draws us expressed m e is e t w o h th e in re e rs and sha our statem you can we all beli re. When y ent of fait eve in the sure we w o hu one true G n e e il d l a help, I am (John 3:16 ll be there od and Sav ) That call for you. iour. to T h m e Spirit of inistry inclu Jesus with Sharing is des sharin all who co Geoff Cald fantastic. g me to our witness to w e c ll e n tr es. Our people is o D ir ector of Ca ur priority form that , no matte takes. For Deputy Ch mping, Baptist Camp r w h a a t airperson, ing Victori ll of us, I d changing, CVA Natio on’t see th a Chairperso but some nal Board is n , V d ic a y to s ri it is harde a and face th R e g io nal Comm r to get go e day and ittee ing I bet there out there a re p that experi lenty of us C h ristia ence this. news is th Well, the g ExpEriE n Venues As at you are o n o d n ot alone, w christian cE thE spirit o sociation play in you hatever ro camping r camp cen le internatio f sharing tr ading as c you tre or venu n CEO, clean h ri s ti e a , whether n Venues al australia aBn 74 0 er, manag a it 5 ssociation ’s 0 e 6 r, 11 295 kitchen, gro or program po Box 5 unds, minis 552, south mer, we are try ph: 1800 Windsor n here for yo The Spirit 0 u. That is w of Sharin fax: (02) 09 890 or (02) 458 sW 2756 hat 7 7155 4587 793 g is all abo 3 Email: info ut. The Strate @christia Web: www nv gic Intents .christianv enues.org.au are the vis word “men enues.org ion of CVA p le toring” is m a se note: t .au . The h e e n ti v ie o e this is an a ned in the ws and op xpressed in b rea of CVA intents an y ions th e auth contained d that I am p We are he in this pub ors of the articles assionate re to come a lic u thors an ation be about. along side opinions o d are not necessari long to those each othe ly the view f christian r and s and Venues associatio n


The History of the Northern Is God Good or What?? 1. On the 17th November 2012, Camp Kedron celebrated 50 years of ministry. Over that time, there have been many miracles and lives impacted for eternity. Camp Kedron has grown from humble beginnings to be a thriving centre used by churches, schools & community groups as well as Kedron-organised holiday camps.

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2. It began as an outreach of the Northern Christian Brethren Assemblies, a small group of people who had a vision for a centre where God would be glorified and people would be able to hear the Gospel in a place where community could be formed and healthy activities could be undertaken.

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3. The early days proved to be very trying and discouraging. After 12 months of backbreaking work, the first building that was being constructed was blown over by a mini-hurricane. In the words of Megan Clark “The building progressed until roof level was reached but only one side was filled in. When we came back for our next working bee, what a sight met our eyes! The whole structure was a twisted mess lying on the ground. There had been a mini-cyclone in the area and because only one half of the roof was on the wind got underneath and pulled the whole structure down. We just stood there and a voice just broke into our thoughts, ‘Let’s give it away’. But before we allowed those words to sink into our minds, Livingstone Clark’s voice came in with, “Let’s start again!” - one negative and one positive. The positive won and the mess was cleared up and the men patiently started again and to my knowledge, nothing like that ever happened again.“ Work proceeded and on the 7th Dec 1968, Camp Kedron was opened. ➔

50th


Camp Kedron on Beaches of Sydney

At the Opening

k Megan Clar

Enjoying a break

The Origina l Committe e

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elebrations Anniversary C

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4. At this time, the committee had made representationstotheDeptofLandstobuytheland. This was rejected time and time again! Mr Alan Llewelynwouldnotgiveupandmadefurthercontact withthelocalmemberandPremierMrRobertAskin. After some time, correspondence and negotiation, MeganClarkwrotethefollowing“Thecommitteeand arepresentativefromthelandsdepartmentfinallymet togetheronthesiteinJune1970.Aftertellinghimof our desire for the whole of the land, he said that becauseofthewaythelawswereframed,therewas nowaywecouldbuythefull5½acres.However,he felttherewassomethingthatpossiblycouldbedone -hesaidhecouldrecommenditbedeclareda“public reserve” to be managed by United Christian Youth for the purposes of youth work. “What does that mean” asked Livingstone?”Thereply,“ItmeansyougetitforNOTHING,with NORATES,NOTAXES,droppedinyourlap!”Thisbecameareality onthe4thSeptember1970.Whatexcitement,whatgratitudeto GodweallfeltforHisgoodnesstousinthismatter.” 5.MrAlanLlewelynwrotethefollowing“Andherewerestafter solongaperiodofcorrespondence,interviewsandnegotiations, intheassurancethattherehasbeensecuredthetenureweso earnestlysort.”

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6.Workhadalsostartedonthefirstaccommodation block which was to become the first sleeping accommodation,nowcalledPythonLodge.Soonafter attemptsweremadetogettheelectricityonsite.

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7. Again, from Megan Clark’s notes “The lack of electricity was indeed a very pressing need, so an appointment was made to meet with a gentleman fromthecounciltoseewhatcouldbedonetogetit connected.Thebigproblemwasthatthecampwasa longwayfromthetransformersandwasanexpensive exercisetoputiton.Wehadbeenquotedaverylarge sum.Thecommitteemetwiththeelectricalengineer andLivingstoneexplainedthatmaybewecoulderect thepolesandattachthewireunderhissupervisionin ordertosavemoney.“No”wastheanswer.Hefinally said“ThereissomethingI’dliketodobutI’mnotsure ifIhavethepower.”“Whatisthat?”Livingstoneasked.“Thatwe recommendthatitbeputonfornothing.”Livingstone’sreply“We canaffordit!”Therewasgreatexcitementwhenthecommittee heard from the engineer that the council had accepted his recommendation.AllpraisetoGod!“ 8.AccesstoKedronbyroadwasstillamajorissueatthistime. AgainMeganClarkwrites“Overaperiodof5years,westruggled togetatrackintothecamp.Aftermuchrepresentationtothe PremierofN.S.W.andWarringahShireCouncil(whodirectedusto theLandsDepartment),itwasalltonoavail.Finally,theMackellar CountyCouncilinstalledanelectricitytransformerneartheendof McCowenRoadandattheirexpenseWarringahCouncilprovided accesstothetransformer.Ourjobthenwastomakearoughtrack fromthetransformertooursite.Icanstillseethemenworkingthe

Photos: TheFirstBuildingafter thestorm; TheShakfromAbove; LivingstonPositionsa TankforPythonLodge;


jackhammersastheypreparedthistrack.Howdelightedwe werewhenwewereabletodrivethewholewayin.Manyyears later,theroadwassealed.Whenthelaststretchofroadwas eventually completed, and unbeknown to Livingstone our secretaryaskedourcouncilifitcouldbenamed“Livingstone Rd”,butthisrequestwasrefused.Thenextsuggestionwas “EmmausRd”whichwethoughtamoresuitablename.We haveoftenchuckledaboutthis,asaboutthistime,whenthere wasawashawayatthecamp,Livingstonewenttoaneighbour wholivedupthetrackalittle,toprocuresomefilling.Heasked Livingstonewherehecamefromandwhenhetoldhimhe said,” Are you that crowd from Emmaus Rd?” “You mean EmmausRddon’tyou?”saidLivingstone.“Yes”washisreply. “Whathaveyougotthatwehaven’tgot?”“Whydoyousay that,” asked Liv?” His reply is worth noting. “Well, we have submitted six different names and they have each been rejectedbutbecauseyousubmittedanaboriginalnameithas beenaccepted!” 9.Thenextmajoractivitywastodevelopacampingprogram. ThishappenedwhenDrEdwinBoycejoinedthecommittee andbeganorganisingthefirstcampsrunbyCampKedron. Initially,manyofthechildrencomingtoweekendcampswere fromtheBushSchoolinWahroonga.Aswemovedtoweeklong campsintheschoolholidays,wewonderedaboutwhereto findchildrentoattendthesecamps.

11.Thesehavegrowntosuchanextentthattherearenow9campsoperated byCampKedronwithsome800campersattendingtheHolidayPrograms eachyear.Thethrustofthesecampshasalwaysbeentonon-churchedyoung peopleandover50%ofcampersdonotregularlygotochurch.Therearealso LeadershipDevelopmentcamps,PrimaryandHighSchoolcampsandavery special camp named “Life Exchange” for young people with a mental disability.Oneofthemostpleasingthingsisthenumberofformercampers whoarenowleadersanddirectors.Therearealsomanycampersattending nowwhoseparentsattendedourearlycamps.

Photos: AnEarlyRoadintoCamp; NotOnlytheOldies Contributed;EmmausRd BecomesaReality

12.AsIwritethisarticle,Icanhearthenoiseofover100teenagersenjoying aweekoffun,food,beingchallengedwiththeGospelandlife-changing friendshipsbeingformed.Lastweek,IwasprivilegedtodirectaPrimarycamp togetherwith30others,manyteenagerswhohadbeencampersonthe Leadershipcamptheweekbefore.WesawGoddoawonderfulworkinthe heartsofthosewhoattended.Onlyeternitywillrevealtheimpactofsucha week.

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10.AgainGodprovidedaway.MeganClarkwrites“Thetime camewhenwedesiredtorunschoolholidaycampsbuthow wouldwegetthechildrenwhenwewerepracticallyunknown?Oureldest son, Greg, was just completing his university degree and obtained a temporaryjobwiththeWarringahCouncilwhilehewaitedforapermanent jobwithUrbanTransport.ThisjobwiththeCouncilprovedtobe“heaven sent”forthisbecametheavenuetoobtainchildrentofillourholidaycamps. Our son spoke to the activities officer at the council and she agreed to advertisethecampintheholidaybrochuressentouttotheschoolsjust beforevacationtime.Theresult—wewereinundatedandaswecouldonly take40childrenforeachcamp,thecampsbecamefullinsidetwoorthree weekswithmanyweekstogobeforetheactualevent.”

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13.Thenextmajordevelopmentatthecampwasthe constructionofa3storeybuildingthatwouldhave areas for leaders, a large dining room, a modern commercial style kitchen and a main auditorium. Whenplansforthisventurewerefirstmooted,the costwasenvisagedtobeintheorderof$500,000and with $20,000 in the bank, God needed to perform anothermiracle.Thecommitteedeterminedthatthey wouldtrustGodforfinanceandthattheywouldnot borrow a cent. Work was faithfully commenced & constructionneverstoppedforlackofmoney.What wasneededwasalwaysprovidedbyafaithfulGodand available workers, and at the completion of the building there was still $20,000 in the bank! The official opening of the Alan Llewelyn Memorial Building took place on the 28th May 1983. Mr Llewelynwaspartoftheoriginalgroupoffounders whohadthevisionforthecampsiteandhadpassed awayinMay1977. 14.Bythelate80’s,the“Clarks”hadretiredafter27 years of continuous service but stayed on the site duringtheirretirement.

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15.Aroundthesametime,planshadcommencedfor alargeindoorsportscomplexthatincludedareasfor smallgamessuchastabletennisetcaswellaslarger areas where basketball, indoor soccer, badminton, volleyballandgeneralgamescouldbeplayed.This was a boon to users of the site who had always struggledwithinadequatespaceandprogramming problems in wet weather. Construction was completedin1992.Aclimbingwallhassincebeen addedandthiscentreisusedbyeverygroup,every dayofcamp.

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16.AneleventhhourbookingjustbeforetheSydney Olympicsgaveustheopportunitytohousebusdrivers.Thisprovided aboostinfinancesuchthattheoriginalPythonLodgecouldbepulled downandrebuiltwithensuitebathrooms.TheoriginalPythonhoused 48peoplewhilethere-builtaccommodationhas20beds,evidence ofthechangethathasoccurredinChristiancampingoverthelast30 years. 17.Oneareaofgrowthwehaveseeniswithschoolusageandband camps.Ateachofthesecampsashort“ChristianLifeEducation”is presentedandaninvitationtoattendaholidaycampisgiven.Ithas beenathrilltoseemanycometofaithataholidaycamp,someeven becomingDirectors. 18. We have just completed three weeks of Holiday Camps - a Leadership camp, a Primary and a High School camp. Again God touchedlivessodeeplyandyoungpeoplecommittedtheirlivesto him.OnlyEternitywillrevealthelivesthathavebeenchangedforever. 19.Aswelookbackoverthese50yearsitisindeedGod’sworkand wecanonlysay“ToGodbetheGlory,greatthingsHehasdone.”

TheMainBuilding; TheMainBuildingfloorunder construction;TheMainBuilding wallsgoup;Today’scropof CabinLeaders.


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PROFILE - New Cha

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David & June Garratt - New Chaplains in Victoria We were married in the UK, 47 years ago this October. It had always been David’s dream to go to Australia and so, after only 5 weeks of married life, we left Southampton on the “Fair Sea” for the adventure of our lives, arriving in Melbourne on the 1st January 1967. Although June had been brought up in the Church of England, it was only in 1977 that we both came to receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. This was after looking into spiritism, transcendental meditation and Mormonism, amongst other things, in our search for the truth. David & June G Our two sons, Craig & Scott, were born in the early arratt seventies. They both married lovely Christian girls and now the family has grown to include four beautiful granddaughters, ranging in age from 6 to 16 years. Both of us have had experience in business - David worked in the travel industry for 10 years and also in management roles in industry - and June worked as a secretary/personal assistant for the major part of her working career. For the past 24 years, we have been actively working in various roles including church secretary, board member, treasurer, and pastors. David has also studied at Commonwealth Bible College and has various qualifications including a B.A. in Bible and Theology with a sub major in counseling and psychology. David has also worked as a ochelle Chaplain for the Royal Rangers in Victoria and served after Craig & R the bushfires in Healesville Victoria. Having recently retired from church ministry, we are excited about our new role with CVA as Chaplains for Victoria. Last year may have been a very difficult year for some people but it is important to remember that we have a Father in heaven who loves us dearly and who never leaves or forsakes us. We should be confident that we can freely come to Him at any time in prayer. We can ask for healing, wisdom, strength, provision, or help for whatever need we may have, and we know that He hears us, and will show us the way through our problem. 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears Beautiful granddaughters us.” As Chaplains for Victoria it will be a privilege to work alongside you and to assist in whatever way we can. We are praying for your success. We look forward to spending time with you and getting to know you in the not too distant future. David & June Garratt

Scott & family


New QLD Chaplains - Barry & Pam Grainger We count ourselves blessed to have four beautiful children and eight amazing grandchildren. We are doting grandparents that only get to see them together as a family on very rare occasions. One gift that continues to surface which was not only awe-inspiring but one that stirs my heart to transverse the sacred territory of God’s amazing Grace. Just picture as far as the eye can see to the horizon of water in the ocean, we were like specks in an ocean and yet he found us, and he had a plan for us and not only so we would feel blessed but to be able to reach out to others and bless them. And this song has always been ringing in our hearts: Barry & Pam Grainger Just where he needs me, my Lord has placed me, Just where he needs me, there would I be! And since he found me, by love he’s bound me To serve him joyfully. Our lives have been very fulfilled in all aspects of our ministry: • From children’s work where we were house parents to a large group of boys from the courts, in the care of The Salvation Army. • We also worked in the rehabilitation of alcohol and drug dependent men and women. • We spent many years working with the men and women of the ADF and their families and eventually had the privilege of having the A ar o n & role as National Head of the Red Shield Defense Services ministry family (philanthropic work) prior to retirement. • We also had several exciting and varied Parish appointments from Albury in NSW to Bundaberg in Queensland which embraced extensive community involvement. Throughout our ministry we have had the great joy of helping many along the path of finding the Lord. When we felt that life could not get any busier, we were approached to consider a ministry in Christian Venues. We took a while to wait before the Lord for direction because we realised that if we took on this work, we would need to make major changes in our lives. One change was relocating to Brisbane. The maintenance on our property on the Sunshine coast was very demanding, and we wanted to have our full consecration on the calling He has now called us too. Our daughter and son-in-law family & i invited us to live on their two-acre property. We are having m N athan & S Nao arah a granny flat built as a detached extension & are living in our caravan on the property until the house is built. God has bought us faith in place of doubt and strength in place of fear. He brings us hope and love to guide our hearts in this new and exciting ministry. Through Him we can become what we were meant to be! We look forward to sharing with you in this new adventure and pray very humbly that He will direct us in all we endeavour to do for Him.

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plains for Vic & Qld...

Barry & Pam Grainger 11

Rebekah & family


A Canadian View of Austr

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In mid-2011, 26 members from Australia & NZ toured Canada to look at Christian camping in that country. This year, 4 couples from Canada came on a reciprocal tour of Australian camps. The follow is a compilation of views from 3 of those couples.

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After spending 32 hours getting to Australia, your first greeting at the airport should probably not be Ken Pullen telling you that you are now in the country that boasts 8 of the 10 most deadly snakes and 8 of the 10 most lethal spiders in the world! To give Ken the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it was the first introduction to the keen and unique Australian sense of humour. A country of stark contrasts is what we encountered and the geography was more mountainous than we expected. One can go from driving past a rural farm setting to a rainforest in the blink of an eye. A land where you could drive down a normal street in a suburb, turn a corner and find yourself at a camp. Where the quality of camping facilities and the approach to Christian ministry through camping, is in stark contrast to that found in many places in Canada. Some important impressions • Evidence of a deliberate investment in structured leadership development for staff, such as the internship and Crusader programs. • A progressive, optimistic, innovative, and adaptive attitude to the provision of activities, programs and facilities. A unique example of this is the CYC City site in Melbourne CBD. • The school curriculum is integrated into the camp program, illustrating cooperation and collaboration between the school authorities and camps. • Effort to involve all of the participants in the activities through a team approach, and the emphasis on team helps to ensure that everyone is engaged, not waiting and watching until it’s their turn. • Some camps emphasise the value of the debriefing session, lessons learned and the opportunity to explore personal and/or spiritual values. Encouraging character development and values formation, drawing out the participant’s own learning. • The success of the CSC Buying Group in Australia & NZ is certainly impressive and demonstrate the progressive and innovative approach to coordinated effort. • It is fascinating how much provision is made to accommodate the needs of multiple group usage. Virtually no shared space, with separate activity areas, satellite foodservice with the use of hot boxes and dedicated vehicles. • Major events, such as conferences, often contribute significantly to the revenue stream. • We were challenged to be committed to sharing Christ and doing God’s work in an increasing secularisation of group expectations – what does being a Christian venue mean in word and deed for guest groups, staff, neighbours, etc. • Computerisation of bookings Perhaps one the most significant discussions was the business/ministry equation. We have been challenged, too, by the fact that Christian camps in Australia do not do much, if any, fundraising. This has forced Christian camps to make ministry work as a business. This is intriguing given that in the Canadian Christian camp culture, many camps have to fundraise to meet their operations budget and then fundraise for capital investments on top of that. With charitable status for Christian camps at risk in Canada, the equation in Australia is an interesting paradigm. In may turn out that this challenge of ministry as a business will need to be an area of further thought and application for us. We can’t begin to thank all of our brothers and sisters in Australia for hosting our camp leader exchange. We have been impacted by your generosity! We do want to thank the drivers who ran us around (on the wrong side of the road I might add), the camp leaders that hosted us and treated us to incredible meals and site seeing, the camp chefs who prepared incredible food and CVA who invested in us by providing this once in a lifetime experience. A special note of thanks goes to Kerry Pullen who spent the two weeks with us as our driver, tour guide, translator (still don’t get your Photos: All Clean again; Beth on The Circatron at coffee terms) and leader. She is now also our dear friend. CYC The Island; Checking out the Maintenance Christian Camping in Australia – good on ya mate! Area at The Tops; Enjoying a Picnic at Lorne on David & Nancey Scott - Camp Kwasind, Ontario The Great Ocean Road Tofiel & Shawna Wegner - Camp Arnes, Manitoba Steve & Beth Archibald - Medeba, Ontario


ralia & Christian Camping

Photos: Heading off to NZ; Inspecting Laser Tag at the Collaroy Centre; Taking in the scenery at Katoomba; Meeting the Horses at Tunnel Ridge Ranch; Trying the Tunnel Activity at Emu Gully

Best animal encountered Best animal encountered Favourite meal Weirdest thing Second weirdest thing Most unusual thing A defining moment

Biggest conundrum

Best experience

King toad (reality) Funnel web spider (imagined) Rack of lamb Footie Vegemite In a land of many dangerous creepy-crawly things, there are no screens on most windows! Falling asleep in a room at a camp in the dark knowing that God has my days numbered and trusting that He knows when I will die – and trusting Him that this will not be that night of my death through an encounter with a deadly reptile. Special covers on mattresses that are designed to keep bed bugs from nesting in the mattress, but the covers also ensure that the people lying on the beds do not have any air circulation around them and thus cause the would-be “sleeper” to perspire profusely since they have closed all the windows in their sub-tropically temperate room to guard against the entrance of potentially lethal arachnids. Flying to New Zealand (Ha Ha)

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Through the Eyes of One Canadian!!

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NARTA

ITED D E R C C A

Accreditation is for Every Site!

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In 2005, the CVA Board asked that the Association work with The Outdoor Recreational Industry Council of NSW (ORIC) to develop an alternative venue and organisational Accreditation Program in a way that was appropriate nationally rather than being State specific. Out of this came the National Accommodation Recreation and Tourism Accreditation program (NARTA). In 2011, the option to complete the application online was introduced and this further streamlined the process. NARTA is a cost-effective accreditation program. The current cost for members is just $700 (inc GST) and covers a period of 2 years.

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Re-accreditations are just $620. These costs include assistance to achieve accreditation, the desk and on-site audits. As further incentive, venues that hold current NARTA accreditation qualify for a discount of 10% off their CVA membership fee at renewal and a 5% discount on insurance through GJIC. This is clearly a great benefit to our members. In addition, we are seeing moves from within the insurance industry to require organisations to be accredited before insurance will be considered - this is certainly now the case with one of our larger denominations. Contact NARTA at: info@narta.org.au or call the CVA Office 1800 009 890.

What’s this T-QUAL All About?? T-QUAL Accreditation is the Australian Government’s quality framework for the tourism industry. It assesses & supports quality assurance schemes & endorses their members with its national symbol of quality, the T-QUAL Tick. Sites cannot apply directly for TQUAL Accreditation. However, just recently, NARTA gained a Master Licence for T-QUAL certification. NARTA accredited venues will automatically qualify for a T-QUAL sub-licence and so be authorised to display the T-QUAL logo. In addition, sites will benefit from increased online exposure via preferential listing on state & national tourism websites. For more information, download a Fact Sheet from www.christianvenues.org.au/ tqualfactsheet.pdf

National odation A c c om m n a nd Recreatio Tourism tion Accredita


, e g n e l l a h C A Life of ! ! e s o p r u P & e g Coura

What sort of shot are you? Stanwell Tops Conference Centre, where I get to interact with many new people on a daily basis. Also at The Tops, I am heavily involved with kids’ camps which allow me to interact with young people and encourage them in their lives with the message of God’s love, compassion and strength. These three things enable me to have amazing opportunities at The Tops and in all aspects of my life - without these three things, I would have surely given up long ago. I was born with a physical disability called Thrombocytopenia with Absent Radius, better known as TAR Syndrome. TAR causes my blood platelets to be lower than normal and limits the clotting of my blood - it has also resulted in my arms being half the length of an average male arm. Because of this, all aspects in my life have been a struggle. Some of these struggles include not learning to walk till I was two, several life-threatening illnesses and nosebleeds, being bullied throughout school and the constant commentaries from doctors and everyday people, telling me and my family that I would never amount to much and other negative predictions. Doctors were the main bearers of these negative predictions.

They consistently told my mum and me that I would never learn to ride a bike, would struggle to play sport and would only ever work in a desk job. At age 5, I learnt to ride a bike - at age 7, I began playing soccer - at age 8, I began snow skiing - at age 13, I began playing tennis - at age 16 I got my driver’s license. In my adult years, I have learnt to drift, abseil, play archery with my feet, row boats, surf and many other activities. Through all these events, struggles and achievements, God has constantly shown me his love, compassion and strength. Through other people’s advice and encouragement, the opportunities he has blessed me with and my own strength found in Him, I will continue to share my story with others and hopefully assist them to find their own strength in God. I hope and pray that through my story, you are able to see the love that God has for you and your own life, regardless of your trials, mistakes and hardships and that the impossible just takes a little bit longer! The following two Bible verses have been a huge encouragement throughout my life, so I encourage you to look them up and be inspired: Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 4:13 Jamie Clark

...and I’m a fair

soccer player

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I’m able to climb trees...

Hey I’m Jamie. I am 26 years old and I am from Helensburgh. I grew up around the beach and the bush, which has given me a deep passion for outdoor recreational activity. Through this passion, I have been blessed with a job at

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A Window into the 2012 CCCA Conference (just in case you’re thinking of attending the next one) In December 2012, nearly 800 Christian camp and conference professionals attended “Strong and Courageous”, the CCCA (USA) National Conference at the Town and Country Resort in beautiful, sunny San Diego, California.  Association members and guests - including 321 first-time attendees - enjoyed daily sessions from Bryan Loritts, as he taught about God’s wisdom. Danny Oertli led the group in worship through music, humour and traditional camp songs like “Pharaoh, Pharaoh.”  Other general sessions included the teachings of Gregg Hunter, Gabe Lyons and Sheri Rose Shepherd. With over 180 hours of training in presentations and workshops, attendees headed home with new ideas, resources and encouragement. Seminars ranged from practical human resources procedures through to cultivating a heart and mind which is sensitive to the confusion that some campers experience over their sexual identity. Veteran leaders gathered together for an Executive Leadership Summit, while first-timers learned more about best

practices and the mentors that are available to them all over the world. International delegates were encouraged to meet in the “International Lounge” arranged by CCI Worldwide, and many took up this opportunity! On the final night, conference attendees ventured into the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, where they enjoyed dinner and entertainment, including the comedy of Taylor Mason (a ventriloquist). The CCCA Conference is a very different style and size of conference compared to Australia’s Connect conferences and is an experience that was made very worthwhile to 10 Aussies in 2012, as they also took part in a Californian Camps Tour in the week leading up to the Conference (see next page). Ken Pullen, CEO

e were instant friends er th t, en w e w re he w ry ve “E ng – at meals, at the pi m ca n ia ist hr C & ist hr C through eues for morning teas. qu e th in s, ne hi ac m ng hi was ming us and being our newe co el w r fo A C C C u yo Thank up with old friends in th t me e w , se ur co of d, An friends. is Jansen, Winmalee Lo !” om Ro l na io at rn te In tre. NSW Christian Conference Cen

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“Amazing to see what God is doing through Christian camping all over the world!” Greg Clark, Camp Kedron, NSW

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“Bryan Loritt’s Bible studies were the highlight for me. It whetted my appetite to hear him again at Connect 2014 at The Tops.” - Gary Hill, Chairman, CVA National Board

“It’s big!!” ference Centre, NSW on C ee al m in W , en ns Ja ie Edd “The best thing was the opportunity to share with people from other countries, the excitement and experiences of Christian Conferencing and Camping.” Kerry Pullen, CVA National Office

“Listening to Bryan Loritts - his message washed over and through me as it must have for so many of you at Connect12.  Meeting many international guests also added a sense of the scope of Christian Venues and camping ministry worldwide.” - Ken Pullen, CEO


Prior to the CCCA Conference, sixteen delegates took up a tour offer, with Dan & Cay Bolin (CCI Worldwide) as our guides. There were 3 from Spain, 2 from Netherlands, 1 from Nepal, 1 from Jamaica & the rest (7) from Australia - so a really international contingent. Over 7 days, we visited 11 sites & travelled many miles (San Francisco to San Diego). Some of the sites were literally towns! One had their own post office & people owned houses (like a suburb). One had their own gas station, school & ice-skating rink. The scale was quite mind-boggling! We were cared for very well by our hosts. There is no such thing as a small helping in the USA. No need to worry about not getting enough fat or sugar in your diet. Breakfast was amazing but don’t put hollandaise sauce on a cinnamon roll. (It’s for the egg! It’s not custard!) Most of the site managers were all able to talk about the history of their site, which helped them move forward without losing the focus of why they existed. A lot of the sites display their history. Some sites are over 100 years old, so if their history is not recorded, their origins may be forgotten. Is this something you should consider? I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to learn much that I could apply to our own situation, but the experience was well worth the cost & effort, and gems were always found - like these... • The importance of having a neat site.

• Spaces for small groups & individual reflection. • Always making the best use of our natural environment. • The high focus on guest care. • Having reminders all over the site, buildings & grounds, about the Gospel (the driving force). • Work out ways to keep true to our Mission Statements. • Ensure every staff member has an understanding of our core values. Some of the facilities were outstanding & way beyond our reach, although I was reminded that our Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Maybe our visions/plans are not impossible if we wait for the Lord’s direction & timing. It was a real blessing to have the fellowship of the other tour members - it was great to hear their stories and to see what is done all around the world, and Queensland! A huge thank you should go to Dan and his staff for the planning that went into this event. All the tour members were extremely grateful. We had a great time of encouragement and learning together. If you ever get a chance to participate in one of these tours – take it. You will find it a valuable time. Eddie Jansen / Winmalee Christian Conference Centre, NSW

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A Valuable Tour of Christian Camps

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As the National Office was preparing to close over the Christmas New Year period, I received a blessing from the Lord in the form of a cancelled booking at Camp Elim, Forster NSW, which allowed our family to stay there for a week after Christmas. Many of my church family holiday at Elim each year. I was to learn that a vacancy at Elim over this period is unheard of, let alone an opportunity to stay in a newly renovated lakeside cabin with a view through the palms to the beautiful Lake Wallis. My family had had a difficult year where God’s plan for us was not clear, so this opportunity was a sign to me, that He wanted us to stay connected - as a family, to Christian Venues and our church family. The result of spending

ensuring that those staying at Elim are enjoying themselves, Jesus is evident through their care and service to all. A Church service was held on the Sunday morning where everyone was welcome. Beautiful, decorative wall hangings depicting imagery and scriptures were evident

One of th e beautiful sunsets

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The Bushfire approaches!

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the mpleting o c n e r u La bing Wall clim time at Camp Elim seems to be once-in, stay-in. Some families have come every year for the past 46 years. Now having been myself, I understand why. From the moment we were welcomed by Judy Evans and handed our Welcome Holiday Makers Newsletter, Christ’s light was shining brightly at this site. From the words of Jesus, that staff use to encourage visitors to live by while at Elim, plainly stated in their newsletter opening, to the active engagement of staff while attending to enquiries, getting visitors settled or simply

to anyone who entered the dining facility. It was a treat for me as a Christian Venues staff member, to visit and experience as a patron, a site where the values of Christian camping were on display for all to plainly see, boldly declaring the truth of the gospel and demonstrating His love for all. The site is such a tranquil and safe haven for families. It seemed that while most visitors were Christians from all over Australia, some were from Singapore, Germany, and the UK, all enjoying God’s beautiful creation. The site is so well named, as Elim was referred to in Exodus in the Old Testament as a place of refreshing, an oasis of palm trees and water in abundance for the Israelites after their exodus


Our children, Tyrone (10) and Lauren (6) never lacked company or wanted for things to do. We were positioned 20m from Lake Wallis, which has shallow water for kids to play and splash in for about 400m from shore, so they were safe to play with low risk and supervision. The kids could also chase small fish, canoe, surf ski, snorkel, fish & play incessantly in the cool water. Tyrone said that the Giant Swing was the best thing he did at Elim. The programming staff did an excellent job of safely educating the kids that wanted to climb one of the faces of the Adventure Tower, scale the ladders or swing to great heights and still made it fun for all involved. They demonstrated gentleness,

from A View er w the To patience, kindness and plenty of self-control as they encouraged, praised and assisted kids to overcome their fear and inhibitions. David’s buggy ride rated very high with Lauren. Sitting with my laptop in my chair in the shade of the palms, I was aware that some of the patrons were looking toward Green Point. They indicated that a fire had just escalated to the stage where holiday makers were being requested to evacuate. My family quickly moved to a safe place some 8 km from Elim. I elected to stay and help the site prepare for what seemed an inevitable bushfire on site as the prevailing winds had increased in the direction of Elim. Four of my church family

(mostly seasoned firefighters) remained to help Judy and the staff, who did an absolutely terrific job of activating their emergency action plan. What a privilege it was to pray together with my family first, then with my church brothers & then with all of the volunteers that stayed, for God’s protection and to experience it within hours, despite the counter indicated warnings and signs. I had His peace with me, a knowing that the site would be safe and unharmed, particularly as I also knew that CVA and our church were all praying for us. We evacuated at 3.30pm when the fire was out of control. It was under control by 8.00pm and Elim was safe for the evacuees to return. It was significant for me that we should experience God’s protection at this Christian campsite and that it was this event that was the last our family would experience at Elim prior to returning home the next morning. God’s

Tyrone o n

the Giant Swing

message to me was to place all our worries at His feet and be faithful and thankful for His protection and deliverance. I would like to thank David Hayes and Judy Evans and all of the staff for a memorable time and I look forward to spending many joy filled holidays at Camp Elim, a genuine Christian camping venue. Robert Stewart / Christian Supply Chain Buying Group

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from Egypt. So apt, for that is precisely my impression of the site for the people of our modern world, where we are enslaved by our lifestyles and looking for a place to refresh and to reinvigorate.

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As the New Year unfolds rapidly, I’ve taken note of the Christian calendar and believe that it has a challenge for us. Epiphany is a season of celebrating the revelation of the Saviour, the Light of the world. As we start another year, Epiphany leads us again to catch sight of the uniqueness of Christ. There is also an unmistakable missional bent to Epiphany. The Light of the World calls us to let our light shine before others. Drawn by the light of His star, the Magi came and signaled the universal scope of Christ’s mission. Epiphany calls us to live by Christ’s mission, announcing the good news of Christ’s arrival to every culture, to those in our street and importantly, to those who share our homes. And we have the privilege of sharing with those who use our venues.

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How interesting, that no sooner have we had this reminder and challenge, then we find ourselves right now moving through the period of Lent leading up to Easter. A timely reminder for personal reflection on our journey with Jesus in His

passion, to survey the cross, asking the measure of Christ’s love in His suffering and death. The cross will always keep our mission clear – for ourselves and for the existence and purpose of our venues. Christ’s passion and the sober nature of this time right now before us, is healthy for the heart and true to the gospel, scrubbing away frothy spirituality by calling us to say “NO” to ourselves, in order to experience a greater “YES” in Jesus! Surely then, there is no better way to start another year than for us to reflect on: (1) The Mission of our Venues: Is the mission of why our venues were established being fulfilled? (2) Our Personal Mission: In the light of Christ’s passion and the cross, are we fulfilling our mission? Is our walk with the Lord all it should be? May God bless every one of you, Errol & Dot Woodbury NSW Chaplains

the LAST word


Issue 35 Autumn 2013 Communicator