Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Deuteronomy 32:2
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We had another great summer of Falcon Camps. The lovely sunny weather helped create fantastic holidays for young people who often don’t have the chance to go away. Fewer of the wet weather alternatives have had to be used than usual – on some sites with little indoor space to run around in, that is a huge blessing. A good summer holiday is something that cannot be taken for granted. One overall leader commented: ‘At our camp one of the things that touched me most was one of the boys who was brought by his school learning mentor. When he picked him up the mentor told one of the leaders that he’s never seen this boy smile before.’ All sorts of fun activities were helping children smile at camps across the UK, including archery, abseiling, swimming, baking for a cream tea, cake decorating (won by the boys’ team) camp fires and picnics. And that’s just a taster … the variety at our camps is huge! As we reflect on the season of summer camps in this latest edition of Falcon Update, all the planning and preparation seems an age ago. The equipment and games have been squirrelled away in lofts and garages for another year. At first sight many of the camps looked quite similar to previous years, but on each one there were new and exciting things happening. Some teams were on new sites, some leaders had been newly recruited and children and young people were taking part in numerous games and activities for the very first time. You can read about some of these in this update, but on every Falcon Camp for every member there were new and exciting ways to engage with God. However, the cycle moves on and we are busy sorting out the programme for next year. We pray that now they are back home all they heard stays with them. May they be like the new grass described in Deuteronomy 32, with the teaching they heard on Falcon Camps helping them to grow and flourish in God’s kingdom. Thanks,
Jane Stephenson, Falcon Camps Development Manager PS: Don’t forget the last Falcon Camp of the year is taking place in October in Northamptonshire with older teenagers (see page 5 for more details), so please keep praying for them too.
Getting a taste for Falcon
It takes a special person to volunteer at two Falcon Camps in one summer – especially if it’s your first time involved! But Kerry Moralee did exactly that this summer, helping as a leader at Great Hucklow and Dean Forest Falcon Camps. Kerry, who works for a school and is involved in the children’s work at St Aidan’s Church, near Durham, was put in contact with Falcon Camps by his vicar. He was joined at Great Hucklow by his wife Amanda, who is also involved in running Messy Church at St Aidan’s. He said: ‘I was shocked (in a good way!) by my time on Falcon Camps, because given some of their backgrounds I thought some children could be a real problem. However, with the chance to have a free rein and show themselves as individuals, they were all fantastic and not one caused real problems.’ Kerry and Amanda took two children from St Aidan’s with them to Great Hucklow, which was also their first Falcon Camps
experience. Kerry added: ‘Their parents were initially worried about money, but as soon as that was overcome they were very excited about the opportunity for the children to go away. The children were also a bit nervous beforehand, but within 30 seconds they made friends and loved getting involved with everything. ‘We’ve seen them at Messy Church since, and the week on Falcon has had a massive impact on their faith. It gave them a chance to grow in faith and find their own way with God. They’ve already said they would like to go again next year!’ Just like the children from St Aidan’s, Kerry is also already looking forward to another summer of fun and faith on Falcon Camps in 2014.
Giving thanks for 2013 We had an amazing year of Falcon Camps in 2013, so thereâ€™s plenty to give thanks to God for! Amongst a few photos of the fun and games on Falcon Camps, hereâ€™s a statistical snapshot of all that has happened.
+ 400bers mem
15 s site
Keep praying To encourage you to persevere in prayer for all the children and young people who attended Falcon Camps this summer, we asked a couple of leaders to share their own prayers with us:
Father God, we thank you for camp this year. We thank you for all the fun we had, and for enabling us to give these young people a holiday and time away from home. Thank you that you equip us and empower us to share your word with our young people. We pray that this would dwell in their hearts throughout the next coming months and year.
We pray for the youngsters who have returned to difficult homes lives. Lord, we ask that they remember the things they learnt at camp and will continue to trust in you for every situation.
We ask that all the young people who attended Falcon Camps this summer would grow in knowledge and understanding of you, and be able to grasp, if just a little, the immeasurable love you have for all your children.
Sue Shrubb, Carroty Wood 1
Kitty Mounstephen, Chepstow
Looking ahead to 2014 Fun activities Each year new activities have to be devised. Please pray for creative thinking as everybody makes the best possible use of what is around them. Full marks to Firewood this year who took everyone outside for some late night star-watching on the night of the Perseid meteor shower â€“ a novel experience for everyone!
The programme Please pray as the final few leaders and sites are confirmed in the next few weeks ready for the 2014 brochure which will be published in the New Year. Most teams will be in the same place but sometimes circumstances mean we have to move, so pray that the venues we find will be really great new homes for the Falcon Camps involved.
New leaders There will be some new overall leaders next year, which is great to see as people become more involved and move up into more responsible positions. Please pray that they will thrive in the new roles and that the camps will flourish under their leadership. Every year we also welcome new first-time leaders, so pray that their time on Falcon Camps will be a life-enhancing experience as they serve on a team and enjoy plenty of fun times.
Bible teaching The teaching programme has to be planned making sure that the truth about Jesus is presented in ways that are engaging and accessible, so please pray for plenty of opportunities for interaction and participation.
Most importantly â€Ś the members! We want the right children to be on each Falcon Camp, so pray for all the conversations that will be taking place with young people and their families about camps, and that parents and carers see this as a great opportunity.
Encountering Jesus Overall leader and youth worker James Aidoo from St Mark’s Tollington in North London shares his hopes and prayers for this year’s Autumn Falcon Camp, taking place during October half-term. ‘As a church we’ve been involved with Falcon Camps for a few years now, and we’re looking forward to having around 24 young people aged 11-18 with us this autumn at the Rock UK Frontier Centre in Northamptonshire. ‘Many of the leaders are also involved in youth ministry at St Mark’s, which takes place both within the church and in the wider community. Through these links, we invite teenagers to come on the Falcon Camp, which means we have a real mix of those who go to church, and those who don’t. ‘Our theme this year is called “360”, and the teaching will focus on how the gospel impacts our whole lives. We’ll look at what the Bible says about walking with the Lord in every area of life, recognising that some of the young people are committed Christians, some think God is just for Sundays and others think God is for no days! ‘Last year, we saw God at work powerfully in young people. One of the most heart-warming things was seeing a friendship develop between a 16-year-old boy with antisocial behaviour problems, and a younger boy who is involved in the church. Being on a Falcon Camp gave them both the opportunity to be different, and they really gelled in a setting away from their normal life. We also had one young person who got baptised in February as a result of the Falcon Camp. ‘My hope and prayer for this year is that we’ll see many young people making an informed decision to follow Jesus, and that this will carry on back in their normal lives.’ Please pray for the Autumn Falcon Camp during the week: • F or the young people to genuinely encounter Jesus in a way which makes a real, long-term difference. •G ood relationships to be built through the week, and creativity for the leaders as they communicate the gospel. • F or more older teenagers to be inspired to become leaders, both on the Falcon Camp and back in Tollington.
A word from Tim Tim Friend joined CPAS in the new role of Ventures and Falcon Camps Principal earlier this year. The Bible is full of stories of people who might have been viewed as ‘beyond hope’ by many people in society. Jesus broke down barriers by mixing with sinners and tax collectors, and the Old Testament is littered with God using broken people such as Rahab, David and Jonah as key players in his salvation story. This summer I dropped in on some of the children and young people enjoying Falcon Camps. Clearly some of them are constantly being written off as ‘beyond hope’. But I witnessed leaders giving up a week to engage with them, encourage them, demonstrate God’s love to them, take the time to hear their stories, and help them to discover their place in God’s story. Physically demanding and emotionally draining stuff. I chatted to one girl who cares for her mum and younger siblings. ‘The medication makes
her say things she doesn’t mean,’ she said, as she began to describe life at home. She didn’t smile much and I guess she’d grown up too quickly. It would take most of the week for her to start displaying the fun, care-free, child-like behaviour you’d expect from someone her age. As valued supporters, whether through volunteering on camps, financial gifts or faithful prayers, I’d love to hear your ideas as to how we can expand the fantastic ministry of Falcon Camps. It may simply mean growing our current model but there’s also room to explore how we can open up the ‘Falcon experience’ even further – perhaps even taking it into urban housing estates? If you want to get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via the CPAS office. Whatever we do, the Bible reminds us that those who may be considered ‘beyond hope’ still have a significant place in God’s story.
Heavenly Father, thank you for all that our volunteers pour into young lives on Falcon Camps. As members return home, don’t let the memories of camp fade like a strange dream bearing little resemblance to reality. Instead, enable the children and young people in our care to know you’re walking with them and be able to draw strength from you. Inspire us and lead us as we seek to partner effectively in exploring new ways forward. Amen.
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Autumn 2013 edition about CPAS Falcon Camps