You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:14-15
fun-packed, affordable, unforgettable holidays for 8-18s
The euphoria is subsiding, and I don’t mean the Olympic glow that lit up Britain for a few weeks. We have had euphoric reports of all that has been going on at Falcon Camps this summer. On each and every camp the light of Jesus’ love was being shone in front of children and young people. Every day during carefully planned sessions different truths about God were explained in a wide variety of ways.
locations Scottish Falcon
Dovedale Bishton Hall Ringsfield
Wellingborough Saffron Walden Dean Forest Pinewood Chepstow Falcon Afloat Lee Abbey Carroty Wood Perrott Hill
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At one Falcon, a barbecue breakfast on the beach was used to demonstrate the appearance of Jesus to his disciples after the resurrection. Another camp used the theme of being astronauts chosen for a space mission to illustrate how God has a purpose for our lives and calls us to follow him. Jesus’ love for each of the members was shown just as brightly by the daily care and love that was demonstrated. One leader sent this report back: ‘We took two children whose parents suffer from long-term illnesses, and life at home is not easy. The children loved camp. They had so many new experiences – they tried new activities, went to new places, learnt new life skills, and experienced the joy and freedom of being able to be children! It was a privilege to facilitate this!’ The summer is over but we have two more camps taking place during October half-term. One is for teenagers in Northamptonshire, and there’s a brand new camp near Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire for 8-11 year olds. With your support, we hope to increase the number of camps which serve the north of England in the next few years. Please join us in praying that all the young people who attended a Falcon Camp this year have memories full of fun and laughter, and a deeper understanding of what a loving God we have. Thanks, Jane Jane Stephenson, Falcon Camps Development Manager
Rachel Heathfield tells us how God continued to answer prayers in unexpected ways at Treginnis 2 Falcon Camp this summer.
God of Having been a Christian for a long time, and having led Falcon Camps for many years, I’m unsure why I’m still surprised by God surprising us. Day after day we prayed and he answered – usually in bigger or better ways than we had asked for. What an awesome God we serve! For our day out we were visiting a theme park, which is always great fun. However, next door to the theme park there was a new swimming pool, with flumes, outside pools, jacuzzis and a wave-machine. We wanted to go to both places but were concerned about cost, so we asked for a discount and were given half-price places for the children and all adult leaders went free. What generosity and a sign of the abundance of our God! We needed to be quite flexible, such as when the venue we had chosen to have our annual breakfast on the beach wasn’t accessible. We desperately prayed that an untested alternative location would work well for a 50-person barbecue. When we arrived, the tranquility of the place was overwhelming. We barbecued our bacon and skimmed stones, and then listened to the Bible story of Jesus at a barbecue on the beach after the
rough At Wellingbo , 11 of the Falcon Camp ple made 28 young peo itment to a new comm God! Christ. Praise
resurrection. Some children responded to the gospel message and prayed for God to make a difference in their lives. Our dorm times at the end of the day were wonderful, simple times to share about the day and reflect on a single Bible verse from the day’s theme. The children each received a New Testament and the power of that gift to them was so striking. We shared great times together, including children praying for leaders and children engaging with big theological questions. In one group a child showed us his nasty blisters from wearing ill-fitting wellies, which were his only footwear. The leader prayed for his feet to feel better, admittedly with little faith! The leader forgot to ask in the morning, so was a bit overwhelmed when the child showed him his feet later that day at the pool and the blisters had vanished. When asked ‘Why did that happen?’, the child immediately answered, ‘Because God wants to show me he loves me’. During the week we saw leaders and children move on in their faith. Thank you for all your support and prayers for Treginnis. We had a wonderful time and met God in new and amazing ways.
More than 400 children had a great time on the 18 Falcon Camps which took place during the summer holidays. Here are some of the reflections from different people involved in this summer’s camps:
A parents’ perspective ‘We just wanted to say a really big “thank you” for all your commitment and hard work to make such a fantastic week. When [our foster son] has been away before he has always come back with ‘attitude’ and been really unsettled. This time was such a contrast; he has been relaxed and chilled out, not even having the usual down time before returning to school. He has told us bits and pieces about what you did, but I really believe that God has touched him. He told me last night that he isn’t worried anymore about being adopted and truly believes that God will sort things for him to stay with us. We would appreciate your continued prayers as he has been so anxious about this for such a long time.’
The young p eople’s view
‘Chepstow Fa lcon Camp is the best camp ever! You can do loads of di fferent activiti best part was es. The the ice-skating. helpful. I had The leaders w ere very lots of fun. Th e day at Westo was brilliant. n-Super-Mare The wide gam es were excellent many things to . There are so do such as th e adventure pl ayground, the astro-turf and the tennis cour t.’ (Ben, aged 12 , Chepstow) ‘Falcon Camp 2012 was am azing. At the of friends and camp I made I did things th loads at I would ha before. The be ve never done st three activiti es fo r me were cano climbing and low-ropes. In eing, rock free time you field playing aw are out on a esome games like rounders the ball. The fo or race for od there is love ly. Every year th a day out and ere is in 2012 it was to Cattle Coun which was so try cool.’ (Joseph , aged 10, Dean Forest)
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‘Pray continually’ There are always plenty of things to pray for Falcon Camps: Give thanks to God for all that he’s done impacting the lives of young people this summer. Pray for all the young people from this summer’s camps in their often challenging home lives, for them to be reminded of God’s everlasting love. Also pray for the leaders, giving thanks for all they give in service to God as many start to plan ahead for next summer. This autumn we have two Falcon Camps taking place during half-term, in Northamptonshire and North Yorkshire, so please pray for all involved.
Positively Pinewood Amongst all the fun activities and games, Falcon Camps simply wouldn’t be Falcon Camps without introducing the children to Jesus. Olly Du Croz, CPAS communications manager, visited Pinewood Falcon this summer and discovered how the words and actions of the leaders had a massive impact on the children. The ultimate bedtime story
A family holiday
Before bed each night everyone gathered together to drink hot chocolate and listen to Mark’s gospel being read aloud. The response from the kids was amazing, as they sat and listened attentively to a few chapters each night, so the whole gospel was read to them during the course of the week.
Another key aspect of Pinewood is to create a fantastic family holiday atmosphere. When taking the kids for an afternoon walk around the school grounds, one leader suggested that an essential part of any family holiday is to go on a walk when you’d prefer to be playing football or going swimming! Rest assured that there was still plenty of time for enjoyably manic group games as well as the chance to chill out, chat and play together.
There were various other ways of exploring the Bible during the daily programme. Following a talk and some songs in the morning, the hilarious post-lunch slot used fun and games to present the verse of the day. During my visit, they used an Incredible Hulk-style t-shirt-ripping contest to illustrate the temple curtain being torn in two when Jesus was crucified. Although it was hard to keep some children focused during dorm group discussions, it was obvious that the biblical input they were getting during the week was sinking in. Even the ones who seemed uninterested could still recall their favourite stories about Jesus by the end of the week.
Reliance on God Reflecting on my visit, it’s obvious that the Pinewood leaders can’t do this alone. They rely on the faithful provision of God for energy, wisdom, sensitivity and grace. They also rely on the prayers and support of the whole Falcon network – including you – so, on behalf of all at Pinewood Falcon, thank you!
At Hoylake, th e mother of a child with dys praxia had to ld us about needin g to encoura ge him to get washed an d dressed each engage with day, others and ta ke part in activities. Aft er day two h e was first every mornin g getting was hed, first to ask to pray, an d did it wond erfully and fully engaged in every activi ty. He was a star .
Dovedale joins Godâ€™s team Gill Dulgarn was a new overall leader at Dovedale Falcon Camp this summer. Here she shares how all the leaders rose to the challenge of creating a fun week for 22 children to learn about God and have a great time! After a lot of hard work and answered prayers (despite a few glitches!) during the preparation, we all got there safely as the leaders and children arrived from all over the country. The older group of members all had more Christian knowledge, so the leaders were really able to explore the issues raised at a deeper level. Two of the girls who had both been on several camps with us were asking lots of questions about making a decision to be a Christian and what that meant. The younger ones were under the tender care of two younger leaders who were like a surrogate mum and dad. They nurtured and cherished them but at the same time gently began to introduce issues in a simple way. Following feedback from previous years we chose to try a few different activities. The Heights of Abraham in Matlock were excellent and the staff could not have been more helpful. The entrance is up a cable car, which tested a few nerves and also provided a real challenge for some leaders and children. The kids went down a mine which was very different for them and very exciting.
Even the rain did not stop us enjoying the huge slides and adventure playground. Our teaching material was based around being part of Godâ€™s team. The evening meetings were planned by different leaders who all mucked in and helped each other out. We also had outdoor activities such as raft-building, as well as some team building games. One lot of rafts sank rather spectacularly, but lessons were learned by the second group who could have been engineers on the ark! One young man, Simon, arrived with his dad, a leg brace and three pages of information about his medical condition. His dad said that Simon could have a go at anything but his left side was very weak. Simon was a superstar. He did every single activity with a huge smile on his face. We also agreed to take a young girl who was in foster care, whose foster mum was very worried if she would be able to cope. She was wonderful! She tried all the activities and did not display any of the extreme behaviour we had been warned about. We kept her busy and showed her love and care and she responded in kind. She cried when she left, along with her foster mum who had enjoyed her first childless week for 25 years. God is good!
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