|During the weekend of 17 - 19 June, 70 junior age children embarked on a journey down to Hindleap Warren with their company staff for an adventure and fellowship weekend
It didn't have a great start what with the weather being so wet, and the M25 packed with traffic, and the girls rooms not being ready, but a prayer up to God and a phone call to Hindleap helped these issues sort themselves out by the time we got there.
Lots of excited faces were waiting for me to tell them which room they were staying in and which activity group was theirs.
Yes, I organised this whole weekend, with the help of many staff from the BB, and I was beginning to wonder what I let myself in for. Actually I knew, having done it for a few years now - no sleep, wet & muddy children, possible arguements & tantrums and maybe home sickness.
But, it was a fantastic time.
Usually on the Friday evening we go for a supervised walk in the woods but because of the bad weather, we provided indoor games for them and they had time to just chill and talk to children they didn't know, or catch up with those they did know through competitions and other BB events they all attend.
They had to be up at 7am each morning to get dressed, washed (questionable!) and tidy their room for inspection. Then it was breakfast, with each group taking it in turns to help wash up and clear the dinning area, before they were told to put on appropriate clothing for the days activities.
These included rock climbing, high adventure - leaping off a tree towards a hanging rope, zip wire, crawling through underground muddy tunnels and working togther as a team to achieve challenges set for them.
It was great to see that every child at least have a try at something. Not all of them managed it, nerves and the height got the better of them, but the rest of their team always encouraged one another.
The weather was fairly kind. Although we had rain during Saturday, it didn't stop them doing anything. In fact, it made the tunnels even more wet, muddy & smelly. This didn't deter the hardened boys ( and girls, to be fair) who loved getting soaked through and then running after their leaders to get them wet too!!
Each night, before bed, some of the leaders held a devotions slot where we sang songs, heard a story and acted it out, and had prayers. I was so amazed, and felt really touched, to see 7 - 11 year olds singing at the tops of their voices and enjoying it - the real reason why us leaders give up our time, not only on a week night but for weekends like this and weeks in August when they go to BB camp.
Although I was responsible for this event, I do want to thank the staff, and young leaders who came with me, and especialliy the qualified staff from Hindleap itself who took us out on the activities and were very patient at times, but also so informative about safety procedures etc
From some of the comments and feedback from the children, a weekend wasn't long enough and they didn't want to go home. I feel this trip will continue for many years to come, and I for one will be there enjoying myself with them.
Thank-you to all the respective churches and parents for their prayers.