ANCHORED: BUC CAMPOREE WITHSTANDS WIND AND RAIN!
4th August 2016
'Anchored', the theme for the BUC Camporee became a reality when extra strong winds battered the South Wales coast and the Pembrey Country Park where the camp is based. Throughout the day the wind increased in strength, with gusts of over 40 mph lasting into the early hours of the night.
Although the more than 800 campers had been asked to batten down the hatches, some were still caught out and the kitchen tents were unable to withstand the elements. A call went out and staff worked well into the night moving club gear and relocating those who had lost their accommodation.
One large tent was whipped away so suddenly that it crashed into two smaller sleeping tents where children from another club were sleeping. Thankfully the children inside were unhurt, but it was a close call and children and parents were somewhat shaken. However, club leader, Jo Mitchell, was determined that nothing would deter them from sticking it out.
The club prayed together and visiting speaker, Pastor Richard Reid from Melbourne, Australia also went to encourage them and pray with them. As Jo said, "I'm not even thinking of going home. The devil can do his work, but there is a message that we were meant to hear at this camp and we are staying to hear it!"
Staff worked overtime as they went around the camp in the dark re-pegging sagging tents and making sure all the clubs were as secure as possible. As Pastor Nathan Stickland, BUC Youth Ministries director and Camp Master remarked, many will never know what took place on their behalf during the night. Welsh Mission member, David Hanson-Bartholomew, who was also helping, compared the night-team to guardian angels who kept the clubs safe unawares.
This was the second night when tents had come down, the first was on Monday night when lashing rain added to the bitter, windy weather. Soggy campers emerged the next morning, but soon the second day's morning worship and talk by our other guest speaker, Pastor Jonathan Burnett, revived damp spirits. The many activities onsite, including numerous honours, resumed that morning and children were once again engrossed and enthralled as they learned new skills and tried their hands at various crafts and sports.
The sun is now shining and the winds have slowed and as we end the activity sessions this afternoon, the clubs are preparing for the night-time incident hike planned for Thursday evening. TED Pathfinder Director, Peter Bo Bohsen, and his assistant, Kim Svanesoegaard, are on site and have been organising an amazing Bible smuggling adventure for the whole camp.
With a day trip on Friday to the Welsh National Show Caves, the camporee is flying by and soon it will be time to say our goodbyes.
But for now we'll enjoy the good company, the beautiful scenery and the memory-making moments while we can. Many clubs and staff have shared stories of the miracles and blessings they have experienced in their preparations for camporee and during their time here and we will share some of these in a full report in next week's BUC news.
Like us on Facebook for daily updates and photos direct from the camp (or search our hashtags #anchored2016 #bucpathfindercamporee). See also: ADRA refugee honour launched at BUC camporee.