18th July 2013

The annual 'Special Needs Camp' at Aberdaron, 7-14 July 2013 was blessed with brilliant North Wales sunshine all week. The management team chose to hire tipis instead of regular tents. It gave the field a completely different look, although those observing the first one being erected, taking a whole day, wondered if the accommodation, complete with fitted carpets, would be ready in time.  Thanks to late night working by the manager, Les Simpson, and his team, everything was ready when the coach arrived on Sunday afternoon.

Special-Needs-Camp-2013019The 2013 theme was 'Jesus Saves Me' ‒ not the easiest concept for our campers to understand. We were fortunate to have Pastors Curtis Murphy and David Rancić, who started the story in the Garden of Eden and, over successive days, took it through to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Worships were enhanced by the drama group acting out various Bible rescues. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous friend who sent a parcel of instruments to the site ready for our camp, campers were able to play tambourines and other instruments as they participated in worship.

Campers who took part in arts and crafts returned home with a small box they had made and a decorated photo frame containing their photo, taken by keen photographer, Duska Rancić.

A tournament took place over the week to find the winners in several activities and the campers produced their best, improving day by day. Two new outdoor games had been purchased with some of the money raised by Nigel Clarke running a marathon, and these proved very popular. We were also privileged to be able to use some new big balls, provided by our mystery benefactor. Several creative works of art were built in the sand of Aberdaron beach during Thursday afternoon and the sports day on Friday exceeded all expectations. Small minibus trips through the week took campers to a little train and a slightly bigger group to the ever popular bowling lanes. The whole group, including the site team spent a happy day in Llanberis, home of the Electric Mountain (hydro-electric power station).

Special-Needs-Camp-2013017Many things go to make Special Needs Camp the special time it is for both campers and staff. It is fascinating to observe staff of all ages caring and supporting campers to achieve so much more than expected. All the teams; medical, kitchen, worship, carers and on-site maintenance work together to ensure the success of camp and the happiness and safety of the campers.

A new team member, persuaded to attend by his Adventist wife, left us stating, "I expected to endure a week, instead I had a wonderful week of fun with the very best of company."

To find out more about Special Needs Camp, or to volunteer, please visit: www.specialneedscamp.co.uk. A picture gallery is also available on the Adventist Church website.

[Joy Bussey]

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