By Akki & Allison El-Kaakour
Walking into the daunting 16 days of Rangers camp in the forest, this past school holidays, held an air of anticipation and excitement. Would the weather hold out for the duration of all the camps and provide for us sunny skies? Will the water boilers provide enough hot water for all to shower in the evening? Can we rely on the youth of the team to carry the weight of camp program? But most of all, will we remember how to flush toilets and turn on light switches after such a time of pit latrines and paraffin lanterns?
Yes, yes and yes to all. Much hard work accompanied by playing hard made for three fantastic camps!
The first children’s camp was called “Young Master Chef – Taste the Adventure”, and was for the pioneer rangers aged 9-11 yrs old. Along with the usual building of the campsite, they had water based games where they played “capture the flag” through the river and into the forest, crafts to accompany their cooking challenges, and much much more. However, the biggest part of camp was based on the cooking show ‘Master Chef’. Each day the Pioneers had two cooking challenges which were to be done in “potjie” pots over fire.
Everything was presented by a game show host, and the end products were scored by 4 international judges. It was an absolute blast!
The second youth camp was “God’s Army – Choose where you will stand”, as was for the Pathfinders & Pathrangers, aged between 12 and 15 years. Their Camp was based around being in an army. Strategy games, boot camp training, patrol/team work, and challenges. I was amazed to see the young women rise to the challenges and conquer the boys in the boot camp competition games! On a deeper note, the topics covered included the armour of God, our weapons of warfare, and knowing the battle plan of the enemy. For those that were ready to receive, I believe the Lord did some personal heart work.
The third camp was a National Training Camp, which is for both young and mature adults 18 years and older, looking to advance in their Rangers Training or receive training for the first time on a higher level. We had 16 of our junior leaders attend the camp and graduate with their training certificates, and they are now NTC leaders! One of our Bulembu Christian Academy teachers, and two non-local members also attended the NTC training camp. This camp involved a lot of seminars, workshops, and teaching of leadership principles. We are very proud of our young people who have started as Pioneers and are now in adult leadership!