Reflections on Camp Quest UK after a week at CQ Somerset

I am writing this relaxing on my sofa, resting my weary self after a week away at our third Camp Quest Somerset.

And what an exhilarating week it was! Don’t get me wrong, it was exhausting, but in all the right ways.

We were joined by 22 young people, a small group compared to last year’s 40. It’s funny, when I take care of the admin, the campers are just names on pages, extensions of their parents’ correspondence. And when they arrive with their parents, they are closed books, shy teenagers, unsure of what to expect. But oh, what a difference a week can make!

These open, inquisitive young people have shared their thoughts, hopes and fears with us all, and we have shared ours back. It is always a privilege to work with Camp Questers, but to hear some of them say that Camp Quest now feels like a family, make me very proud indeed.

I was not raised to be noisy about my achievements, but as the stress of the first few years lifts, and we become more established each year, I am able to look back at what I (with the help of some very dedicated volunteers) have achieved.

Children who don’t normally fit in, for whatever reason, have found themselves while at camp. I was one of those children once, and I am so pleased to be able to offer what I needed then, to the next generation.

Camp Quest UK has evolved a great deal from the original US camps. Cultural attitudes to religion (and atheism) are so very different here, that CQ in the form that it exists in the States is simply not needed over here.

But CQUK is certainly needed.

We live in a world where the media is incredibly manipulative, appearance and status are the most cherished prizes, and education has been reduced to hoop jumping, standing on hind legs, wagging your tail at the judges.

The world we create at Camp Quest aims to be the antidote – a nightlight in a darkened room. In our world, education is about mystery and uncovering truths previously unknown, about discussion and contemplation, about support.

Every year the campers make me feel awfully stupid by comparison, and every year I find myself refreshed by that feeling. It is an honour and a privilege to teach and be taught at camp, and on this miserable and wet August day I feel overjoyed to have accomplished what I have.

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Posted on August 4, 2011, in Camp Quest. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That week was really incredible!

  2. Thanks Henry… we thought so too! :)

  3. It shouldnt be that way but it is so it must be confronted head-on..I have been reading recently about the concept of White Privilege what our accusers define as an unearned unmerited advantage that Whites have over other races. To that I answer Guilty As Charged..Lets look at this White Privilege that gives me an unfair advantage over others .I have the privilege of being raised by both my mother and my father in a stable home where drugs alcohol and crime never intruded..I have the privilege of being raised by parents who understood the value of education and insisted that I and my siblings take learning seriously..I have the privilege of being taught at an early age that making sacrifices today in order to have something better tomorrow is one of the keys to progress..I have the privilege of having grandparents who taught my parents these same values and generation upon generation before them..I have the privilege of learning about the Western European culture the music the literature the science the art that has enriched the lives of all who care to take advantage of that culture freely bestowed on all who care for the finer things of mankind..I have the privilege of having a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age..I have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and taught about the wholly undeserved love of a God who would sacrifice His only Son to pay for my sins..All these privileges were given to me completely undeserved and unearned.

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