Wednesday, 24 July 2024

What to Expect at Summer Camp 2024

As you are hopefully well aware our theme in 2024 is that of 'Belonging' and the booking for summer camp is open now! Our theme 'Belonging' really helped myself and James as we set out to visit our location for summer camp, Bell Heath, as we knew what we wanted to see and we are thrilled to say we found it!

Where is Bell Heath?

Our Summer Camp location this year is not far from Birmingham whilst still feeling like you are set in quieter surroundings. We hoped for larger spaces than last year where we could create 'belonging' through Senior and Junior Campers having opportunities to work together and separately in smaller groups. This location certainly allows us to do this. I hope over the next few minutes that this will help you to visualise the place that we picture our young people from across the Province gathering together to learn together alongside God.

Our first impression on arrival of Bell Heath was that this was a hidden gem -just off a more main road you arrive to a clearly signposted entrance with plenty of parking. The building itself is long and gives you the distinct impression of space and room for lots of fun.
On entering, we were shown the incredible dining room space. It will not only be perfect for eating in but also doubles up well as an indoor game space or an ideal space for indoor summer camp workshop.

Last year we had an indoor workshop on Bhangra dancing which was really good fun and as the Provincial Youth and Children's Committee (PYCC) we are asking the Summer Camp leadership to hopefully resource another fun 'movement' activity for us all to try. Watch this space! Last year's Bhangra dancing was a real highlight for many, and we feel confident in this new space that many more 'highlights' are possible. We also believe it provides us with much needed space to do artwork akin to what we managed to produce last year. The photo is from last year's summer camp where we used our dining area to run games such as Taskmaster as well as do some prayerful art and reflection. With a bigger space come bigger ideas … so watch this space.

What's the sleeping area like?

The bedrooms this year are bunk beds like last time. However, unlike last year each bedroom is a fully separate room (with walls up to the ceiling) which we imagine will lead to even happier campers than last year. Our dorms are separated into girls and boys with both sections leading back into the major social areas of the space.

What about the food?

Like last year we plan to cook again - including some of our favourites like home-made pizza. As ever we will work to dietary requirements and so ask that you fill these in on the form you send in with your deposit. The kitchen at this space is far bigger and has far more space for team cooking and is just off the main dining hall making working together and eating together an ease and a joy. Last year a lot of our young people showed us some great cooking skills with others learning from their peers how best to do things like chop onions. As a team we are looking forward to seeing how our returners are doing in their cooking skills as well as learning about what people love to eat and cook at home from any new summer campers. I recall a young lad from Northern Ireland raving about a home-made cake he makes at home, and we loved hearing the enthusiasm for self-sufficiency when it came to making food.

Although cooking hasn't always been something we have done at Summer Camp, last year proved that there was joy to be had in sharing in the preparation, cooking and eating together of the food as a group and one we want to do again.

Are there other social areas at this Summer Camp?

Yes! Inside there are several other smaller rooms including one we think will be perfect for our Summer Camp Film Night. It has projection facilities as well as plenty of seating space. It might not be as pretty an outside view as last time, for those who came, but there is far more space to go off and do smaller group work / relax in.

Even when we were on site Br James Woolford was already very excitedly thinking about what films to suggest in our summer camp planning meeting having seen the space. Popcorn at the ready!

What's outside?

The outside space at the Bell Heath Centre for 2024 is great. Like last time there is a campfire space which will be perfect for those wind down times where just a marshmallow will do. There is also a football field/rounders area as well as a basketball court with nets. Finally, there are high rope and low rope areas which can be used when supervised and with a booking.

A personal highlight for me last year was when we played Werewolf around the campfire but I know others really enjoyed the outside sessions including the game of 'Moo' and rounders.

This year the space allows for different types of game as well as old favourites. And there is more than one running around space which we are really pleased about.

Should I be excited about Summer Camp 2024?

Absolutely! The location we feel has the real potential to make this Summer Camp and we are thrilled to already have return campers booked. Thank you! The sooner you book, the easier it is for our Summer Camp Planning team to start planning and making sure we can book accurate numbers for each activity. So please, if you have any doubts, please get in contact with Br James Woolford and ask questions. If not get your £35 deposit and booking form into Br David Howarth and join us as we explore what 'Belonging' means for us this 2024 Summer Camp.

Sr Claire Maxwell


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Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
Moravian Church House, 

5 Muswell Hill, 
N10 3TJ


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