The Times does Camp

woolhampton.04Here’s the proof! It really did happen. I didn’t imagine it or dream it. Ruth Gledhill, religious correspondent for The Times, paid us a visit at Woolhampton this year. It was a joy to meet her. She was delightful. She stayed with us for over three hours as Ed and I proudly showed her round the venture. The magnificence of camp was all Ed’s doing, but I was happy to share the credit!

Ruth came to write about a Christain Summer Camp whilst one of her colleagues went to Somerset to report on one of the new Atheist Summer Camp. We were anxious what she’d write. We needn’t have worried. This time she was on our side! In the end it was pretty bland. Her blog entry was much more positive.

But I would take issue with one of the conclusions she drew. At the end of her blog entry she writes, ‘In future, I would quite like my own son to attend both camps and then be in a position to make his own mind up. But this summer, he is at neither. Instead he’s been at rugby camp for brief parts of the day, and then curled up in the comforting warmth of his own home to play his Wii and DS the rest of the time. God or no God, I can’t help wondering how many of these kids at their rain-soaked summer camps in the soggy fields of Britain, especially the boys, wouldn’t secretly rather be doing the same…’

The truth is, none of them. Not a single one. I’d bet my mortgage on it. I’d be amazed if a single one of the lads, if offered a few days at rugby camp or a week at Woolie 1 would prefer the oval ball. They absolutely love camp. What’s not to love? It’s awesome. You can play rugby at school but you can’t surf the plastic, sing ‘Wonderwall’ round a campfire, thrash the leaders at Crocka and ask the big questions that adults can be so hopeless at answering. And they’ll be back next year just to prove me right.

I ought to express my thanks to Ben Gurr of The Times for taking and sending this photo.

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