Dangerous Club is our pre-teenage youth work at Christ Church Balham. It’s full of kids in years 4, 5 and 6. It’s a great age. And this year, for the first time ever, we went camping. It was absolutely terrific. I’m already an enthusiastic camper. And I’m unqualified in my praise of this weekend. It was great. God was very kind with the weather. It didn’t really rain. It spat. For about thirty minutes. At about bed time, which was actually quite helpful! We had no great ambitions for the weekend other than that we’d hang around in the countryside with our kids. The relational impact on the group was evident when we got back to church on Sunday morning and they went into their Sunday School Classes.
We stayed in the walled garden at Otford Manor, Kent. And we made full use of their facilities. We explored the woods. We swam in the pool (we’d have swum in a river if that was available). We swung on the rope swing. Repeatedly. We played a wide game. We got badly stung by nettles. And learnt what dock leaves are for. We built wooden shelters and tried to destroy the opposing teams. We burnt a shed load of wood. We cooked on an open grill. We shunned salad. And we ate marshmallows for breakfast. But we also washed and did our teeth. So it wasn’t all bad.
It was an absolute winner. Though we packed away dew sodden tents at 0800 in order to get back for church, they were dry by mid-afternoon after being hung up in the garden. I’d happily do it again. And I’d happily do it with Ignite, our teenage youth work. In fact, I’m really looking forward to it.