State Kids Camp (SKC) starts next week, and the Team can’t wait to welcome kids from across NSW and ACT to join them for two nights and three days packed full of fun, friends and memory making moments.
It takes many hands on-deck to pull together SKC! And this includes a team of Junior Leaders: teenagers who give up their school holidays to volunteer on Camp. Kaye Ryan, Director of State Kids Camp, says “State Kids Camp is a peak faith experience for children in years 4-7, but alongside that we are creating an intentional opportunity for junior leaders in years 9-12 to step into something bigger. At SKC we create a temporary community together where junior leaders can stretch themselves in a supported environment and try new ways of serving as well as discovering or using gifts and talents in new ways.”
Jess and Ami*, two Junior Leaders from SKC last year, reflected on their experience, and excitement for 2023. The girls were involved in planning camp, and during camp they helped to set up games and activities, sat in sessions for crowd control, led by example and co-led small groups.
Jess and Ami, year 11 students from North Sydney, were asked to consider stepping up into Junior Leading for the 2022 State Kids Camp. Both born into Christian families and volunteering in their church’s youth group, they stepped out into the unknown and dove into this role.
When asked what she most enjoyed about camp, Jess reflected that she “met a lot of really nice people” and particularly enjoyed being part of helping kids learn about God and Christianity in an interactive way, a way she hadn’t experienced as a child. Jess said the experiencing of volunteering had inspired her to look for more opportunities to volunteer in her day-to-day life.
“I didn’t have to do much but what I was doing was benefiting all these kids,” says Jess.
Ami loved meeting new people, both kids and leaders. She enjoyed going to camp with friends, independent of her family, and making many new friends. She particularly cherishes the strong friendships she formed with the other Junior Leaders, having served alongside them for the three days of camp.
When asked about the hardest part of camp, Jess says this was managing the excitement of some of the kids and their teasing, once the kids clued on to the fact that she was a fun leader to pick on!
When asked what they would say to youth thinking about volunteering as Junior Leaders in the future, the girls had a lot of advice!
- Be ready to work with kids
- Be patient
- Go into it positively
- Be a good example – “these kids are going to be looking up to you for the next couple of days,” says Jess, “so be who you would want to look up to if you if you were in their position”
- Be yourself – “it’s one of the best things you can do”, accounts Amy, “firstly, you’re not faking it and, secondly, you’re being a genuine role model”
- And enjoy yourself!
State Kids Camp is coming up in the July school holidays. The theme is ‘True Identity’, and the kids will be digging into Colossians 3:12-17. As God’s children we are chosen, forgiven, and deeply loved by God; members of his family, disciples of Jesus and worshippers. The main sessions are packed full, with worship, drama, group challenges and hands on, interactive content.
Pray for the State Kids Camp Team, including the Junior Leaders, as they lead kids from across NSW and ACT to explore identity, faith and God.
*Names changed for privacy reasons.