On the one hand we maintain clear boundaries, and on the other we encourage healthy naughtiness and pranks.
Children want to experience living examples of joy and trust in life from the adults around them
Every child is precious and has something important to bring to the world, regardless of their apparent challenges. We endeavor to create an environment where the children feel totally safe to drop their inhibitions and express their spontaneity and sense of adventure and play – an environment where they can discover for themselves their own special gifts and qualities.
Although the camps are carried in the ‘aura’ of The Christian Community, they are not in any way intended to teach religion to the children. We do hold a special Children’s Service on each of the 2 Sundays, sing grace before meals and speak a prayer before going to sleep, but for the rest we prefer to work towards uncovering the innate divine in every child through enthusiasm, conviction and humor, and a general love for life. On the one hand we maintain clear boundaries, and on the other we encourage healthy naughtiness and pranks if it is always inclusive and safe.
A fundamental conviction that every challenge has a creative solution no matter how difficult it may seem. Again and again, we hear stories from parents after the camp how their children have changed. They are more confident and creative, more ‘in themselves’ and better able to cope with disappointments and little upsets. But what touches us most are the stories of those who were too shy to sing before, who end up singing endless camp songs for weeks afterwards.
It is a huge responsibility for us to share and guide the lives of so many children so intimately and fully for 10 whole days, and we cannot always promise we will get it right. In many ways one can truly say it is an impossible task – and yet it is just here that we can also feel the enormous strength and support that is granted to us through the evening Helper services every night after the children have gone to sleep. The whole Helper team gathers for a short Close of Day service at the altar to reflect on the day that has been and, on the children, and takes them into the night with our prayers. Year after year we feel how it is this inner aspect that ultimately makes the camps possible – something far bigger than ourselves always happens.