We were absolutely thrilled to be joined by about 150 people from 16 churches for a weekend full of fun and good memories.

It was amazing to have lots of young people come from across Thrive’s region: Leamington, Warwick, Coventry and beyond! Everything felt a lot larger, and it was a delight to have so many young people eager to embrace the opportunity of the Basecamp weekend. One of the young people, Hannah found “it was so much fun, and I enjoyed meeting people from so many different churches”.

Over the course of the weekend there was a mixture of activities for the young people to enjoy. We ran different games and icebreakers for a bit of fun and to release some energy. It was great to see the young people have fun and embrace their creativity and work together. One of the activities involved the youth leaders being good sports and shone a light on them living out their vocation that God has put on their heart of serving Him and His people as a youth leader. The gift that the young people wrapped up and discovered is in fact one they are already blessed to have, their youth leader!

The theme of the weekend was ‘what was I made for’. We started with a talk and the exploration of being made on purpose and for a purpose. We also considered being made for each other and then made for a relationship with God. The content of the talks was expanded upon in small group discussion within the different church groups and provided the opportunity for the young people to ask questions and pray together (in the way that suited the individual groups).

It was great to see some of the young people who previously participated in the Youth Growing Leaders course kindly stepping up into leadership to MC, supporting running seminars, run games, and activities. On the Saturday evening, they helped to run a ‘Basecamp does Taskmaster’ evening leading the MCing, judges panel, and evening entertainment. It’s such an encouragement to see the young people putting what they learnt from the Youth Growing Leaders course into action and seeing them continuing to intentionally grow in their walk with the Lord. God is good!

This year, we were able to offer a choice of five different workshop options to provide the young people with a selection of opportunities to try out. Our Thrive Children’s Ministry Adviser, Fiona, who heads up Thrive’s Puppet Team ran a ‘Puppetry experience’. This gave young people the chance to learn how to bring a puppet to life and how (as part of a team) they can be used to lead others in worship. We were also kindly joined by guest visitors who helped to run workshops. Local artist, Rosa Wain, and her husband Roger, ran a session about Worship Art, encouraging young people to use their creativity and have fun with colour. We were also blessed with Pete and Mandy English joining us not only in a pastoral role and as youth leaders but also with their interactive prayer labyrinth with a path to follow around a maize whilst you prayed. There were also ball games and sports options from table tennis and snooker to basketball and football. It was great to see lots of different spontaneous games like girls’ football and ‘signs’ taking place. So good to having cross church mixing and unity throughout as we gathered together to celebrate Jesus.

We had various adrenaline pumping activities to get involved in. From the dizzy heights of the high ropes to whizzing down the zip wire and bravely taking a leap of faith there were many high points over the weekend. From the top of the towers to bouncing and racing around the inflatable course there was something for everyone to get involved in. It was fantastic to see the youth leaders participating in the activities, supporting, encouraging, and spurring on all the young people. There was something on at all levels for everyone. One of the young people, Naomi, thought that “Basecamp was absolutely brilliant, and I had a great time.”

It was a real encouragement to see so many young people and their youth leaders bonding and getting to know each other better. One of the youth leaders, Darren, found Basecamp “Amazing! Everyone had a brilliant time. They all engaged in the activities, seminars, and workshops. Everyone got on well with each other and some said how they couldn’t wait until next year”.

Overall, Basecamp was brilliant! It was such a joy to be joined by so many young people and their leaders, from different churches. Our prayer and hope are for these young people to be able to thrive in their relationship with the Lord.