Maria Island - Invaded!
MERGE: Citywide Baptist Youth
Way back, preCOVID-19, the Citywide youth group, set off on a grand adventure, camping on Maria Isalnd!
Excitment and Challenges
Citywide Baptist Church youth group (MERGE) got out into the wilderness, with this year's summer camp at Maria Island. It was exciting to have for the first time our Nepalese congregation represented amongst the group of 12, who spent two nights on the island enjoying all it had to offer.
At the beginning of the camp, youth and leaders were divided into teams to buy supplies for a meal which they would then make for the camp. This was a lesson in being prepared when supplies are limited, and a sense of contributing to the group. We then continued by bus to the island ferry loading all our gear into two big buckets which we then carted by trolley to our new home for the next three days.
The next challenge was putting up the tents, with both tents clearly being the largest on the island. Once the camp was set up with all its luxuries, we headed off to find the painted cliffs. The youth enjoyed searching the rock pools and seeing the buildings that reference the history and life on the island over the centuries.
That night we got to tag along with the Discover ranger and learn about our native wildlife that we were sharing our campsite with. We saw lots of wombats, and even some kangaroos. When we returned from spotlighting we were greeted by three hungry brushtail possums who had found our jar of biscuits!
Uphill - and Loving It!
The full day on the Island was spent walking up Bishop and Clerk, so named by the way the rocks have formed to look like a praying Bishop with a clergymen following behind. The walk took us four hours with some resistance to begin with, well, most of the way up.
However, the journey provided many great conversations and reaching the summit was a highlight for some. The views were certainly breathtaking as we observed the island from the peak.
Island-Days: Reflections and Prayer
Each day we reflected on God's word, first on God's provision when resource is limited, being that we were "on the island, off an island". In the down time we spent time reading John 15:1-17 and Romans 12 to remind us that God is the Gardner, and that we are unique. But when we are united we can doing anything.
The time together was a great opportunity to grow in relationship, learn about this land God had created; all that inhabit it; and therefore our part to play as the next generation. It was also a great way to start the year, and learn how we can be praying for our young people as they started a new year at school, and for some a new school.
Some of the best moments with our young people were seeing them include others in the camp with a game of soccer, kicking the footy on the beach at dusk, and achievement of getting to the summit of Bishop and Clerk.