Chaplaincy | Fuel CampLucas Thurston
Camp Report 2022
The annual Trinity-Meriden Fuel Camp took place from Friday, 10 June to Sunday 12 June, 2022 at The Collaroy Centre. Collaroy is an excellent site and was an improvement on the Elanora Heights venue from last year. In 2022 over 200 students attended from across the two schools; a record number of attendees.
Fuel Camp is based around Bible sessions and small group discussions that are spaced throughout the weekend. There were three Bible talks given by Red Fulton (whose family has recently returned from serving on mission in Arnhem Land), on the topic of the ‘Impossible Commands of Jesus’. The talks were heartfelt, sensitive, and strengthening. Red drew the students in to reflect on the impossibility of perfectly obeying the commands of God, but how his grace to us in Jesus redeems us and reforms how we think and feel about our attempts at obedience. Students were encouraged to remember that Christ’s atoning work on the cross covers for their failures, and that the work of the Spirit empowers each of them to boldly live lives of faith and obedience.
Off the back of the three talks, students gathered in mixed gender small groups to discuss what they had heard and to pray together in response. Discussion groups were co-led by senior students from both schools. The Trinity small group leaders were selected from among the Year 11-12 boys who attend Berea, with two Year 10 students also given the responsibility of leading one of the Year 7 groups. Fuel this year saw an increase in the number of senior students attending who are not involved in Berea or formal Christian leadership roles within the school. These students, along with a few senior students from Meriden, were organised into small groups led by staff members.
Outside of the Bible sessions and discussion groups were chances for students to relax, have fun and build and grow friendships. On Friday night was a dance battle, with every student participating with their discussion group in choreographed dances (of variable quality!). Even without the use of the oval (due to it being waterlogged) Saturday afternoon was free time followed by wide games on the available grass. And on Saturday the Year 12 leaders took over to run their own murder mystery wide game. Students had to compete in a range of different challenges and activities to earn clues to solve the mystery!
One of the other benefits of Fuel Camp is the voluntary involvement of staff. Camp provides the opportunity for students to relate to their teachers in a more relaxed and personal manner, with the voluntary presence of staff being a testament to the lived reality of the personal faith. Following Jesus goes beyond the formal structures of the regular school week such as Chapel. It is also a great encouragement to the staff themselves to connect with their co-workers in shared service of the students.
All in all Fuel Camp 2022 was a great success. Red, the staff from schools, the site staff, and the students themselves all contributed to making it an enjoyable, exciting, and richly edifying time for everyone who attended.