S.O.S was an amazing experience for all involved, with fun, laughter and hard work. Having taken part in two camps I had made loads of friends and had lots of fantastic memories. So when I received an invite from Fr Bob for a reunion in March, I couldn’t wait and said “yes” straight away. The S.O.S weekend would involve the four windows of an S.O.S camp - community, fun, service and developing a relationship with God.
The weekend began with 8 of us gathered around the dining table, just chatting and laughing as if the camp had only finished days ago. We spent hours sitting there sharing stories of both camps such as: Gill making us piece banana’s back together, Munich’s café and Freddy’s love for sheep. We also had a camp favourite, ‘mini star’s’ for afters; Bob reminding us that we don’t get anymore until all the flavours are eaten, including peach! It was great to be back together and we recreated our community straight away.
That evening Gill led us in prayer which involved us thinking about when we had seen God on our camps and also when we had shared some great times. As we shared, one story flowed into another and we sat for hours thinking about how God really was alive in what we had being doing and also in ourselves. It was an amazing time of thanks giving. However no-one realised that it was actually one of the longest prayers we’d ever been in!
In true S.O.S style Saturday involved work, from preparing and cooking meals, to coming up with promotional ideas for next years camp, and finally some hard work in Bob’s garden. As usual all the work was fun and it was really great to think about how we could encourage others, including why we had all taken part in the first place. However after about ten minutes in the garden the question was asked;
“so tell me why we do this again?!”
This was answered about two hours later when Ann and I refused to come in from the Garden until we had finally fixed the fence. We couldn’t leave a job unfinished and then the feeling of satisfaction and pride in everyone when we had all completed was amazing this was when I realised that’s why we do it! Not only are we helping others but we were also completing jobs we thought impossible.
In true S.O.S style we all kept a smile on our face, even though we were aching as our weekend headed to a close. Although we were sad to say “bye”, we had enjoyed our time together and looked forward to seeing each other again, to relive the fun!
It’s hard to put into words just how much fun an S.O.S camp is, with loads of hard work and laughter and a great sense of achievement at the end of every day. I believe the S.O.S camps will continue to run for years to come, inspiring others and making a difference in communities.