Family Camp a chance to reconnect, learn and grow together in faith

By Josh Low

Following a vastly positive response earlier in the year and a desire for more, the Family Camp run by the Office of Life, Marriage and Family returned for a second time from 29 September to 1 October.

Held at the Lea Scout Centre in Kingston, the latest Family Camp saw more than 50 participants, both young and old, take part in the weekend.

With laser skirmish, abseiling, rock climbing, talks, a Q&A session around the fire pit and a live screening of the AFL Grand Final, there were plenty of activities on offer.

Attending for the first time with her family, Elke Vidler said it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time as a family connecting, building bonds, and having fun together in a faith-based environment.

“You can just relax as a family. We are all so busy in today’s world, and so just to get away for a couple of days, to have meals cooked for you, to be able to just be together and to reconnect within your own family unit, while deepening your faith together was fantastic.

“It provided an opportunity for everyone to have an experience of faith, at whatever stage they’re at, in a really gentle and nurturing way, that’s not overwhelming – especially for those who perhaps aren’t practising, or as deep in their faith,” she said.

“Everything is just on offer there. There’s no expectation, there’s no judgement. It’s just on offer for people to take up any opportunities that they would like.

“The kids had a great time sitting around the fire pit, even when it wasn’t on during the day, and just connecting with their friends from their local parish on a deeper level, making new friendships from other parishes, throwing the ball around or kicking the ball around with each other.”

She added that being able to connect with other parents and families was of great benefit.

“As Catholics we can sometimes remain quite insular or stuck in our own little bubble, so I thought it was good to network with those from other parishes in the Archdiocese.

“Parents were able to talk to other parents about topics of relevance in society through a lens of faith, or share points about parenting, raising children in today’s world, any challenges, and things like that.

“There are opportunities for formation for us as parents as well because we don’t all just automatically know everything; we have to grow, learn, and keep expanding ourselves.

“And at the Family Camp you’ve got parents with older children who have been through this themselves, who have that beauty of hindsight, and reflection, and experience they can share.

“I would definitely encourage other families to go to future Family Camps,” she said.

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