Safari ’08

During the school holidays youth group had their annual week long camp – safari. This year’s camp was quite a big one with 57 people going along to brave the cold at Afterlee (back of Kyogle) and the Yarrahapinni campsite (Grassy Head). As we opened to the book of 2 Peter, the theme for the week was “All you need to know”. We were reminded that the Good News of Jesus is all we need to know to help us grow as Christians, it’s all we need to know because it’s true, it’s all we need to know when people try and tell us otherwise, and it’s all we need to know until the very end.

There were plenty of highlights from this year’s camp (check out the video below), but by far the most encouraging thing that happens on every safari, is seeing so many young people keen to grow in their relationship with God. The leaders would often tell me about the many conversations they had with different students in their groups, each being geared around God’s Word and the desire to really KNOW Jesus.

On a personal note, I was challenged by the guys in my discussion group to be more intentional when it comes to talking to my friends about Jesus. One of the group times we had during safari was all about planning a bring a friend event for the upcoming term – picking one friend, praying for them and inviting them along to the event that we decided on (a golf day for our group). In this particular group time the guys really took charge. They talked about the importance of telling others about Jesus, about ideas on how we can make Jesus more of our everyday conversation with friends and with each other, and then prayed for one another to be bold to talk about Jesus. Very encouraging stuff from a bunch of 16 year old guys!

I’m constantly reminded of the great group of young people God has put in our church family. You’d think with 57 people all sharing the same space for 6 days it’d do anyone’s head in. But being the group they are the week was hassle-free (apart from wake up alarms needing to go off numerous times), and was a great time learning together from God’s Word. All the leaders survived to tell the tale of safari ’08. Thanks to all those that helped with the logistic side of things for safari – it was very much appreciated. Please pray that the high schoolers that went on safari would continue to grow in their relationship with God, and the things they learnt wouldn’t be forgotten. And pray that the leaders would follow up the conversations they had with the youth, and that they’d follow Jesus’ example as they lead high schoolers. If you went on safari ’08 make sure you leave a comment and tell us what you were challenged by from God’s Word.

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56 comments on “Safari ’08
  1. youngy says:

    Safari this year ment cooking for me, not my gift, but I’ve only heard of one who got sick so far. I also managed to hear some of the talks and visit some group sessions. I was particularly challenged by Simon’s talk as he reminded me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings and his obsession for his ‘precious’ (ring) and that my ‘precious’ is my relationship with Christ. I hope I can be so obsessed with Christ my precious that much.
    It was also great to catch up with all the youth groupians and to see how their faith had grown, that they had not given up hope in Jesus! To see the 5 now year 8 boys’ still willing to learn about Jesus made me so pleased and filled with joy, I only wished I could spend more time with you.

  2. Grace Weerheim says:

    Safari ’08 was soooo much fun. Its the first time I’ve ever been and i’m hoping I can go to a lot more. We did a heap of fun things like going on the flying fox, playing vollyball, and lots of messy games. It was great. I reckon the biggest thing I learned(I learned a lot of things)was probably that Jesus IS coming back, and very soon and that we have to be ready for him and tell lots of people about him. I had a heap of fun hanging out with my group and youth leaders, Amanda and Nicky(I’m in year nine). I learnt a lot through the whole week and I just want to say thank you to the youth group leaders for giving us all such a good time. I cant wait till next time!!!Grace.

  3. Matt S says:

    Thanks for leaving your comments Youngy and Grace! Thanks for cooking for us youngy (and Rachael and Karina!) it was very much appreciated. I know our whole youth group really enjoyed catching up with you and Karina and getting to know Rachael more – you guys were a great team!
    Good to hear about what you were challenged by from God’s Word Grace – keep living for Jesus!

  4. Beccy says:

    This was also my first year at Safari, after watching the youth groupers go for a week of fun and learning from God’s word each year.
    I learned that we should be living for the day that Jesus comes back, that it should be the thing we are looking forward to, that everything else will pass away.
    My favourite activity was definately the flying fox, even though I screamed the whole way down!
    I really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to go again in years to come.

  5. Rachael says:

    Pete, you mentioned the ‘cooking’ that you did…I think it would be more fitting to discuss the ‘bike riding’ you did as that’s where you seemed to nicked off to at meal times. Granted, you did cop abuse from Karina and I when you did show up to help, so I can’t really blame you for avoiding the kitchen πŸ™‚
    I went to Safari this year as a cook (in case you didn’t pick it up)…I had never been to Safari before and had heard heaps of great stuff about it, so I was keen to check it out.
    I had a blast! Making that ‘tomato stew’ was defintely a highlight…and I know the kids really appreciated the meal πŸ˜‰ Other highlights were Matty’s chicken pancake (we couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried!) and refusing to give complaining kids the ‘coloured’ ice-cream (thus forcing them to eat boring vanilla). Hanging out with the Young’s was pretty awesome too…and heaps of fun!
    Thanks heaps to Deb for all the prep she did…we could’ve had a lot more disastrous meals if it hadn’t been for her organisation and words of ‘don’t put any more of that in’.
    It was great to get to know some of the youthies a bit better and to be able to muck around with them and pay them out πŸ™‚
    By far the greatest part of the week was to see so many kids keen to learn from God’s word. It was so encouraging to see how they are standing up for the gospel at school, depsite all the temptations and ridicule they face.
    I take my hat off to the leaders who run youth group. You guys are doing a fantastic job and it’s clear that you are encouraging and challenging the kids to love and serve each other in reponse to what God has done for them through Jesus.
    I hope to be able to go on Safari ’09 (hint, hint Matt)…even if it means going as a cook again πŸ™‚

  6. Matt S says:

    It was great that you finally got to go on safari Bec – great having you there! Thanks for sharing with us what you learnt – keep living for the Day!
    Rachael… What can I say… The chicken noodle flavoured pancake was NOT a highlight for me… But thanks for giving up your time to cook for us all – I know the youthies enjoyed hanging out with you!

  7. Rachael says:

    Was a great week. Thanks for putting so much time, effort and stress into it Matty πŸ™‚

  8. Hannah K says:

    Safari 2008 was my third time on safari and I had a really fun time. The things I enjoyed the most were the flying fox, volleyball, messy games and bopit.

    I also really enjoyed our group time and getting to know the girls better. Our group leaders Nicky and Amanda are a great encouragment.

    I was reminded that God has given us a precious gift, JESUS and as christians we need to keep growing in our relationship with Him, also of our need to spread the good news of salvation. Thanks Matt and all the other wonderful leaders and helpers for a fantastic safari.

  9. Laura Kinton says:

    Thanks Matt and everyone for making this safari such a special time. I enjoyed everything, especially the flying fox, and hanging out with our small group. Ally is our lovely leader and is always giving us encouraging words. A wonderful time was had by all. I learnt ” all ya need to know ….. coz its true!”

  10. Nicky Pryor says:

    Safari 08 was awesome!!!! My only wish is that I could have stayed longer. In my short time I too was challenged by Simon’s talk; hung out with the Youngs; suffered the fate of the ‘Tomato Puree Stew’; nearly froze by the cold; had some quality time with some of my girls, as well as other leaders; received some acupuncture late at night and early in the morning; showed the boys that a girl can kick a football (might not be straight though); and even break my arm (not really but it did swell up and was very very sore for many days).
    Thanks to all the guys who gave the talks so faithfully to the word, as well as all the Leaders who prepared games/activities in the many weeks ahead.
    Thanks to all the kids who came along – there were so many! Can I encourage you all to read over 2 Peter this term, so what you learnt on Safari won’t be lost, and you truly will know ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW…

    Bring on Safari ’09… (but not to quick)

  11. Hannah Weerheim says:

    This was my first year at Safari and it was great! I think some of my biggest challenges were living for the day and trying to understand the Bible, thanks for helping with that Tessa.
    I loved the games we played, they were so much fun. One of my favourite times at Safari was sitting around the fire after dinner, it was great.
    I also loved the singing, How Great is our God and Blessed Be Your Name are 2 of my favourite songs.
    What I learned from the talks is that God is like our precious gift and that we should treat him like one, NOT like some old piece of rubbish that nobody wants.
    For bring a friend night my group and I thought that we could go play ten-pin bowling or watch a Christian movie.
    I think I liked the obstacle course and the flying fox best. Flying fox was by far my favourite (though I almost didn’t go on it cause I’m scared of heights). I’m really glad I did!
    I like the video clip of it!
    I can’t WAIT until Safari o9!

  12. Juliaarrrr says:

    i didn’t go on safari, which was abit sad.
    but i just wanted to say that i find it really funny that matty told all the youthgroup people to leave like 50 comments or something and then we get something haha, and out of all of the comments there has only been one from a youth think one
    well me now, so thats like 2. But i didn’t go, so i don’t no if im counted.
    anyway i just found it amusing.
    yesss, peace out
    love Julia and esor

  13. Rachael says:

    Sore arm from the many ‘tube wars’ Nicky? I had a hefty bruise on my left arm for about a week after Safari πŸ™‚ My arms were sore for a while too. It was such a fun (and violent) game…I’m surprised we didn’t end up with any major injuries! πŸ™‚

  14. Lucy Klaus says:

    I loved safari, but i wish i did stay for the Messy Games and stuff, but safari wasnt JUST for fun, we went to learn about Jesus and how false teachers can lead you astray.

    The leaders did a great job in keeping everyone in line, and thanks to all the cooks for cooking the food (but i still dont think the tomato stew was ACTUALLY food, but……..anyway).

    I am looking foward to next year on safari 09 already!

    XxXx Lucy

  15. Brad Herd says:

    This year’s Safari was sadly my last as a youth grouper πŸ™ but the year’s of fun, fellowship and learning ended on a very good note. The talks given were extremely helpful and allowed me to see some of the flaws in my relationship with God. They showed me how Jesus should be ‘my precious’, how spreading his word and learning more about him should be my only concern. The talks also helped me realise that sometimes we know a lot about the Bible and Jesus but we don’t know Jesus, personally, as well as we should.
    Another good side of Safari ’08 was the chance we had to support and talk with younger Christians. It’s great to be able to see these kids grow in their love of Jesus, even in the early, difficult times of high school.

    Overall, Safari was an awesome experience (as per usual) and was very effective in showing me all I need to know, I’m gonna miss it.

  16. Kelsey Cresswell says:

    Hi everyone,
    Well I would probable have to say that Safari has been one of the most memorable things I have done.
    I had great fun on the flying fox, doing the challenge course,and the messy games were such fun to watch! But I would definitely have to say that the grass tobogganing has my favourite activity.
    I really liked all the fellowship that I had with all the other Christian teens. I grew alot closer to all the girls in my group.
    I loved all the talks; they really challenged me to think about my walk with God. The things that challenged me the most is that I always have to live for the day that Jesus returns, and to always keep moving towards Him.
    A BIG thanks to all the leaders that gave up their time for us!
    And a HUGE thanks to Matt for all the organizing you did, you did a GREAT job!

  17. Laura Kemsley says:

    Safari has always been the highlight of my year, and so sad I’ve had my last one! The talks were so excellent, thank you to all the leaders for making the time to prepare the talks and stuff, they were very challenging. I was reminded of the fact that Jesus is coming back, so we need to be prepared and should be living in light of that fact. and also that because he is coming back we need to be focused on living lives that proclaim him so that others can be ready aswell! Also, we learnt about false teachers, and I was challenged by the fact that we need to be careful we aren’t being ‘false teachers’ and leading our Christian friends astray by how we’re living – something I’ve been reminded of in the Corinthians talks too.
    Something that I found so amazingly encouraging was all of the other youth groupers, especially the younger kids. It was so so encouraging to see them so eager to learn and to see them looking out for each other. Thanks guys!
    And all the activitys were soooooooooooooooooo much fun πŸ˜€ esp the grass slopes and waterslide and volleyball and adventure course…
    Thanks leaders for organising it all!!!

  18. Laura Kemsley says:

    oh, also, thanks so much Alice for leading our group, you were a really big encouragement and support πŸ™‚ and thanks to Kelvin and Mark too, and all the senior group, so awesome to see you guys striving to live for Christ, and our studies are always really encouraging and insightful, thanks!

  19. Laura Kemsley says:

    oops that was supposed to be a smiley face, it turned out really evil!!
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  20. Laura.Mison says:

    Safari was great but the worst part about safari was that i missed the first part πŸ™ but at least i didnt have the stew πŸ™‚
    I cant wait for the next safari,Laura

  21. Rachel Mison says:

    My time at safari was excellent but THE STEW wasn’t.
    My favourite was the flying fox and the hot showers at Afterlee πŸ˜€
    Can’t for next year

  22. Rachael says:

    Man, that stew has copped a beating…surely it wasn’t that bad…I mean, I ate it, and Amanda had seconds…perhaps we don’t have any functioning taste buds? Or is it just that we aren’t whingers?? πŸ™‚ Laura, seeing as you missed out, I’m sure it could be put on the menu for next year πŸ™‚

  23. Juliaarrrr says:

    yer just wanted to say that when i posted my comment before, there hadn’t been other campers comments up. But when mine finally went up, they put ones in front of mine. so yer, coz i just realised that i looked really stupid
    mmmmmm.. but im really not stupid, it just looks that way.
    yep thats confusing

  24. Grace Weerheim says:

    Yeah, the stew was awfull!! But get this….I had THIRDS. I thought you might as well know. I mustn’t have any functioning taste buds either.

  25. Hannah Weerheim says:

    I thought the stew was awful as well, i only had firsts and nearly threw up afterwards!!

  26. Maryanne Herd says:

    Safari, well what can I say? … It was great, amazing and inspiring. It was loads of fun as we got to do lots of activities, sing songs together, play heaps of games, learn heaps about God’s word and grow as a group. My favourite activity was probably the flying fox. It was so much fun and I went upside down too! I really loved the morning quiet times as I got to spend one on one time with God and it really helped me to grow closer to him. My great group leaders, Amander and Nicky, were a great help with any questions the girls and I had although it was sad to see Nicky leave so early on Tuesday. The food was great well all except the beef stew :), but the cooks did a great job. It was so good to see the Young’s again and to have Rachel come and get a glimpse of our youth group and to have them as our cooks was heaps good. After lee was great fun and Yarra was amazing I especially liked the games room. All in all Safari was great as it always is and I’m looking forward to next year, from Maryanne aka mezza fezza or even alf :).

  27. Deb Allery says:

    Hey All,
    I had a great time too! My fav time was reading the bible every day with Rainbow girl and seeing dotti accomplish getting through the wheel. I think La,la has finely come round to her new name of lu lu but I will never give her and hannah jelly every again.
    It was great to see Bec master a new skill! (cleaning the toilet) but it was crazy to be around her after lollies at only 9am in the morning!
    Good on Mark & Dave for the scavenger hunt, it was great fun, just no computer questions next time! Amy I hope you know what a junction is now and I hope Amanda has learnt what adjacent means, all helpful things to know.
    I really loved the talks, the guys did a great job and presented them in a relevent way for us to understand.

  28. Jacob Voltz says:

    I thought safari was really helpful in that it not only allowed us to have fun but we also got to learn about God’s word and how we must ignore the scoffers, but one thing i found really help full was the leaders care and support they had for us kids because if they thought something was wrong they would come over and see if you were alright this just shows that if you see some one that looks sad that you shouldn’t just pass them by but you should see if they are alright and try to help.

  29. Rainbow Girl says:

    Sarfari was great and the best part was spending time with my group. I enjoyed lurning more about other people. I enjoyed all of the activety.

  30. Amy Stuckey says:

    Safari was lots of fun. I enjoyed spending time with all the people from Youth Group, I also liked the the flying fox and the ropes. The food was good, well basically all of it except for the stew. I learnt a lot about God and my friends.

  31. Deb Allery says:

    Opps, forgot to mention the stew!!! Yep that was one ripper!!! Thanks to the mums who made potato bake it was a life saver!!!

  32. Deb Allery says:

    Forgot to say…. the stew was very brown!

  33. Henry Allery says:

    I thought it was freezing down in coffs and it made everyone come home sick… Thanks for all the pain!

  34. Rainbow Girl says:

    One of my favourite parts was reading with Deb. Thanks alot Deb for reading with me and help me lurn more about God and Jeues.

  35. Tim McDonald says:

    Safari was awesome! I was encouraged greatly by the loving group of people that were there (from the year 7ers to the leaders).
    Through the talks and my morning quiet time I was show that knowing stuff about God and having a personal relationship with God is quite different. The other major thing i have taken away from safari is that Jesus IS coming back, so you need to BE READY and make your best effort to make sure that your friends and family are ready.

    Highlights: The talks, the group discussions (thanks Mark and Kelvin), the stew, the fires and Death Ball.

    Lowlights: swollen, deformed fingers (thanks Death Ball), that green, flower + water goop that needed to be drank, cold showers and frozen noses.

    All in all I give it 4.95 stars out of a possible 5 stars. I highly recommend!

  36. Rachael says:

    The potato bake was a life saver to the few who knew about it πŸ˜‰
    I vow to make sure I (or whoever the cooks are next year) serve up another batch of that stew…and it will be served up every year until you all stop whinging about it πŸ™‚ The ‘awfulness’ of the stew has been blown a little out of proportion, don’t you think??
    Poor ‘lil Henry, he copped the full brunt of Safari Sickness…and he survived to tell the tale! Way to go Henry! What a trooper!

  37. Beccy says:

    Hello again, I just want to say that Safari was so great!!!! I reckon the stew wasn’t THAT bad…. although I do feel sorry for those that went back for seconds!!!! I got to know some of the youth girls a lot better, like the other year 7’s, rainbow girl, lu lu, klausberg, hannah, fish and chips. (sorry about the werid nicknames. Long story) Safari was great and I’m already looking forward to next year!!

  38. Wade says:

    Yeah that stew was way crook…

  39. lauren says:

    i think this year was way better than last year, it gave us time to just hang out with everyone which was cool. it wasnt so crammed in with all the activities.
    the food was good to, dont know why everyone is making such a big deal out of that stew. it was funny but, in our small group, we’d put down prayer points, and at the end someone would say ‘and we should pray for the cooks, coz theyre gradually getting better”!!!!

  40. Rachael says:

    Wade, next time I’ll add laxatives to your bowl!

  41. Klausy says:

    Safari was great,
    it trul was the best time i have had in ages,
    even though the showers were just a little cold for the first couple fo days….
    i really cant wait for next year,
    but i guess ill have to…
    xx klausy

  42. Jake Anemaat says:

    From what i hear, Safari was sweeet. (except for this infamous stew)
    Gotta go next year.

  43. Beccy says:

    I agree with lauren, the cooks DID get better at making food that’s edible (slowly) I can’t wait till next year!!

  44. Ryan says:

    Safari was great fun. Tobogening, Foosball and Death Ball were the highlights and the only bad things were the ice cold showers in the morning and cleaning out that pot of stew.
    Thanks to all the leaders who put in the effort to make it happen and keep us under control.
    SYA next year!!!

  45. Peach says:

    safari was pretty madshton i’d give it
    4 megafonzies out of 5.
    SYA later…….

  46. Ryan says:

    Safari was great fun. The highlights were Tobogening, Foosball and Death Ball and the only downfalls were the cold showers and cleaning out that pot of stew.
    Thanks to all the leaders who put in the effort to make it happen and keep us kids in line.
    SYA next Safari!!!

  47. Peach says:

    safari was pretty madshton i’d give it
    4 megafonzies out of 5

  48. Bill says:

    safari 08 was brilliant
    it was good to do bible study with my mates in the holidays
    cant wait til next year

  49. Klausy says:

    safari was pretty madshton i’d give it
    4 megafonzies out of 5

  50. Rowan says:

    What can i say?
    great fun…
    great food (mostly)
    great times…
    great talks…
    thanks alot to the leaders for their efforts!

  51. Klausy says:

    50 much?
    1 more is it?
    nah the food was great.
    even the stew wasnt too bad…
    well done guys on the effort!

  52. Nicky Pryor says:

    Hey guys
    Glad you made 50!! Even if it turned out to be 10 people leaving 5 comments each – Rach knows who I’m talking about.
    The best bit isn’t even the reward Matty promised – he better pay up – but the great reading these comments have made. I believe it’s safe to say that all those who went on Safari, enjoyed it, and all those who didn’t go would love too next year (Anemaat??)
    Thanks again for the fun times kids, and don’t forget your bible can be used at other times besides Safari and yg!

  53. Calz says:

    We got 50 comments!
    Yay, I learnt so much from Safari and I hope everyone else did too.
    It was also heaps fun, except for the fact that I got really sick, but hey it was worth it and I can’t wait till next year.
    Remeber the day…

    Caley xox

  54. Rachael says:

    Yeah, so I contributed to the 50 comments in a rather large way πŸ™‚ Does that mean I get to capitalise on the reward?? (whatever it may be…)

  55. Wade says:

    Klausy – only 4 megafonzies? You’re a hard marker.

  56. Beccy C. says:

    hey everyone. i was just randomly bored, and think about the safari, so i thought i’d come and look at the clip again, and read all the comments. it reminded me of how great safari was, and now I’m looking forward to this year more than ever!!!!!
    only 16 weeks till safari09!!!

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