23 Jul 2018

Senior Camp 2018

Two leaders and seven young people from Scotland recently attended the RPCI Senior Camp for young people 16 and older in Armagh, Northern Ireland.  Rev. Stephen Steele (Stranraer RPCS) and Rachel Nelson (North Edinburgh RPCS) were leaders and Eilidh Campbell and Sarah Turnbull from Glasgow RPCS and Caitlin, Calvin, Catherine Quigley and Jess Muir from Airdrie RPCS and Emily Robertson joined with the other 82 young people.  The talks were given by Rev. David McCullough, minister of Woodstock RP Church.  They can be downloaded on the Stranraer RPCS page here. 

We asked some of the Campers to tell us some of the things they learned from the talks as well as their favourite activities and overall favourite part of Camp.  Here are their reflections:

Eilidh Campbell

Over the week we did a study in the book of Hebrews. In the talks Rev McCullough very vividly described the life and example of Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him. In the talks we were reminded that not only is Jesus our Saviour, but he is our “shepherd”, our “ king”, our “captain”, our “liberator”, our “champion” and our “Great high priest”. He is all the above and more. He came to restore. He is able to sympathise with us in whatever we face in our lives, I found this very encouraging as it doesn’t take you long to look around you and see that it is a very secular world we live in yet we are comforted by looking to Him and knowing that he is “the same yesterday, today and forever” – Hebrews 13:8

We had excellent weather at camp this year – it lasted the whole week!! I loved taking part in all of the sports outside, especially all the group activities where we all had to work as a team… I’m still recovering from our tug of war!!

My favourite part of camp this year was definitely getting the opportunity to share fellowship with other young Christians, the week went past so quickly in their company!!

Emily Robertson

The talks at camp this year focused on Hebrews. I found them very encouraging as a reminder that, even though we are vulnerable sheep that so easily wander and get distracted, we have a great Shepherd and High Priest who is always looking out for us. It was especially encouraging to be reassured that even though we struggle with temptations on earth that Jesus understands exactly what we’re going through and has not only been faced with temptations we might be facing but ones others are facing as well.

I really enjoyed the paint-balling as I hadn’t done it before and thought it was a great experience (even though it was roasting and we were running around in big boiler suits!) I also enjoyed the sports outside in the sun.

My favourite part of camp was definitely reuniting with friends and building up new friendships through fellowship together.


Jess Muir

The talks this year I found very relevant to young people today. We are surrounded in schools by non-Christians 24/7 where they do not understand us and try to change us. Due to this it can result in us being ’embarrassed’ of Jesus which Rev McCullough spoke about. Why should we be ashamed/ embarrassed of Jesus when he isn’t ashamed of us? Instead of being embarrassed and ashamed of us, he died on the cross to save us and he made that known. He loves us as he is our shepherd, our king, our champion, our great high priest, our hero. We should be holding fast onto him, as he is to us, and as David said, we should be eager to be learning more about Jesus in order to tighten the grip meaning it is less harder to let go when tempted.

I really enjoyed the whole week!! Due to the really warm weather there was a hose pipe ban when we were over meaning no messy games which is always a plus! Didn’t have to put up with the smell of fish guts and cat food etc. for a whole week!  So my favourite activities were the non-messy games as we didn’t have to get messy!!

My favourite part of camp was definitely the same as Eilidh and Emily! I loved being able to chill and talk to friends and to develop those friendships face to face. So used to just talking to everyone online, so it was good to be able to put my phone down for the week and just have fellowship with one another!


Sarah Turnbull

Rev David McCullough preached through the book of Hebrews. We explored what Jesus Christ achieved when He came to earth, being the “final word”, winning the battle in restoring all that man ruined and living a perfectly obedient life to God. Christ is a perfect example of the way we should live our life in that he pleased God in all that he thought, said and did. I learnt therefore that without Christ, we would have no Shepherd to guide us the right way. We can always trust in Him, He understands us as He came in our form and through His death for us we can seek for forgiveness from God.

The weather was amazing all week so I really enjoyed the sports outside like the team activities and the paint-balling. As a very competitive individual, I took it very seriously so enjoyed when our team won and at the same time made many new friends!

As it was my first camp, I loved getting to know people and everyone was really easy to get on with. Being in fellowship and amongst other Christians really strengthened me and by the end, I had not only made some great friendships, but had also grown in faith with God.


Calvin Quigley

The topic of the talks this year was ‘Reflections on the Lord Jesus from Hebrews’, considering Him under 6 headings; ‘The Final Word’, ‘The Founder of Salvation’, ‘The Ultimate Hero’, ‘The Great high Priest’, ‘The Pioneer and Perfecter of the Faith’, and lastly ‘The Great Shepherd of the Sheep’. I think this year’s talks really struck everyone on a personal level, with the book of Hebrews acting as a call to live by faith. In any church you will hear of Jesus, and having been raised in one it’s easy to think you know all you need to. I’ll be honest I wasn’t that bothered by the topic when I first heard it, but now I’m doubtful there is anything I’ve heard before that’s been so beneficial to me personally. The message in the Scripture is wonderful and the thought that no matter my situation, no matter where I am in life, and no matter my struggles I will always have the Great Shepherd guiding my way is really comforting. David used a good analogy for considering this, (it was along these lines anyways) when you are running a race and you are finding it difficult your muscles are being torn and worn, but they will heal thicker and stronger and it will build up your endurance. So when we face struggles in life we should rely on God that he has put us in these situations as to build up our spiritual muscle and that he is leading us in his plan.

I think my favourite part every year is getting to see friends I don’t see very often. It’s always really encouraging to see how everyone is doing both in personal life and in their faith. If it’s going to be the only time you see someone for a full year, camp is probably the best place to do it because you get that added bonus of the encouragement found in spending time together in fellowship with other younger Christians.


Caitlin Quigley

The talks were on Hebrews, more specifically on what we can learn about Jesus from Hebrews. These talks were so good and David did an excellent job- so much of what I heard during the week has really stuck with and me and refreshed and refocused my view of Jesus in His roles as brother, High Priest, and Saviour. I found the best thing about the talks was the reiteration of a lot of fundamental truths that we may know, but sometimes need reminded of the power of- that Jesus is divinely and perfectly appointed in His role, but that He struggled in life- He kept God’s law perfectly because we don’t and can’t, and through this became the source of eternal salvation, and He is all we need as we run the race that has been designed for us. I found the end of the week especially helpful, as David challenged us to remember that our lives are not our own and that we need to consider them as such- to remove what hinders us and to fix our eyes on Christ at the right hand of God.

One of my favourite activities at camp was when we went to Magherafelt- the more adventurous folks chose paintballing but it was too warm so I did ‘Adventure Games’ which turned out to be essentially the messy games we missed earlier in the week. The highlight was an inflatable fun run loaded with fairy liquid that was both hilarious but also a nice respite from the heat when we were hosed down afterwards! I also took part in competitive sports this year and actually unexpectedly enjoyed it a lot!

My favourite part about camp was definitely having the opportunity to spend time with friends, old or new. Having that fellowship in person is a great encouragement and camp is such an edifying environment and a spiritually refreshing week, but at the same time it’s also really, really good fun!

Senior Camp Leaders

And here are some thoughts from the leaders:

Rev. Stephen Steele

After 8 years as a Camper, I have spent 9 years as a leader.  These are my highlights over the past 17 years. A week away to spend with other Christian young people is always great, particularly if you’re coming from a small congregation. The talks are usually top quality as well. And friendships I’ve made at camp will last a lifetime. Being a leader has been great. Even though friends my own age have stopped coming long ago, it’s always good to see the rising generation coming through, to be encouraged by their faith, and hear about the sort of issues they’re facing.


Rachel Nelson

Camp was great this year (as always!) and we had lots of blessings to be thankful for once again. From a practical perspective, having a week of unbroken sunshine was tremendous as it made all the outdoor activities that much more enjoyable and despite the unfortunate hosepipe ban currently in place in Northern Ireland we were able to improvise with dry games instead of the usual wet messy ones on Monday, which despite the initial shock of breaking with tradition turned out to be a great laugh! I’m a food fan so another highlight of the week was the amazing meals provided by our fabulous new team of cooks this year, who stepped up so willingly and cheerfully to the task; something we are very thankful for. From a spiritual perspective, the talks given by Rev. David McCullough on the book of Hebrews focusing on the person and work of Jesus Christ were so uplifting and powerful. Our lives as Christians rest on Jesus’ perfect one and yet so often He isn’t central in our thinking, and so these talks were very relevant for us all. It was wonderful in particular to be reminded that Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and this truth made a deep impact on many who were there.

I enjoy being on the camp team because camp is great fun but also because it’s a chance to give back from what I’ve been given in the past, and to try to bless other young people through camp the way I have been blessed myself. Working alongside all ages at camp is a truly great example of the body of Christ working together to bless one another and worship him, and it’s really exciting to see the impact this has on us all, through personal conversations and discussion times as well as prayer times and psalm sings. Let’s keep praying for this important work!