BASE Youth Camp 2017

August 8, 2017

Dowanvale Free Church's Sarah Hamilton reports on the new Free Church Youth Camp which was held for the first time in Pitlochry this summer.


The new camp, that had discipleship training at its core, went down a treat for all campers and leaders alike, as the gospel was presented in a way that both challenged and excited our souls. As the acronym suggests, we looked at the Bible, Apologetics, Service, and Evangelism, grappling with what we as Christians believe and why we believe it.

BASE camp was a new concept, for 18-23 year olds, led by Honda and Christina Macmillan. They recognised a need for those having just left home, started university/work/college, to receive challenging theological teaching and training to combat the potential new pressures they will face. Whilst a Free Church ‘Camp,’ the week far more reflected that of a Christian youth conference, generally being very relaxed, bar the camp tradition of Capture the Tattie, which saw many a bruise, smoke grenade, and a smattering of mildly perturbed locals. The evening talks took us through Matthew 5, where we considered the hallmarks of the Christian character laid out by Christ, the day seminars varied in subject and speaker.

Lara Buchanan of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), galvanized our hearts and minds in her introduction to apologetics and how we might practically apply such truths in our evangelism. Her thoroughly engaging seminars on ‘Aren’t all Religions the Same?’ and ‘The Resurrection: Fact or Fantasy?’ were second only to her fabulous Dashing White Sergeant and Strip the Willow moves that lit up the dance floor Tuesday night.

Self-proclaimed ‘coffee snob’ and ‘all-round bike nut,’ David Kirk joined us on Wednesday to put us through our paces looking at ‘The Drama of Redemption.’ In tracing God’s redemptive plan throughout scripture, we considered the enormity of God’s love for his creation and the important purpose of this physical earth as God’s kingdom. Hearing things that truly dignified us as humans, was one of the many highlights of BASE camp, which showed in the rigorous ‘dorm discussions’ and conversations that have come about since being back in ‘every-day’ life.

After a day of paintball and a whitewater rafting excursion, Rev. Andy Longwe came to speak to us on the biblical theology of discipleship. The underlying non-insular approach of the teaching throughout the week was incredibly beneficial, as everything spoken served to be of practical use for us post-camp, as well as heart-stirring and thought-provoking.

Enough thanks can’t be given to our amazing leaders, Honda, Christina, Alex, Carina, Calum, and Al, all of whom are such Godly examples to seek wisdom (and banter) from. Whilst the week was definitely challenging, I can’t recommend this camp highly enough to anyone who feels weak in their faith or recognises their need to see the gospel with more substance and depth.