As the weekend of the South Australian Youth Camp Out drew nearer the wild weather seemed forbidding - but it wasn't enough to stop the camp from going ahead! SAYCO 2016 was a time of worship, fun and life-changing experiences.
Responding to God’s great acts of kindness
By Christina Cook and Laura Carson
Uniting Young People team members,
Posted in Family
In its 36th year, KCO was just as vibrant, colorful and exciting as previous years. Around 1,100 primary school-aged children and leaders from Uniting Churches across the state gathered at the Barossa Valley Tourist Park in Nuriootpa. Around 50 groups from over 60 congregations attended KCO this year, coming from as far away as Port Pirie, Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges and Naracoorte.
This year's theme was "A-OK! (Acts Of Kindness)" with children participating in plenty of fun, themed activities in their church groups.
On Saturday afternoon campers rotated through create, play and explore sessions which enabled them to learn more about the A-OK theme in a fun way. The create session was a hive of activity with a range of crafts and face painting; the play session provided a carnival-like atmosphere with giant games, a bouncy castle, ball pits and slides, and the explore session involved team games and space for reflection on how to be kind to those in other countries, those less fortunate and those with disabilities.
The Saturday night party was a real highlight for many with performances from The Corner Drama Club and One50 Dance. Along with these performances, the worship sessions provided strong messages about the importance of being kind to others in response to God's great act of kindness in sending Jesus. Campers were reminded of how much God loves all people and of the importance of using individual passions and gifts to serve God by being kind and inclusive to others.
On Sunday attendees were led in communion by Uniting Church SA Moderator Dr Deidre Palmer and the A-OK message was communicated through various dramas, songs, stories and blessings as directed by the worship coordinator and KCO Band. The ever-popular KCO radio was live across the weekend, guiding campers and reinforcing the A-OK theme.
The 150+ volunteer team were generous, enthusiastic and impressive in bringing the event to fruition, and were especially grateful for the wonderful goodies provided to them by the Barossa churches to sustain them over the weekend. It was the heart and passion of this volunteer team that enabled all to walk away from KCO 2015 with a strong understanding of God's love and ultimate act of kindness to us.
As we contemplate Easter, let us think about what acts of kindness we may be offering to others. How we can use our gifts for the benefit of those we meet for the first time, those who need it most or those who are part of our everyday lives.
This article was produced for the April edition of New Times.
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