Commerce Retreat 2011

I know a number of people will want me to blog about a recent camp that I had, so I guess I’ll try to bring something up. Do note that this is quite soon after Next Gen; so yeah I basically went to another camp soon after my previous camp. We can talk about money another time.


To give a quick overview of camp, I was probably more discouraged than encouraged over the 2 days of camp. As such, I think I’ll reserve my criticisms to myself and a select few and leave this post to highlight some of the positive parts of camp. There were many good moments too.


Camp started at 9:30am. It took about 1.5 hours to drive up to our campsite, Camp Fletcher, near Katoomba. I was completely dead at the start of camp, due to a number of things that have been happening recently as well as several unprecedented events that happened the day and night before camp. Essentially I slept at about 1:30am and had to wake up at 6am.


Camp Fletcher is actually a pretty good campsite, the facilities are quite clean and nice. The beds are pretty awesome, the showers are very decent, with hot water for once. It had a camp fire place, a volleyball court and half a basketball court. There weren’t many facilities because it’s a small camp site and so it didn’t have to cater for many people. The food wasn’t bad either. It was solely catered by two people, who did very well cooking for 40+ people.


Our topic for this camp was “Christian Service”, how we could be encouraged to serve better at CBS and back at church. Quite a valid topic to be focusing on, since our faculty is growing and so we need more people to be able to help out and such. Camp activities ranged from a night session with a talk and singing, an afternoon Bible study on each day and a seminar on Friday morning. As such, there was a lot of free time, basically lunch to dinner was all free time, about 5 hours each day. I guess I would agree that it’s the most amount of consecutive free time I’ve ever had at camp. Sadly I had to use most of the free time catch up on sleep and such; so it wasn’t utilised in the best way possible, ie. having fun.


The night talks were done by our MTS-ers, Alan and Dan (who looks heaps younger than he really is). Actually on a side note, Dan doesn’t even look like a uni graduate, he looks more like a 2nd year. I was so shocked to learn that he was an MTS, completely changed my first impression of him. Anyway, the talks were on Philippians chapters 1 and 2 respectively. I believe the talks were alright, but if you ask me if I was especially struck by anything in the talk, I’d have to confess and say no. I guess I wasn’t really used to either as a speaker and so it wasn’t as easy to learn from them. To double up and make things easier to understand, we also did our Bible studies on the respective passages right before the corresponding talks. So I guess we had pretty much extracted most of what the talks were on about; that’s what probably made the talks less effective.


The music team, consisting of Bec (naturally) and Mike (what the?!) as song leaders was quite interesting. Poor Bec didn’t seem very assertive as a song leader and as for Mike, well, he did really well for his first time haha! No seriously, it was interesting seeing him serve us as a song leader. The ones playing the music clearly rehearsed well on their part so good on them.


I didn’t really take part in free time much. Either it was spent sleeping because of the previous tiring days, or it was doing homework for church and taking care of other tasks (that my co-leader was too busy to deal with). But for the time I didn’t use to do work, I played sport with people, mahjong; while other people played card games or just chatted. It was pretty relaxed which was cool. I can’t remember the food that we had. It wasn’t anything special to mention, but the food tasted pretty alright. I had kind of wished there was more food to go around.


On Friday I led a seminar on “Commitment and Time Management”. Those who have read my Next Gen posts will know that I did half my seminar at that camp; as such preparing for this seminar was really easy. The only problem was that my energy levels were too low for me to feel confident in presenting it. Interestingly my seminar attracted all of the younger guys (girls were forced to go to seminars led by girls) which left all the older guys to Brandon. And when I thought about it, that was the intended audience for my seminar. The older students clearly should be confident to not need anymore guidance on time management anyhow.


I guess when it came to presenting my seminar I somehow had more energy than I had anticipated, and somehow all my words naturally came to mind, so I never even had to use my notes much except for the topic heading. If only public speaking back in high school was this easy. Without making this sound too weird, I’m glad the Holy Spirit spoke through me that morning, because I swear I didn’t have energy to talk non-stop for 1.5 hours. I received some good feedback from the people that came; a lot of them told me a few of the things that encouraged them. And for that, I’m glad that my seminar was a “success” in that I managed to encourage someone with my material (well, in some sense).


The one last highlight for camp was the campfire on the 2nd night. We all gathered around and had people playing Christian music on guitars and we all just sang around the campfire. It created a really nice vibe in the group and I’m glad we sacrificed sleep to bond over music. It appears the younger people in our faculty are music-oriented.

So here we are at the end of our first Commerce Retreat. It was good for what it was. I guess I’m just disappointed in what it could’ve been had we all put a little more effort into it. I guess there’s always next year?


One thought on “Commerce Retreat 2011

  1. THanks Jason~
    Very nice blog~
    WEll I guess that’s what Paul meant when the Holy Spirit speak through you~
    man~ keep up the good work.
    hmm~ the less enjoyable points? mind telling me sometime?

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