By Alessia Harris
It’s a special theme that has touched my life as a Catholic – the promises God gave His people as recorded in the Bible.
That great “Promise” was also the theme for the Ignite Summer Camp 2016 at Mt Tamborine from January 14-17.
As it was my first Ignite Summer Camp experience, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew was my mum was encouraging me to go because I “would love it”, she said.
She was right and I wasn’t disappointed.
We were welcomed with open arms and I felt like all campers, no matter their age, were friends.
Even as we ate, someone in an older grade tapped me on the shoulder to introduce themselves.
Other times I would be walking to my cabin and some random person shouted, “Hey Alessia!”
We had fun day activities like a giant water slide, baseball slip and slide, art and drama sessions, obstacle courses and even being life-sized hungry hippos.
The leaders were really caring and easily shared a laugh.
All campers were put into small groups based on grade and gender where we could talk about the camp’s themes.
I loved how everyone was so open to the promise of God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.
I loved about how I didn’t have to worry about anything while praising God.
I loved all the inspiring talks especially about the power and presence of God in our lives especially in the harder times when we need Him the most.
My favourite part of the camp was the “Holy Spirit Night” where many had powerful prayer experiences.
There were a wide variety of emotions and it was a peaceful environment.
When I went forward to a prayer team I remember saying, “Come Holy Spirit”.
The experience changed me forever.
God filled me with so much joy in that moment and I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing.
I’m still smiling about it.
Feeling really happy, I had a stronger desire to go to Mass and read the Bible.
The word that comes to me most about how I felt during the summer camp was “transformed”.
There were so many other great moments of the camp and I wish I had more space to write about them!
Overall I went home feeling and knowing I was different, transformed by the God who knows me and loves me.
I enjoyed every second of Ignite Summer Camp and feel ready for the year ahead, knowing, more than ever, that God is always with me and that there are so many other teenagers out there who feel the same.
Alessia Harris is a young Catholic teenager from Stanthorpe, Queensland.