28th March 2024

A Summer of Sharing God’s Love



Hundreds of Baptists organised, led or attended various camps and missions around the state over the 2023-24 summer, such as Baptist Camping, Red Frogs, Scripture Union Family Mission (SUFM), Christian Youth Camps (CYC), and Theos. Here, we find out from just a handful of Baptist attendees about the fun, witnessing and Christian community they experienced this year.


Baptist Camping Victoria ran five Family Camps, five Roundups and one Swell youth camp across three of its four sites. BCV Acting Office Manager Kathryn Sanders said all camps were “bustling with life and energy” as 206 campers participated at Anglesea, and 382 ‘ranchers’ made their way to a Roundup at Mill Valley Ranch.

BCV Ministry Manager Fiona Simcoe said: “The passion of our staff and volunteers was a source of much joy as they sought to serve and be salt and light amongst our summer campers. Relationship is the cry of the human heart, with one another and ultimately with the Lord – our Creator, Father and Friend. Camps provided hundreds of opportunities for relationships to be forged. It was so richly evident that camps provide amazing opportunities for relationship and faith to grow.”

Summer family camps at Tynong and Anglesea afforded families the time and space to dwell together, bond and make community. “Slowing down with family meant time to focus on one another’s needs, go to the beach, go for a bike ride, paddle on the river or even a surf. Worship sessions took various forms to ensure that all ages and stages were engaged. Kids ministry sessions included craft, games and bible-based teaching. Outdoor worship was a highlight for many. Campers felt more connected to community and to God through the experience.”

Almost half of the family campers have a history of more than five years at Camp Wilkin family camp – “The depth of knowing one another was evident through reunion hugs, deep conversation and games immediately commencing at fever pitch. It was so delightful to see the young adults that have shared their teen years at camp, still deeply connected and sharing life and encouragement together.”

Swell Summer Youth Camp brought together a tight group of teens who shared three big days of surfing together. The “chill” vibe gave room to be yourself, relax and connect. Fiona said: “Our leaders’ willingness to be vulnerable made room for deep conversations, and worship was low-key and authentic as the teens grew deeper in God throughout the camp. We were tremendously encouraged to hear, after the camp, that two family members of a participant gave their lives to Jesus shortly after camp. The Swell camper had prayed for her family whilst on camp. We give thanks and all glory to God for the testimonies of his goodness through our ministry camps.” For future camp details visit baptistcamping.com.au



Around 20 people from OneHope Baptist Church, Geelong, served with the Red Frogs over summer in a range of places – Torquay, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Lorne, Bali and Fiji. Red Frogs supports young people during Schoolies Week across 14 locations with pancake cook-ups, emotional support, walking people home and handing out red-frog lollies, giving a positive peer presence in potentially dangerous situations.

OneHope Young Adults Pastor Robert Spicer said: “All locations experienced the important role of supporting, serving and safeguarding young people, and opportunities to put their faith in action.”

See redfrogs.com.au for details on future schoolies missions.


People from Hawthorn West Baptist Church (HWBC), NewHope Baptist Church and others joined together to run Tidal River SUFM and Theos, including a carnival, hospitality, games, puppets, craft, bible drama and concerts.

HWBC leader Connie Janssen said: “The children’s program was creative and inclusive. Every afternoon, after our morning program and lunch, TRSUFM combined with the Theos team in the SUFM main marquee for a worship and story-sharing session. So good!”

The famous annual sandcastle competition drew contenders young and old. Some even brought buckets and rakes to build their sand masterpieces with this year’s theme, A Night at the Prom. “We had live music, advertised our program, told everyone why we do what we do and gave out prizes,” Connie said. On the last night the team had a worship session on the beach. For information on SUFM, Theos or KidsGames teams, see suvic.org.au

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