Testimonials - Dare 2B Different Camp

2015/16


Chlow (leader)

When my friend first mentioned the idea of flying to Australia to help out in D2BD camp, I was stoked. Firstly, I could travel overseas with my best friends (which was great). Secondly, and more importantly, I could not only see how the gospel was being presented to both youths, with and without additional needs at the same time, but also see how the gospel is being presented in different cultural context.

God was indeed very gracious to open my eyes to so much more than what I originally expected. The motivation of the leaders struck me from the start. They were going to spend 5 days away from their usual schooling/working to serve and they did not even utter a single word of complaint. In every small circumstance, and in every step of the camp that unfolded, they did not fail to seek the Lord’s guidance, strength and intervention. I found that particularly encouraging. Especially in a rather competitive environment that I grew up in, it is ever so common to just fall into the trap of “I have the ability to do this in my own human strength”. It was an immense encouragement to me.

There were too many memories to recount, but a precious moment that I will keep dear to my heart is how we sang the song “humble yourself in the sight of the Lord… Jesus is the way and the truth and the light” to welcome the New Year. Usually, on a normal new year, it will just be loud music amidst a large crowd of people that I may or may not know. It is such an honour to be able to usher in the New Year, D2BD way, which is to remember the perfect priest, king and prophet that came to conquer sin, defeat death and bring us back to God again.


Natasha (leader)

This was my first time attending D2BD Camp and it was a priceless experience. I heard about this camp from my father who works in Scripture Union Singapore and after hearing the amazing opportunities this camp brings to teenagers, both with and without disabilities, to dig into God’s word and participate in outdoor activities, I knew it was a camp that I wanted to join and serve in. Due to the lack of such camps at home, my friends and I flew from Singapore excited to meet and serve these teenagers in camp and D2BD did not disappoint.

In camp, I saw the love of God so evidently in many different ways. I saw God’s love in how the teenagers of different abilities interacted and played with each other as though there were no differences between them. Every teenager made sure that no one got left behind in the activities, showering the children with additional needs with encouragement, patience and understanding. I saw the love of God in how the leaders lived their lives sacrificially by investing into lives through the guidance of the word and genuine care into the personal lives of each camper. Lastly, I saw the love of God in how the teachings in camp were made relevant and real to every camper of different abilities, showing to us that Jesus is for all.

D2BD is a camp that celebrates and lives out the truth that God’s love for everyone.


Roimata (camper)

Hey! I'm Roimata and I've attended Scripture Union NSW's Dare 2B Different camp (D2BD) for two years. I first heard about the camp at school and immediately signed up. I must admit when I got to D2BD on my first year I had my doubts, but they were quickly dissolved after meeting the leaders- who are fun and more than welcoming- and my fellow campers, who are equally fun and welcoming. After ten minutes of the camp I was totally hooked.

D2BD has a range of different activities, these being campsite activities (abseiling, rock climbing, giant swig or my personal favourite- archery), free time activities (anything you want to do from swimming in the pool to having a nap). Also every morning we have what is called Mid-Morning Madness, which is basically activities/games organised by the camp leaders (these can be a game of ‘bullrush’ but with wet sponges or a simple game of ‘capture the flag’ where the junior girls and senior boys smash the junior boys and senior girls- I’m a junior girl).

But it’s not all games, D2BD has excellent Bible talks, praise and worship, quiet time/devotions and lovely meals (I mean the food is great!). For me, D2BD challenged me to improve my faith and walk with the Lord. The camp helped me to appreciate my life and to not take what God has provided me with for granted. I also got to understand/see how our Lord is working in other people’s lives and made some amazing new friends!

It would not be an exaggeration to claim D2BD camp as my favourite five days of the year. If you’re having any reservations about going I’ll tell you now: don’t. Come to camp and I can guarantee you will have an awesome time. A question I was recently asked is: If you could change one thing about D2BD, what would it be? I did not hesitate to answer that I would make the camp go longer as it was, and still is, an experience I will never forget and I am definitely going to do again. Can’t wait to see you this year at Camp!


Sam (camper)

How long have you attended D2BD Camp?
I have attended camp for three years.

How did you find out about D2BD Camp?
Through one of my family's friends who had a son go before.

What did you most enjoy about D2BD Camp?
I enjoyed all the activities that we did on camp.

If you could change one thing about D2BD Camp, what would it be?
I would make it longer so we could do more activities.

What did you learn about God, Jesus & the Bible at D2BD Camp?
That we can not live on our own, we need God.

What was you favourite meal at D2BD Camp?
I am a vegetarian so the omelette.

In what way did D2BD Camp challenge you?
It challenge me to see the absolute importance of Jesus and what he did for us.

Did you make any new friends at D2BD Camp?
Yes, and it's also great seeing old faces.

How did the leaders demonstrate God's love to you?
I think that it is just great that the leaders know God and show that through everything they do, be it through actions or in conversation. It was great to be able to talk to them about God and also ask questions.

What is your lasting memory of D2BD Camp?
The leaders trying their best to let everyone have a go and not letting someone's disabilities get in the way of that.


2010/11


Tanya (leader)

Dare to be Different Camp is a great opportunity for teenagers to learn about Jesus and to make lifelong connections over the New Year. It is a great opportunity for both teenagers without disabilities and with disabilities to form friendships with one another.

It was a five-day camp, covering the time just after Christmas into the New Year. During the day all enjoyed games, worshipping Jesus through the gift of music, abseiling, rock climbing and having a go on the giant swing. After we spent some time worshiping Jesus through song we got the opportunity to split into groups to reflect on the talk.

Individuals could either reflect and journal individually in a quiet room, enjoy arts and crafts based on the story or discuss and ask questions to the leaders about the talk. This catered for each individual's needs and interests. It was a great eye opening experience to be a leader on camp as many times I saw teenagers without disabilities helping those with disabilities. True friendships were formed over camp. It brought a tear to my eye to see the teenagers love the word of God and indulge personally in what God was showing them through their daily reading of His word.

We spent New Year’s celebrating through a three-course meal and a talent quest. Everyone got in their Sunday best. Some sang, others performed and others read poems that they had written on camp.

I would like to thank Joy and Tom and all the leaders who prepared in advance the activities and the running of the camp itself. Thanks for everything you did. Big thanks to God who kept us all safe during camp and protected us and reminded us of his son Jesus. It was a sad moment to say goodbye to my dear friends whom I had met on camp but look forward to Dare to be Different Camp next year.


JM (camper)

I think it was probably just tipping 40 degrees and I was exhausted in every possible way. I was an hour and a half from home and yet I barely knew how much longer I could keep myself upright. The sound of intense, rhythmless drumming had faded, but left a ringing in my ears. Even still, my mind was possessed by one thought; I would be back.

That was the first day of 2010. It wasn't the lure of a world-class worship band or international speakers or life-changing activities that kept me coming back every year. Those things have never been the most important aspect of a camp. The camp experiences that stick with you, the ones that really challenge and excite you, are defined by the people that you met there. No camp can offer more than the chance to meet and be changed by unique and incredible people.

On Dare to be Different, I have met some of the most hilarious, genuine and caring people that I have ever encountered. Each person on camp, whatever their background and whatever their abilities, has contributed to my life in ways that I never expected before coming along.

Amongst and at the heart of all of this was the chance to meet Jesus. Through each of the people I met I learnt something new about my Saviour - something about His love, His compassion, His sacrifice, His promises. Every year Christ has revealed Himself increasingly to me through the experiences and people He has blessed me with on Dare to be Different.

There is no group of people on earth like the people you'll meet here. There is no better way to spend your New Year than meeting your Creator and Saviour and there's no better place to do it than on Dare to be Different.


Spencer (camper)

Hi, I'm Spencer Cotie, a 16 year old boy with Cerebral Palsy. I've been a proud attendee of Scripture Union NSW’s Dare2BDifferent (D2BD) Camp for three, going on four, years. I had heard about this camp from my former Occupational Therapist and thought that I might enjoy it.

This camp has given me the opportunity to feel included as a teenager, which is difficult at school because of my inability to speak clearly. Both leaders and other campers are willing to take the time to use my alphabet sheet with me, which in my first year of D2BD truly amazed me, because I've grown accustomed to fellow teenagers just saying ‘hi’ and not having an in depth conversation with me. I've also really liked how the leaders come up with ways for me to participate in each activity, especially allowing me on the giant swing. I believe D2BD has improved my social skills, as I've been able to communicate with many people who each have their own unique personality.

This camp has made learning about Jesus and Christianity an enjoyable experience where in the past it wasn't. I wish we went more in depth in the Biblical stories, as I'd like to get an understanding of the background of the people we are learning about. I like how the leaders are happy to go deeper into the stories with me if I ask questions. They help me grasp the magnitude of our life decisions affecting us in the afterlife.

D2BD is a fantastic way to meet similar-minded people, learn about Jesus and just to have fun and a fantastic five days. D2BD is great for me because I learn about Jesus, have a joke with people and just have so much fun!

I count down the days from the second of January till the 27th of December each year. I can't wait to come back this year!!!