By Gil Corr

Much-loved SYNC Camp returned in January as SYNC Summer Escape – offering more than 70 campers from year 4-8 a new and agile format.

Traditionally held in the September school break, SYNC’s leadership team decided to reschedule the event due to the extended lockdown in the Greater Sydney area.

Held at The Tops, campers participated in Christ-centred experiences in an upbeat and supportive environment.

Georgia Cross, a Program Developer with The Tops, shared how exciting the challenge was to create a new format that fit both the camp’s objectives and the requirements of COVID.

“We focused on building the program from an outdoors perspective, looking at doing it through experiences … focusing on the physical embodiment of these things outdoors. We focused on creating small groups, which was an intentional part of the program,” she said.

“I take my hat off to our team that work behind the scenes on that and making sure everyone is safe and feels safe. All the kids and parents knew that there was a safe environment to come to.”

Part of the success of SYNC was the minimal impact COVID had on the camp and its leaders, which demonstrates the diligence and strategy both leaders and staff showed.

Avril Mundy, SYNC co-ordinator, affirmed the work of The Tops program and staff who balanced the needs of COVID safety with genuine connection and community.

“The Tops were brilliant; they were so good. The facilities were brilliant, and everything was available. We could socially distance really well,” she said.

Avril noted that offering SYNC Summer Escape has also permitted the organising team to dream about the future for young people and camp experiences, particularly in the current climate of the pandemic.

“How do you maintain ministry and ministry experiences in times when everything is restricted? There was a time to say no, and they were the right decisions at the time. But now I’m processing what does ministry look like for young people? I don’t know the answers, but I’m trying things!”

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