A taste of what's been happening
Camp House Renovations
At long last our camp house is getting a much deserved upgrade, with new kitchen, deck and insulation to make it a warm and healthy space for our hardworking volunteers.
Our amazingly talented team wrote, rehearsed and performed an incredible original production of 'The Slave, the Storyteller and the King Easter 2020 - what an incredible camp!
Unfortunately this camp had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Lots of preparation had been done, and we are hopeful can be put to use in future!
We have taken the opportunity of a lull in bookings post-lock down to complete another series of facility upgrades - new pipes, new partitions and new tiles for the bathrooms and kitchens. The floors look great and should be much easier to keep clean. Thanks to the tradies and hardworking voluteers who have poured hours into the project!
Jan 2020 God's Armour Kids Camp
We had a wonderful weekend with 60 8-12 year olds and a great team of enthusiastic young leaders. Highlights included learning about the armour of God, constructing cardboard shields and having a mega water fight. Thanks to all who contributed to pull camp together in what was a fairly short preparation period!
Dec 2019 One Whanau Camp
About 60 young people gathered together at HOLYground for fun, worship and exploring what real, honest relationships might look like. We also were able to support HOPE Tikipunga distribute food parcels and host a community carol service. And try out the brand new kayaks! Thanks to the dedicated team who held a vision and put in the mahi to pull this camp together.
June 2019 Up In and Out Leadership Weekend
Over the weekend of 21-23rd June we gathered as a bunch of young and older leaders to explore what it means to be a Christian, and to grow practical skills in camp leadership like running games. It was a great weekend, and we look forward to seeing the learnings put into practice over the summer!
God's Adventure Easter Camp 2019
The 55th Parua Bay Easter Camp was amazing! We were absolutely full, with an oversupply of enthusiastic leaders which enabled us to run a parallel service and discipleship programme to invest into our young people, as well as giving our younger campers a fantastic time. Yet again, young adults stepped up to serve and try out new skills in organising and leading our teams. A big thanks to everyone who helped in the kitchen, spoke, cleaned, drove, first-aided, related, problem-solved, coached and prayed. And to God for continuing to be at work amongst us!
Flicker to Flame March 2019
What a weekend retreat this was! We were grateful to welcome Simon Guillebaud and family. Simon is a missionary with Great Lakes Outreach who has served in Burundi for many years and is author of a number of challenging books on radical discipleship. He delivered a series of messages, inspiring us with stories of the faithfulness of God in Burundi, and challenging us to follow the call of God in our own lives. Add in great food, times of worship, fun and conversation, and even with the sobering backdrop of the Christchurch attacks, this was very special weekend.
God's Jigsaw January Camp 2019
What better way to kick off the new year than with another fully subscribed kids camp! 8-12 year olds from all over Whangarei came together for 4 days of Breakaway funded free fun, games, singing, art and learning about God. And again, teenagers from all over Northland and Auckland gave up their own summer holidays to listen and learn what servant leadership looks like in practice. Thanks to everyone who made camp possible!
SoulFire Ignite 2018
Once again we were excited to hold our annual pre-christmas youth camp! It's always a great chance to catch up with regular leaders and to meet those coming into the camp community for the first time. This year a highlight was partnering with Trinity Church in Tikipunga to run a community carol service and sausage sizzle, as well as deliver parcels to families in need. We were so stoked at how our young people stepped up to make this run smoothly and to ensure those who came along felt warmly welcomed. Check out the video at: https://www.facebook.com/100000891932247/videos/2249966491709727/
Marinate 2 June 2018
Following on from the much appreciated Marinate camp last year, we hosted a repeat weekend retreat full of worship, prayer and enjoying being together.
Easter Camp 2018
This was awesome. Thanks to everyone that made it happen. Check out the video at: https://www.facebook.com/100000891932247/videos/1889696544403392/
January 2018 Kids Camp 'Lost and Found'
Check out the camp video at:
Yet another excellent end of year youth camp where our young people stepped up and got stuck in to service and growing in faith together.
MARINATE Worship Retreat Oct 2017
Psalm 27:8 ~ You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
A group of 30-40 teenagers, younger and older adults and a few canine friends... art... great food... silence... worship... scripture... reflection... deep conversations... creative exploration of prayer... fun on the field... rest... MARINATE was a deep breath, a pause, a true soaking in the love of God. Let's do it again sometime! If you weren't there, you wont regret making space next time...
Easter Camp 'Truth or Dare' 2017
It's that time of year again - another HOLYground Easter Camp is complete!
January Kids Camp 2017
A huge thanks to all those who put in the hard work to make this happen... Check out the video - Thanks Teresa!
SoulSurvivor December 2016
The pictures tell a thousand words for this one (credit to Michael!) - bonfires, raft races, climbing Manaia, painting a stunning new mural in the chapel, water fights, ball tag, Gizmo the gentle camp dog, volleyball, jigsaws, soccer, sock wrestling, you name it. Much fun was had, and of course there were plenty of opportunities for worship and prayer and chewing over the questions of faith and life.
TRANSFORMED! Anzac Kids Camp 2016
Over Anzac Weekend almost 150 excited campers, leaders and staff converged on HOLYground for an action packed 4 days.
Here are some of the things our parents reported in our post-camp survey:
Tell us 3 things your camper says about camp?
"Had a great time, helping them grow as leaders and being a good example. More closer to God."
"How great their leaders are. How much fun the had. How much they want to go to camp again."
"Great worship, awesome games, and feeling part of something special."
"That they loved making new friends. That they want to come back. And they sing the songs they've learned."
"How kind the leaders were. How much fun they have. They enjoyed the activities and painting the rocks with scriptures on the back."
"The fun games, new friends and singing"
What difference has camp made to your child?
"More mature, grown in her walk with God, more confident, able to relate to lots of different types of people, able to lead. Everything is positive!!"
"My children have both gained confidence amongst strangers."
"They have always retained information in regards to their growth spiritually and sing and recite the songs they have learnt, always excited about the next camp."
"Moved them a little closer to God."
"Great experiences outside of our whanau"
100% rated the registration process as 4/5 or 5/5
11/13 responses would be very likely recommend HOLYground camp to other parents
"Keep up the amazing work...There must be so many hours, days, weeks maybe even months spent organising these special camps, leaders, programme, food etc Volunteers do the extra mile and will leave a valley full of wonderful memories with children attending camp, memories that will stay a lifetime, and for many whom never have the joy of attending a regular church / worship, well done HG crew."
Summer Kids Camp 2016!
Once again God provided the team we needed to pull together a few days of celebrating life in Christ and serving together. Thanks to all who heard the call and came to be part of the team!
Feeling so blessed... We were a small stretched team putting Soulsong together this year... Common sense would have said that we were all too busy and stretched to run a camp .... A big thank you to Phil Porter for bringing three profound messages inviting us to become "world class" Christians!! We were challenged to LISTEN UP to the right voice; to SPEAK UP because this Good News is too good to keep .... To share it intentionally beyond our friendship circles to those who will not naturally be able to hear it.... and to STAND UP and intentionally engage with others from different cultures to our own because this message is for ALL nations and peoples. Different cultures will teach us much about God, ourselves and others. It was awesome sharing camp with about 60 younger people and then supporting older adults. We loved having the Spence family of ten to join the camp and to share about their two years serving with the mission VetNet in Mongolia. There were many special moments including Anna Thompson and her mum's baptism, and deep talks catching up with young people we hadn't seen for a while. The kitchen was led by Maria Croucher again.Thanks to Gini and Mike, Anna and Howie and Ilse and John for helping. Thanks Adrian for the neat devotions.... I will remember the story of the salmon hearing the call to come home and swimming against the current in the company of other brothers and sisters for a long time and " chocolate fish" communion!!! A big Thankyou to Mikayla and Andrew, Ruth, Sherie and Jordan; John and artist Natalie for stepping up to make this camp happen. THANKYOU FATHER GOD FOR MEETING US AGAIN AT HOLYGROUND!!
YWAM Unity Girls Camp 2015
One of the things we love at HOLYground is to partner with other Christians in sharing the good news of Jesus. We were so blessed to be joined by a group of young people with YWAM who partnered with us to run a great camp for some of our girls. Thanks guys!
Upstairs Renovations 2015
October/November 2015 saw our upstairs bedrooms transformed!! An enthusiastic crew of committee members and volunteers gutted the rooms, redid the roof, insulated and relined the walls, and installed new electrics, including power points!!! Painting, carpeting and decorating including brand new bunks are all completed.
Thanks to everyone who helped out :)
Working Bee 2015!
Camp is a big property with a lot of maintenance... We don't have paid staff so rely on our volunteers to keep the place clean, safe and inviting for our guests. So if you call HOLYground home, or are looking to be part of a pretty special community, or just have a few hours + either skills or physical or mental strength then come join us next time!! We would LOVE all the help we can get!
Worship @ HOLYground 2015
Stepping out of the busyness of every day life and coming together to sing, pray and listen together is always so worthwhile. Let's do it again soon!
NEM Retreat 2015
In early June, we met as the NEM committee and other interested leaders and supporters to prayerfully 'Listen, Imagine, and Create'. 2015 marks a new era for our camp, as the tenants we have been blessed with for the past 5 years move out, leaving us with endless possibilities on how to use our facility the 365 days each year it is now available! We had a fantastic weekend, and there are some exciting ideas floating around.
Easter Camp 2015!
What an awesome camp!! We had a great team of leaders, including heaps of first-timers who did an awesome job stepping up into their new roles. We were joined by a fantastic bunch of campers who enthusiastically participated and had a great time! Check out the highlights video to see what we got up to!!
January Kids Camp 2015!
Such a joy to welcome new and familiar faces back to the special place that is HOLYground. And to see our leaders stepping up into new positions of responsibility, and learning more about God and themselves in the process. Can't wait til next time!
SoulCreate Youth Camp 2014
38 teenagers plus 40 young adult and older leaders... 4 days of swimming, sea biscuiting, wharf jumping, water skiing, water trampolining, sports, games, art, carving, sewing, building, gardening, bonfires, yummy food, inspiring worship, testimonies, amazing speakers.... If you missed SoulCreate, you missed out!!
We had a fantastic weekend with many of our regulars plus lots of new people welcomed into the HOLYground whanau. Camp is looking great with brand new bean bags, art and picnic tables, tidy grounds and a new road sign in the making... all done by our campers!!
Thanks to all who came, helped, prayed and made it such a wonderful camp. Check out the camp report here.
NEM Retreat 2014
Committee members took the weekend to seek God for the future direction of the camp. Please keep us in your prayers, and if you or someone you know would like to know more about supporting NEM at a governance level on committee (or in any way really!) please let us know.
50 years of Easter Camps 2014!!
We celebrated 50 years of Easter Camps at HOLYground with a camp, barndance, open day, dinner and celebration service. It was wonderful to reconnect with many who have been a part of the story over the years, and to thank God for all He has done and continues to do here.
Destination Unknown - Jan Kids Camp 2014
MISSION impossible Youth Camp Dec 2013
CCNZ Leadership Camp October 2013
ReGROUP Camp July 2013
The Great Hunt Kids Easter Camp 2013
Fun in the Son Kids Camp 2013
Souled for Life Youth Camp 2012
Camp Working Bee 2012 with Mobile Mission Maintenance
Kids Discovery Winter Love July Camp 2012
Easter Camp 2012 with Camp Echo service
Champions Kids Camp Jan 2012
Souled to Run Dec 2011
July Camp 2011
Easter Camp 2011
SouledOut camp in the news Dec 2010!
Click to see what The Whangarei Leader had to say about our camp.
Kayak Instructor Training Dec 2010
Construction September Camp 2010
July Light'n Fire and Girl's Camps 2010
Easter Camp 2010
Jan Kids Discovery Camp 2010
Get Out There Camp Dec 2009
A fantastic camp taking our young people out to serve the community. We finished up with a carol service in Otangarei.
Leaders and Supporters Weekend Nov 2009
A special weekend of celebration that our sewage system was fixed by the hard work of many volunteers and council assistance, combined with service and leadership training.
October Day Camp 2009
Plug-In Young Leaders Weekend May 2009
Easter Camp 2009
January Camp 2009
SoulFire Dec 2008
A landmark camp in the history of HOLYground, with main speakers Rev Dr John Smith from Australia and Philip Porter. We concluded with a community Carol Service in Otangarei.
View of Reotahi