A generational report from the National Citizen service that you might find some useful perspective it. Enjoy! NCS Evolution of Teenagers Report.pdf
The Youthblog site has now been up and running (well at least strolling) for 10 years now making this the blog's Tin anniversary. I'm not sure where the decade has gone but am delighted that there are still folk who call in and engage with the theology, malarky and story that make up this Youth Ministry site and/or perspective.
I'm so grateful I was at Greenbelt Christian Arts festival, it was (as ever) a place where my soul is blessed, stretched and challenged.
The new site at Boughton House is beautiful. It feels like a bit of a homecoming for those of us who remember the Castle Ashby site; but at the very least it showed what a concrete commercial utilitarian setting it was at Cheltenham (not that some of that didn't have its usefulness). The new site was creatively laid out using the landscaped grounds of the house imaginatively and usefully. Being able to watch main (Glade) stage from the Jesus Arms was a nice touch I thought. I also liked the citing in the trees of 'my' venue, The Canopy Stage.
Over the weekend I was blessed by great conversation with friends, activists and strangers. I heard deeply wonderful music, laughed at great comedy, was inspired by talks, blessed by the communion gathering, and somehow just fed by being part of the vulnerable-hopeful-gathered-questioning community
Greenbelt was wonderful! Really wonderful
Yes there were teething troubles with a new site, some significant ones, but I have no doubt that the extraordinary team are re-evaluating access to the site (especially for those with mobility challenges), access from/to the car parks, numbers of toilets ... and the challenges faced by day visitors. On the plus side though there was so much more camping space than there was at Cheltenham which made finding a spot much easier and less cramped. The village too was able to be more spread out and so felt less crowded, and more relaxed.
A useful reflection here from the Church Times
"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding.
The arts are not a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.
For heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something."
You'd need to have seen the advert that Volvo Trucks filmed with Van Damme for this to make any sense, but it made me smile:
Heading out to Greenbelt Festival later today for the new site briefing and then for the Canopy Stage (nee Performance Cafe) team meeting. After such a long time in Cheltenham this is going to be a big change, but the layout looks great ... and it's a beautiful venue.
If you are there then please come and say Hi, I'll be on duty at the Canopy Stage for half of the time, or will be camping in Charlie van Bus in the Caravan/Camper section. Failing that you'll find me at the Comedy stuff, 'The Jesus Arms' or 'Tiny Tea Tent' .... or listening to folk like Brian Mclaren.
(BTW, Mobile signal is apparently better than first mooted)
The Living the Difference Cafe is coming together well and I'm really excited about being part of the team that hosts and delivers this as part of the Grand Day Out.
Come and be part of this, it'd be great to see you there
The blog (and me) are taking August as some time out. We both look forward to your company again in September. You can bump into me in the non-virtual world at Soul Survivor on 18th August, or at Greenbelt over the Bank Holiday weekend (I'm on team at the Canopy stage (formerly known as the Performance Cafe). Every blessing
Next years Diocesan camp is July 10th - 12th at Hill End. I bumped into a group that are already counting down the days! Six team members have signed up already.
Some momentum I think! Fab
We're doing a Eurocamp in France so I've temporarily abandoned my 25 year expedition through the optimistically named "German in Three Months" and am plunging into French.
It's surprising how much French I've somehow retained from school but this tends to be random bits, so I am listening to Michel Thomas in the car and joining in with the lessons. Frustratingly though Disc 2 is missing! I have no idea what was on disc 2 and therefore don't know what I don't know *laughing!* I've also picked up some great vocabulary from Eddie Izzard, should anyone wish to know where the Monkey is or the plot of 'Speed.'
My mission is to speak French without defaulting to German or Makaton sign language.
The comprehensive 'Class of 2011 Yearbook' report by Relate3 revealed an interesting portrait of the average sixteen year old growing up in the UK today. Of every thirty
sixteen year olds:
• ten will have witnessed their parents separate
• three will have suffered from mental health problems
• eight will have experienced severe physical violence
• three will be living in a step family
• one will have experienced the death of a parent
• and seven will report having been bullied
I was chatting to a fourteen year old this week who listed "Ferris Buellers Day off" as one of her favourite films! Great to be exchanging favourite lines from the film ..... and to know that the 80's are still alive :-)
Cameron: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.
Ferris: A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
[Ferris caresses the car in admiration]