Summer Camps

Take ’em away, send em away, encourage ’em to get involved in leadership and get involved yerself. Summer camps: more fun than being tickled in a laughing gas factory while watching old Basil Brush Clips and more rewarding than inventing a combined cure for the common cold, spots and baldness.

Urban Saints

Summer programme plus 

Web Page 

Scripture Union 

Summer programme plus 

Web Page


Summer programme plus 

Web Page

Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage 

August 4th – 8th

Web Page 

Soul Survivor 

25th-29th July: A (Stafford)
11th-15th Aug: B (Somerset)
16th-20th Aug: C (Somerset)

Web Page 


22nd – 25th Aug (Cheltenham) 

Web Page 




Now we are seven

300px-Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird.jpgThe age of seven is a rite of passage in our household. It wasn’t intended to be, it just kind of worked out that way.
When my eldest was seven I happened to get two free flights to Austria and thought it would be fun to take him sledging. The first he knew about it was when I woke him up at five o’clock in the morning and asked him if he’d like to go to school or maybe he’d prefer to fly to the mountains for some snow and sledging. He signed enthusiastically that an adventure would be fun. We had such a laugh even though the travel was really tough. He couldn’t walk much at that stage and I vividly remember carrying him in his special needs buggy (while I was wearing a huge rucksack) up and down the staircases at Austrian railway stations. The whole trip turned out to be a really special time though and I have very fond memories of our adventure.
Returning home, my daughter who was four at the time informed me that she was looking forward to being seven and going on a aeroplane adventure with me. This she didn’t forget and we went to Germany (her request) to visit a good friend of ours. Again it was a glorious and treasured adventure. (My daughter knew where she was going BUT in keeping with the newly formed tradition didn’t know when we were going until I woke her up early one morning).
Anyway, my youngest boy is seven and although he briefly mentioned the “seven year old adventure” on his birthday last year, seems to have forgotten all about it. However I have managed to get a couple of flights to Austria for the end of the month and we’ll be heading out for two days full-on-max-fun-laughter-filled sledging. I’m really looking forward to seeing his face when the time comes to wake him up and tell him.
In the meantime if you know him, don’t tell him please, oh and if there is a Youthblog reader who lives within 40 miles of so of Stanstead and could offer us a floor to crash on the night before the flight, that would be FAB!

One Click from Danger

This looks like a useful programme on the BBC tonight, One Click from Danger.
“Panorama returns with an investigation into how paedophiles are using the internet, and social networking sites in particular, as a means of grooming unsuspecting youngsters for sex”
Panorama: One Click from Danger, Monday 7 January 2008, BBC One 8.30pm.

: Please ignore the annoyingly symbiotic mutual back scratching approach of linking back to someone who linked to me BUT Richard has a good write up of the programme with some added reflections and links!

Conferences and Reteats UK

I’ve been having a trawl around to try and find what’s out there for the next year in terms of retreats and conferences for Christian youthwork and can find surprisingly little? (especially given the number of Church and Para Church employed youth workers). If you can add to the list then please do so. Also, anybody in the know as to whether there will be a Matrix conference in 2009?




21st – 24th Jan 

The MESSAGE (The Good Book Company)for Children and Youth Leaders 

High Leigh, Hoddesdon 

1st – 4th Feb  

Soulnet Youth Leader retreat

Centre Parc, Elveden Forest

 26th – 27th Feb

DEPTH. Retreat for employed youth and/or children’s ministers Windmill Farm, Oxfordshire

November 2008 

DEEPEN aka Youthwork the Conference 

Eastbourne and Southport 

Captains Log Supplemental:

Youth Ministry Weekend
London School of Theology Northwood Date: 11-13 April Time: Friday 7.30pm (preceded by dinner at 6pm) – Sunday 4.30pm Speakers: Team from Scripture Union led by Sharon Prior Cost: Weekend with full board and accommodation £160.00 Classes and main meals £107.50 Saturday only 9am-4pm (inc lunch) £35.00 contact: Doreen Rosser
Youth Alpha Conference 21-22 February’s Hoy Trinity Church, Brompton “Youth Alpha Conference will include a separate learning track for youth leaders who’ve attended the event in previous years. The event – designed for teenagers and youth leaders who want to see young people reached with the good news of Jesus Christ – now features a ‘deeper’ stream for those who’ve already received the basic Youth Alpha training.
NB, If you want to go to SOUL NET then you must be booked in by 20th Jan, oh and info for DEPTH retreat can be found here: Download file

Phone and Broadband

Check out Plus.Net
phonpic2.jpg I worked out recently that we were paying quite a bit of money to BT but I wasn’t quite sure why it was so expensive when we only have the line for broadband and the odd phone call. We have been with force9 (now for a couple of years for the broadband now and found them to be excellent. I decided to give them a go therefore in supplying the phone line as well and ditching BT. This has been absolutely BRILLIANT, we now pay 24.99 a month and get broadband, phone line and all evening and weekend calls to landlines FREE. (I had worried that this might mean that other phone calls might be more expensive but this hasn’t proved to be the case, in fact I think they are cheaper than BT). You also keep your own number and there is no change in sound quality.
I’d probably tell you this anyway ‘cos I’ve been really impressed BUT there is an added incentive at the moment in that if you sign-up before the end of January I get a referral bonus 🙂
If you’d like me to tell you more about then give me a shout and if you do sign up, PLEASE e-mail me for my home e-mail address so I get some referral money, thanks!

Nature at it’s strangest

I know some people have criticized this game but here is the evidence that it merely re-creates a natural scenario that forms parts of the natural wildlife world and interaction!
penguin hit web.jpg
Apparently no polar bear that hits below 300m attracts a mate thus preserving the strongest baseball genes within the bear populus.

JRF study on young people and Cannabis

Well worth a read, read the summary here.
“The researchers conclude that cannabis supply among the young people was social rather than commercial, and not linked to more overtly criminal drug markets. However, cannabis use was embedded in their social world. Change in the drug’s legal status may have little impact”

2008 eh?

2008 eh? Without wishing to sound like an old fart (but doing so nevertheless), can you believe it’s 8 years since the millennium and that we are now seriously well established dwellers in the 21st Century. Weird?
I had a great Christmas and New Year, it was a mellow time with family and friends full of laughter, food, silliness, rest, serendipity and the like; in fact shed loads of Shalom, fab!
I read this quote over the holidays, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms* ” and really like it both personally and for it’s resonance with youth work practice. Anyway it got me thinking about the stories that made up Christmas and New Year and how so many of these stories are part of bigger and older stories …… and in fact how few of these stories actually stand alone as bloggable events. Great moments and stories from the last two weeks include though:
+ Playing indoor Curling with friends
+ Discovering a new and very mellowly-quaffable red wine
+ A duel between a radio-controlled rat and a radio controlled Aston Martin**
+ A late night stroll with three teenagers (one of whom was my son)
+ Our annual family viewing of “Muppet Christmas Carol”
+ Two full-on Turkey Christmas dinners with our families
+ A mellow New Years eve all age feast including a game of pass-the-parcel with forfeits.
+ A mad dance/sing Christmas freak out with my children
+ Being with friends where humour is fuelled by 20 or more years of shared experience

Anyway, I hope you’ll forgive this self indulgent musing 🙂 I do however wish you a New year where the stories matter more than the atoms …. and where we write great new stories across the parchment of the 21st Century
happy new year.jpg
* Muriel Rukeyser
** The Astom Martin technically won but had the centres of gravity been equally low I reckon it would have been a different story!

New Years Resolution?

new year res.jpg
or, the Lion Chasers Manifesto by Mark Batterson

“Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Grab life by the mane. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away”