Survivor Camp 13-16.06.2016. Rimetea
On the morning of the 13th of June the residents of the Therapy Center hurried about making final perparations to leave on a much anticipated four day survival camp. The back of the newly bought Bonus Pastor Mini-Bus (a 1989 Mercedes) was loaded to the top with food, cooking kettles, tents, sleeping bags and the other equipment needed for the camp. By one o-clock five residents, and a short term volunteer were climbing into the minibus with me behind the wheel, and another car with a staff member and two other residents followed behind.
This is an important short camp for the residents. A chance to get out of the rehab yet stay within the Therapy Group; a chance to experience the beauty of nature with the clarity of sobriety (some of them experiencing this for the first time); a chance to try themselves physically as they climb beautiful Sekelyko Mountain as a group. This is also an important time for the staff to observe how the group and individual residents function outside of the center, without the usual structure in place. This observation time enables the staff to give more pointed feedback and counsel to the group and residents.
For the second year we were able camp on the property of small private guesthouse. The owner generously donates the camping spot and use of the property for Bonus Pastor’s use without charge. During the four days we had the opportunity to hike to a local castle ruin and to the Szekelyko Mountain; set up a prayer tour for the residents during an especially rainy day, play games together, sing and talk around the campfire and stop at a pool in a nearby city on the way home to have a swim.
The residents shared the camp work, collecting firewood, setting up tents, cooking food, and cleaning up etc. By the fourth day everyone was tired, but they still did not want the camp to end, and asked us if we could stay longer, but we returned home as planned (this is an important part of the Therapy, to follow through with your plan).
Below are a few quotes from residents during the camp:
„I didn’t know I could experience nature like this. I have spent time on camping trips before but I never could see and experience them with the clarity (sobriety) as I do now…” – S
„I learned something about myself, I was not sure that I could succesfully climb Sekelyko, but I did and my leg could handle the climb and decent.” – I. (I. had a terrible accident several years ago, resulting in many surgeries and medical complications. He now has a rod and screws in his leg. He pushed himself physically farther than he thought he could go, and realized the he had set physical limits for himself in his head)
We are thankful for the many provisions that made this trip possible, a donated campsite, staff who were willing to lead it, rain that kept us grounded in camp pushing us to make a prayer tour for the residents, and later good weather in which to hike. God blessed us every step of the way, and now we invite you to look expectantly to him with us, that he would bring ultimate healing through the cross of Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit to these dear residents. Our prayer is that the experiences from the survival camp would go far beyond mere physical challenge and emotional enjoyment, but that they would affect the hearts and lives of these men.
By Kyle Ferguson, property manager and volunteer team coordinator