Upgraded Adventist campground changing lives . . . and hoping to change more

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Spring Beach Youth Camp is an amazing little facility owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church near Orford, in the beautiful south of Tasmania. Tucked away in a pine forest, with a beautiful inlet beach within a stone’s throw, Spring Beach Youth Camp is equipped with a flying fox, kayaks and comfortable dormitory accommodation. It is a very special place where the presence of God’s Holy Spirit is tangible.

The caretakers, Ian and Robyn Dunlop (as well as a number of church members), have been doing a fantastic job, working hard to repair and upgrade the facilities and the experience that campers and supervisors have when they attend. The new additions of a wood-fired pizza oven, a commando course, an abseiling wall and a new chapel, as well as regular and thorough maintenance of the grounds, have made Spring Beach Youth Camp the preferred school camp destination in Tasmania, with many schools saying they wouldn’t take their students anywhere else.

As a Conference, our tween, youth, women’s ministry and leadership camps that run at Spring Beach are some of the best ever, due to the improvements at the venue. From a financial perspective, Spring Beach is now cashflow positive for the first time, despite having a highly competitive fee structure. This camp, owned by the Church since 1978, really is a wonderful asset to our Church and to our young people.

Jenay Menzie, 23, says this about the role of the youth camp in her spiritual development:

“I owe a lot of who I am to the experiences that I have had at Spring Beach Youth Camp and it is, without a doubt, one of the biggest contributing factors in my spiritual journey and my desire to stay in the Church.

“Camps at Orford are among my happiest of memories because it is there that I learnt that having a relationship with God can be fun. Each time I go to Spring Beach, as a camper or as a summer camp staff member, I develop an even stronger relationship with God.

“Without the memories and experiences that I have from the peaceful surrounding nature and the Christ-centred environment of Spring Beach Youth Camp, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, nor would I have the friends that I do.”

However, with improvements come new challenges. Spring Beach is now highly sought after as a venue for larger groups beyond its capacity. For that reason, the Adventist Church in Tasmania has some big plans for the future—to extend and to modernise the camp facility to ensure that it will continue to grow, reach and influence for God. These plans involve extending the main facility, adding rooms to increase the sleeping capacity to 150 people (from 100), relocating and upgrading the kitchen, extending and dividing the dining and basketball court areas, and creating a suitable meeting space.

We know when these renovations are completed, our work through Spring Beach Youth Camp will grow. Heaven alone knows the lives that are and will be changed through Spring Beach’s awesome ministry.

In Mark 10:14 (NKJV), Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God.”

The Tasmanian Conference is appealing to its constituents and all interested parties to help support the camp by contacting the Conference office on (03) 6273 6277.

Daniel Matteo is youth director for the Tasmanian Conference.

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