eXp '19 Summer Camp at Benmore Outdoor Activity Centre saw appoximately 50 high school aged young people and 30 adult leaders participate in a themed week 'Facing Your Giants' which consisited of many outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, high ropes, caving, gorge walking, walled garden tidy, sports & dance, , indoor workshops such as Music, Drama and Art, Heart Start Training and indoor curling with Elderly Befrienders. The mornings began with an information and games 'Club House' and the day ended with our ever popluar evening 'Club House' with lively worship lead by Gordon Whyte and the House Band and an insightful challenge from our speaker this year, Mr. Paul Pitcher. Paul combined his life experience as a dad, as an Aerospace Engineer, as a professional climber and a Christian to challenge us in the daily Giants we face in making life decisons as believers in Jesus Christ.
We are going through many staff changes with eXp as the founder and Team Leader for eXp, Rev. Paul Beautyman felt God calling him to move on to other life adventures. Connor Barclay was called to take a job as a fulltime Youth Worker in Kelso at the same time. At the moment, Susan Whyte interviewed and was offered the job as Interim Team Lead for the next 6 months and Robert Dallow interviewed and has been hired in a part time post of Youth Worker helping with Primary Schools, Dunoon Grammar School Clubs and our Friday Night Clubs.
Most of the term time activities are up and running now that the school term is well underway.
We are still in need of regular and occasional volunteers for the Friday Night Club. If interested please do be in touch and we can discuss our needs and what we can offer you as well as what we would expect from you, then you can make an informed decision as to weather this could be the time you are willing to invest as a volunteer with eXp.
The Friday Night Club and Term Time Activities continue and have allowed us to have consistant involvement with our young people outside of events.
There are photos from events and clubs on the eXp Facebook Page regularly. Please have a look!
This was another successful residential experience for staff and the young people who were involved we had 5 more young people get involved in the recording process and this year a c.d. was produced and is for sale to help bolster funds for Songs from the Croft 2020.
WHO? - Paul, Susan, Connor, Kayleigh, Skye & Michelle
A great weekend rubbing shoulders with other Chritian Youth Workers from around the United Kingdom. Insightful Workshops, information and 300 voices being raised in worship was refreshing and invigorating.
WHO?- Paul, Anne, Susan and Connor
"We spent this day interacting with the staff at LYPP. It was useful to see and hear about what they are doing in their community and surrounding area. It was confirming to us and encouraging that the work we are doing is up to par with other youth programmes and in some areas we are actually excelling. An invitation was extended for the staff of LYPP to visit us for a further exchange of ideas and encouragement. Thank you for your hospitality and insights LYPP!
We enjoyed meeting and sharing a chat over a cuppa and cake at Season's Café with some of our adult volunteers. Those who stayed for the Friday night club were treated with a PP presentation of thanks which was put together by the young people who attend the club. It was a great opportunity to thank and encourage our volunteers who are so important in supporting our young people in their life transitions, health and wellbeing and in helping them expand their vision of 'what next'. With the help of these volunteers we are seeking to improve the lives and life chances of young people in Cowal.
Another new venture which turned out to be a meaningful time with young people who are involved in our School of Music. This time at the recording studio helped to grow the young people in their musical skills, the understanding of the recording process and their faith. It was also a time for the eXp staff to share and grow in their leadership skills and faith. This venture will take place again in 2019 with the hopes that more young people will have taken up the chance to be a part of the percussion and house band groups.
June 8-10th 'Underground' Black Tie City experience was a great weekend of experiencing the city, interacting with other Christian organisation and looking to the future for our older young people who are moving on from High School. The eXperience was so valuable that it has been decided to make it annual! eXp staff were able to interact with leaders from other Christian organisations like the Wild Goose team and Street Pastors.
The eXp staff enjoyed and learned alot about personality types after spending a day with Shirley who helped us understand the different types as well as what type we all were. This gave us insights into how we can best capitalise on each others strengths to be the best team we possibly can!
September 2018 Susan Whyte attended a conference in East Kilbride for adults working with young people in schools and youth organisations. This event saw over 100 teachers and youth workers come together to gain better insights into Mental Health Issues such as self-harm, eating dissorders, ADHD, autism and so much more. Not only did the speakers give information and insights but there were plenty of practical helps explained as well.
Gordon and Susan Whyte hosted a Christmas meal for all eXp Red Hoodes on the 10th of December! Although a number could not attend, those who did enjoyed the night of food, songs and games! So much so it has been decided that this should be an annual event in our calendar.
Paul, Susan, Connor, Kayleigh, and two Red Hoodies - Michelle and Skye B. attended this years Deep Impact Youth Workers Conference. Over 300 people who are working with Young People across Scotland in various guieses gathered for times of praise, workshops, who group times of teaching, prayer, meals and some social interaction. Everyone came away with the New Youth Bible as a gift from Youth for Christ, several other leaflets and definately something was learned by everyone from the workshops ect.
Year two of this adventure for young people who have been involved with the School of Music saw 8 young people staying residentially for the 3 nights 3 1/2 days and a further 3 young people coming for one day to record instruments and sing their parts in the 5 songs that were captured. This was such an encouragement to young people and staff that we would like to find ways to do it more often through out the year and capture some more young people with an interest in music and it's production. The weekend, like the School of Music would not happen with out the time and effort given by Gordon Whyte our volunteer music coordinator. We have been blessed in this second year of the School of Music to have had opportunites to lead worship in a few churches on Cowal and at Barnards Court Mission in Greenock. An 8 track C.D. is now available for sale from the eXp office!