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 have seen 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 is in post as Interim Team Lead for the next 6 months and Robert Dallow is in post as a part time Youth Worker helping with Primary Schools, Dunoon Grammar School Clubs and our Friday Night Clubs.
Susan and Robert have both been up at DGS, running lunchtime and after school clubs for our young people and rookies. On a Tuesday lunchtime Robert runs the 'MAD' (Make A Difference) club. On a Friday lunchtime Susan runs 'GAP', a girls group. On a Monday after school we use this time to meet with our rookies. Robert Has made his frist trip out to Lochgoilhead Primary school to talk to the children about online safety, we are so excited to continue our relationship with rural schools!
We have taken a group of our 'rookies' on the annual Ardroy weekend at the Ardroy outdoor learning centre at the beginning of November. This was a great time for all and allowed us to develop our rookies and do some leadership training, dicsussions around the bible and build the team relationship through outdoor and indoor activities. The weekend overall was successful and we have come away with a fresh new group of Rookies - who have been helping devlop our Friday Night Club with their ideas and thoughts. We value our rookies so much and appreciate the hard work they put in through the year to make a difference to the young people that come along to our activities!
Since Mid - November, we have made the descision to stop our regular Friday night club for the year. This is to give the staff and voulenteers time to give the Friday Night Club a 'makeover'. We want to make club the best it can be, so Robert has been running sessions with our voulenteers looking at what aspects of Friday night club need developed and changed. With the club stopping until after the new year, we are still excited to be hosting an eXp Christmas party on the 20th December, this will run from 7pm - 9:15 with lots of Christmas food, games, competitions and many more surprises!
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.
There are photos from events and clubs on the eXp Facebook Page regularly. Please have a look!
WHO? - Susan, Robert, Christopher, Blair, Alan, Holly, Mae and Jess
We are all booked in for another year at the Deep Impact conference in January 2020! This will be a great weekend rubbing shoulders with other Chritian Youth Workers from around the United Kingdom. We are praying that this year, like all other years previously, will be full of insightful Workshops, great worship and information that our red hoodies can come away with and put into practise.
We have started to run a meeting on one Monday a month, for our amazing 'red hoodie' voulenteers! We take this time to eat good food, catch up with eachother and brainstorm ideas for eXp events such as friday night club. This is a productive and enjoyable time for everyone to come together and relax as a team.
We have recently introduced a book to our voulenteers. Storylines: Your map to understanding the bible by Andy Croft and Mike Pilavachi. This is a great resource for looking at some stories in the bible in a completely different way. It allows space at the end of each chapter in the book for note taking and to write out our own answers to questions being asked. This will hopefully build bible knowledge among our team and also assist in everyones personal faith. We have started to go through this together as a team
We are very excited to be planning for our 'spark' weekend in February at the Ardroy outdoor learning centre. We will use this weekend to gather most of our red hoodie leaders to plan for exp summer camp 2020 and have a nice relaxing weekend of outdoor activities to say thank you to all of our voulenteers. We recognise that at our sumer camp at Benmore alot of our leaders arent able to join in with activities such as kayaking, absailing etc due to numbers, so this is a great time for us to let them go wild and have fun!
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!