Arnold and a donkey

Firstly, many apologies for the strange order of these blogs, but after writing about my muddy adventures at United 2017, we’re now going to waddle back in time to another, slightly less muddy but just as wet, adventure I went on recently!

This time, I joined my church’s youth group: The Friday Group, on a weekend away

Arnold playing Cajon
Arnold playing Cajon

to Bransgore, in the New Forest. We stayed in the wonderful hall of St Mary the Virgin church and also had access to the church itself which gave us a wonderful space for music and our group sessions that was separate from our eating and sleeping areas.

Our weekend began on Friday evening, after travelling to the village of Bransgore (and feeling very thankful that we were staying in a hall after spotting a group struggling to put up their tent in the torrential downpour!) where we stayed until Sunday afternoon. Over the course of the weekend we spent time in fellowship, playing games together and chatting; in sung worship with a VERY wide range of instruments; learning in group teaching sessions and exploring the Bible in individual devotionals times (this will have it’s very own blog post!).

Arnold Sculpture
Arnold Sculpture

We also took part in a highly competitive team scavenger hunt in Burley and the surrounding woods. In teams, we were set a series of challenges including identifying trees, taking photos of our team and other animals, building a sculpture (my group made a fantastic sculpture of me – even if my head was made of poo!) and answering questions about the places we walked past. This was a fantastic opportunity to explore the area, get to know each other better and to have lots of fun outside.

Our teaching sessions for the weekend were based around the theme of “Making Decisions” (I’m sure I’ll do a blog series on these sessions because I absolutely loved the topics we covered) with each session helping us to discover how we can go about making decisions. The first session looked at what Wisdom is according to the Bible, the second looked at how we can use the Bible as part of our decision process and the third explored the need to trust in God as we make decisions, focusing on Proverbs 3:1-12. The fourth and final session, looking at how we apply these things to the way we make decisions hasn’t actually happened yet as we spent a rather damp Sunday lunchtime being chased by donkeys and trying to escape from the rain at Bolton’s Bench in Lyndhurst – but we are planning to do this sometime over the summer holidays!

Team with a cattle grid
My team with a cattle grid

Overall, the weekend was a fantastic opportunity to have relax, spend time with friends, learn about hugely important skills and to spend time individually with God.

A Weekend in the New Forest
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