Every September school holidays we see young people from secondary schools across the Mornington Peninsula converge on Merricks Lodge campsite for the September Smash camp. The camp is run collectively by local youth organisations, chaplains and church groups. Merricks Lodge provides a space for young people (many from disadvantaged and at risk backgrounds) to share in community, develop positive relationships, and explore issues of life and spirituality.
The leadership team of the camp is made up of a group of 25+ chaplains, youth workers and older students who are passionate
about seeing young people supported and mentored to reach their full potential in life. Days are filled with interactive, team building and just plain crazy activities both onsite at the campsite and offsite at places like Bounce, Casey Race and the Enchanted Maze!
The highlight activity is always Scum Attack on the last day – a minimally structured all in game which ends in uproarious fun! Nights are spent engaging around themes of courage, hope, identity, and purpose as the space is provided for students to reflect on the message of Jesus and what it has to say into their context, life, and spirituality today. This is not a time designed to indoctrinate with religion but rather to stimulate young people to explore their own beliefs and values in a supportive and encouraging environment.
The greatest feeling is seeing young people who may never have felt a sense of value and belonging experience this for the first time! At the end of the week the sense of community and the bond between everyone on camp is always amazing – the way young people come back year after year after year is a great testament to this. Gotta love it!Sam Hearn Schools Ministry Coordinator New Peninsula Baptist Church & Young Citizen of the Year 2013 Mornington Peninsula Shire