Jordans Camp has taken place every year for over 60 years. In 2015 it was in Dorset, 2016 Royston and 2017 Dorset again.
Regardless of location, it takes much the same form each year. Organised on Quaker principles, campers of all ages live simply together as a community, sharing activities, work and worship.
Each year a theme is chosen to inspire discussions and worship. Activities are organised by campers, all are welcome to make their contribution. Activities include crafts, camp fires, games, swimming trips, walks, discussions, table tennis, football, singing and entertainment.
Everyone is assigned to a team, and each team takes responsibility for a different duty each day, so one finds oneself stirring porridge, chopping wood, lighting lamps with the same people, as well as joining them for games.
Meals are taken together, and are an important part of the camp day. Another event vital to camp is Devotional, which takes place twice a day, once after morning duties are finished and once after the evening activity has taken place.
I and my family have been going to camp for 22 years now, and it is still the highlight of our year. Even though none of us attend Meeting regularly these days, our time at camp reminds us of and reinforces Quaker thought and values, through discussion and conversation, through living as part of a like-minded community, and through simply having the time to reflect and question. I know that camp serves this purpose for many others like us.
For some it also provides stability in troubled lives: it is somewhere they know they will be loved, supported and accepted for what they are, and they can take these feelings away with them, back to daily life.
Over the years, campers have introduced friends, indeed camp has grown to such an extent that this year we were unable to accommodate all those who applied. For many of the newcomers, camp is their first real contact with Quakerism. I believe the fact that we incorporate Quaker principles into the day to day life of camp makes as much of an impression as the act of worship, especially for younger campers. That, and the fact that we have a huge amount of fun along the way. Few do not return.
JC (High Wycombe Meeting Attender)
Quaker Camp 2018 – Malvern
Theme: “What do Quakers say?”
A camp report by a 14 year old attendee.
As Quakers most prefer to share a way of life rather than follow a set if fixed beliefs. This way of life provides us with guidance for how we act toward others and ourselves. It also influences what we say.
Highlights of camp
Swimming: We went swimming a total of three times this year and even though many just go for the free shower it was also a time of fun with friends and to play a classic game of whirlpool.
The Food: At meal times there is always something new and exciting.
The Water Bus to Tewksbury: This was probably one of the most fun things. Spotting the wildlife and playing fun games in the lounge.
The Long Walk: Although it is long and hard I am always filled with inspiration and fulfilment at the end. Walking and laughing while surrounded by beautiful scenery truly makes me happy.
Devotional: I always feel comfortable in the silence. It gives us a chance to think and establish our footing on this ever changing world.
Discussion: I love discussion because it gives me a chance to hear and reflect on the opinions and actions of others.
I can’t wait for next year!