It was with some intrigue and honour that I agreed to be Chaplain to the North West Kent Young Leader’s training weekend. In one sense it sounded nice and straightforward – run devotions for 3 different streams of young people, help the eldest group of young people produce a morning worship service on the Sunday morning, and provide leadership at staff prayers. Yet at the same time it was unknown.
It was an enjoyable experience. I’ve met with three groups of boys, sharing challenges about the spiritual habits they can be forming; I helped the oldest group prepare to lead Sunday worship; and shared some daily devotions for the boys and for the leaders.
The staff are wide ranging in their experience and context which is refreshing to see. The training covers a lot of different topics including spiritual input, child protection, physical training, project work including running a model session.
The venue, Felden Lodge, is a small but lovely centre, with very modern facilities – my only two small gripes are the mattresses aren’t the most comfortable, and the WiFi wasn’t working (the router probably just needed restarting). If I was working in a smaller youth work I might be more interested in using it for a youth weekend away, as being based in Hemel Hempstead it’s not a million miles from Tonbridge.
Overall it leaves me thinking how we replicate this for the other young leaders who serve in our church outside of the Brigade model.