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Women's camp with a difference

Women's camp with a difference

Women's camp with a difference

22 June 2018

A recent ‘Social Women’s Camp 2018’ involved participants from a combination of the Brunswick, Reservoir, and Sunshine Corps in Melbourne, together with Recovery Church and Bridgehaven Recovery Services Centre.

By Lauren Martin

The magnificent Dandenong Ranges in Victoria provided the perfect backdrop for the 2018 Social Women’s Camp, which gave a number of women a rejuvenating break from their “hurting and broken” lives.

The camp involved participants from a combination of the Brunswick, Reservoir, and Sunshine Corps and the Bridgehaven Recovery Services Centre in Melbourne, together with some women from Recovery Church in Hobart.

“It was such a privilege to treat some of our city’s most marginalised, vulnerable and dispossessed ladies to a fantastic, fun-filled few days away, set in beautiful surrounds,” said Captain Meg Dale, Associate Corps Officer, Brunswick Corps and Community Programs.

Simply by “showing kindness in the name of Jesus”, the leadership team comprising Envoy Margaret Coombridge, Lieutenant Erin Mains, Captain Kate Baudinette, Auxiliary-Lieutenant Alison Templar, Lieutenant Phuong Reynolds, Envoy Keitha Marsh and Captain Dale, managed to spontaneously create and nurture a loving, kind, compassionate, inclusive community throughout the weekend.

“Many of the women openly commented on the fact that they felt absolutely comfortable being themselves –and many for the first time ever!” said Captain Dale.

Participants took part in activities such as archery, bushwalking and candle making, were treated to a professional makeover, toasted marshmallows over a late-night campfire, had picnic lunches and took part in daily devotions. A closing worship session, led by Captain Jo Brookshaw, was a meaningful time.  

“On a pastoral level, by unconditionally affirming and accepting these broken and hurting women as they are, by listening to their stories with a kind and non-judgmental ear, by opening our hearts and coming alongside them, by allowing them the opportunity to tell their stories in a safe environment, and by being afforded the extraordinary honour of praying with them, and for them, served to champion the underlying Salvation Army values of ‘integrity, compassion, respect, diversity and collaboration,’” said Captain Dale.

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