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Youth making a splash for God this summer

Youth making a splash for God this summer

Youth making a splash for God this summer

10 February 2020

Hundreds of teens gathered at Wollongong Corps auditorium for a night of worship after the Summer Splash pool party on the NSW South Coast.

By Jessica Morris

Pool parties are the bread and butter of any youth group, but now The Salvation Army Youth and Young Adults Department is diving deeper with the introduction of a national event – Summer Splash.

Summer Splash 2020 is in full swing around Australia across many locations including Gold Coast, Wollongong, Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Perth.

Events are held at water parks like Dreamworld on the Gold Coast or Jamberoo Recreation Park near Wollongong and are followed by a worship service back at a local corps in the evening.

More than 1000 teenagers have already taken part – with towels and swimming togs in tow – all with a mission to have fun and experience Christ-like community.

“Summer Splash is about creating a safe and supported place for young people where they find fun, family and faith. We want young people across this nation feeling that they are part of something bigger,” said Auxiliary-Lieutenant Adam Purcell, Territorial Youth and Young Adults Secretary.

While versions of the Summer Splash initiative have been active in various states for some years, the youth department is uniting them under one banner to connect young Salvos across the country.

“This is all about young people seeing other young people on social media from all different parts of the country – and realising that we are one Army across Australia,” said Adam.

The majority of Summer Splash events were held on 18 January and 2 February, with Geelong to host the next one on 22 February at Adventure Park, followed by a worship service at South Barwon Corps at 6pm. More details here.

Adam said Summer Splash is a great way for divisions across Australia to unite their youth in fellowship and teaching. It also gives Salvo teens a perfect opportunity to invite friends to ‘church’ – albeit at a swimming pool.

“This event is a safe place, either at a pool, beach or aquatic park, where young people can hang out and have a lot of fun. And at night we hold a combined youth group event in each location. It includes music, hanging out, dinner together and a message,” said Adam.

After the success of this year’s events, Adam said the youth department is already planning the 2021 program to be bigger, wetter and more fun.

“The dream for this event is that it will be front-line driven; not divisions running an event, but youth groups getting together in their local area and saying, ‘We can be a part of this!’” said Adam.

“[We want corps to find] a water park, host a night meeting and to share in what is happening across the nation. Wouldn't it be amazing if in 2021 we had dozens of locations and connected them through social media at the same time? That’s the dream.”

 

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