AUSTRALIA–On March 9, more than 30 members from four congregations around Australia gathered for an annual campout in Robe, South Australia. Located off the Limestone Coast, the popular seaside town is one of the oldest in the state and is known for distinctive historical buildings and fishing fleets.
The campsite is only a short walk from Long Beach, giving campers the opportunity to fish or swim in the clear waters or enjoy night-time strolls on the sand.
Temperatures were cool and mostly sunny throughout the weekend. On the Sabbath morning, members enjoyed a hot breakfast while those who were not camping drove in to attend services.
Local Church Elder Andrew Kennedy gave a sermonette about the Night to Be Much Observed, and Evangelist Alex Harrison gave a sermon on fully trusting God. The group then conversed over afternoon tea, coffee and homemade treats.
Sunday activities during the campout typically include a barbecue lunch on the beach and volleyball, but this year, morning rain kept members inside, so they instead played card games and conversed while waiting for the rain to subside.
“There’s nothing like a Church camp, being with people of like mind, sharpening one another, listening to one another, getting deep and personal,” said Perth member Anita Underwood. “It enables us to talk about things we wouldn’t normally converse about maybe on the Sabbath.”
After the sun returned, campers hiked toward the Robe obelisk, toured the ruins of the old jail, fished and explored the beach. After sunset, the group settled in for a movie night and a dessert of roasted marshmallows at the bonfire.
“This campout for our family seemed the most unifying for everyone,” said Melbourne member Julie Makrai. “Even when we got rained out Sunday morning, everyone pulled together and made the most of being indoors, no matter what the activity or age. God really wants us to be a close-knit family.”