Co-creation around the camp fire
A report from the first ever Fire Camp – not your usual Baptist gathering
Fire Camp was not your usual camp. True, we had deflating air beds, grass in our tents and we toasted marshmallows, but this was a camp made by the people, for the people who were there; co-creation around the camp fire.
The aim of Fire Camp was to get away from the consumerist experience so often associated with gatherings. Instead there was co-creation of art, reflection and story-telling – of a space to be and to do together as an expression of the body of Christ.
Fire Campers of all ages spent time in the prayer tent, listened to each other’s stories, produced art from natural products, origami hearts and children’s tipis. We ate breakfast together, made our own dough and fired pizzas, prepared and smoked fish. Green Path Ventures taught us to forage, start fires and make didgeridoos. We walked by the Colne estuary, enjoying the sunshine and, in the evening, glorious sunsets around the fires listening to stories of Abraham, Nehemiah and Jesus. All of this in the beautiful setting of Ivy Farm on Mersea Island, Essex.
Fire Camp, as the title suggests, included a lot of fire. Over four days we had the chance to step away and reflect over a 'crucible fire', creating melting pot moments where we are refined.
The 'funeral fire' reflected on letting things go in order for something more beautiful to emerge. A 'beacon fire' proclaimed that we all carry a message with us to the wider world which is local and visible.
All the activities were created, produced and enjoyed by all of us. It was fresh, real and a welcome change.
Fire Campers were very positive and encouraging. Comments have included, ‘It was an amazing time. Thank you Firecampers for the fellowship and fun and space to reflect and rest in God!’; ‘A huge thank you to you all for having the vision and being prepared to bring it to fruition. It was an amazing few days and we thank God for you all and the opportunity to share in Firecamp with you’; ‘Wow! That was an amazing camp’ and ‘Thank you to those who dreamed this up and held space for us to co-create together. A really fun and inspiring time!’
Fire Camp was coordinated by a small group of Baptist Christians from across the UK, who put together this report, but everyone who came along shared in creating a memorable event.
Next year’s Fire Camp is already booked for 21-25 July 2017 at Ivy Farm. For more photos of this year's event visit the Firecamp Facebook page