Our Unexpected Tent Expansion
By: Tamara Grey
October 27 April 2017
If you are anything like me, Christian Camping is in your blood, it thrums along my veins, it’s on the tip of my tongue to talk about in every conversation I enter, it’s the place where I feel closest to our almighty Creator, where I am emboldened to use the gifts He has given me and it’s also the place I find rest and call home. I love Christian Camping.
I began working at Camp Clayton in the Summer of 2001, straight out of year 12 and I have been here in some form or another ever since, working full time, volunteering while I had my children or now, back in the swing of it in an entirely new role, ready to see what God has in store.
Our site, Camp Clayton is beautiful, filled with magnificent trees, a gorgeous beach frontage and what I think is amazing accommodation and facilities. The staff are spirit filled, focused and fun! I am blessed to work with them and I consider them family. And yet, even though I can’t get enough of this place, many people have never heard of us or even know what we do. Sometimes our gorgeous trees are a wall keeping people out, rather than ushering them in.
Travel the beautiful Tasmania coast a few years ago and many wouldn’t be able to tell you where we are or what we do. Many might suggest (due to our similar name) that we run camps for children with cancer or that they came once when they were a child. Camp Clayton was an old idea, something they once did or knew about, not now. Thankfully, that’s changing due to one new event we added to our calendar a couple of years ago.
The Camp Clayton Fun Day. Born out of desperate need to fund-raise for our new PEAK Leadership Program, we launched an event that invited the community to come and see what we have and what we can do. This event began in 2015 with what we hoped would see 300 people come through our gate, only to be blown away with the 800-1000 people who rocked up! The following year, we hoped for the same, but received about 1500 people!
This year, we realised this event was more than just a fund raiser for our Leadership Program, it was a new way to connect to our community. We were slowly but surely reaching new audiences and that Camp Clayton was developing a great reputation. Thank fully, due to some fore thought about the goals surrounding this event the first year, the new ways people were thinking about us were still in line with who we are. This is such an integral reason that this event had such a positive effect and could so easily have been forgotten in the excitement of planning. It could have had disastrous consequences for us. Ensuring that our new fund raiser (or any event, marketing strategy, idea) was in line with who are and what we are about is imperative to staying on message and maintaining our core desire to reach children for Christ.
God knew that this event would have a much bigger impact then we could ever have imagined, His hand can be seen in the development of our goals for this event. We wanted to be community focused, family friendly, provide a high quality event but ensure it was low cost so it could be inclusive to all demographics. Everything that Christian Camping is about!
When you mention you are from Camp Clayton now, many people say “Oh, you had that Fun Day last year right? My kids loved it and it was so inexpensive! They are bugging me to come to one of your holiday camps now.” It’s so exciting!
Our holiday camps are growing and have new families attending, we are receiving new bookings for groups, we are engaging more people on social media but best of all, more people now know what is hiding behind that wall of trees and they are telling others!
The Camp Clayton Fun Day, was a small idea that has now become one of the biggest events in our calendar and this year raised $16,000 to help us fund the PEAK Leadership Program, not much in the big scheme of things, but it’s enough to maintain our program and the other benefits are incredible. It helped promote our values to the community and invited people to consider how we could serve them with our facilities, which in turn allows us to bring the love of God to even more people. God is expanding our tent in ways we never imagined!
This event has encouraged us to think outside the box and consider new ways we can minister and develop relationships with our community that will allow us to still meet our core values and move forward into strong future and we are excited to see where God leads us next. Hold on tight! It’s bound to be a wild ride!
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2
41 Clayton Rd, Ulverstone, TAS 7315
PO BOX 3184, Ulverstone, TAS 7315
Phone: (03) 6425 1893
Fax: (03) 6425 1676
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