Fresh out of high school, Irene Louw started a Bachelor of Ministry with BST. In two short years of studying, Irene has experienced personal growth, particularly in the areas of leadership and witnessing to others. Irene coordinated a youth camp on the Gold Coast with Christian Youth Camps from 22 – 27 September 2013. She shares how studying at BST has helped her in leading the camp.
How long have you been volunteering with Christian Youth Camps (CYC)?
I’ve been volunteering with CYC for six years. This year I was the Director of the camp. I believe I am one of the youngest Directors they’ve had.
Can you tell us about the camp?
CYC host senior and junior camps every school holidays. The camp that I coordinated is the Spring Junior Camp for students from grade 4 to 7. We promoted it to Churches and Schools across Brisbane and Gold Coast. This year we received a record number of registrations including Christian and non-Christian kids.
Our program for the camp was based around the “Dare to be a Daniel” program which focuses on five modules:
Each day our volunteer camp leaders and study leaders helped the school kids to focus on one module of the Daniel program. We taught them God’s Word and discussed the various modules in applying it to our daily Christian life. It gave the campers the opportunity to share with us the issues they faced at school. Bullying was a common issue. It was really touching to hear their testimonies. Many shared on their relationship with God and how His love for them has played a big part in their ability to deal with bullying.
In addition to the teachings on God’s Word, the school kids were entertained with bowling, jumping castles, surfing, tubing and a range of other activities.
How do you think your studies at BST have helped in your leadership role?
As the Director of the camp, I didn’t get to spend too much one on one time with the campers but rather coordinated the leaders and all of the activities. I mainly spent time with the kids who were in trouble for misbehaving or for those that needed extra encouragement. I felt confident in being able to deal with the troubled kids in a loving, gracious and effective way.
I was able to promote good behaviour by looking at the reasons why it’s important to respect others, respect themselves and to respect the camp area around them. It was more effective than shutting them down for misbehaving. I was able to talk with the kids in identifying what they were doing and why it was wrong.
I could not have done it without God’s strength. I initially felt weak in myself being so young to be the Director of the camp, but I realised how much God had prepared me for it.
I was a different person when I started at BST and I feel that my Christian worldview has really evolved and emerged into something that I can confidently rely on as I serve others in the community. I’ve grown so rapidly because of Bible college.
The college environment – through the teachings, my fellowship groups and developing a solid Christian perspective – has really helped me to grow as a Christian and as a leader.
What is your highlight from the camp?
We saw more than 10 young people come to Christ. I’m also thankful that I was given the opportunity to lead the camp at such a young age. I’ve learnt so much from the experience and it has truly affirmed in my heart what I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s to lead camps.
Quick Facts About Irene:
Name: Irene Louw
Home Church: Bellbowrie Community Church
Country of Origin: Born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and lives in Australia. She’s still a committed All-Blacks supporter.
Favourite Food: Pies + Pizza
Favourite Artist: Carrie Underwood