HISTORY OF EASTER CAMP
In the 1910s “The Baptist” magazine reported that young Baptist men were the first to run and attend Easter camps. By Easter 1921, young women had caught up with the idea of Easter camps and ran their own - at a cost of only 2 shillings. In the late 1950s, some daring person suggested females and males could be at the same camp and they combined both camps. By the 1970s, Baptist Easter Camps were being run in most districts of New Zealand with “sophisticated studies, workshops and polished concerts”.
The focus of these early camps was to have young people leading other young people, resulting in most youth communities having dance, drama and music teams with each contributing to their local events. The 2000s saw huge growth as smaller district camps united into larger combined gatherings. Baptist Youth Ministries were responsible for running the events to enable youth leaders to be free to focus on building community with their own groups.
WHO IS CAMP FOR?
Today, Northern Easter Camp attracts roughly 5000 young people and is held annually at Mystery Creek Events Centre, Waikato. Thousands more youth-aged campers also attend the similar Central and Southern Easter Camps in other parts of the country.Our hope is that Easter Camp will be an event that develops young people who shape, lead and contribute positively to the future of our nation.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF CAMP
We were all young once. We can remember wanting to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, something that was fun, adventurous and crazy! For almost 5000 teenagers and young adults, from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and the far North regions, Easter Camp is that place.
Easter Camp is packed full of worship, world-class communicators, live music, sports competitions, seminars, creative arts, talent quests and many other fun and engaging activities. So, why do we do this? Because there are many teenagers in our society who feel misunderstood and confused about many of the issues they face in life. At camp, we want to create a space where young people can belong to a community, through a local youth community. Together, young people can learn about the issues they face and the challenges they will come across in life. In challenging these young people mentally, physically, spiritually and socially we hope to provide them with tools for life and a hope for the future.
WHO WE ARE
Blue Bradley has been the Director of Northern Easter Camp for 15 years. Blue has worked in youth ministry for more than 30 years and is passionate about seeing young-people’s lives transormed to reach their full potential.
Blue is supported by a team of almost 30 Crew who, along with their volunteer teams, help make Northern Easter Camp happen each year
Northern Easter Camp Board
Our board, is made up of diverse, passionate, skilled, faith-based individuals, representing our key regions. The role of the board is to support the director and management team in spiritual oversight, key strategic direction and accountability.
Current Board Members
Blue Bradley / Caleb Haurua / Clint Harris / Jess Lovatt / Jonathan Edmeades
Josh Sanford / Michelle Harrison / Sarah Barnett
Wow, I can't believe we are getting ready for Easter Camp again. It feels so good to put the past few years of disruption behind us and start to plan, prep, dream and focus on what's ahead for Easter Camp 2023. I really missed being together last year so we’ve been planning to make up for it this year.
If you've never been to Easter Camp before, you’re in for a treat. It's the most amazing experience where thousands of teenagers (well-supervised by awesome leaders) come together from Northland, Auckland, The East Cape, The Bay of Plenty and the Waikato regions. There are large and small youth groups from every denomination, from every socio-demographic - we all come together to make Mystery Creek our home for five days. Your group won't get lost in the ‘bigness’ of camp because there’s loads of opportunity for your group to connect and dive deeper into relationships and small group times together.
The last few years have come with some challenges with having only run one Easter Camp out of three because of COVID. There have been similar challenges with youth groups during this time. Some have managed to carry on doing well, while others have struggled. Many leaders have commented about the general sense of malaise or lethargy they have experienced in their youth groups and from young people. My hope is for us to change gear at Easter Camp. Our theme this year is ‘Awaken’ - it’s time to lift our eyes out of the malaise and see where the Spirit of God is moving. It's time to look into the amazing salvation story of Easter and hear about how it can literally change our lives.
This Easter, let's give our young people hope, a hope in Jesus, the main character in the best story ever told, a story that leads to life, love and hope, a story that lives on way after camp that we can hold onto and encourage one another in times such as these.
Director - Northern Easter Camp