Cameron Hyslop   -  

As 2020 progressed and Covid restrictions were taking longer to ease than they took to implement it seemed very likely that our annual XII Escape trip for exiting year 12 students would either not be able to proceed or be seriously compromised. Thankfully, these options didn’t eventuate and we were able to go ahead with Escape in an only slightly modified fashion. We had 21 year 12 students join us for 8 days at Nelson Bay. We stayed in a number of 3 bedroom apartments and had excellent weather throughout the vast majority of the week.

One of the highlights of Escape is that we have the time to work through the entire letter to the Ephesians in one week. The local Baptist Church kindly allowed us to make use of their air conditioned building for our Bible sessions and Josh Maule took us through the letter in 6 talks that were then followed up with discussion groups. Ephesians is rich with teaching on God’s saving work in Jesus and the way that enables us to be united not only with God but also with each other as his church. The second half of the letter is filled with the practical out workings of living as God’s people in a hostile world. It addresses our relationships with each other our interactions with the physical world and our standing in the spiritual world. The whole letter focuses on Christ Jesus, through whom we have received every spiritual blessing.

Activities during the week alternated between time on the sand dunes and time in the water. We went camel riding and then visited the Irukandji shark and ray centre where everyone had the chance to get into the water with the sharks and sting rays. The next day was quad biking on Stockton Beach and then we also took in a morning of Sea Kayaking on Shoal Bay. Sand boarding was a massive hit with the tour operators commenting on how competent everyone was standing up on the boards. The Marine Discovery Cruise was a highlight for many as we visited an offshore island and snorkeled with blue groper, Port Jackson sharks and a Wobbegong. Other activities included go-karting, lawn bowls, a walk across Fingal Spit to the lighthouse and a walk up Mount Tomaree. There were many visits to Little Beach for swimming and lost of free time to just kick back with friends.

Catering for Escape includes breakfast supplies stocked up in apartments and one other provided meal each day. This enables some freedom to “get your  own” meals throughout the week which provided a chance for some culinary skills to be put into action. One of the features of the provided meals are the range of amazing salads that are served up each day.

You can watch a highlights video of some of the week here.

We are so thankful to have been able to proceed with XII Escape this year. Here are some of the comments afterwards:

“I learnt a lot in the talk about God’s grace which was great. Thankyou so much for an amazing week. It has been awesome!!”
“I learnt about the importance of caring for others and cooking food for people with dietary needs.”
“For anyone coming through in future years, I’d say it’s the best way to spend your schoolies!”
“I learned to put sun cream on my feet.”
“One of the images that stuck with me was how faith is like a growing tree.”
“It was a week to grow in many friendships, weird skills and most importantly, my faith”
“I learnt more about the evil spiritual world and God’s strength and armour that he gives us to conquer this.”