Patrick Shepherd

Patrick's involvement with Summer Camps stretches back around eight years. He went to Macquarie College and came to Summer Camps due to that. “I’m a baptised Catholic,” he says. “But I went to an Adventist School. We’re all brothers and sisters [in Christ]!”

He started out at Junior camp, then progressed to the Teen camps. “Now I’ve been here as a staff member for four or five years,” he says. “Obviously as a camper coming back here, all of the staff when I was here had so much fun together helping out the kids. It was something I wanted to do and give back to the kids. The experience the kids get to have is so positive, and I love the feeling you get when you see the kids smiling and having fun.”

He adds, “For me, I work quite a lot and my holidays are basically spent here every year. I really enjoy spending time with the kids and seeing how much of a difference it makes in their lives. It made such a difference in my life, and if I can replicate that, then my job is done!”

Patrick says Summer Camps helped him to understand God more. “Here the focus is very much on your personal journey with God,” he says. “I really got to understand God more and how His plan was going to work out in my life.”

The other positive is all the fun here. “As a camper, my favourite thing was the activities — the main thing is that. Then it was the worship — listening to the speaker, the stories, how it relates to your journey and life,” says Patrick. “This year we have a guy in our dorm called Vincent and seeing him connect with the speaker is awesome!”

If you’re thinking of doing Summer Camp work, Patrick says, “It’s something you’ve got to try at least once. It’s an unbelievable experience. Words can’t describe the feeling. You leave with a sense of clarity and knowing you’ve made a difference in people’s lives. Likewise, if you’re thinking of being a camper, it’s something you have to do!”