Be Back Soon

In my younger years I spent large chunks of my summer and various other parts of the year at Baptist Youth Camps in Serpentine, just south of Perth.

Starting as a camper, I then went on to become everything from dorm leader to cook to director to cook to pot washer and all sorts of things in between. I’ve got a lot of great memories from those early days but I haven’t been to one of those camps for around twenty years.

A couple of decades later and I’m off to camp today.

This will be the first time at camp for Emily and James. They’re both really looking forward to the coming week.

Pauline and I will take on one of the only duties I never quite managed in my earlier, single days. We’ll be ‘Camp Parents’ for a week. Our task will be to provide support for both the campers and the wonderful bunch of leaders.

I’m unlikely to have any access to the internet until we return on Saturday. Thanks to WordPress I’ve been able to publish a few posts that will appear over the next few days but I won’t be able to approve new comments, so you may find that your comments sit in the moderation queue a little longer than normal. Please don’t let that stop you from commenting.

I’ll catch you in a few days.

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Another School Year Over

Today Emily finished Year Six and James completed Year Three at school.

I had the privilege of being at their final assembly for the year this afternoon. The final assembly is traditionally the time where the outstanding students from each year level are recognised for their work throughout the year.

When the Year Three teacher stepped up on stage we listened intently. James has previously received the Academic Achievement Award for both Year One and Year Two and always makes us extremely proud of his efforts. Today he added the Year Three Achievement Award to his collection.

A short while later Emily’s teacher stepped up to the microphone.Emily has previously won the Achievement Award, the highest academic award for each year level, in Years One, Two, Three and Five. Today she received the Acheivement Award for Year Six. It’s hard to believe she only has one year left of primary school.

On top of her Achievement Award, Emily was given a certificate for her outstanding work in English and she was named as one of the School Councillors for next year.

Looks like both Emily and James deserve a good break during these summer holidays. They have made both Pauline and me extremely proud yet again.

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Summer Reading Challenge

book.jpgToday marks the first day of the Premier’s Summer Reading Challenge 2007-08.

Over the summer holidays children around Western Australia are being challenged to spend time reading. By registering for the Challenge, children can win a range of prizes. I also see that parents who read to their child will go in a special prize draw to win one of two iPods.

Both Emily and James will be taking part once again so I’ll need to encourage them to make an extra effort to read over the coming weeks. Both are great readers already so it shouldn’t be such a difficult task.

The Challenge runs from the 6th of December to the 11th of February. Every child who successfully finishes the Challenge receives a certificate signed by the Premier.

I reckon it’s a great way to encourage kids to read but I’m wondering if I need to join in and start my own Summer Reading Challenge. Do you want to join me? What kind of target will you set yourself? How many books do you think you can read over the next couple of months?

I know that it’s not Summer for a lot of readers but surely Winter is a great time to curl up in your favourite chair with a book.

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Tragedy strikes close to home

The helicopter had been hovering near our house for some time on Monday night but I really didn’t give it much thought. I figured the police helicopter was doing some kind of routine patrol.

As I went to bed I switched on the radio to hear the 10:00 p.m. news. A young child was missing in a suburb near us. The police helicopter was using their spotlight to search the area backed up by officers on the ground.

I jumped out of bed to grab the street directory. I showed Pauline where the child was missing and she told me that a school friend of our son James lived in that area. We wondered if it was his younger brother that was missing.

Yesterday morning came the sad news that 18 month old Dut Dier had been found dead in a man made lake just a hundred metres from his home. It seems that he slipped out the door and headed straight for one of his favourite places.

Words can’t describe how the tragedy makes me feel as I think about what happened and what might have been but I know that that’s nothing comapred to the grief that the Dier family is feeling right now.

An article in The West says,

The Diers were refugees from Sudan and moved to Sydney four years ago. They moved to Perth last year because they thought there would be more work available and it would be a safer environment for the children.

How do you recover from something like that?

It was beautiful to hear James pray for the family and for his friend last night before he went to sleep. I’m sure that the Dier family will need a lot more prayer in the coming days and weeks.

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