1 May 2024

Summer school: Finding faith and friends

A group photo from summer school 2023

Salvationist hears why young people keep going back to summer school.

A photo of Kathryn



Me and my friend hypothesise that summer school is a conspiracy to get us to cry! I was warned about the ‘emotional devotional’ nights. I scoffed – ‘That’s not me!’ – but I’ve cried at every single summer school, because God has always broken through and revealed something.

I’ve learnt that God always has something to lay on your heart. Most years, I go expecting God to confront me in one way and then he talks to me differently. The teaching and staff team are so well placed by God to guide us to where God’s taking us, and he takes us each to a different place.

Summer school is such a gift. It’s an opportunity to grow alongside other Christians – staff or student, God’s not finished with them – to be transformed by God so we can go from that place and face a world that doesn’t know him, and to be refilled by his Spirit, without whom we can’t move forward.

I await summer school with anticipation of what God’s got coming for me – and, hallelujah, I have no clue!

A photo of Rafael (left) and Pedro (right)

Pedro and Rafael



On my last year of Easter camp, I got told that there was a summer school for over‐13s. I decided to give it a go. It was different because it is about deepening your faith journey. Being there, I felt this stronger connection with God, and activities such as worship and cell groups helped me grow in my faith. 

The best part was meeting people with similar values who, like me, were there to explore their faith journey. I stayed incontact with many of them and could meet up with some after summer school. I would not have met them if it wasn’t for summer school. My experience was so positive it inspired me to share it with others.

I invited my friend Rafael to join me the following year and have encouraged my young brother to go too. I am excited to attend again, spend time with friends, meet new people and continue exploring my relationship with God.


I was at a family gathering with Pedro. We usually talk about how he thinks Chelsea is the best football team in the world – I’d disagree – but that day was different. He invited me to this church summer camp that I never knew about. I took up the offer and did the form there and then.

I was quite nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. However, the camp made me realise a deeper connection with God, how he is with me every step of the way. The best part was in this tent where we would sing songs, do challenges and have fun. Another contender would be the two streams we picked – I chose sport and media. I’m going back because it was one of the best weeks of my life. I also recommended this camp to my sister, who is able to do it this year.

A photo of Ellie



I have attended summer camp three times, and this year will be my fourth. Everyone is so kind, compassionate and friendly to everybody. And everyone respects different beliefs. We include everyone, so no one feels left out.

I believe the best part of summer camp is making new friendships and doing fun activities – you’re never bored. My favourite memory
would have to be last year’s paint fight – seeing so many people laughing, not a phone in sight and not worrying about clothes getting stained. We all signed each other’s white shirts and then the paint wars began!

Summer camp has helped my faith in all different ways: Bible study, worship, sport and games, and being surrounded by friends my age with similar beliefs. I adore seeing the Holy Spirit shine across my generation. I would definitely recommend summer camp.

Discover more

Matt (York) and Hannah (Sheerness) introduce the Territorial Justice and Reconciliation Youth Forum.

Working alongside young people is central to the mission of The Salvation Army.

Resources for youth ministry.

TMS is a week of music making and worship for anyone aged between 16 and 30 who attends The Salvation Army.