Camp XL is all about allowing young people to explore and question the Christian faith for themselves, as well as encouraging and better equipping those who already call themselves Christians to serve God better in their daily walk with Him.
We do this principally through a programme of residential holidays first launched in Summer 2007. You'll find a complete listing of all our camps here, or by following the links on the right of this page. There are already dozens of summer camps on offer, so why this additional initiative?
Camp XL sets out to fill a need not met by most other Christian camps, namely to provide specialist holidays for young people who are passionate about their particular hobbies and interests. For the most part our programmes offer highly varied, targeted and innovative holidays that rival the very best of the booming secular industry, but assure parents and church leaders that the same Bible focus and evangelical emphasis will be found at each.
Maybe learn to surf one year on a water-sports camp , and then help produce - or act in - your very own movie the next! Maybe a football-skills week is more your thing, or the drama of performing arts? Try your hand at professional cookery, or learn the dying art of dark-room photography skills. Or perhaps you just fancy a week of intense chilling in the company of solid friends. Each of our camps offers a different experience, a different mood and a different style. But each comes with the same uncompromising evangelical emphasis and Bible focus to its spiritual component.
Supporting - not replacing - the work of the local church
Whilst there is little doubting the unique opportunities and benefits afforded by residential camps, we recognise that the overriding responsibility and burden for working with young people rightly falls on local churches across the land. Long after the euphoria and adrenaline of summer camp has abated, it is youth group leaders working week- in-week-out, often in difficult and far from glamorous circumstances, who are best positioned to first reach - and then disciple - today's young people.
To the fullest extent possible then, we set out to support the work of local churches: working in partnership with them, recruiting young people and leaders through them, and ensuring the highest possible level of communication with them, both before and after any of our camps.
Gaines (or, to give it its full name, Gaines Manor Activity Centre) is the name of a centuries old manor house on the Worcester/Hereford border. Now under the management of Camp XL, we're using it as a base where we can host church youth groups and CUs on most weekends throughout the year, run our own christian camps and houseparties, and train others to reach even more young people.Click on the headings below to learn more:
Residential Weekends for Youth Groups & CUs
At Gaines we provide residential packages tailor-made for you and your group, and which include all the Bible teaching, activities, food and accommodation. By leaving the workload to us, group leaders can concentrate on forging and strengthening those vital relationships they enjoy with their young people, and this in turn will allow them to teach and serve all the more effectively the remainder of the year.
Groups can leave the programme entirely to us, or, as many do, talk to us ahead of time and we'll work with them to focus the Bible teaching to ensure that we jointly 'scratch where the teens are itching'!
Click here to visit the Gaines website and learn more
Hosting our Camps & Houseparties
A number of our camps and other events take place at Gaines. It's a fabulous venue that has been hosting Christian camps for several decades, and offers a range of exciting activities both within its own grounds as well as in the surrounding countryside. These include Escape (an action filled milti-activity summer camp), and our fabulous New Year House Party among others.
Central to the ministry at Gaines is our desire to equip people to share the gospel effectively so that still more youngsters might hear the great news of Jesus.
Each year we welcome a small team of GAP year students who as well as helping to run our programmes receive training in how to handle the Bible faithfully (this is done in partnership with the Midlands Ministry Training Course in Birmingham), and how to work effectively with young people back in their home churches, or on other Christian camps.
If you know somebody who is considering a GAP year with Christian training and service at its core, please help us and point them here.
Camp XL is an Christian organisation, not aligned with any single denomination or church. Our supporters and volunteers come from a diverse group of churches spanning multiple denominations.
The following is our formal Statement of Faith, and this is embedded in Camp XL's corporate governance documents.
The Scriptures: The Old and New Testament Scriptures together represent the complete written word of God. Though written by human authors, they are uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit and so are free from error. We are called fully to trust them for faith and conduct, and we look to and recognize their supreme authority in all things.
Humanity: Humanity was created by God in his image, male and female, with inherent and equal dignity and worth, and complementary roles. Their greatest purpose is to love and serve God, and to care for his creation. Yet we have all sinned by rejecting his sovereignty, bringing a curse and corruption on ourselves as well as creation. We are thus guilty before God, rightly deserving of his wrath and judgement.
Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is fully divine. Though existing eternally, the Son of the Father, he chose to become incarnate, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary, both fully God and fully human.
Christ’s sacrifice: Christ was without sin. He alone was thus able to make for us an atoning sacrifice when he was put to death on the cross. He died in our place, serving the sentence that we each deserve. Through his death he has irrevocably secured adoption into his family and eternal life for any and all who believe in Him and recognise his Lordship, reconciling the same fully back to God.
Salvation through grace alone: This salvation is made available solely by the grace of God. We are neither required nor able to earn it; rather we are justified through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone who is the only way to the Father.
Christ’s resurrection: Christ rose again to life, literally and bodily. He ascended to the Father, where today he reigns and mediates on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and calls us to repentance. He gives faith and new life. He gives gifts and ministries to his people that we might proclaim the gospel to others; love, support and build one another up under the authority of Scripture; and that we might bring glory to the Father and the Son through lives offered in worship and service to God.
The Church: All believers have direct access to God through Jesus Christ, who is now the only necessary and existing mediator and High Priest. Together with all true believers across history, both in heaven and on earth, we collectively form his church – the living body of Christ.
Christ’s return: At a time known only to the Father, Christ will return again visibly and in person. All humanity, both living and dead, will face his judgement. He will establish a new heaven and a new earth, bringing eternal life to the redeemed, but eternal condemnation to the lost.