Keswick ConVenture Camp

The Keswick ConVenture Camp has sprung from the experience of a few BBMC members staying at The Barn (near Keswick) during previous Keswick Convention weeks, who enjoyed mountain-based activities during the day and the worship and teaching at the Convention during the evening. They felt that this combination of adventure and spiritual activities would be of benefit to others in the Brigade. Keswick ConVenture is therefore a camp for young people and their leaders that combines adventure activities that are enjoyed each day with attandance at the Keswick Convention in the evening. Young people can join in the Keswick Youth Programme while leaders can attend the main Evening Celebration event in the main tent. The Keswick Convention also runs a programme for 19-24 year olds.

A successful experimental pilot camp was organised in July 2017, which was called BB Xtreme rather than Keswick ConVenture. Please take a look at the BB Xtreme 2017 page for information about the BB Xtreme Camp held in 2017 and the Keswick ConVenture 2020 page for information about the proposed Keswick ConVenture Camp to be held in July 2020.

The Keswick Convention is the oldest of all the British Christian festivals, having been founded 8 years before the BB (in 1875) nd is the only such festival located in heart of the mountains. We think it is also the only British Christian festival that can easily be combined with adventure activities, not only because of its location, but also, because all the others charge a very large up-front fee, assuming that all events are going to be attended. While the Keswick Convention still takes a collection at its meetings and asks everyone to make donations as an appreciation of what the Convention has provided for them.

The Brigade has actually had a long association with the Keswick Convention. "The Keswick Story: The Authorised History of the Keswick Convention" records that: "The Boys' Brigade camp, however, could parade under a retired major-general, their national Brigade Secretary being also the Keswick Convention Treasurer." This would have been the fourth Brigade Secretary who was Major-General D. J. Wilson-Haffenden (known as "Haffy") and who was Brigade Secretary between 1954 and 1965. It was probably during this period that the BB started to organise a camp for officers and their families who wanted to attend the Convention. As far as we can tell, this was a mainly spiritual event with attendance expected at all the Bible Readings and Convention Meetings and there is no evidence of BB companies attending or adventure activities being organised. We don't know exactly when the BB stopped organising this camp, but we know that it was still running in 1980.

You may like to play the modern version of "We Have an Anchor" (the BB Hymn), written by Colin Webster and Phil Moore, and recorded at the 2017 Convention, which we enjoyed singing (different tune and different words for the later verses, but the same chorus).

Published on