Barts Youth Group - Heatree Adventure

On Monday 19th August 2013, 13 members of Barts Youth Group and 4 adults went to Heatree Activity Centre on Dartmoor for 4 days. That afternoon we left the land for kayaking and raft building, where we made rafts out of barrels, poles and ropes, working in competing teams. We all had great fun and none of us was left dry.

After dinner we went for a scary night walk on Dartmoor where many practical jokes were played. I've never heard a boy scream quite that high before. Over the next few days we all took part in lots of exciting activities like mountain biking, climbing and caving, where the biggest challenge was the Ultimate Squeeze, a small gap in a completely dark cave lit by our head-torches. We also did team building exercises like the low rope adventure course. However there was also lots of down time to recuperate and relax afterwards before dinner.

The meals were delicious and gave us back the energy we needed for the next day. In the evenings we played football, volleyball and hockey, and on our last evening had a campfire that was more like a bonfire which included toasted marshmallows s'mores, hot chocolate and scary stories. We all had a great time.

Thank you to all the Barts team who looked after us (and didn't moan even when they got very wet and muddy), and to the Heatree staff, who were really friendly and always helpful.

By Orla & Seamus Thresh and Joe Donn


Note: there is a video of the event in the article below.

Barts at Heatree 2013 - the video

Below is the video of our time at the Heatree Activity Centre in Devon - enjoy! The songs accompanying the video were chosen by the Rev. Steve Morgan, for anyone who was wondering...



Sailing Adventure 2012

sailing invite 12 s


Bart’s Youth Summer Week Away 2011

This year we decided to try something different but no less challenging that last year’s sailing trip!  On 15th August chaos reigned at Semley School as dozens of cars disgorged the twenty five youngsters and six brave adults who had volunteered to help.  Finally, they were all rearranged into one minibus and five cars and set off for deepest Devon and the Heatree Christian Activity Centre.

Heatree BikesHeatree is situated on the edge of Dartmoor and is staffed by active Christians, (mostly young!) who organize exciting activities, share their faith and provide teaching sessions designed to help young people explore Christian beliefs in an attractive and contextually relevant way.  Most of the young people opted to sleep in the Centre but two adults and six youngsters braved the camping experience!

The youngsters were split into three groups for the activities, which included mountain biking, caving, high adventure, low adventure, canoeing and raft building.  In the evenings they took part in a night hike, an activity session with Kub a Viking game and Stomp Rocket Attack – a new game invented specially for the trip.  On the last night they put on “Bart’s got Talent”, a ShowTime with acting, singing, stories and dancing.  A necessary part of any occasion such as this is the opportunity for the adults to make fools of themselves; this they did with gusto.  They performed a poetic record of the week’s happenings set to music.

Before the evening meal each day the youngsters were led in a discussion of faith by the staff.  Topics included what it means to be a Christian, what are the 10 commandments and whether they are good rules to live by and is it cool to be a Christian.Heatree Smile

The week brought out the best in the young people, all of whom grew in confidence and community spirit.  They pushed themselves to try new and somewhat scary tasks such as the high adventure, which required a jump from a platform 50 feet up a tree, putting their trust in the person on the safety rope to let them down to the ground.

A more confident and cohesive group returned home and is now settling down to the winter programme of events.  The meetings have grown in popularity over the last year and there are now around fifty members of whom at least twenty five turn out at any one time.

One Mum was heard to say “It’s lovely to see how my daughter has grown in confidence during the week”.

The trip was a great success and would not have been possible without the support of the grant making bodies and the volunteer helpers, we and the young people at Bart’s are very grateful for your support.

We have made a short video of the trip and you can view it below.......


The Summer Week Away 2010

For this yeBarts Sailingar’s summer week of adventurous activities we decided that a challenge was in order!  26 young people from across the Benefice and 6 adults went sailing with the Christian Sail Training organisation ‘Morning Star Trust’. This was a voyage out into the North Sea in some fairly heavy weather conditions. 

Barts - Sailing

Our young people lived on the boat for the whole time and sailed over 200 miles. During their time on board they took turns at steering, putting up sails, cooking, navigating, washing up and scrubbing the decks. Some cooked (and washed up!) for the first time ever. The voyage was a real challenge for everyone on board.  We were up early in the morning and didn’t anchor up until late in the day. Each person was expected to play their full part and to remain on deck for the whole of their watch period – even if it got difficult. The sense of achievement on their faces at having gone through such a challenge was worth every second spent organising the trip.

Discussions were often heard in the main saloon – usually about issues that the young people had brought up during the day. The combination of the shared experience of getting through the day together and the relaxed atmosphere meant that conversation flowed and friendships were formed.  These friendships can now continue to flourish and develop as they meet together monthly from now on.