Camp Survivor


The next Camp Survivor (for those in years 5, 6 7 & 8) is coming up in April 2020.  Dates are as follows:

Intermediate Camp (Years 7 & 8) – Monday April 20th – Wednesday April 22nd
Primary Camp – (Years 5 & 6) – Wednesday April 22nd – Friday April 24th 

Registrations of interest will open early in the new year.

Keep an eye on our facebook page for updates.


The Overnighters for 2019 are now over.

Both weekends were lots of fun for all involved.

Watch this space for details of the 2020 overnighters later in the year.

If you have any questions email Camps Director Ruth Pirini –


We have recently reviewed, evaluated and considered how we can continue to take Camp Survivor from strength to strength. To understand all the changes we are making and why, please click here to read our latest blog post that highlights it all. 

However, a quick summary is:

  1. Only Run Camp Survivor in April, not October
    We have a huge dream for Camp Survivor, one that pushes it way beyond where it currently sits and one that will really enhance the experience people get as they go through Camp from year 5 to year 8. Yet in order to get there, we need to push forward some other initiatives to get us there. Running Camp Survivor in only April gives us this ability. 

  2. Launch a Youth Leadership Camp in October.  Click here for further details
    This is to help us raise more leaders, and do a better job at supporting and developing leaders.

  3. Run One Night Experiences in August & September
    We will be running an overnight experience for all those who came to the previous Camp Survivor in August & September.   Details of these Overnighter will be published by the end of June.

  4. Push Forward with Initiatives to make it easier for people to engage with our regular programmes
    An example we have already started is the bus to collect kids from local intermediates on a Wednesday and bring them to IGGY, our weekly programme for intermediate aged youth.


Camp Survivor exists for three simple reasons.



To give each child who attends an unforgettable week and provides them with opportunities they might not otherwise have. Each day of camp is all about fun, adventure and friends. They are intentionally designed to provide an unforgettable experience for each child through various activities, challenges, games and new friendships. We want every child when they leave to be excited and encouraged.


To give young people a practical training ground to help them become leaders worth following.
Camp Survivor is also a key part of our Youth Leadership Pipeline. Running alongside our weekly youth programmes we want to provide a training ground for young aspiring leaders. With various levels of leadership training, workshops and practical experiences each young person is given every opportunity to learn and develop their leadership skills. With ongoing coaching and feedback, prior to and after the camps we are dedicated to training and developing great leaders who can make a difference and contribute to their communities and schools. We don’t just aim to help young people become leaders, but leaders worth following.



As a tangible expression of our faith in Jesus, we want to do something well beyond ourselves and makes an impact on our community.
As a church, LifeSwitch, underwrites the entire cost of Camp Survivor totalling around $80,000 annually. This allows the camp to be offered to the children and families at no cost, possible only because of the generosity of the people of LifeSwitch and our sponsors. As places are limited we are not able to guarantee a place to everyone so families are asked to register their interest. Rather than operate on a ‘first in first served’ basis, places are allocated by selection so that a fair cross-section of the local community gets to experience Camp.

Camp Gallery


From how we select who gets a placement, to accommodation, to volunteer vetting here this list should cover all the questions you may have about Camp Survivor plus a whole lot more!


When are places for Camp Survivor confirmed?

When you register for Camp Survivor you will be sent an email detailing the exact date by which you will hear back from us as to whether we can offer you a place or not. It is generally 3-4 weeks before Camp Survivor begins.

How are places given out?

Places at Camp Survivor are always very sought after and always result in more people registering for places than there are places available. Therefore we use the following criteria when giving out the places:

  1. We give a certain number of places to a few local low decile schools who identify kids in their school who might not ever get a chance to attend something like Camp Survivor.
  2. As we see Camp Survivor as not simply a camp, but rather a part of a much bigger leadership pipeline, we give places to those kids who are actively involved in our other programmes that support the wider pipeline process.
  3. We then offer places to people who have never been to Camp Survivor before. The highest on the list are those who have registered interest before but weren’t offered a place.

Where is Camp Survivor held?

Camp Survivor is based at Silverstream Retreat, 3 Reynolds Bach Drive (between Stokes Valley and Silverstream).

Do You Take the Campers Off-Site?

Yes, we do. We do work closely with a number of local entertainment and activity venues.  As these options are often weather dependent we cannot generally say with certainty where we will be going before camp. We usually go to between one and three off-site venues each camp.

What do the campers need to bring?

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow and pillow case
  • Blankets
  • Personal toiletries including soap.
  • Torch
  • Togs
  • Towels
  • Plenty of changes of warm clothes including a beanie.
  • Water proof clothes (Jacket)
  • Sand shoes or good walking shoes
  • Medications – clearly marked with your name and medication requirements (amounts, frequency, purpose etc…).  These will need to be handed in at registration and administered by our staff.

Can I Visit During Camp?

You are welcome to visit during Camp Survivor, however, we do work with a strict sign in, sign out policy so you will be required to sign in on arrival and wear a Visitor tag.  For the safety of the campers and for your own peace of mind we have policies in place that prevent us from allowing visitors to simply walk around unsupervised.

If you’re concerned about your child being homesick, it may not always be helpful for them if you visit, so a phone call may be a better option.  (See contact details below).

What Behavioural Expectations Does Camp Survivor have of the Campers?

Rules at Camp Survivor are kept to a minimum and campers are expected to co-operate with these.  Most relate to standards of behaviour and respect for other persons and property.  For the sake of harmony and safety in camp, discipline is firm but kind.  Camp Survivor reserves the right to send home any child who refuses to co-operate.

How do I pay for Canteen, tee-shirt or donation?  (all optional).

Our preferred method of payment is by direct bank deposit to the LifeSwitch Bank Account 06-0545-0014111-26.  Please put ‘CAMP’ and your CHILDS NAME as the reference.
Alternatively, you can pay by EFTPOS/cash/cheque in the LifeSwitch church foyer on Sunday between 9.30am and 1pm or you can visit the LifeSwitch office during the week.

T-shirts are $25 and must be ordered when you register as they are printed to order.  These are given to the campers to take home on the last day of camp.

Please make payment with your registration or contact with any questions concerning payment.


What Health and Safety processes are in place?

Camp Survivor is OSCAR approved (Certification is done via the Ministry of Social Development) meaning there are very stringent health and safety policies and procedures in place.

As part of the certification process, Camp Survivor is required to document all the policies and procedures, and the risk assessments and mitigation plan for every activity we have and circumstances that could arise.

Who Cooks and Prepares the Food?

All the food is professionally supplied by Silverstream Retreat.  Our team serves the food, but everything is prepared and cooked by the Silverstream Retreat commercial kitchen.  This ensures that the food is not only delicious but it is prepared and cooked according to best practice industry standards.

The kitchen is advised of all food allergies before camp (based on the information we receive on the registration forms). They then ensure that appropriate meals are available.

Are Volunteers Vetted?

Yes, all volunteers and people involved with Camp Survivor are both vetted internally (by LifeSwitch staff) and externally via a formal police check (if over 16 years old).

My Child Needs Medication, How Does this Work?

At Camp Survivor we have trained first aid workers onsite at all times. They are responsible for the administration of all medicine. We ask for all medicine to be handed in when you arrive at Camp, where it will be given to the first aid team, kept in a locked cabinet and distributed as per your instructions.


Who Runs Camp Survivor?

Camp Survivor is run by staff and over 90 volunteers at LifeSwitch.  We are very proactive in terms of vetting all leaders. Everyone involved with Camp Survivor is known to the LifeSwitch team. Most come through our youth programme, so we are not calling on strangers or people we don’t know to help with Camp Survivor. We also police check everyone involved aged 17 and older.

Who is LifeSwitch?

LifeSwitch is a church based at Silverstream Retreat. We are creative, relevant and fun and very different from what most people perceive a church to be.  We have programmes for adults, youth and children on Sundays and during the week. Further details are available at

Who Pays for Camp Survivor?

Camp Survivor is essentially being paid for by the people of LifeSwitch together with other partners and sponsors.  All LifeSwitch income comes from the donations of our people who believe in what we are doing and want to make a financial investment into it. As a church, we are committed to making a difference in our community and we know that with children there is no shortage of costs on top of the normal day to day bills that keep on coming.  We, therefore, saw this as being a great way that we could do something for our community which would have a significant benefit for both the children who come to Camp Survivor and the parents who can enjoy a few quieter days.

Next Steps Lifeswitch Church


Our heartbeat isn’t to simply run camps. It is to develop great young leaders who are worth following. Camp Survivor is simply a great tool we have to introduce young people to the pipeline and an incredible practical opportunity for them to develop in their leadership. This overview explains the wider Leadership Pipeline and how we intentionally develop young people to become leaders worth following.

Take a Look (links to a PDF booklet)

Join Us

Every Sunday


3 Reynolds Bach Drive,

Interact With Us


Contact Us

04 563 9500