Camp Survivor

CAMP SURVIVOR April 2020 – Postponed

We are aware of the concern and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 virus outbreak across the world and now in New Zealand. Throughout this week, our team have spent much time praying, seeking advice and discussing how this impacts Camp Survivor this year. And it is the decision of LifeSwitch Leadership to postpone Camp Survivor in the upcoming April school holidays. This is not a decision made lightly or in fear, rather we truly believe this is a time to act wisely for the health and wellbeing of all those involved.

We know that Camp Survivor means so much to our church and our community, so we are saddened by the difficult choice we have had to make. But we are committed to Camp Survivor, as we have been for many years and will be for many more. Our heart is to reschedule camp for the nearest available date, but due to the everchanging nature of this pandemic we cannot at this time predict when that will be.

Our incredible volunteers and staff have already put so much work into pulling things together and we thank them for their commitment to Camp Survivor and for being a part of creating awesome environments for kids and young people. We really have the most amazing team behind camp!

Your registration of interest will be carried over to the next camp and we will let you know the new dates of Camp Survivor as these become available. If you have any further questions or queries feel free to email

If you applied to be a leader, helper or gopher thanks for your applications and forms. We are so excited that you want to be part of our amazing team! We will keep in touch with you about the next camp and you’ll be the first ones we contact about getting involved.

Thank you for your prayers, financial support and many other ways of getting behind Camp Survivor. Caring for our community in huge part of who we are and we want to do that in the best way possible during this time so stay turned for future information on how LifeSwitch will be offering support to our community throughout this season.

We are excited and expectant for a new time to do Camp Survivor, and we will update everyone once we have come out the other side of this challenging time in our nation.


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 Christian faith, we want to do something well beyond ourselves that makes an impact in our community.
As a church, LifeSwitch, underwrites the entire cost of each Camp Survivor totalling around $40,000. 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, 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)

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