Chaplain’s Chat – STORM Co 2018

Why would you…? Why would you want to…? Why would you want to … help? Why would you want to take a whole week of holidays to help? Why would you want to take a whole week of holidays and use your own money to help? Why would you want to take a whole week of holidays, use your own money, and travel up to 11 hours on a bus just to help? This is what nearly 50 Northpine students, plus some past students, some staff, parents and families from Northpine wanted to do… just to help.

During the June – July holidays, Northpine sent out three separate STORM Co teams to Blackwater (Central Qld), Monto and Eidsvold (North Burnett region). For those who are unfamiliar with what a STORM Co trip is — STORM Co stands for Service To Others Really Matters – Company. In short, we typically run a Kids Club holiday program in the morning, and then in the afternoon we head out into all areas of the community and do anything from blitzing an elderly person’s lawn to cleaning dog kennels at the local pound.

Northpine has been encouraging students to serve others, and has been providing opportunities to make this happen for many years. In the past few years, we have sent two teams out, this year we saw a third trip start up, to Monto. It keeps growing!

How did it all go? Even though our students have to sacrifice time, money and effort to make these happen, each year STORM Co seems to become more and more popular. What is it about serving others, and the joy this brings that make these events so popular amongst our senior students? Here are a few lines from Ari that may help us understand from a student’s perspective:

“Every year STORM Co gives me the opportunity to serve a community and build amazing connections with not only my team members but the locals too. This year, I was one of many in charge of games at kid’s club, and through that role, I got to know two young sisters. One particular day when we were doing community service at an elderly lady’s house these girls and their brothers came out, jumped in and helped us do some yard work. This was one of the highlights of my trip, to watch these locals show up and contribute to cleaning up their neighbour’s backyard without even thinking twice. It was truly amazing! I still talk to those girls and they always call to check in on me, it’s really cute. Another great thing to come out of STORM Co is the relationships I created with my team. You wouldn’t expect to become so close to ‘strangers’ in one week, but whether it be through the kids club, community service, secret Santa or just chill time, I came to know each team member really well. On the last night at camp, many tears were shed and many sad hugs were given, least to say we were all sad the camp was nearly over. I have been on three STORM Co’s, including Cambodia, throughout my time at Northpine, and this ‘local’ trip to Blackwater was by far one of the saddest goodbyes.” Ari T – Yr 12.

We could provide as many different stories as we had people attend the trip, but this a typical, yet extra-ordinary example of what students experience. These trips are quite literally life-changing, both in the communities we serve, and for those who participate.

Why would you do it? Maybe the answer for this is different for different people…? Maybe you just love being with kids? Maybe you love mowing down weeds over your head…? Maybe it’s to see huge smiles on people’s faces (and even a tear or two)…? Maybe you love the team you go out with…? Maybe there is something about following the example of Jesus, who sacrificed much so we may have much. Praise God for the Northpine Students and community who are willing to sacrifice time, money and effort to bring a little relief, a little joy, but make a big impact in these local communities.