Friday, April 27, 2007

church camps and married couples

This morning I was having a chat in the office with my boss and colleague about church camps and being a married couple. This weekend will be my first church weekend away as a 'married' and so for the first time is has occurred to me that you don't get to stay in the same room as your husband, which therefore caused me to think about what I think about that.

I am sitting on the fence as I can see pro's and con's of both:

- it would be financially and logistically a lot tougher to organise a room for each couple individually, it would probably increase the cost significantly and be a lot harder to organise.

- a lot of campsites and venues, normally have rooms which cater for 6 people, so it wouldn't make sense to put just two people in one room.

- should we see marriage as a family unit? couples with kids get their own room (which I think is absolutely right) but a married couple is also a 'family' too. Does that mean they should get their own room?

- in marriage the two becoming one is a gift from God and placing an importance on having couples stay together is a good thing.

- Does is really matter for the sake of two nights?? If it means the charge will be greatly reduced then can't we just let it be?

- It is a great opportunity to have some girlie time sleep over. It's always fun.

- Should there be a choice for couples to pay more to have a room to themselves.

Anyway, I haven't thought a lot about it and these are just some of my initial thoughts, as I said I am not sure what I think. When I have thought some more on this I will post my thoughts.

What do you think?


SamR said...

Part of me would like to stay with my wife, but I can do that all the time!

Weekends away are about serving each other, and I am glad that I get to spend time in rooms with other people for the weekend. I just need to make sure I use the time to serve others and encourage them!

Nixter said...

good answer Sam, I am with you on the serving others. But it is not a bad thing to have a room with your spouse either - but as you said - you do that all the time.

Anonymous said...

I am certain that, were it logistically and financially possible to accommodate married couples together, that would be done.

The real shame about segregated accommodation is that married couples without children might feel less like a family. That would be sad.

Shelly said...

Hi! I had to stop by. I absolutely loved your castle photo on the "Draw This" website. Hope you don't mind but I played with it a bit in Photoshop... If you would like to see the before and after I'd be glad to send it to you - of course that means sending me your email addy...

As for your question... I guess I would figure it's not a big deal for a couple of days. But then again, I haven't really thought it through...

Alison said...

I would want to have the option to share a room with my husband and would feel a bit put out if that wasn't the case. I think sharing a bedroom is one of the things that binds a couple together and shouldn't be treated too lightly.

However I guess if it were only for a night or two it's probably not worth making a big fuss about.

Nixter said...

Sure Shelly that would be great... Glad you liked the pic ;)

Nixter said...

Yeah I agree Dave..

Alison, I agree with having an option but I know it isn't always possible, it's a tough one and as I have not had to organise one I am not sure of how difficult it really is.

Lauren said...

there is one very cool campsite I remember going to (Merroo?), where all the rooms are twin share.

I went before I was married, and stayed in a room with my best friend. The married couples stayed together. In that case, everyone was happy because we were all comfortable.

Since being married, I've been on camps and tried sharing rooms with the girls, and sharing with my husband. I prefer to share with the girls- I feel more part of things that way, and get to know people better! Sometimes when I've shared a room with my husband, people have been put off by the segregation between married/singles (especially when married people had the "better" accomodation!).

Nixter said...

Good points, thanks Lauren, I do enjoy hanging with the girls and getting to know them better but I also miss having my hubby with me.. We do conferences at my work in Merroo, but I haven't been yet...

David said...

mature couples may see that you go on a weekend away to serve each other... but what about those in our congregations who aren't mature - and won't come if they're not going to be in the same room?

hope the weekend was sweet

Nixter said...

Hmmm, then you have a dilemma. I guess you can't please everyone but then if you give them a room by themselves will that put some other couple's noses out of joint, because if you can do it for one couple, why can't you do it for others?

I believe we should be serving each other sbsolutely, I guess it is working with the organisers within the means of what a campsite can practically offer.

Alison said...

Hmmm I guess after thinking this through a bit I don't really have a firm position on it - I can see that resources might mean it is not possible to share a room, which is fair enough.

I'm sure though that sharing a room with your husband doesn't mean you can't serve other people, do those two things have to be mutually exclusive?

I have only been on a couple of church weekends away, mostly women's only ones, so I guess I don't have a lot of experience to relate to this topic. It just seems a bit strange to me that a married couple wouldn't share a room. But then again perhaps there are benefits to it, without a great cost to the couple.

Alison said...

Also it could depend on the individual relationship - eg going to sleep or waking up might be the time a husband and wife get a chance to talk alone after a busy day. Or maybe they spend so much time together than a night apart would be healthy, a chance to develop new friendships. Perhaps it's a wisdom issue for each couple to work out, providing of course the resources are available.

Nixter said...

good points Alison, does being in a room together as a married mean and serving have to be mutually exclusive. I think you can definetly do both but it does appear that we are saying 'being married and in a room together means you can't be serving others' - I don't think this is the case at all. I think you can do both but as you said maybe it is something for couples to work out.

SP said to me that he missed our de-brief at the end of the day. How sweet!

Tracy said...

I would think that you need to consider what the purpose of the camp is. Is this a "family camp", or a whole church thing? What is the structure of the lecture or study series? Is there group discussion, or do you just go on your way and socialize with whomever you like?

How I think these things would relate is, for instance, if the focus is on families bonding and having time together, than perhaps couples should be together. If the purpose is whole church fellowship, then sharing rooms with others would be beneficial. Do families have time to themselves during the days? Then the separation for the night would not be so much a big deal. Are they drawn apart into assigned groups during the day? Then they should have the alone time at night.

I don't see a hard and fast rule. If it is a feasible possibility, then I like the idea of couples having a choice to pay more for private rooms. I don't really understand where a question of serving spouse vs. serving others comes in. I think it is more a matter of fellowship and time.

Bonnie said...

I went on the camp with Nixster and was originally put out I wasn't sharing with MB (my husband). But I understand that not all campsites cater to us marrieds and it was nice to have a girly-room. I did really miss my de-briefs with MB though and having a warm body next to me at night(I get cold really easily).

But it was only 1 weekend so I could deal with it. I think if a camp was longer, say a week, I'd feel a bit hesitant to go if I was separated from MB for that long.

It also raised issues in that we have 1 queen bed duvet and, on the camp, 2 single beds. Also, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 bottle of shampoo etc...:-) Luckily we were in rooms close by.

Ruth said...

I went on the weekend away and had a child moaning and crying most of the night in bed with me...being altogether is not all its cracked up to be!!!

I have done the separate thing, the married with other marrieds thing and the married - just AB and I thing. All three options have major advantages and disadvantages, IMHO. You get to know other people much better if you are in a girlie room. You just need to work out how to spend some spouse time during the day without excluding others - to debrief.

Also, I think there are circumstances where it is prudent to put a married couple together, but not insist that the rule for one applies to all. I've been on camps where a married couple having needed to be together because they were trying to fall pregnant etc - I have no problem with them having a room, and other married couples not having a room. I think at that point, people need to have more trust in camp organisers, that they are not showing favouritism or anything, but may have a good reason for giving something to one but not everyone....does that make sense?

I don't like sharing with other married couples though, and would not do that again.

Nixter said...

Thanks Tracy, Bonnie and Ruth for your thoughts.

I agree with Ruth that maybe we shouldn't just be looking at 'should or shouldn't' married people share a room together, maybe it should be on each persons requirements too. Does a single person who has insomnia and can't sleep with others in the room have their own room? If possible I think we should love that person and try and accommodate them. If a married couple are trying for a baby and a church camp happens to be during the time where conception is at it's greatest - if possible let them share a room. There are many scenarios which may mean one person or a couple getting there own room. I know that you can't accommodate each and every persons 'personal' requirements but if there is a honest need and that need is able to be fulfilled then that to me is great.

I think in a previous comment I mentioned not doing one for one and not the other but I think I have changed my mind about that now.

I guess their are many situations that we might be unaware of that may require people to have certain requirements met on camps - I hadn't thought much about that before. Thanks for making me think about it ;)

Tracy said...

I can't imagine telling your church leaders that you wanted to share a room because you were trying to fall pregnant... Are you more forward about such things in AUS?

Nixter said...

It is often not the church leaders themselves that book and organise the accommodation - it is the MTS workers at our church. I guess it would depend on your relationship with them and how important is was that you go. Maybe that was a poor example but I guess I was saying there are many reasons when it might be right to accommodate a persons needs - whether married or single.

But - yes I do think Aussies are way more direct and less 'beat around the bush' like ;) I am learning, though I was never that English in some of my ways anyway..

Ruth said...

I have been on a few camps where that was the reason why the couple got a room together, so it does happen, more than you think - but it's a pretty well kept secret - usually only the organiser knows...and they just say things like 'there are personal reasons why this couple need a room to themselves, trust me' type comment. I also know of many insomnia single people and couples that have had rooms to themselves to help accomodate their needs.

Yeah - Aussies probably tend to be more open I suppose - although it usually is just a case of the camp organiser ringing and asking why a couple isn't going, and the answer is out - then they can work out a way to make it possible for the people to go. Also, most church leaders know which couples are trying to fall pregnant because of personal prayer points. I know quite a few couples, not from AB - because he would never tell me those kinds of things - he doesn't break confidences - but because often I find out from the women trying themselves - and it's pretty common knowledge that I have a prayer list of these couples that i pray for at least weekly, if not daily.

Des said...

Hey Nix
I'm commenting from a camp organiser point of view. I have found this issue fairly weighty on all camps i've organised. I agree that it is true some camp sites just don't cater for married couples and if there are large numbers of people attending, its pretty much impossible to arrange for marrieds to stay together. In my experience, even the suggestion that one couple might get to stay together and not other couples causes disunity. I've made the decision more than once before to arrange for all people to stay separately to avoid this... but have still copped flack.

I would, however, like to see more campsites offer accomodation for marrieds! There are hardly any that do in the Sydney area... I think it would be good to make this suggestion in the feedback we give each site at the camp conclusion.

From a single person point of view, i'd be very happy for marrieds to take the option of staying together if its available. I've heard from many couples that the debrief at the end of the day is very important for them and their marriage. And as many people have already mentioned, there are other valid and good reasons for this to happen.

I also think that this is a matter of heart and selflessness.

We are all sinful beings that lots of times make selfish decisions without consideration for others. We have many opportunities to serve one another, and in this matter, there are opportunities for singles to consider marrieds, marrieds to consider other marrieds, and marrieds to consider singles.

Nixter said...

Amen Des. Totally agree with you and it is ood hearing from an 'organisers' point of view too that it can be almost impossible to out married people together in the same room. But I think it is good to offer that feedback to the camps as you said.

I also agree with you that we can all be serving each other no matter what our status - single or married, another amen to that.

Thanks for commenting Des, glad to have you back!

Des said...

it's nice to be back, have missed u :) and thanks for the catch up yesterday, love ya heaps and heaps Nix xo

Nixter said...

I loved hanging out with you yesterday - we must do it again very soon. I also love you heaps and heaps beautiful friend!!!