News and Stories

Inspiring stories of young lives changed, news about SUNZ projects and ministries, and information about how you can get involved.

Lives of children and young people are changed as they are given the opportunity to discover Jesus and grow in faith. Check out the stories below to read about the young lives impacted through SUNZ ministries.


SUNZ Scripture Union NZ are committed to our camp ministry for children and young people to find and explore their Christian faith in the great outdoors.  

Our camp ministry is run by paid staff and an army of volunteers who financially and prayerfully support camps, assist with logistics, cook, clean, and help lead camps.  

Oversight of camps has been managed by our SU Youth Team Leader, who is needing more time to focus on other youth ministry needs.So, after many hours of discussion and prayer, this work has been restructured and shaped into a new role of National Youth Camps Team Leader 

The process of planning this new role has been challenging and exciting.So much, that one of the planners has decided that “hey, I’d love to do that!” SUNZ agree, we’d love Natalie to take on this work, and affirm that God has called Natalie Duchesne into this national leadership role.  

Natalie SUNZ 1

Natalie is currently the North Island Camps Facilitator (with occasional camping on a South Island camp!) and she is boldly and prayerfully stepping up to team leadership of SU Camps. She has been with SUNZ since 2019 and has shown incredible relationship-building and discernment of what our young people are wanting and needing. She has shaped SU camps as nurturing times for youth to explore their personal faith journey while exploring the wonder of God’s creation.  

‘Camps provide so much to young people - safe spaces to ask questions and wrestle with hardship, the opportunity to encounter God in unexpected places, being exposed to different expressions of faith, all while having the chance to be challenged physically and grow socially. To be able to do this all in the context of creation just makes it all the greater.’ – Natalie 


Why does SUNZ need a National Youth Camps Team Leader? 

We recognize the enormous amount of administrative, regulatory and relationship work needed to run our camps across the North and South Islands. We need this position to be visual and the work to be centralized. We want to increase our camper numbers and introduce exciting new camps.   


What does the National Youth Camps Team Leader need? 

 Prayer, practical support, and financial support.  
We need RIMA-TEKAU!, fifty generous donors to give $50 per month for Natalie to step up into this leadership position, to help grow SU camps. 


Natalie with the Wild Wāhine North April 2023 camp



Natalie with SU campers

Natalie NILT 2023


See and know more about Natalie in the ‘INTO THE DEEP’ series filmed in May 2022  

Screenshot 2023 08 09 162834


Click the button to Donate towards Natalie's Ministry

button 40

OR to Account 020560 006204 00 with reference ND0823 

Thank you for your support of our RIMA-TEKAU! campaign for Natalie. 


E3 North Island 9


If you could have any biblical character as a mentor or spiritual advisor, who would you choose and why?  
N: My answer changes periodically, but now I'd say John the Baptist, just because I respect him eating locusts (insects - the most sustainable meat!) and experienced wilderness in interesting and rugged ways. I'm intrigued by the ways he set himself up to live differently to the norms of the day and by his connection to creation. 
J: I think Moses would be my pick. He demonstrated a deep love for God and others, humility in his approach to God and his own abilities, and was passionate to serve God, and His chosen people. 

What is the most interesting or unique way you have seen someone share their faith with others? 
J: The most unique way I have seen someone share their faith was at Southern Easter Camp. A young person joined our youth group a couple of weeks before EC, so he didn't know many people or have any connections with our leaders. Camp Dad got right in there beside him and built this amazing friendship. This kid really needed a mentor in his life. After EC, this kid is still connected into youth group, coming to church, and Camp Dad is taking him out on fun outdoor adventures and helping him with his study. To me this is sharing faith, sometimes it's not spoken but in the actions we do. 

What is one thing you wish non-Christians know or understand about your faith? 
N: I wish it were more well known that expression (and theology) of Christian faith differs person to person. I think it would make for a lot more curiosity and healthy conversation. 
J: One thing I wish people who don't practice a Christian faith know is just like any thought in the world, it's diverse. It's the whole thing of 'not all...'. It's hard sometimes to share certain opinions or views around my faith because it's shut down by things that I personally don't believe in, but others think I do. 

What is one of your special Bible story or passages, or worship song, and why? 
N: I love 'The Road to Emmaus'. It's a rich example of manaakitanga; of both being hospitable in spirit and being hospitable in home/with resources. It's also an example of pilgrimage and walking with intention and purpose - something we like to apply on our camps when we run outdoor activities. 
J: I grew up on a wide range of worship music, so choosing one is hard but for the case of a story I'll pick “The Goodness of God” by Jenn Johnson. I spent my summer in Te Anau running SUNZ summer camps. We connected in with the local Presbyterian Church. The Sunday morning before campers arrived, I met the preacher and his wife. I chatted to the preacher for a while and to his wife for only a minute, however that short time, she learned a lot about me. The week after this encounter I received an email from her that was so honest and accurate. She also sent a link of a song that she felt like God needed me to hear. 

Any inside tips on the best campsite in Aotearoa New Zealand? 
N: I appreciate DOC huts more than I can put to words. Next time you see me, ask me where my favourite hut is, and we'll plan to go together! When it comes to campgounds, it's hard to go past the Coromandel Peninsula - visit Waikawau Bay Conservation Campsite and you will not be disappointed. 
J: One back country hut I love is Goats Pass. It's worth the hike up the rivers filled with giant boulders. It sits up in the mountains on the main divide. The boardwalk trails are a nice treat on the way back down the Minga River. A good camping site in the front country is Punakaiki Beach Camp, this place is amazing, like Avatar but without the blue people. The scenery is incredible. Worth heading to the West Coast. 

Do you have a secret snack stash...what’s in there? 
N: Dried mango! Roasted chickpeas! Baked pea crisps! Green apples and peanut butter! 
J: Inside my secret snack stash is Haribo Gummy Bears, dried mangos slices, Whittakers chocolate berry forest and Pringles chips! 

Tell me about finding shelter outdoors (funny tent story, hot tips on camp set up, getting lost...)  
N: When I'm hiking, I've developed the habit of scanning my surroundings for natural shelter - whether it be a hollowed-out log, a complex root system, an overhanging rock/cave and more. Would it be pleasant to sleep in there overnight? Likely not. However, it’s a great way to develop your imagination and observation skills, and good practice if you do get stuck in the outdoors overnight and must use what you have on you to build a shelter!  
[Another great shelter] is a multi-coloured parachute like kids play with. I get it out of my pack when people least expect it (on top of a windy hill on Pōnui Island was the last time...) and get everyone to grip the sides, pull it over the group, and suddenly we're in a serene shelter. 
J: When I was studying Outdoor Education at Ara, we planned to head up Deception Valley. Our tutor liked leaving early afternoon while other groups left early morning. We just thought he loved a sleep in but turns out he loved hiking and navigating in the dark. We were about halfway up the valley and sunlight was slowly fading. Unknown to us we started heading up the wrong river. Our tutor knew but allowed us to figure it out ourselves and find our way back to the hut in the early hours of the morning. 


GIVEAWAY! First five people to email Jayden with their own response to any of these questions will each receive a pack of Haribo Gummy Bears! [answer only if you really, really love gummy bears like Jayden does!] 


Beige and Green Tea Business Food Restaurants Soft Organic Sell Sheet


Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa 

It is my privilege to be youth consultant for Otago & Southland while Lizzie Moore is on maternity leave. I have been working with young people for many years (from preschoolers right through to teens and young adults).  Most recently I have been a community youth worker in Taieri/Mosgiel employed by a local trust in youth leadership.  This role will continue alongside the work I'll be doing with SUNZ. I am also mum to two teenagers, so have a wealth of experience from a personal perspective as well as the professional.  Seeing people grow and develop is my passion, and I am amazed by the many ways God works in and through peopleFaith in God has carried me through many trials and tribulations, and I know He continues to guide my steps and light my pathWhile God is my rock, family are my reality check - they keep me grounded! 

 A note from SUNZ: 

Larissa is working 3 days a week for Scripture Union (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). You can email her on  


A gift to SUNZ could change the life of a young person as they discover Jesus and grow in faith!

Q&A from Exodus Prime in Waikanae

What are your biggest questions about Jesus and the Bible right now?

WILL: When Jesus touches someone, how does he magically heal someone?

What Bible stories have you learnt about? What did you like about that story?

WILL: When Jesus healed the two blind men. The two blind men are healed now.

What have you learnt about God?

WILL: That he is magical in every way!

ARABELLA: I didn’t forget this, but I needed this as a reminder – that he loves us no matter what. And that God created the whole universe, and he cared enough to create me too.

What’s been the best part of camp so far?

ARABELLA: Meeting people and getting to know my campers and other campers, also getting to know more people.

Would you come to another camp like this?

ARABELLA: Yes, definitely! The people here are amazing and so kind, the other campers are so easy and fun to be around.

Want to get the latest SUNZ news and stories straight to your inbox, as well as finding out about opportunities to get involved?

Subscribe to our email updates today.

find us

email us

call us