Forum equips Christian students to lead others in living and speaking for Jesus. Almost 1,000 student leaders turned up this year from Christian Unions (CUs), Christians in Sport, CMF and other groups. Quinta Hall in Shropshire hosts the annual training event where wellies, enthusiasm and a Bible are essential. Most students camp, but for those who prefer a more comfortable option, indoor girly and guy camping are the way to go (in separate places of course!). There's a great mix of main meetings and seminars to help student leaders fix their eyes on Jesus whilst being equipped with the skills needed to spread the gospel on campus. Forum Fringe gives a chance to see talented Christians perform, while Out of Hours events allow student leaders to relax and get to know each other .
A great way for Christian medics to serve their CUs is to volunteer as a first aider. The interesting thing about being a first aider is that you never know what you are going to face. The first few days before the delegates arrived mainly consisted of lifting heavy boxes from one place to another – manual handling training would have been more useful at this point than a first aid certificate! However once the delegates arrived things got more interesting.
What we dealt with varied greatly, and there were times when we got excited about someone needing a plaster, just because it kept us busy. Equally, there was one day where we needed to call two ambulances, which left us wishing that we hadn't been complaining earlier in the day that we were bored. Being a first aider at a big event like Forum is an important role as there's a chance you could be the one who saves someone's life. It's also a great, practical way to serve people with your skills, rather than just practising on mannequins! It was an exhausting week, but being a first aider is a worthwhile experience that I definitely recommend. If at all possible, get to Forum before your student days are over, either as a delegate or a volunteer – you can steward or be on the hospitality team if you don't possess a first aid certificate yet. Living for a few days amongst over 1,000 people who love Jesus and are passionate about putting him first in their lives is a glimpse of heaven.
Vicki Ibbett is a clinical medical student in Birmingham.
Forum is UCCF's annual conference for student leaders, usually held at the beginning of September, just before most university terms start. Talks from the 2012 event are available to download at www.uccf.org.uk/forum. Details for 2013's event will also be posted there. Anyone leading (or getting ready to lead) a CMF group is welcome to attend – why not travel and camp with your CU?