A Scottish Highlands Adventure for Scottish Mission Youth

A Scottish Highlands Adventure for Scottish Mission Youth

GlencoeAdina Lupu

A line from a famous musical refers to the hills being alive with the sound of music, however, on Sunday, the 2nd of June, the mountains and valleys in Glencoe came alive with the sound of laughter and meaningful conversations, as some of the SM youth gathered for their annual Sports Day.

Under the energetic leadership of Pastor Claudiu Popescu, 13 young people from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Mussleburgh and Faifley churches, embarked on a 4-hour hike in the Scottish Highlands.

The unpredictable Scottish weather sparked intense discussions. Some hoped for a completely dry day, while others expected a mix of dry spells, wind, and scattered showers. Ultimately, the day featured intermittent dry spells with occasional sunshine, but it soon turned windy and rainy, with fog settling in at higher elevations. This didn’t discourage the young people, who were well equipped for every eventuality.

The aim of Sports Day is to encourage physical activity among young people, and offer a summer programme that unites them.

A key element of the Youth Department's strategic plan is to help young people develop authentic and genuine relationships within the church, and the Glencoe outing fulfilled this vision. After returning from the hike, the group enjoyed a highly anticipated barbecue prepared by Oy’Nishh Grandiece and Eduard Balasoiu from the Edinburgh Church. Joyful and animated conversations continued, along with the sharing of personal experiences, laughter, and even some singing.

In May, the Youth Department welcomed two student missionaries from Brazil, Samuel Matheus and Allan Zukowski, who will support youth activities under the guidance of Pastor Claudiu Popescu. They joined the Sports Day event, further integrating into the Scottish Mission.

Allan, who has always enjoyed hiking, shared that his experiences had previously been limited to Brazil, which has many beautiful hiking spots. However, he found the unique beauty of the Scottish landscape particularly captivating, with its constant views of mountains and valleys, fog-covered peaks, rivers, and diverse vegetation. He appreciated spending time with the group, engaging in conversations, taking photos, making videos, and playing games. The friendly young people made it easy for him, as a foreigner, to connect with them, and he found the experience so enjoyable that he would love to do it again.

Victoria from the Edinburgh Church described the experience as “unforgettable” despite the unpredictable weather. She thought the team had done well to embrace the challenges with enthusiasm and appreciated the barbecue that had been prepared for the group on their return from the hike.

Pastor Claudiu, the SM Youth Department leader, is pleased that an increasing number of youth are taking the initiative to expand their comfort zones by organising more outdoor activities also at the local level. He recognised these activities as valuable opportunities for connection, outreach, and experiencing diverse aspects of life and friendship.

The youth in the SM are planning a mission trip to Brazil in July. To prepare and raise funds for the trip, a group led by Benjamin Bakina has undertaken the challenge of climbing as many Scottish Munros as possible, aiming to reach a total climbing height of 8,849 meters—the equivalent of Mount Everest. So far, they have completed five hikes, including Ben More and Ben Lomond, which both exceed 3,000 feet, and three additional hikes that are just below this height, accommodating the physical abilities of the participants. Together, they have achieved a total climbing height of 4,305 meters out of their 8,849-meter goal. Upcoming hikes include Ben Lawers (1,214 meters), Cairn Toul (1,291 meters), and Braeriach (1,296 meters), culminating with Ben Nevis (1,345 meters) on the 7th of July.

To learn more and support the young people in reaching their fundraising goal for the Brazil mission trip, please visit