There was an excited expectation around camp this summer to see what God would accomplish. We were waiting on Him in prayer, needing wisdom, leadership, discernment and love for working with our campers and each other. This was the basis for what became a great summer of ministry and a great group of staff. We learned together, cared for each other and became family to each other. At our final chapel we talked about the lessons God had taught us as staff this summer. You can read that blog here: www.widjiitiwin.ca/staff-lessons-summer-2015.
This summer we had 24 campers make a first decision for Christ, along with many campers and staff growing in their relationship with Jesus. We had a total of 566 camper weeks, up a few from last year. SALT had 32 participants this summer.
Our now four partnership camps are growing strong and will soon be more than half our summer campers. This year 258 campers were fully sponsored to attend Widjiitiwin. That happens through God’s faithfulness to His ministry and the generous donations from His people. Campers came to Widji in Muskoka, heard about Jesus, had great meals, built relationships and tried SO many new activities. These partnership weeks distinguish Widjiitiwin from many other camps. We offer opportunities to kids to come to camp that they would never have otherwise. Another great part about partnering with the three churches is that follow up with the campers is built right in! In 2016 we will be seeking one additional partnership for the last week of the summer.
The Fresh Air Camp, our partnership with Toronto Police, 42 Division completed its seventh summer and reached 102 campers, making it our largest week of 2015. Additionally we welcomed three YIPI’s, a group of officers and community leaders from several neighbourhoods around 42 Division. Dwayne (Joose) Francois was our camp pastor for the week. PC Mark Gray continues to be a wonderful ally in the success of this partnership.
Escape Camp, our partnership week with Hughson Street Church in Hamilton, in its fourth summer, reached 58 campers. Water-skiing and tubing continue to be highlights along with our new carpetball games and hammock village. Mike (Cyst) Kleinhuis along with a team from Hughson Street (Diana, Chris, Jesus & Janet) provided great ministry along with us.
The Royal City Camp was a wonderful success in its second year with 43 campers attending from Church of the Ward in Guelph. Some campers were also from other churches in Guelph. Matt (Newb) Naismith (pastor at Church of the Ward) opened God’s word for the campers and staff.
Venture Camp was a terrific success in its first summer. This is our new partnership with Capstone Community Bible Church in Toronto. Rob (Sad Sac) Cripps and Andrew (Nemo) Ironside taught the word and lead the campers with us. We planned for 30-40 campers in the first year and the church brought 52 campers. What an amazing opportunity for each of these kids. The campers were a mix of kids from the church and Capstone’s community outreach.
Plans for next summer began back in July. Our themes for 2016 are Disney: Frozen to Neverland, Atlantis, Destination: Greece, and Olympics! I’m thinking about Greek columns at the front of the Longhouse, an ice castle for Frozen and a large Big Ben clock. Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning…
Serving Him together,
Mike (Moose) Greenfield