Camp Widjiitiwin LonghouseIt is a sad time for me (Moose). I am saying goodbye to two ministries and a group of people I have come to love and respect. I have packed up my office at MBC, collected a few things from Widji and locked the purple gate for my last time. 

The decision has been made not to open Widji next summer. The plan is to focus on the Ignite Partnership program with a task force working on the details of what that will look like starting again in 2023. As a result, Heyoo and I are no longer employed at Muskoka Bible Centre/Camp Widjiitiwin. 

Camp Widjiitiwin purple gateThere are SO many people I need to thank. Campers who became SALTers, SALTers who became staff, staff who became leadership and many who have become friends. Thank you for standing with me through the tough times, the changes and new ideas, especially the ones that didn’t quite work. Thank you for being One Team. Thanks you for giving all you have for the kingdom ministry of Widjiitiwin. Thanks especially to the many who have served on my leadership teams over the years. I also need to thank the many camp pastors who have given of themselves to be at Widji to minister to the campers and staff and to me. You have been God’s messengers and His ambassadors with us. 

In the fall of 2007 when I took on the role of director at Camp Widjiitiwin, it was as a fixer to get things going again and regain campers to camp. Summer 2008 was my first summer at Widji. Our mission came from 2 Corinthians 5:20, Camp Widjiitiwin exists to be an ambassador for Christ to children and youth through compelling camp community experiences; focused on demonstrating the gospel message through teaching God’s Word, positive relationships and creative interactions.

Camp Widjiitiwin lower field

In 2009 we ran the first Ignite camp in partnership with Toronto Police, 42 Division with PC Mark Gray. To be honest, neither of us really knew what we were doing that first summer, but ministry happened, lives were changed and we grew as people. 

Since then it has grown to five partners including, James Street North Baptist Church in Hamilton in 2012, Church of the City in Guelph in 2014, Capstone Community Bible Church in Etobicoke in 2015 and Ephraim’s Place (Awaken) in North York in 2016. The program has gone from 30 campers to 300 campers per year with a total of 2073 campers over the 11 years the program ran before Covid shut us down. 

Camp Widjiitiwin – the way camp was meant to be… relational, central, natural, reaching out, a loving community focused on Christ. It’s like coming home! It’s my camp!

Goodbye friends,

Moose

8 thoughts on “Time to Say Goodbye

  1. Please provide information that prompted this decision. MBC has had a Teens Camp since 1948 impacting the lives of thousands of youths for the Lord. The only problem I could see was the administration allowing the physical plant of Widji to deteriorate over the past number of years. All my grandchildren attended as campers and some as counselors. I have been disappointed seeing the condition of the cabins and lodge mit being upgraded.

  2. It is with so much sadness to read this. I too was a camper from the age of 7 until I went to SALT in 2003, worked in the kitchen in 2004 with Luigi, then camp counsellor and with a few summer breaks in between I came back as the camp nurse during my nursing training in 2008.
    I don’t say this lightly that camp was everything to me, it was the major factor that formed who I am because of Gods grace and the community I was able to experience by being there. My husband and I met as 15yr olds at SALT and have never been with another. We now have 3 little girls and I can’t imagine them growing up without camp being a part of it.

    Thank you Moose for pouring who you are into camp in it’s last years. Thank you Jesus for the way you shaped my life through widjiitiwin.

    Always, Lisa (Scout) and René (Remy)

  3. Just a big thank you to you Mike and your team!! A sad time for sure for many who have loved camp and drawn closer to the Lord!!
    Praying for the next ministry God has in mind for each of you .
    Sharon and Larry Perkins

  4. Hey Mike, you have been an incredible blessing to many campers and staff and other camp professionals including Shawn and I. Please know that we will continue to pray for you through this transition, knowing that God has something exiting in store for you. We will continue to pray for the leadership of MBC as they seek God’s direction through these challenging times for all Christian camping ministries.

  5. Well Mike, this is a huge turn in the road. You served faithfully and I count you as a deer friend. I shall pray that our God will open up a new door for you. My prayers are with you and your family.

  6. So Mike, just to make sure I understand….future camp will only be available for at risk youth that are connected to one of the five partner entities? What about the ‘non’ at risk youth? They need Jesus too.

    Last thanksgiving Charles Price spoke on Gen 28:10-22 at chapel about how vital a camp experience was. That the act of being in a different location like camp hearing the same thing as I might at church can have much more impact. So true for youth.

    I know it’s not your issue Mike as they let you and Heyoo go….but I just don’t understand what the board is thinking about in coming to this decision? another year of seeing no kids having lives changed forever for Jesus. Losing two key leaders that have the deep skill set to lead Christian camp and replace it with nearly two years of talking about the future.

    If it’s a money thing, there are tons of people willing to give to improve infrastructure/cabins/long house….we just need to be made aware (kinda like the roof this summer…the money came pretty quick).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.