It 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.
There 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.
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!