It’s all about relationships. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to the three partnership camps we run each summer at Camp Widjiitiwin. Last summer we brought 200 kids to Widjiitiwin who couldn’t get there in their own. Our three partners are:
- Toronto Police 42 Division for the Fresh Air Camp,
- Hughson Street Baptist Church in Hamilton for the Escape Camp
- Church of the Ward in Guelph for the Royal City Camp (read this great testimony from the principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School)
- Capstone Bible Church in Toronto for the Venture Camp
Relationships have always been at the heart of the success of Christian camping ministry and that is what most campers talk about when they get home – the friends they made. That, plus the FUN, games, food, campfires, activities and of course the Tuck Shop.
Our partnership with Toronto Police, 42 Division called the Fresh Air Camp, in its seventh summer, reached the target of 115 campers, making it our largest week of 2014. Hard to believe we started with just 30 campers in 2009. A goal of the expanded campers is to show the kids that people from other neighbourhoods are good people too. We are hearing about change happening back in the community from the kids’ experiences at camp. We In addition to the 115 sponsored campers this week we had seven sponsored for our second SALT session. Six were from our Fresh Air camp and one from our Escape camp. It was amazing to see these young people get more into their faith. One of them became a Christian during SALT 2. Very exciting times!
Escape Camp, our partnership week with Hughson Street Church in Hamilton, in its third summer, reached 44 campers from inner-city Hamilton this summer. Not only do we offer them new experience outside of Hamilton, but the gospel is presented to each one and Hughson is in their neighbourhood for follow-up. We added several new activities for this week including rowing and water-skiing. What a good time was had by all.
Royal City Camp, Our partnership with Church of the Ward in Guelph is going into it’s second summer! In our first year we had 30 campers and plan to target 45 for 2015. The Ward is a designated high needs neighbourhood and this year we will reach out to several other high needs groups so that more kids can come to camp and experience the power of the Gospel through camp ministry. We are working with Pastor Matt Naismith or Newb as we call him.
Venture Camp our newest partnership with Capstone Bible Church is in it’s first year. We’re planning for 40 campers. For those familiar with Widjiitiwin, Capstone’s teaching pastor, Rob Cripps, is Sad Sac who has been a camp pastor for many years and their youth pastor Andrew Ironside is Nemo. We are planning for 30-40 campers in the first year drawing from the church and Capstone’s community outreach.
Our themes for Widji 2015 are: Space Camp, Destination: Egypt, Cartoons & Comics and Pirates vs. Ninjas. I’m thinking about a 30 foot pyramid for Egypt week and turning the tower into a rocket ship for space camp. Anyone own a giant Sphinx or a pirate schooner?
Would you consider standing with us so that Camp Widjiitiwin is a place where lives are changed in 2015 and for eternity? You can help send campers to Widji to experience life changing ministry. For every $437 in donations toward ministry programs, the full cost of non-ministry programs (meals, accommodations, recreation) for one camper will be contributed by MBC through the Muskoka Bible Foundation, making a note to designate to Camp Widjiitiwin.
Widjiitiwin – the way camp was meant to be… relational, central, natural, and reaching out, a loving community focused on Christ. It’s like coming home, it’s my camp!