GCI-Canada hosted two youth camps this summer: SEP Silver Meadows and Camp Connections. Here are reports from each one.
SEP Silver Meadows
This camp was held near Edmonton, Alberta. The 64 campers from several Canadian provinces (and one from the U.S.) were served by 37 staff members (3 were GCI interns). God’s love and blessings were evident. Despite heavy rains in surrounding areas (a near wash-out at the nearby Calgary Stampede), the camp was blessed with beautiful weather after the first day.
The camp theme, Celebrating the Grip of God’s Love, was addressed in morning worship, chapels after breakfast, and evening worship. An afternoon reflection time used the “I am Second” video series, where famous individuals share testimonies about the grip God has on their lives. A spiritual highlight at camp was the baptism of two long-time campers in Lake Nakamum.
Camp activities included wall climbing, paintball and tubing—activities the campers would typically not have access to during the year. Camp concluded with a NoT-alent show where the campers were entertained with various talent acts. This was followed by a graduation ceremony where six senior campers were presented with Bibles and invited to come back as staff members next year.
Here is a video of the camp (teen session):
This camp hosted 73 campers—21 more than last summer. The campers were welcomed into a loving, Christ-centered environment where they enjoyed a myriad of activities. Junior campers learned about the gifts of the Spirit while senior campers explored what it means to embark on a journey with Christ.
2016 was the inaugural year for Camp Connections’ Leadership in Training program. The young leaders not only learned, they served—contributing to the camp through a legacy project involving the finishing of canoe paddles that will be part of the camp’s equipment. The young leaders received separate messages and classes focused on helping them prepare for future leadership roles.
Among the campers were 19 refugees from various cultures and a young man from Restoring Hope Ministries, a street youth mission in Ottawa. As a result of fund raising support from various individuals and organizations (including the Peddling Kilometers program, which raised $17,000!), we were able to give financial assistance to all of our campers.