Written by Shannon McAdam
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
In recent weeks, with consultation from various volunteers, our mission centre had to make difficult decisions about cancelling our youth and kids camps at Hills of Peace this summer. While we have all been prepared for a few seasons of slow return to our pre-covid camping program, it is still difficult to admit that as a mission centre, we don’t have the capacity to hold these important gatherings this year.
I think back to my own camping years with fondness. So many memorable experiences, and always a feeling like camp was the only time all year when I felt like I could truly and fully be myself. I had friends who liked me for me, and I looked forward to seeing them. Just a few months ago at a Creating Connection retreat I had a joyful reunion with an old camp friend and it was all we could do to not stay up all night talking just like we did at camp thirty years ago!
I think of the leadership skills I learned during my camping years, and how when I was old enough to be a counsellor, I was so excited to be able to volunteer my time in the years when my summers were free of work and school.
I think of the many hours of volunteer time so generously offered to create these memories that I hold so dear. Just a couple of months ago at world conference I ran into a number of people who are beloved to me because they directed camps or counselled at camps that I attended as a young person. I still look to them for inspiration and role modeling of how to be a leader.
I wonder what memories you have of church camp in your youth? I wonder what memories you have of offering leadership in our camping program? I wonder what time, talents, testimony, or treasure you have capacity to share now in order to help our youngest Canada West Mission Centre members and friends create similar memories in the years to come?
We have some extra time now to begin planning for next year’s summer gatherings of our young people. In this liminal season you are invited to help discern how best to ensure we have a full schedule of programming in 2024. All hopes and dreams are welcome! Please consider how you can share generously of your time, talents, testimony, or treasure as we move forward together.
Yours in Christ,
Gwyn, Kat, and Shannon
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537