When you first drive into Camp Kwasind one of the first signs that can catch your eye says “Where you can be yourself.” After I read that sign I knew that they meant it and that they are the real deal here. My good friend Matt Wilkinson has recently become the executive director of this amazing camp. Matt doesn’t do a half job, he’s goes far and beyond. Matt goes the extra mile and works so hard as he brings along other people to join in with him on his vision. As soon as I saw that sign sharing the camp values to be yourself, I right away felt comfortable knowing that this is a place where I can dream big for ministry, I can try new things and they would be ok with it. I can bring different illustrations on stage as I speak and they will be fine with it.

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So thankful for all that I have learned this week. As I have watched the leadership team all come together and run this camp I am truly inspired to keep investing into camp ministry. Even tho I have only been here for one week now this really does feel like home and everyone has made me feel so welcomed as if I have always worked here with them.

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We did around 11 talks with the campers. For the morning we went deeper and at night it was more of a reflective time where we could talk about practical ways of what we do with what we learned. I kept challenging the campers to talk through questions with their cabin leaders and that this is a safe place to talk. Isn’t that so true? Camp is a great environment for people to grow so much in their faith. People build a strong friendship with someone that they trust and that leads them to having these authentic conversations. One of the cabin leaders asked if I could sit in on their devotion time to help with some of the questions their campers were asking. These grade 4 & 5 girls blew my mind with their curiosity of faith in God. The tween age is important to work with as they are so impressionable. Young kids are always told what to do but if we can teach them to own their faith for their self than that will help them later on.

Some of the questions these campers asked were:
1) Who made God?

2) If there’s so many religions out there and people say there are lots of different Gods, how do we know if Jesus is real?

3) If people don’t go to heaven and they don’t go to hell, where do they go?

4) How come when we pray, we don’t hear God speak to us?

This is remarkable and fills me with so much joy. I’m so happy they asked such deep questions even tho I might not know all the answers to them. Glad to know that these campers are willing to really think through their faith and to own it for themselves, not just because someone told them they should believe it. Sure, I feel like our role is to help guide them in the right direction. But at some point they need to make that personal decision about what path to follow. Their parents and leaders can’t make that decision for them. Youth workers, are you ready for the questions your young people have? Are you giving them enough room for them to be able to ask? Let’s leave space for them to tackle through some hard questions with us without them feeling dumb for asking. I have to admit that as I move at a very fast pace in ministry from one event to the next, I can often forget to stop and listen to their side. I can forget to close my mouth and listen. It’s so easy for us to talk and ask them all the questions but what would happen if we sat down with the younger generation and discussed what they are trying to figure out. What questions do they have on their mind? Maybe we can help them process some things.

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Camp is so special as everyone basically lives with each other for a full week, eating meals together, doing silly games with each other, seeing another persons tired side… Their was one camper that stood out to me the most, he stole my heart. At times he had a hard time listening to his cabin leader. He would sometimes be over the top hyper as he would randomly yell out things when everyone else was listening to instructions. I ate a few meals with him as he told me that the movie Home Alone was his favorite movie because of all the jokes they do to the bad guys in it. Actually, he kind if reminds me of Kevin McCallister. At camp you can have these special moments where God really shows up in a kids life. This kid had one of these moments where after chapel one day he asked me for a bible, we started talking about it and I am so proud of him for where he’s going. He’s going to do great things for God’s kingdom and I see so much potential in him. Isn’t that funny how sometimes the kids that you can least expect will surprise you.

Proud of Matt’s leadership as he continues to lead with excellence. What an amazing coach he is to so many.

So impressed with this camp and I highly recommend it to young leaders to help here and I highly recommend it for kids/teens to come here as campers. I love Camp Kwasind

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