We’re at the point of the year where our camp staff regularly exclaim “I can’t believe we’re almost already half-way through the summer!”
Just a few months ago within the Cairn Family of Camps, we were worried that campers and staff would lose the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, engage in camp programs, and be part of the faith community we know and love without camp this summer.
But we found a way.
After three weeks, we are thrilled to be able to report that Cairn’s virtual programs have continued to provide an avenue for God’s love to be seen, felt, and known. Campers have made new friends within their Cabin Groups, and have explored new activities such as baking, fitness, and even a creative endeavor to “design your dream camp”. The camp community continues to begin and end each day together, one of our special camp traditions, with our Morning Has Broken morning devotional, and praise time and vespers at “campfire” before they leave each day.
With support from Rev. Karen Pozios (Dixie Presbyterian Church, Mississauga), our staff too have been spiritually nurtured, which we believe is essential for both their personal growth and to ensure they are able to feel confident in creating faith community for campers.
In honesty, at first, we wondered if it truly was possible to create real connections using an online platform. Without having seen it done before, we worried about how the positive impact of camp could be translated from in-person to video interactions.
In collecting feedback surveys at the end of the first week of camp, this worry disappeared completely as one of our camper’s parents commented:
“This week was awesome. The staff were great, their personalities really shone through even online. My daughter would say they were Joyful. She made a friend during camp this week and they are both doing camp together next week. She is so excited about what next week will bring. She has actually asked to do camp every week this summer. It has been wonderful to see her engaged as she has had a horrible time this spring. Our family are extroverts and this has been a hit to our hearts. You seem to have done everything right this week from our eyes. Thank you.”
The Spirit continues to work through Cairn’s camping ministry. As we carry forward into the second half of our summer, please continue to pray for our staff leaders, and for our campers, that they will be assured of God’s love, known through Christ Jesus and through the continuous presence of the Holy Spirit that exists – even still – within these virtual spaces of community.
Robynne Howard, Camp Director
Cairn Family of Camps
For more information on Cairn’s virtual summer programs, please visit www.ilovecamp.org/2020-virtual-programs.cfm.