God met me, challenged me, and shaped me at Camp Shalom!

 In Christian Camps in Ontario

From my first conversation about applying to work at Camp Shalom until today Camp has held a special place in my heart and life. Growing up I never attended an overnight camp of any kind. My first experience with overnight summer camp came in 2013 as a counsellor at Camp Shalom. What I experienced was life changing. Not only was the camp program itself an absolute joy, but there was even greater joy in the way the God met me, challenged me and shaped me during that first summer at camp. I loved it so much that applied the next summer to be the Adventure Camp Coordinator, and was given the opportunity to pursue that role. Being the ACC has been one of the most vital learning experiences of my life to this day. The mentorship I received from full time staff challenged me to grow and lead. Learning how to engage and encourage a team, and how to respond to my own failures are valuable lessons that Camp taught me.

Camp Shalom will always hold a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons. The first is that it was during ministry at camp that God ignited a desire in me to pursue vocational ministry. A desire that has come to fruition as I am currently serving as the
youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Sioux Lookout Ontario. The second is the amazing people God had me working with during my two summers at camp who first and foremost cared about the state of my soul and my walk with Christ. Those
relationships have shaped what discipleship and living together as Christians means in my life and ministry.

Camp Shalom has shaped my walk of faith in more ways than I can probably express. The most substantial shaping that took place in my heart and life through ministry at Camp Shalom is living in the reality that everyone around me has a soul destined for eternity. Living in that reality calls me to seize every opportunity to having meaningful conversations, to share to gospel, to pray for and with people. Plainly put, camp soften my heart for the people around me.

It is hard to narrow down a favourite memory from camp because everyday new memories were created. Each memory carries its own emotions and lessons learned. That being said I will never forget the week I had the opportunity to spend with Frankie.
The most challenging and enjoyable week of my life was the week I spent as Frankie’s counsellor. He taught me so much about faith, trust and joy. Lessons I hope I will never forget.

I now live in Sioux Lookout Ontario with my wife Melissa and our son Sawyer who turned one on January 13, 2018. Melissa works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Northwestern Heath Unit. I spend my days at home with Sawyer and my
afternoons and evenings as a youth pastor. God has been teaching, equipping and challenging us at every turn.

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