Our Passion at Countryside Camp and Conference Centre, the summer home of “Camp Shalom”, is to point and empower people to Jesus Christ! Founded in 1969 and located in Cambridge, Ontario, the facilities serve as a Christian Retreat Centre year round to over 80 different churches and organizations. During the summer months, we operate a Christ-centred program ministry, “Camp Shalom.” “Camp Shalom” serves over 350 Adventure, Munchkin, and Quest campers each summer and 250 individuals with “Special Needs.”
What do we do at “Camp Shalom”? For our campers and guests, we create experiences by integrating activities, relationships, and environments where we can “speak the truth of the gospel” into their lives. We live out and nurture the traditions that are uniquely “Camp Shalom” and instill an attitude of service to others.
For our staff and those participating in our discipleship programs, we develop leaders. Let me clarify the type of leader we develop: the term leader is only found 6 times in the KJV of the Bible, while the term servant is mentioned more than 900 times. That fact highlights a distinction between two main types of leaders: those that are self-serving and those who are servant leaders. We develop servant leaders, young men and women who seek the respect of those who have entrusted them with a season of influence and responsibility.
And what makes our ministry stand out among so many? Let me highlight 3 areas. 1-Hiring: Our staff is hired based first upon their Christian testimony and experience, then upon their skill sets. Once the team of 30 plus seasonal staff is hired, we have them attend a two week orientation before the summer campers and guests arrive not only to learn our policies and procedures, behavioral and counseling training, WHMIS and all the safety requirement, but more importantly to comprehend WHO they are in Christ. We have each staff member take a number of assessments including: DISC profiling, Spiritual Gifts, Love Languages; and Sacred Pathways. These assessments help the individual have a better understanding of who they are in Christ and then they can better apply the Christian Servant-Leadership model we implement in all our programs.
2-Mentoring: Our team of adult leaders and year round staff live out the Christian core values of Countryside Camp as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, seeking to live by the teachings and guidance from God’s Word; willing to share the Gospel to bring people into relationship with Him; and being intentional about developing disciples.
3-Spiritual Development: Each year our program director develops the biblical theme, scriptural memory verse, curriculum, chaplain packets, and cabin Bible studies used for each season. 15 hours of spiritual training have been intentionally designed into each weekly program session at “Camp Shalom”.
This is who we are … and we also use instruction in canoeing, kayaking, crafts, archery, dance and many more fun activities to instill character.