As summer comes to an end, and the last group of kids get ready to come back home from Camp Caroline, we caught up with them during a bus ride back to the city. To hear and see the bonds created and how life-changing it was to be able to spend a week at camp is nothing short of inspiring – and it’s all thanks to a group of people who decided to do something good for someone else.
In collaboration with the camp, and the amazing and generous donations from our community, we were able to send 50 kids – who otherwise would not have had the chance – to camp this summer.
“I loved all of the activities at camp: horses, worship songs at campfire, zip-lining, slip-and-slide, and spending cabin time with my new friends,” says Angela, a camp participant.
But the week is about much more than physical challenges. The activities at camp are designed to help kids build confidence and relationships with peers, give them a sense of belonging and community, and most importantly, it’s often the beginning of their relationship with God.
“I felt like I was in a family,” says Angela.
“I learned how God visits me and helps me when I really need it,” said Angela. “I can go to him anytime if I need him and he is always listening to me and loving me.”
The spiritual journey often leads to life-changing experiences for the kids, allowing them to grow in Christ. Our Neighbour Centre and The Mustard Seed could not be more grateful for our giving donors, as we are now witnessing the invaluable influence the experience has had on our youth.
“For the vast majority, it was their first time at camp,” says Andrew Gusztak, Manager of Volunteer Services. “It was such a positive experience for everyone.” Sophie, another camp participant, agrees with Andrew and hopes to be back next year. “I had the most amazing summer of my life,” says Sophie.
“I am sad it’s over and I hope The Mustard Seed will let me go again next summer.”
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone involved: donors, parents and staff. The smiles and stories that are pouring in have made lasting impressions on all of us. Your support means that instead of staying home, these kids had the summer of a lifetime, which in turn allows their parents to focus on getting a stable job or working the two and even three jobs they have to take to support their families.
We look forward to next year with great anticipation!