The Power of Camp!

Feb 24, 2021 | 1 comment

by Linda Ellsworth

The front of my favourite T-shirt…and every word is true!  I know.  I’ve been there-done-that for the past 64 years.  Recognizing my love of nature and the out-of-doors (I never came “in” until the streetlights went on), my parents, who were NOT “campers” began taking me to Muskoka for two weeks to a month of the summer when I was two years old.  I learned to swim, row a boat, paddle a canoe, and hike the bush by age eight.  And then they introduced me to the joy of summer camp. 

We used to sing a song at Girls Camp that went like this:

“I’m going to camp until I’m 93!

This camping life is really great—I want to avoid that marriage state!

So Cupid keep your darts away from me…Until I’m 50—60—70—80—93!”

I’m not quite 93, and the darts thing didn’t work, since I met my husband at camp, but what DID work?

God provided three amazing women who mentored me for years.  God provided nourishment for my soul through the teaching and sharing of His Word, and through summers spent in His amazing creation.  God provided the opportunities for both skill and leadership development.  God provided life-long friends, one of whom is my amazing husband.

As a result of those early years, He led me to Bible College where I was privileged to study Christian Education and Music.  Three years after graduation (and still spending every summer at Camp), God led us back to live and teach in that Bible College setting.  AND He opened the door for my husband and I to direct Christian Summer Camps and to be involved in the ministry of Christian Camping International Canada in three different provinces.  Today, retired from camp directing, I am privileged to work with CCI-Canada as the Member Care Co-ordinator for our Canadian Christian camps.

In this role, I met Dave and Kathie Schiedel, who were looking for Canadian Camps who would take on the challenge of hosting “Grandcamps.”  Their enthusiasm was incredible, and they soon had me “sold.”  Having lost my Christian grandparents when I was very young, I never had the opportunity of experiencing much of their influence in my life.  However, over our years of directing camps, we had witnessed the joy of two and three generation families coming to Family Camps together and having a blast.  We also have 11 grandchildren of our own and have gone camping with our kids and grandkids, so the prospect of a camp program just for Grandparents and their grandkids was laden with exciting possibilities. 

Remember Paul’s sweet letter written from prison to Timothy, his “much-loved son” in the Lord?

Timothy, I thank God for you…Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.  I long to see you again…and I will be filled with joy when we are together again…I remember your genuine faith, FOR YOU SHARE THE FAITH THAT FIRST FILLED YOUR GRANDMOTHER LOIS AND YOUR MOTHER EUNICE. And I know THAT FAITH CONTINUES STRONG IN YOU!”  (2 Tim. 1:1-5, NLT)

And why did that faith “continue strong” in Timothy?  Because it was faithfully passed down through three generations, starting with a Grandma! Grandcamps?  I should think so!  The Power of Camp?  Undeniable and indelible!  How do I know?  Been there, done that, still going strong.

Adopted into a Christian family in Ontario at 8 weeks of age and into God’s family through her Mother’s leading at age 5, Linda grew up in a very musical Christian home. Christian summer camp became a way of life, beginning at age 8 and continuing to the present. Linda graduated with a Christian Education major, and a minor in music from Briercrest Bible College in 1970. Married in 1971, Doug and Linda continued ministering in both Education and Christian Camping in Saskatchewan, the Bahamas, Alberta and Ontario. Retiring from Camp Directing in 2012, Linda and Peter Bloom of Ontario Pioneer Camp, were led to establish the Member Care Program for CCI-Canada camps. https://www.cci-canada.ca/ Linda also writes the Bible Study material for “Live,” the award-winning women’s Christian magazine published by Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec. (CBWOQ; baptistwomen.com) Doug and Linda live in Powassan, Ontario and have three adult children and eleven grandchildren.

1 Comment

  1. Kathie Schiedel

    Linda, Your blog and passion about camping and GrandCamp is absolutely contagious! Thank you for sharing your story of how God has worked in your life through camp.

    Reply

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