It is weird to think that another summer is about to be upon us. In some ways it feels like we just said goodbye to last year’s campers and now the excitement and anticipation for this year’s summer season is already starting to grow. Even though Alberta is known for its enduring winter season of relentless cold, it has flown by as big things have been happening out at Camp Van Es.
Within days of summer camp ending last year work began on the construction of a new 4,500-square-foot housing building at our Canadian camp. We have been beyond blessed by volunteers, financial support, trades people, Rupert Newman (our onsite maintenance staff), Camp Board and others as this project progressed. This once-dreamed-about lodge is set to be open in May, just nine months after breaking ground. Building this new lodge was first proposed and resolved at the 2012 Canadian District Synod in Calgary, Alberta.
The new building will be known as Unity Lodge, which is truly fitting to represent how we feel about our purpose at Camp Van Es. It is with unity that we await the blessings God has prepared for Van Es through this new building. It is with unity we look forward for God’s grace, mercy and love to be shown to the campers entering our care. And it is with unity that we say it is only through and with God that Camp Van Es can have an impact in the world.
It is always easy to talk about big changes like a new building, but what does this mean for our summer camping program? Whenever you take on a project of this size it causes one to reflect on what matters and what is important. This has brought us back to remembering why summer camp exists.
It has rooted us in the foundational truth that God wants his children to know him and speaks to kids through summer camp. It is by rooting campers in the love of Christ that God grabs hold of their hearts and does his work in them and through them. As we look to the future of Van Es’ ministry in Unity Lodge, we remember and find our theme to be Rooted. Rooted in Christ, rooted in his truths, rooted in each other, and rooted in our passion for kids to know the God of love.
Part of this rooted theme means that Van Es will continue to be a place where kids can come and be kids. Whether they come for the joy of friends, the love of swimming in our indoor pool, the wonderful food, games in the field, songs by the campfire, or great conversations, they will experience faith in action. So as the summer creeps closer and closer we are impassioned by the vision of the possibilities the future holds and rooted in the God that makes all things possible.
We would love to see you there, and may new growth be seen in the roots of what has been planted by Camp Van Es these last
2014 CAMP VAN ES DATES
Grades 3 & 4: June 29 – July 4, 2014
Grades 5 & 6: July 6 – July 12, 2014
Jr. High Camp: July 13 – July 19, 2014
Sr. High Camp: July 20 – July 26, 2014
Grades 1 & 2: July 27 – July 30, 2014
Brandon Salyczn is a member of the Camp Van Es Board of Directors and serves on the Canadian District Executive Board.