Van-Es Camp offers spiritual growth and fun for Canadian Moravians


“Vicit Agnus Noster-Eum Sequamur,” Latin for “Our Lamb Has Conquered, Let Us Follow Him,” surrounds the Moravian Seal. It also gave its initials to name Camp Van-Es, which, summer after summer, helps children explore faith in Jesus Christ in a natural setting. 

Located just 20 minutes southeast of Edmonton on 100 acres of wooded land on the shores of South Cooking Lake, Van-Es offers a safe environment to experience God, to grow spiritually and, of course, to have fun! In 2019, Van-Es will offer four opportunities for youth in Canada to share in the Moravian camping tradition.

This year, the Rev. Steve Gohdes from Christ Moravian Church in Calgary, will lead the 1/2/3 Camp. This shorter camp—from Wednesday to Saturday—introduces our youngest to the Moravian camping ministry.

Marilyn Gurnsey and the 4/5/6 camp have been working hard to include our sisters and brothers from Labrador in our summer camping adventures. Through the Canadian Mission society, a few campers and adults came to Van-Es over the past two years, and last year, Marilyn brought a team to Labrador to lead a camp experience there. We hope to continue building a positive camping experience and relationship across Canada through their work and ministry. 

The Rev. James Lavoy, pastor at Rio Terrace, has been working hard to build positive relationships with our Anglican friends in Alberta. This year we hope to build on a mid-winter retreat experience where the Anglicans and Moravians shared a Jr. and Sr. High camp, and bring that energy into Van-Es in the years to come.

And we welcome the Rev. Aaron Linville to Canada and to Van-Es, where he brings lots of experience with years of serving at Laurel Ridge. Aaron will lead the Senior High Camp this year, working in conjunction with Rev. Matt Gillard. (Matt secretly hopes to be at camp this summer, but is also excitedly waiting for their second child to be born…)

For more information about camping at Van-Es, or to register, visit

Thanks to Rev. Matt Gillard of Heimtal Moravian Church for this summary.

Van-Es Camps for 2019

1/2/3 Camp

July 3 – 6 Led by Steve Gohdes

4/5/6 Camp

July 7 – 13 Led by Marilyn Gurnsey

Jr. High Camp

July 14 – 20 Led by James Lavoy

Sr. High Camp

July 21 – 27 Led by Aaron Linville