Every summer since 2008 the Plett family has organized and run a saint ben’s day camp, and over the years it has expanded from a dozen or so participants to this year’s all time high of 26 campers. Supported through campership donations from our community, the camp offers a unique opportunity for kids to get out of the city for five days and engage in an extraordinary range of activities, challenges, and learnings. Here’s a report on this summer’s camp, which ran August 11 through 15.
Hot, dry, sunny days spent in the mostly mosquito-less great outdoors with twenty-six fun, unique, thoughtful, kind, and energetic young people… this is how our family spent the week of August 11-15 – the 2014 saint benedict’s table day camp.
The campers were from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, and from different communities in the city and in rural Manitoba. This year they ranged in age from 7 to 14 years old, and many would say that you simply can’t bring kids from such a broad age range together and have it work. But the camp beautifully proves this wrong. We were moved by the incredible kindness these kids expressed toward one another, always looking out for the younger kids, helping each person feel valued and enjoyed, laughing, talking, and having a fantastic time together.
Seven of the campers came through camperships donated by individuals in the saint ben’s community. These camperships went to newcomers to Canada, kids who are part of a transitional school in Winnipeg’s core. Thanks to those who gave of their resources to make it possible for newcomers to Canada to receive the gift of this week. Your donations also made it possible for us to once again rent a 14 passenger van for the week. And thanks to the Outtatown program of Canadian Mennonite University for being to willing to rent us that van at such an affordable rate.
Thanks to the community of saint benedict’s table, from the campers and from our family, for all your support and prayers and encouragement in this adventure. We couldn’t have done it without you!
The Plett Family
We asked the camper’s what their favourite parts of camp were, and here is some of what they had to say:
“Riding at Birds Hill Park and the Silly Stories which were fun… and silly!”
“Bouldering – I like timing myself going around the wall, trying to beat my record. And I like playing the big group games because it’s fun to get to know people and work as a team.”
“Biking around on all the trails – I’ve never done that before!”
“Exploring biking and having fun learning new things.”
“Being out on the trails enjoying nature.”
“Riding a trail I couldn’t do last year.”
“Bouldering – taking on specific challenges there.”
“Getting air off one of the bike jumps!”
“Accomplishing riding one of the hard trails without stopping.”
“Playing Manhunt on the trails, and Capture the Flag and Prisoner’s Base.”
“I love the Silly Stories because they are so so funny – where have you seen a skit that funny before?!”
“Lunch! … because I love eating!”
And when asked how they would describe the camp to someone who hasn’t been here before, they said:
“It’s a place where you get lots of exercise!”
“It’s a really great camp and SO much fun!”
“It’s a great place to grow in your faith and to try new things. I keep coming back because it’s FUN!” (from a camper who has been here for every one of the 7 summers we’ve run the camp)
“There’s really nice people here and they are great to be around.”
“The place is FUN! The people are really kind. They have jumps for biking – the place is awesome!”
“It’s fun learning things and exploring biking.”
“Biking, bouldering, funny skits – awesomeness!”
“This camp is amazing! You should come!”