During these past months in 2020, puzzles have become a favourite pastime for many. In fact, it was reported that big box stores ran out of puzzles. In the years when I was at Camp, many retreat groups enjoyed puzzles together and staff would add just a piece or two (or more) as they passed a puzzle that had been started.

When I think back of the years when I was privileged to serve as the Director of Camp Crossroads, I see the years and experiences, with 100’s of pieces fitting together to create a beautiful big picture. I think of it as a puzzle of the Master’s design.

If you were a camper or staff do you look back and remember any of the puzzle pieces?

  • Staff circling the buses when campers arrived or staff lining up to wave as the buses left Camp
  • Enjoying Camp treats – pizza, dad’s cookies, brownies, Camp Crossroads dessert and more
  • Having a great time at the firesides with fun songs, great stories and hearing campers’ share
  • Joining in enthusiastically with the singing and times of worship in the Chapel
  • Hearing the triangle to line up for meals – some were special – Hat, Same day or Disney meals
  • Challenging each other in volleyball, soccer, baseball or whichever sport was happening
  • Anxiously waiting for waterfront to open to enjoy tubing, skiing or the Blob
  • Meeting new friends and happy to once again see friends from past years
  • Laughing at the skits on the deck or cheering for your friends in the Talent Nights
  • Getting ready for Friday’s dress-up meal, usually a turkey dinner and then taking 100’s of pictures
  • Working hard to win the Golden Broom at the end of the week
  • Learning the meaning of GLABS or the first time. Enjoying MARKETPLACE to choose programs.
  • The joy of seeing families enjoy a special week of Family Camp together
  • Celebrating the 20th and 25th anniversaries with many supporters and families coming to join us
  • Adults enjoying a retreat at Camp – 55+ Weeks, 20’s & 30’s Retreats, Snow Camps, Adult Bible Weekends, In-Betweener’s Retreats and family rental  events
  • Pee Wee’s, Kids to Youth campers – all were and still are excited for their Camp week
  • Memories of how God spoke to you – at Chapel times and when you were with your cabin leader
  • Staff remembering the special times of prayer each morning and see God’s answers happen
  • Excitement when Tuck was announced; time to buy Camp shirts to wear for the next year
  • The way time went so quickly and Camp was over – the sadness of leaving friends on Saturday
  • and on and on …….
My puzzle is complete, at least for Camp leadership. But new, big pictures of Camp Crossroads are being created each year...Those of us who were there in the past can continue supporting Camp by interceding for the ministry and staff at Camp each day.

As I look back to the wonderful times that we could experience during my many years at Camp, there are important highlights.  Let me share a few special memories.

God’s protection. God protected in countless ways –100’s of bus and car trips to and from Camp and so few mishaps. God protected in programs, projects and during daily work like the kitchen and on maintenance and for nurses’ duties. People prayed especially for protection on the many waterfront programs. God also protected during storms and threatening weather patterns. God answered the many prayers of those who prayed faithfully for us at all times.

God’s Provision – When Jake Willms was the Board Chair, he often used the phrase, “This is God’s Camp.”  We experienced God’s direction and provision over and over again.  Those in key staff positons and serving as Chapel leaders were willing to come and weekly staff needs were filled, at times even at the last minute, People of all ages enjoyed the time to work together. God answered with safety in programs including sports, waterfront, crafts, archery and overnights. Many on staff and at home prayed for Camp throughout each day and we knew God was there. The blessing of strong support from the MB churches was appreciated.

God blessed in so many ways – in leading campers and staff to make important spiritual decisions to follow Christ and walk closer to His ways.  During the rest of the year, at many church baptisms, campers or staff would tell of the good news of how God helped them at Camp.  This was and still is the mission and purpose of Camp Crossroads. The desire is that campers experience Psalms 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life, in Your presence there is fullness of joy.”

God led many gifted young adults to serve on Key Staff roles like Summer Team and Bridge.  It was exciting to have new Leader in Training groups each summer. A number in these groups were on staff for several summers. Current full time staff leadership is being given by some former Team and Bridge members (Andrew & Christine Hiebert, Kyle Klassen and Courtleigh Reimer who are there in 2020).  Several former Team members are presently on the Camp Board.  Those who were Camp leaders are now leading in their chosen careers – youth pastors, church leaders, and working with excellence in their professions, whether in mission work, education, medicine, business, trades, social work and more. Many churches are grateful that former Camp staff are active lay leaders in their congregations. For many, the journey of growing as a leader began while serving at Camp.

God blessed in that many campers and staff formed lifelong friendships which began while at Camp. Christian friends help each of us to live a godly life wherever we are.

Some of these friendships blossomed into romance and weddings and then Christian families were birthed.  It is great that those children now are coming as campers and the parents return to enjoy working on staff.  Christian families have such an important influence in our churches and in society. It is always exciting to meet families when the parents are those that were serving at Camp in past years.  In this way, the spiritual ministry and impact of Camp goes on.

My puzzle is complete, at least for Camp leadership. But new, big pictures of Camp Crossroads are being created each year. People still enjoy pictures of Camp, whether in albums, on cell phones or in face book postings. Those of us who were there in the past can continue supporting Camp by interceding for the ministry and staff at Camp each day.  The program is now year round. Especially now in 2020, much prayer is needed for the Board and staff leaders as they will plan for a possible new way to let campers and families experience the exciting ministry at Camp. God has blessed richly in so many ways.

It still is God’s Camp.