Every summer for as far back as I can remember, I would pack my suitcase a week early in anticipation of going up to Fraser Lake Camp near Bancroft, Ont.
I lived for the moment when the camp bus, packed full of eager campers, would turn into the laneway and make its way past the rows of towering pine trees that my parents helped to plant when they were teenagers. I always knew the week ahead promised new friendships, songs around the campfire, daily swims in the beautiful lake, all kinds of exciting activities and soul-soothing time spent in the wilderness.
Although I had no idea at the time, when I reflect back on my camp journey today, it seems only natural that God has led me into camp ministry in the role of director at Fraser Lake.
I was a toddler when I first visited Fraser Lake. My parents brought me along on a work weekend with other members of Breslau Mennonite Church. Although I have few memories of that weekend, I have been told that my favourite activity was throwing my soother into the bushes and watching others retrieve it.
As the summers went by, I attended Fraser Lake first as a junior and then a senior camper, a counsellor-in-training, and later for three summers as a staff member. My camp journey has also taken me to Camp Moose Lake in Manitoba and to Silver Lake Mennonite Camp near the shores of Lake Huron as a volunteer.
Now as I interview staff for the summer of 2014, I continuously hear, “I would not be who I am today without having gone to camp.” I can certainly identify with this sentiment, and am so thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to spread my wings and discover who I was within the encouraging Christian environment that was provided for me at Fraser Lake.
As a result of my camp experience, I uncovered leadership abilities, musical talent, a love for the outdoors and a passion for showing others the life benefits of participating in summer camp. I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to use these skills that were nurtured at camp as I continue on my camp journey.
I also look forward to packing my suitcase with the gifts, talents and passion of the Mennonite community, in order to further the mission of Fraser Lake Camp and to serve others in this important ministry.
Kristen Berg is the director of Fraser Lake Camp.
--Posted Feb. 26, 2013