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MEDA software goes bananas

An employee of the APPBOSA co-operative prepares bananas for shipping to customers in Europe and North America.

If you buy a bunch of fair trade or organic bananas, you may get a product with a hidden stamp from Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

MEDA has helped co-operatives in Peru to streamline their certification procedures to maintain the rigorous requirements of fair trade and organic distributors, and thus gain a premium price.

‘Not what we planned as a 50th anniversary focus’

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall was gutted by fire on Feb. 7. Camp director Dave Erb hopes to have a refurbished or new building set to open by June.

The word spread quickly on Feb. 7 and the days that followed: Silver Lake Mennonite Camp’s dining hall had burned . . . again.

The camp, near Sauble Beach on Lake Huron, suffered a fire in its third year of operations, back in 1968. The present building has been a favourite of campers and off-season users because of its wide open space and large stone fireplace.

Don’t forget your instrument . . . or your voice

Campers who play stringed instruments—including Saskia van Arrangon, Jordan Klassen and Daniel Penner, pictured—as well as brass, woodwinds and piano, or those who sing, are all welcome at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, held each summer at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont.

Singing around the piano is a popular activity at the Ontario Mennonite Music Camp in Waterloo, Ont., each summer, as Heather Imrie, Marlo Young-Sponga, Taya Kehler and Kiana Epp can attest.

It’s 11 p.m. We’ve been treated to the final program—a full, original musical about recycling prepared in two short weeks—and heard dozens of songs done by wind instruments, strings, brass, vocal quartets and pianists. We’re in awe, tired just thinking about what went into the show. Now the only one thing left to do is get the performers—our kids—home!

Family camp to debut this summer at Camp Squeah

Archery is one of the many activities offered by Camp Squeah that can be enjoyed by all age groups at this summer’s inaugural family camp.

Summer camp is not just for children any more.

For one week this summer, Camp Squeah will be alive with the sound of voices of all ages as the camp tries something new: a multigenerational family camp, to be held from July 25 to 29.

Nurturing creation connections @ camp

Canoeing is one way Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp gets campers to understand the need to nurture creation.

Camp is the perfect place for environmental principles to be brought to life. An Arctic glacier slowly melting may be too far removed for children to fully grasp the significance of, but a caterpillar in hand, a hike in a forest or a camp-out under the stars are real and immediate demonstrations of the importance of caring for God’s creation.

Canadian students enjoy benefits of distance education

In 2009, the high percentage of Canadian participants in the pastoral studies distance education program at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) left program administrators scratching their heads. Ten of the 16 students were from Mennonite Church Canada, with eight of these coming from MC Eastern Canada.

Last year, six of the eight continuing students were Canadians.

A serious interest in student well-being

Christy Anderson, second from the left, shares her experience at Canadian Mennonite University with fellow students.

“Most universities are good at academics,” says Sue Sorensen, who teaches English literature at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg, adding, though, “If you turn up on our campus, people are going to care about you, whether you want them to or not!”

Downsizing for service

Dave and Karen Mast have traded their home in Ephrata, Pa., for a trailer that they take with them on their assignments with Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network ministry.

A year ago, Dave and Karen Mast traded their 240-square-metre home in Ephrata, Pa., for a 12-metre-long travel trailer.

Dave, 51, and Karen, 48, now travel across the eastern U.S. as volunteers for Service Opportunities for Older People (SOOP), a Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) volunteer opportunity throughout the U.S. and Canada for adults and families.

Confessions of an editor

“What I didn’t expect was the sense I suddenly had that author Doris Janzen Longacre and the contributors to Living More With Less were peering around the shelves at Target, watching me finger those plush crimson towels I really didn’t need. . . .”

Editing a book about living simply has a way of throwing one’s own hypocrisy into stark relief. When I began work on the 30th-anniversary edition of Living More With Less for Herald Press, I knew that I’d have to face the many ways that I failed to make choices that were mindful of global poverty and climate change.

Consider travelling with a group

During a stop of the Lehman homestead in the Jura area of France, TourMagination travellers check out a family chart.

While we each appreciate different aspects of travel, many people assume travelling with a tour group is not for them. They associate tour groups with older people or a lack of flexibility.

While this may sometimes be the case, there are times when joining a tour group is a great fit for nearly every traveller.


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