Ontario Mennonite Music Camp (OMMC) is a two-week camp hosted at Conrad Grebel University College, offering teenagers aged 12 to 16 an opportunity to explore both music and faith.
Much of a typical day at camp is spent making music together in choir, small ensembles or around evening campfires. Everyone arrives at camp playing a variety of instruments at different levels, and it is amazing to watch how quickly the musical, choir songs and ensemble pieces come together in only two weeks.
Besides a love for music, campers and staff find connections through their common faith. In addition to the morning chapel service, one hour each evening is devoted to staff-led small-group Bible studies. Some campers and staff have Mennonite connections, while others do not but, regardless, everyone shares a common Christian faith that allows us to explore scriptures together and grow in our faith.
Both Grebel and the camp place a large emphasis on community. The sense of community doesn’t stop at Grebel’s doors but extends to include serving our broader community. Campers have frequently volunteered at Mennonite Central Committee’s warehouse in Kitchener, Ont., by helping to sort items to be sent overseas, and by tying quilt tops that volunteers have graciously donated. Another avenue for service is through leading Sunday morning worship at a local Mennonite church, where campers and staff plan the entire service, from the music right down to the message.
One disappointment of 2020 was not being able to attend camp in-person; however, the resourceful camp group offered a one-day camp called “OMMC in a Box.” Campers received a box of supplies in the mail, containing everything from songbooks and snacks to a camp T-shirt. Although an online version of camp could not include all the usual traditions, there was one OMMC tradition that even COVID-19 could not stop: wacky utensil meal!
We are thankful for the impact of OMMC on our lives, and we look forward to seeing what summer 2021 holds!
OMMC is planning an exciting, musical two weeks of in-person camp, from Aug. 15 to 27. Registration will open on March 1. OMMC will follow COVID-19 protocols and take guidance from Public Health, so no fees will be collected until May at the earliest.