Knox Christian School camp grows in its second year of operation
Knox Christian School in Bowmanville is running its second year of Camp Edge, offering a fun week for its elementary students and the opportunity for alumni to come back to the school as leaders.
The camp is being held this week, July 14 -18, and has 80 participants. This is 30 more than last year, says organizer Jenn Schakelaar.
“Our biggest thing is our outreach,” says Schakelaar, who teaches physical education at the school.
Knox Christian hopes to attract more children who do not attend the school to the camp, as the majority of children who attend are Knox Christian students.
The school advertises for the camp through word of mouth, the school newsletter, bulletins in all local churches and a sign that is a fixture outside the school.
There are many benefits to hosting a summer camp.
“I think it gives the kids a different appreciation of the school because they are coming (into) a non-school setting,” says Schakelaar. “We are very proud of our facility because we’ve worked very hard to build it so using everything that we have is just fantastic for them.”
Schakelaar says this mixing of children is another benefit. The school is just a few houses away from Durham Christian High School, so several alumni come back to be counsellors.
Counsellors are students entering high school or university and are in charge of running small groups with the campers. Leaders in Training (LITs) are Grade 7 or 8 students who help out the counsellors. Campers are entering Grades 3 to 6.
“It’s a whole big learning process and they really do well together, there are tons of co-operative games,” says Schakelaar.
One of the counsellors, Katie, is now attending Redeemer University College and says she enjoys helping out at the summer camp.
“It’s a good opportunity to work with kids, it is a fun way to get involved and encourage them,” she says.
This year the camp theme is Ships Aboard, featuring different water-related Bible stories and activities. Daily themes include adventures on the ship, thinking ship, island day, ships ahoy and find the treasure.
Campers also choose two of six skill-directed activities for the week; carpentry, arts and crafts, sports, games, nature, and music and drama. At the end of the week the children have learned a new skill or completed a project.
There are also daily fun assemblies, a time filled with songs and activities. The counsellors put on skits, which the campers really enjoy, says Schakelaar.
For other Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) members who are interested to run a summer camp, Schakelaar says safety and medical paperwork is the hardest part of the job. She says having a leader who can spend a lot of time organizing and picking out the program is also important.