Camp Arnes says that while their camp changed overnight, they still saw children connect with Jesus in meaningful ways this summer.
Audrey Hicks, Director of Training and Education, says, "It went pretty good considering the fact that we kind of pulled it together last minute and changed everything."
Camp Arnes had a family camp model this summer due to the pandemic. Instead of just inviting kids to sleep over at camp for a week which was not allowed, the camp invited families to come stay for a few days in their own tent or trailer. This kept everyone safe in their own spaces while still enjoying the camp atmosphere.
Hicks says, "The kids liked it. I know for some it wasn't the same as the overnight. But for some it was their very first time going to camp."
It's a Christian Bible camp located on Lake Winnipeg, just over an hour drive north of Winnipeg.
"We still ran our same type of programming so the kids did the activities. We also had our 'Lighthouse Time' which is singing and a speaker. Then the campers were still able to connect with what we call their 'cabin leaders' to talk about what was shared during that time. It really was no different, just condensed," says Hicks.
While campers stayed a shorter time, as there were fewer kids, the one-on-one time produced greater connection, according to Hicks.
"We had less numbers, there were 50 in the day camp. There was time that could be spent in a way that, when you have 250 kids, it doesn't happen."
On top of deep connections with the campers, work around the facility was able to be accomplished this summer.
"We had a pile of good things come up. Work projects that we would never have the time to get done, we've been able to get done."
Camp Arnes usually runs events all year round. While this fall will be different, Hicks mentions that with recent announcements, their rooms can now hold 50% capacity concerning adults, instead of just one. A room that can hold eight physically will be able to house four adults this fall.
Whatever the year ahead brings, Hicks says, "It's all about the people."