We all had a strong suspicion that Rosie* was going to turn out to be a great leader. She was just a young believer that first summer she volunteered. What she may have lacked in her knowledge of the Bible, she made up for with her servant’s heart and her teachable spirit.
Her own life experiences helped her relate to many of the campers. When they shared stories of hard times and struggles, she understood all too well, and knew which stories from the Bible with which they would most connect.
Rosie served at the camp for several summers before moving on to find more permanent work. We saw her grow stronger in her faith because of her time serving at Midway Bible Camp (MBC). By the time she left, she was better equipped to face the world. Rosie has since gone on to be a leader in her church and in her community.
*Rosie’s story is representative of many volunteers at Midway Bible Camp
More Than Just a Summer Camp
One of the first things I quickly came to realize after becoming involved in Christian camping ministry is that Bible camp is not just for kids. We certainly give our energy to minister the gospel to the kids that come for a week during the summer. But here at MBC, the training up of leaders has become an important part of the summer, and increasingly integral to year-round programs, like our Serving and Leadership Training (SALT).
After SALT was launched it quickly grew into a weekly discipleship-focused youth group that meets throughout the year in the communities of Thompson, Nelson House, and Split Lake. Through the SALT program, we dedicate time and resources to training and building up young people, and investing in their spiritual lives. Many will come and volunteer at camp during the summer, then go on to jobs elsewhere. But the time, energy and prayers that we pour into the lives of these young Christians often yields enormous returns well beyond their time at camp.
How Building a Bunk Helps Build a Leader
So where does a bunk bed fit into all of this? The purpose of MBC is more than simply having a summer Bible camp experience for kids. Our desire is to grow Christian leaders in the North. Supporting and praying for this ministry is an investment in the lives of young Christians who go on to be salt and light in their own communities. Many of our bunk beds and mattresses have aged significantly to the point that they’re in very poor condition. In addition to being a potential liability, it limits our ministry by requiring us to devote time and resources to ongoing maintenance.
By having safe, comfortable and sturdy accommodations for our campers and staff, it ensures they have an enjoyable camping experience and it frees us from logistical concerns, so we can focus our time on building relationships, discipling and growing those leaders.