The Community Of Camp

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For the summer, my life consists of learning through service. I am living at the Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp (CLBC) as part of a volunteer staff that allows this miraculous camp to run, year after year.

The atmosphere here is really like none other and I have learned more here than I have in any class for the entire school year. In the past two weeks I have experienced outdoor pursuits from climbing to canoeing. Most importantly, I have grown as a person to have complete confidence in who I am.

The beauty of CLBC, known as Crow, is that it exists for the campers. In its fifty-four years, the camp has never charged a camper to attend. They believe that all children should be able to experience the outdoors and the growth that occurs there.

Crow’s philosophy is that it serves the entire child: their body, mind and soul. Thus we incorporate almost any activity from music to crafts and from adventure to chapel. As staff, we are here so that campers emerge at the end as confident, well-rounded young people.

This year more than 630 campers will be able to have this experience at Crow. The camp starts with eight year olds and continues up to age seventeen combined in three different levels: junior (8-10), intermediate (11-13) and senior (14-17). Campers can attend three different sites at Crow, each administered from the same organization.

The main site has operated from the west shore of Crowsnest Lake since 1956. Most camps run out of this site. It has eight girl cabins, eight boy cabins, a dining hall and kitchen, an indoor hall and other staff accommodations. The mountain site is located on McGillivray Creek and consists of small log cabins and a few trailers for kitchen and bathrooms. The wilderness site or Crow II is a portable site that changes location each year to give variety to its regular campers. Since camping is allowed on Crown Land, there is a wide range of possible locations for this site. At most camps the children are taken on overnight hikes called out trips. The length of these trips depends on the age of the campers: junior is one night, intermediate two and senior even longer.

Other programs run by CLBC are PIT (Personnel in Training) targeting 16-17 year olds and COLTS (Crowsnest Outdoor Leadership Training School) for more experienced youth 18 and up. PIT since 1981 and COLTS since 1987 aim to build leadership and experience in all aspects of camp life, whether physical, mental or spiritual.

Miraculously, this camp continues to not only run, it is expanding all the time. They have decent facilities, solid infrastructure, healthy food and a wide variety of outdoor equipment. Funding is provided almost entirely from personal donations.

CLBC is more than just a summer camp; it is a community. The staff is made up of volunteers and in my opinion this changes the atmosphere drastically. The workers want to be here with a strong desire to build meaningful relationships with the campers and the staff supports each other through every trial. I feel privileged to be a part of this wonderful summer community.

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