What Jamayca Loves About Camp

Knox Overnight4-194+198

Take the Plunge

Hello, Knox Camps!

Jamayca here, back for a second summer of Knox Camps (I just couldn’t get enough), but this time as your Jr. High Program Director! I am bubbling over with excitement about the next few months, and I’ll tell you why. But first, let’s get acquainted.

I’m a West Coast child, born in Vancouver, BC and raised in the Okanagan. Two years ago, I packed up my belongings and moved here to study at the University of Toronto. After dabbling in the life sciences during my first year, I found a niche that holds me comfortably. I’m now studying Psychology, Education, and French. One day I might teach French Immersion (I say might because I’ve been known to change my mind frequently). I love French toast, hiking, DIY-ing, Ed Sheeran, owls, the colour mint green, and children’s books. If you’re familiar with the children’s ministry at Knox, you probably know me well. I teach Sunday School here and have been a cabin leader at the Jr. High Youth Retreat the past two winters. This June I am heading to Liepāja, a small city in Latvia, with a team of young adults to partner with a Latvian church in leading a musical performance camp for jr. and sr. high school students. This means I get to be a part of not one, but two, camps this summer!

When I became a first-time leader last year, I was not anticipating the life-changing experience that would follow. Nothing could have prepared me for the tangible love and self-discovery that are such prominent features of camp. For leaders and youth alike, it is a place where each person is an essential unit to a greater whole, a place where everyone has needs and is needed. Each staff member and camper brings a unique element to the camp dynamic, and their contribution– that is, simply being there and being themselves— is genuinely appreciated.

We are all precious children of God, designed with the utmost care and attention to detail, but the world often sends a different message. Children and adults alike are told that they are too much, or not enough, or should just be a different way than they are. Here at camp, we disagree. Our leaders understand that someone’s identity is not based in their gender, skin colour, style of dress, academic performance, athleticism, body shape, or any other characteristic that the world claims as being important. Rather, a person’s identity is wholly nestled in one beautiful truth: they are loved infinitely and incomprehensibly by Jesus exactly as they are. What does this mean for the youth and leaders at camp?

It means that everyone has the opportunity to dive deep into who they are, knowing that when they resurface with whatever treasures they have found at the bottom they will be welcomed with joy and encouragement. Camp is like an ocean of self-discovery, and the message is clear:

Take the plunge; the water is warm.

Peace,
Jamayca Whalen
Jr. High Program Director

 

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