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February 22, 2017 | Focus on camping | Volume 21 Issue 5
Andrew Zettel, Special to Canadian Mennonite

The summer of 2016 was one the most memorable summers of my life.

When the opportunity to work as a camp counsellor first came up, I was admittedly a little apprehensive. Having never counselled before, I was unsure of what to expect. What I experienced, however, was nothing short of spectacular.

Although it’s likely been said before by others, Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp near New Hamburg, Ont., is a truly special place. Very few workplaces offer the opportunity for employees to work and live in such close proximity. And yet, at Hidden Acres everyone is able to collaborate effectively because of a shared set of values and a genuine concern for each other’s well-being. Over the course of the summer, I always felt so supported—as a counsellor, as a young adult and as a Christian.

I was also so blessed to work with a variety of young campers. These kids sometimes have boundless energy and an insatiable curiosity, which is inspiring to everyone around them.  Watching my campers canoe for the first time, work together to pitch a tent or sing songs of praise during Focus, gave me clear confirmation that the work I was doing was very meaningful.

It’s safe to say my summer at Hidden Acres proved to be an unconventional work experience, particularly for a University of Waterloo co-op student.  But the growth I experienced, coupled with many happy memories and new friendships, made last summer very special. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Andrew Zettel was the boys’ inclusion counsellor at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp in 2016.

Other Focus on Camping stories:
Camp farm program invites delight in God’s creation
The beauty in difference
I can’t wait for summer’
Peace Camp 2016 was a huge success!
A front-row seat
A special faith-based community
Silver Lake takes steps to deepen faith formation

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