A special faith-based community

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

Attending Ontario Mennonite Music Camp at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont., has benefitted me in ways that I never could have imagined when I registered in 2012.

I made some incredible friendships and developed important life skills in my two weeks at camp. I was pretty nervous going into Music Camp, being a beginner musician and not very confident with my singing voice. However, I was quickly comforted by the encouraging counsellors and the kindness of my fellow campers.

I had my first experience singing in a four-part choir at Music Camp, and it paved the way for me to be involved in several choirs following that, which I’ve enjoyed a lot. Music Camp also gave me the chance to develop my public-speaking skills and to become a more confident leader. I have very fun memories of leading chapel services and helping with planning a worship service for the Sunday morning of camp.

More than anything, Music Camp created for me a very special faith-based community that I was able to continue to be a part of for the rest of high school. Through frequent reunions, and also the fact that many of us participated in Menno Youth Singers, I was able to keep in contact with some amazing friends who shared a faith background with me. We were able to connect over our shared values and have productive discussions on our disagreements. This type of community is so important for teenagers going through the formative years of high school. I certainly appreciated it.

Finally, the most recent impact that Music Camp has had on my life is that it steered me towards Grebel, where I’m now studying. If it were not for Music Camp, I might not have ultimately decided to go to Grebel, where I have continued to find a special faith-based community that has helped me grow in my leadership skills, and where I was able to sing in a four-part choir again.

Overall, if it were not for Music Camp, my life would likely be very different than it is now, and I feel very grateful for everything it developed within me. I was also very pleased to be able to return to Music Camp again this past summer to produce a promotional video. It was great to revisit a community that has meant a lot to me over the years.

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

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