I’m Adam. And I’ve been to Camp Assiniboia.

Us Outtatowners spent most of our time together in one spot at Camp Assiniboia from Thursday, 12 September – Sunday, 29. The car ride to the camp, after the canoe trip, was less awkward than on the first day because we bonded in our canoe trip, which is a plus; but because we were split into two separate groups for the canoe trip our leaders wanted to facilitate an inclusive community and tried to ensure that each half of us intermingled with the other half. We had a lot to talk about after our adventures so it was easier to talk with our canoeing friends, even if it meant shouting over the volume of the music and from the back of the van to the front.

At camp we had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to three different guest speakers who gave us insightful information for when we get immersed into the outside world, helping out locally in Winnipeg (and for me, Vancouver), nationally, and internationally when we go to Guatemala. Our first guest speaker was J (Jonathon) Janzen, on the topic of Anabaptist history, which was review for most of us, and then gave us small group tasks so that we could apply some of their methodologies in practical life. The next guest speaker was Gavin Hall, who informed us about religious perspectives and how they play a role in the outside world. We were also lucky enough to have Wendy Beauchemin Peterson come talk to us about the First Nations and their history, focusing on her perspective as both a Christian and a Cree. It is part of the Cree culture to believe in seven generations: the three before you gave you a way to live your life, the fourth generation is yourself in order to live like them, and three generations after you, for you to plan ahead, to prepare the best possible life for them.

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However, we also had a lot of down time at the camp. On the first Saturday we had a group-wide physical fun activity involving three basic games: volleyball, ultimate frisbee and soccer, in a tournament where the winning team would have their dinner served to them. Other nights we also played floor hockey, night-time grounders on the playgroundday we had a group-wide physically fun activity involving three basic and, unique to our boys’ cabin, parkour, after Brenden got stuck in his sleeping bag. We also had a foosball table that was a great place for us to bond as a cohesive group. On our final two nights we did a Outtatown Site 1-wide trampoline activity with special sticky socks at Sky Zone in Winnipeg, followed by watching CMU Men’s Basketball team’s opening home game match – unless you were in the exclusive media committee group, doing fun activities of which you can only dream of. Let your minds explore for that one.

Although we have had three assignments assigned thus far – one that’s been completed (J Janzen’s sessions) and two yet to be completed (The Irresistable Revolution – a ‘fun’ book – and Gavin Hall’s sessions) we have also enjoyed the free moments to go into the city. We’ve been to several different churches on Sundays (options!) and had the awesome opportunity to visit the Forks! If ever you come to Winnipeg you have to visit the Forks!

Stay tuned for our next post!

-Adam

 

 

(insert creative canoeing title here)

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It’s crazy to think that less than two weeks ago the Outtatown students were gathering at CMU and meeting each other for the first time, walking through crowded halls with a hundred other people who all felt just as scared and excited as the next.  Little did we know that in just two weeks we would already feel like a family!

Within the first twenty-four hours we found ourselves in the beautiful Northern Ontario wilderness, paddling through the waves, rain and wind of Shoal Lake.  Being on a canoe trip is something that is quite familiar to me, but setting off on the first of many adventures with half of the people I will be spending the next eight months with was a completely unique experience.  Before we left on our trip, I remember sitting in a circle at Manitoba Pioneer Camp discussing the idea of breaking down barriers.  The next four days, we would experience life without the simple things we take for granted like technology, beds, mirrors, a way of telling time and even toilets.

There were definitely people who were unsure about this, but once we were without our normal luxuries, we realized how much we had been missing.  Without distractions, we began to notice the wild beauty of God’s creation, the beauty in each other and in our newly formed community.  There was beauty in the colourful reflections in the waves, in the sun beams breaking through the clouds after days of rain, in the shrieks of excitement as we jumped off cliffs into the water below, in the insane lightning storm in the distance at night, in the echoes of song across the water, in the exploration of abandoned mine sites, in the winding creek covered in lilies and lily pads, and in the hours of laughter around the campfire.  We even found beauty in the brokenness around us.  And we realized that the intricate web of roots of a fallen tree, while not alive as it should be, was still beautiful.  And that the lonely, abandoned house at the mine site, while vandalized and falling apart, still held treasures for us to find.  And the fact that though each of us grew tired and revealed weakness at some point on the trip, whether it was during a portage or kilometers of strong winds, there was still a beautiful community surrounding us, eager to help one another through the times of challenge.

On the last day of our trip, one of the leaders from Manitoba Pioneer Camp, Chris Milne, mentioned that as we were paddling, there was a point when he realized that the paddle strokes of every canoe around him were perfectly in sync.  There was unity.  And there was a moment on our trip after I had launched myself off of a cliff and was suspended in mid-air that I felt so free and alive.  And it was in that moment that I knew God has some pretty amazing things in store for us this year!

-Willow

Introducing: Our Community Covenant!

Site 1 returned safely from a wonderful canoe adventure this past Thursday. After being reunited (we were split into 2 groups for the trip) we have enjoyed laying the foundation for our community, doing some service work around camp, and simply getting to know one another. It’s looking to be a great year of growth and exploration together.

Our newly-formed media committee will have its first post ready by the week’s end. Until then, I thought we could leave you with our Community Covenant. It’s a statement created by the students, reflecting the hopes and desires for the community as we journey together this upcoming year. We look forward to celebrating the moments of fulfillment, both through plans and surprise.

Enjoy! Tim.

Within a God-centred community we will:

Be vulnerable with each other, striving towards transparency;

Encourage each other to grow in a positive, supportive community;

Make an intentional effort through our words and actions to include everybody for the goal of unity, serving one another selflessly;

Participate fully and challenge ourselves and each other to step outside of our comfort zone;

Accept people for who they are and who they are becoming without passing judgment.

p.s. oh! and here’s a little taste of the view that we enjoyed…

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Greetings from us!

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Vanessa, Jacquelyn, Peter and myself (Tim) are pretty pumped to get this wild adventure started in just a handful of days. This upcoming Sunday we will be heading off to Manitoba Pioneer Camp where we will spend 4 days canoeing and camping. It’s such a great way to kick off the year!

As for us leaders, we’ve been together in Winnipeg for nearly two weeks now, for training and planning. But we have found that training and planning can be quite a lot of fun at times. This past Sunday we went for a lovely tandem bicycle ride through Assiniboine Park before we visited the zoo. Unfortunately we did not see the meerkats, but thanks for your consideration.

All this to say, we’re glad you’re joining us via blog for this adventurous learning experience. We hope to be updating this blog approximately once a week, as internet access dictates.

peace!

Tim