The Rev. Brett Cane

     
   

            Welcome to “Wednesday Words” our new monthly feature! On the third Wednesday of each month we will be welcoming a Guest Blogger who will have a story to share with you from the world of Day Camps.
          Our first guest is the Rev. Brett Cane. Brett is the INVENTOR of Crosstalk Ministries Day Camps Program, so it seemed fitting to invite him to tell the first story! 
          Over to you, Brett……

The
Origins of Crosstalk Day Camps
Not many people know that Day Camps arose out of
failure in ministry.  Before Day Camps
began in the summer of 1979, I had been involved in another residential
children’s camping venture for seven years. 
I had worked hard with many others to turn the camp around to become a
Christ-centred and Biblically-based camp. 
We had given our lives for that ministry and had seen God work
powerfully.  Then through a variety of
circumstances, the direction of the camp was changed.  It moved away from the direction in which it
had been going and I was devastated – all that work – all that sacrifice – my
heart was broken and I knew I had to move out of that situation and
ministry.  It was then, because I was
studying (theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) and so had time on my hands (!), the
Rev/ John Newton, then rector of Cartierville, suggested we develop a ministry
of children’s day camps. Out of the death of one ministry came the life of
another – which highlights the Biblical principle  of life out of death.
Crosstalk Ministries had just been established as an
evangelical “home mission society” with the Anglican Church to serve
as an umbrella agency under which various exiting ministries could function and
the board agreed Day Camps could proceed with me as director.  I drew together a team of Montreal campers
and staff involved in Youth Camp (later to become Senior Youth Camp) supplemented
by volunteers from the UK, many of whom had been recruited by the Rev. Nigel
Scotland, who then served as chaplain of St. Mary’s Teacher Training College,
in Cheltenham, England, along with some theological students I had recruited
from Wycliffe Hall.  The programme drew
upon models of teaching and evangelism we had experienced in Inter-School and
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and residential Christian camps for children
along with resources from Scripture Union and the Church Pastoral Aid Society
in the UK.  Other elements, such as lamb
– the creation of Lauren Aslin – came from members of that first group of
volunteers as we went along.  The first
“manual” was three sheets of paper! 
The first camp was held in June of 1979 at St. Peter’s Church, Town of
Mount Royal, which served as a training week and then branched out to six other
parishes in the Montreal area with two teams. 
Some early Day Camps even involved a “youth ministry option”
in the evenings (which was later dropped to focus primarily on the children).
Day Camps caught on very quickly in the early 1980’s and grew rapidly under the
leadership of directors Charles Morris, Grant LeMarquand and Vina Sweetman in terms of parishes, children
and volunteers involved.