Hello Readers, It is time for the November “Wednesday Words” Post.
Today our Guest is Laura Hamilton and although she doesn’t mention it in the post, I want to say that she was also one of our excellent CTM Secretaries, along with all her other involvement  with the Ministries.I’m sure you will enjoy this latest blast from the past!!
Welcome Laura…




I was first introduced to Day Camps 25 years
ago, as a parish helper.  Prior to this,
I had no church involvement (and certainly did not have a relationship with
Jesus), but I decided to help out simply because I liked little kids and
because a friend told me that it would be a fun way to spend a week.  Little did I know what I was getting
into!  In the subsequent years, I
participated in Day Camps as a parish helper, a travelling team member, and a
Training team leader.  Day Camps is also
what connected me to the wider ministries of Crosstalk (Senior Camp, Focus,
Crossroads), in which I was deeply involved for many, many years. 
When I think of how Day Camps has influenced my
life, there are three main areas that come to mind.  Faith formation; personal relationships; and
Christian instruction.  Regarding Faith
Formation, as mentioned, prior to Day Camps I had not set foot in a church
since my baptism!  I had not met Jesus, the
Bible was unknown to me, and prayer was a foreign concept.  Day Camps was my first exposure to the love
of Jesus and His desire to change my life. 
While I do believe that He would have
found me
one way or another, Crosstalk is certainly where we met and where our
relationship began.  During my time on
Travelling Teams, I learned to trust God and to lean on Him in the far reaches
of the Gaspe Peninsula – and saw the wonderful fruits that will come when we
hand ourselves over to Him!
My time on travelling team is also where I met
friends and forged relationships, many of which have been maintained over the
past 25 years.  Not only does Day Camps
teach you to rely on Jesus, but being on a small team together, travelling the
country, requires that you learn to rely on each other.  What a gift that is!  My understanding of what it means to be a
part of a team
appreciating
each others
strengths
and gifts, respecting other perspectives, challenging each other, building each
other up, having FUN together!
this has its origins in my time on travelling teams, and I have
always remained grateful for that.
Finally, Day Camps was hugely influential in
teaching me how to teach children about Jesus. 
Being a Day Camp team member is not just about singing A-La-La-La-La,
telling Baaaad Lamb jokes (hee hee!) or even about leading devotions.  These are important, and do make up the Day
Camp experience.  But I think that the
most important thing I learned from Day Camps is the small ways in which our
actions model the love of Jesus to kids. 
Making sure the shy little Scrambler feels just as much a part of the
morning presentation as the exuberant Pathfinder.  Ensuring that every child feels encouraged,
and never shamed, in their participation. 
Getting on our knees and acting ridiculous to show the kids that it is
okay for THEM to have fun!  Everything to
relay that Jesus loves them and rejoices in their presence!  As I now have my own children and have taken
on a leadership role in Sunday School at our church, these are the things that
I am working to pass on to others
and while I have gone on to do multiple degrees in social work and
child development, when I am in that Sunday School room it truly is what I
learned in Day Camps, more than any lecture hall, that I draw on.  My husband (Greg – also a Day Camp alumni!)
and I regularly debrief the morning
s
church service or Sunday school session, and almost always talk about it in the
light of what we learned doing Day Camps

that we are still doing this more than 20 years after
the fact is a clear indication of how influential this experience has been! 

May the Lord continue to bless Day Camps, and
generations of children through it!