In the last week of August, as most people at Camp Mini-Yo-We were packing up after two months of summer camp, the 2023-24 interns were gearing up for a busy fall season!
Our eight-month internship program is aimed at gap-year students aged 17 to 23. We focus on leadership skills, personal development and spiritual growth in an encouraging community at Camp. This year, we welcomed ten amazing young leaders to our program: five international interns and five Canadians. As the summer ended, we began training and team building. The interns learned how to host groups and support our Food Service and Facility teams.
Current intern Sophia Millar: “The internship is a great opportunity if you want to spend a gap year in a Christian community, to grow in your faith and to work hard while learning new skills.”
Our internship program develops leadership skills through teaching activities, group management and hosting guests. This fall, interns have had the opportunity to serve school groups of all ages including home schools and universities, as well as youth, men’s and women’s groups . Interns ran activities such as archery, high ropes, ziplines, team-building games, pedal go-karts, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.
Current intern Hannah Schensema: “I have loved working with the groups, especially when we get to know the students and lead them on different activities, challenging them to step out of their comfort zones”
Interns have also taken part in weekly Bible studies led by year-round staff members. This fall, they’ve been covering the basics of the Christian faith by taking part in the Alpha course. This included a day away at Ontario Pioneer Camp to focus on the Holy Spirit. It was a great time of reflection, teaching and prayer. Thank you to OPC for allowing us to use your facilities!
On their two days off each week, interns travelled around Ontario. The group enjoyed some amazing hikes and the fall colours in Algonquin and Arrowhead Provincial Parks. They even went to Toronto to watch a Toronto Raptors game and headed over the border to take in a Buffalo Bills game.
Camp plans intentional teaching moments throughout the internship program. Each month, we take two or three days to pour into training on leadership or discipleship. So far this year, we’ve enjoyed a canoe trip to High Falls in Bracebridge, we’ve had sessions on taking a Sabbath and reflective prayer, and also dug into the interns’ DISC personality profiles and spiritual gifts. The areas of development we cover are based on the years of experience we have running the program. We encourage personal growth and knowledge for interns as well as service – both here at Camp and as they step into the world.
Hosting guest groups at Camp is the internship program’s primary opportunity for service; however, they also use their talents and gifts to bless others away from Mini-Yo-We. Twice a year, the interns get involved in other ministries. Just a couple of weeks ago, our interns served in Hamilton with the Men’s Street Ministry, helping to pack up Christmas gift boxes and going out onto the street to hand out hot food.
Current intern Ann-Kathrin: “I enjoyed preparing food for…people, seeing them smile and being so grateful when we gave them warm food.”