Mary Lake is the jewel of Camp Mini-Yo-We. We love the lake we’re on. The views we have from each of our Camps is amazing. The sandy bottom makes it perfect for swimming in. Somehow the sky looks so much bigger and more beautiful when framed by Mary Lake. We don’t take for granted the amazing resource that our lake is to our Camp all year long!
One of the things that make Mini-Yo-We amazing is that each of our Camps has their own lake access through an exclusive dock system. Our camps don’t need to share access to the waterfront. In fact, each individual Camps docks are a resource that get used all the time in our ministry. We sat down to brainstorm just a few ways that our docks get used on a typical day. We thought we’d have just a handful but we had to cut the brainstorming off at 21! Check out all the ways our guests get a chance to use our docks:
- Jump into Mary Lake!
- Sit quietly with friends and chat.
- Practice the J-stroke for your canoeing class.
- Participate in a Bible study.
- Enjoy the sunset.
- Join your cabin mates on an early morning pontoon adventure to try fishing together!
- Take a selfie with your parents on opening day.
- Meet new friends on opening day who are also a little nervous about the swim test.
- Wait for the tubing boat to pick you up for a ride around lake!
- Dip your toes in the lake.
- Watch your friends try sailing for the first time.
- Slide over into a canoe.
- Sunbathe. (With skin health wise appropriate SPF lotion lathered on, of course.)
- Compete in the weekly Belly Flop King Championship!
- Watch the sand castle building competition happening on the shore.
- Cheer your friends on in their swim class.
- Try to sneak up on a pair of Loons swimming through the mist.
- Take a picture of Dead Man’s Island with your photography class.
- Learn to dive like the big kids!
- Take in the amazing fall colours from all sides on a warm September day.
- Did we mention jump into Mary Lake? 😉
We can take for granted how important lake access is to what we “do” at Mini-Yo-We. If you’ve been around Camp for a while it fade into the background and we can forget how special it is. Our docks really are a platform for so many great things that happen in the lives of our campers!
One aspect of this year’s Christmas Campaign is to fund the start of a three year process to completely replace our dock system. We’re going to start at Discovery Camp but anticipate moving to Boys Camp & Girls Camp in the coming years. These new docks will serve us for years! There are four aspects about the new docks that I’m particularly excited about:
- Environmentally Positive // Our new dock system will reduce the impact we have on the lake. We want to go out of way to ensure we’re being a good steward of this resource and we believe now is the time to make this change.
- Conversation Pieces // Our old dock systems weren’t designed to host people hanging and talking with each other. As we’ve watched what actually takes place on them it’s often a group of our campers with a cabin leader chatting. Our new docks will include an octagon that will serve as a meeting place to foster conversation while out on the lak
- “H” Configuration // The new docks at Discovery Camp & Boys Camp in the future will be an “H” configuration like at Girls Camp. This allows us to create a full enclosed shallow swimming area for our youngest campers! With so many “first time lake swimmers” in our programs we want to make sure we have a great space for them to get introduced to Mary Lake!
- Durable Design // We’ve worked with a fantastic dock manufacturer to design a durable system that we know will last us for decades. Some of our neighbours on the lake have been using this system for 15+ years with no damage! We know it’s a wise investment at this point that will save us costs down the road.
Our goal is to replace the docks at Discovery Camp in the spring of 2018. In order to make that happen our manufacturer needs to start making the docks early in the year. A portion of this year’s Christmas Campaign will go towards funding this mission critical area for us. We’re asking you to contribute by December 31st so you can receive a tax receipt for this year, also because that timeline allows us to move forward with confidence with this project in a timely manner.
Our docks are an important piece of our ministry here at Mini-Yo-We. Thank you for helping us to improve them for this year and for years to come!