8 Ways We’re Serving our Summer Staff this Year at Camp Mini-Yo-We

Rich BirchBlog

This week the bulk of our summer staff arrive on-site and we begin the final countdown to our first campers arriving on July 7th. This marks the beginning of the 73rd summer of ministry at Camp Mini-Yo-We. We are so excited to serve all of the guests that will arrive on our property in the coming weeks!

While we can’t wait to be with our campers, we are also fired up to serve our summer staff team. Our mission at Camp Mini-Yo-We is to develop tomorrow’s leaders through life-changing adventures in God’s creation. We see the care and development of our summer staff at the centre of that mission.

Every one of our summer staff could have chosen to work elsewhere this summer, but instead they decided to join our team. We’re honoured they made that choice and so we want to go out of our way to serve them.

Serving at Camp Mini-Yo-We is so much more than a job; it’s a chance to invest in your own development.

Here are just eight of the ways that we’re giving back to the next generation of leaders who are serving with us this summer. (Does your job at the local burger joint do anything like this for you?)

  • Development Plan // Every team member at Camp Mini-Yo-We is part of a larger development plan we’re working through as an organization. Every summer staff member that serves with us is serving in a development focused context. We’re asking our leaders to leverage every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow their leadership capabilities. Our goal is to not just have the days roll by but to slow down and ask how we can be better leaders in light of what we’re experiencing.
  • Leadership Conference // Most camps in Ontario have less than a week of staff training before their campers arrive. Not Mini-Yo-We! We take an extra week to train our staff on what it means to be leaders within the context of Camp but more importantly what it takes to be leaders in the rest of their lives. Our Mini-Yo-We Leadership Conference is an annual highlight for our team. Each year we gather leaders from a variety of places to challenge our staff to stretch their own leadership. We’re excited for this year’s Leadership Conference keynote speakers :
    • Mike Gordon // Mike is considered one of the most booked speakers in North America as he has had the opportunity to speak and share Jesus around the world over the past 15 years. Whether it’s travelling to small towns throughout the country or speaking in cities like Jerusalem, Mike has spoken over 2500 times during that span. Today, Mike speaks in small group settings to large festivals with tens of thousands of people while teaming up with the likes of Nick Vujicic to Hillsong along the way. He currently speaks under Youth for Christ Canada, as well he has started and leads a Young Professional community of almost 500 people in London, Ontario called 2230.
    • Joanne Lafleur // Joanna is a co-host and Bible teacher on a nationally televised Christian talk show called “See Hear Love” thataddresses diverse topics like Christian living, human trafficking, poverty, pop culture, and relationships. She’s a sought after speaker, writer, television host, and creative consultant. We’re excited to have Joanne challenge our leaders to express themselves in a world looking for a message that resonates!
    • John McCauley // John is the CEO of Muskoka Woods, and his creativity and ingenuity propels the Muskoka Woods vision forward. He has an extensive background in the camping industry and experience in organizational leadership. He serves as a lead facilitator of The Leadership Studio at Muskoka Woods. An adult learner, John recently expanded his credentials in organizational leadership by completing his certification as an Adler Trained Coach. We’re thankful to have John’s world-class leadership challenge our team this summer!
  • Counselor on Site // We know it is also important for us to steward the interior lives of our leaders. Once again this summer, we will have a professional counselor available on-site for our staff to meet with. Whether something challenging comes up over the course of the summer or if there are issues from the rest of their world they’d like to process, our counselor is ready to meet with them. We fund this resource for our summer staff and like any professional counselor, privacy is ensured.
  • Dedicated Lounge Space & Staff // One of the best buildings at Mini-Yo-We is the Muskoka Hall. This summer it will be dedicated to our summer staff team and adult volunteers as a place to go on their time off. Not only will our team be able to get some great coffee and have a quiet spot to relax away from the hustle and bustle of Camp life, but we also have a group of pastors and caring adults who are available all day long to serve our staff team. These volunteers are part barista and part “aunt” or “uncle” ready to help our staff in any way they can. Muskoka Hall is a fantastic place of rest for our summer staff!
  • Community Bible Challenge // This summer we will be challenging our staff to read through the entire New Testament in 40 days. We will be giving our cabin leaders a dedicated 30 minutes a day with no other responsibility but to read the passages. We are providing the text in multiple formats to make it as easy as possible to read, including downloadable mp3s so they can listen to the passages! We’re doing this challenge because we want our staff to catch the “meta-story” that is told in the New Testament. Too often we read the Bible in small “bite-sized” chunks and we miss the overarching message. The goal of the Community Bible Challenge is to encourage our team to get a better sense of what is being said throughout the entire New Testament. We are committed to helping our staff build positive habits in this area and develop the skills they need to continue making Bible study a consistent part of their lives beyond the summer. In fact, we’re committed to continuing to offer resources and support our staff in this area in the fall through an online community! Our team has some fun stuff planned to make this a great challenge for our entire community to participate in!
  • Mid-summer Staff Party // In the middle of the summer we’re throwing a thank you party for our team! This Saturday evening event will include a killer meal, some fantastic music, and fun activities as our way to show appreciation to our entire staff team. We know the summer goes by quickly, but at Camp it can seem to drag on in those middle weeks. So we’re setting aside some time to help our team have a great break in the middle of all the action!
  • Summer’s End // We want to help our summer staff take what they’ve learned during the summer and apply it to the rest of their lives. At the end of the summer we’ve planned four days for our summer team relax with friends, reflect on what they’ve learned, and begin to apply those lessons to other areas of their lives. These few days are so much fun and really are the perfect end to the summer. We’ll all have a chance to try activities around Camp that we haven’t had a chance to experience all summer long. We’ll also host some very special worship and teaching times for our team. This year we’re honoured to have Ben Carbonne from MCI Church in Montreal challenging our staff to take what they’ve learned into the rest of their lives!
  • Other Perks // We’re always looking for small ways to make the lives our summer staff better. This summer we have some other small perks that our team are bound to enjoy!
    • Increased Tuck Discount // We’ve increased our summer staff tuck shop discount to 20%! Plus we’re doing a killer sale at the beginning of the summer so our team can load up on their favourite gear before things get rolling!
    • Iced Coffee! // Once again, we’ll be serving the occasional free iced coffee to our summer staff as a small thank you for their service!
    • Staff Shirt // Everyone loves a good staff shirt! We’re thankful for everyone that chooses to serve with us, and our staff shirt is like the uniform of a high-performance team. By putting it on you’re saying you are willing to be a part of this team!

We’re looking forward to the summer of 2019! Our team has been hard at work all year long preparing for it. Thanks to all the summer staff who have chosen to serve with us this year!