Every spring, Mini-Yo-We hosts a special Open House on the last Sunday in May. This year’s event was a smashing success! The weather was amazing, as it is every summer at Camp! Our team loved hosting the many families from across Ontario who wanted to check out Camp before the summer gets started. I personally love days like this because I have the privilege of interacting with lots of campers’ parents! As I reflected back on those conversations, I began thinking about the deep motivations that drive us to send our kids to Camp. I think there are a number of hidden or secret reasons behind why we choose to do this. I’ve tried to capture some of those reasons here, but I would love to hear from you about your motivations for sending your kids to Mini-Yo-We.
- Ten Summers Go by Really Fast // At Camp Mini-Yo-We we serve kids aged 5 to 15. That’s only 10 summers in a young person’s life! These years go by so quickly, and parents who have chosen to send their kids to Mini-Yo-We know that these formative years are so important. Our children will only be young once, and they only have this short season of their lives to create lifelong childhood memories. Parents who send their kids to Mini-Yo-We know that they don’t want to put off until next year what their kids could experience this summer.
- Leadership Development Starts Young! // Our mission and “big idea” at Mini-Yo-We is to develop tomorrow’s leaders through life changing adventures in God’s creation. While we do spend a lot of time and energy developing our older campers and staff as leaders, parents know that the process of becoming a leader starts when a child is very young. Even at the age of 5, when a child is away from home for the first time they develop emotional resilience. When they are little older and learn a new skill, they gain confidence that will be planted deep within them. Finally, when they get the chance to lead other campers just a few years younger than themselves, those initial steps towards leadership will teach them invaluable lessons. The best time to plant an oak tree was 40 years ago; the second-best time is today. The same is true of developing leadership in your kids. The best time to start them on a leadership journey is when they are young!
- Teaching Your Kids to Love the Outdoors is Invaluable // Being outdoors is at the very heart of what we do, which is why it makes up the last part of our “big idea”! In fact, we’ve developed our facilities over the years to encourage our campers to be outside as much as possible. Mini-Yo-We parents love this emphasis on spending time in the outdoors. In an age when kids are increasingly living digital lives the simple pleasures of being outside is an amazing experience! Whether it’s enjoying the sound of birds singing in trees or dangling your legs off the end of a dock or celebrating when you get a windsurfer up for the first time, adventures in God’s creation come in all kinds of forms! Because our campers develop this love of the outdoors so early it becomes a habit and pattern in their lives. What a great gift for our kids!
- Soft Skills Are “Caught” at Camp // A recent University of Waterloo study found that campers who attend summer camps like Mini-Yo-We showed exceptional personal growth in the following five areas: social integration and citizenship; attitudes toward physical activity; self-confidence and personal development; environmental awareness; and emotional intelligence. [ref] Mini-Yo-We parents know that these soft skills are taught through time at Camp. In fact, those skills are often “caught” as our campers live in community with our staff and other campers. We know that as people grow and develop it’s often these soft skills that determine so much about the quality of a person’s life. Many of our alumni talk about how the lessons they learned at Mini-Yo-We have impacted their life for decades to come. Mini-Yo-We parents know that the soft skills our campers develop through their Camp experience will stay with them for years and years to come!
- Summer Traditions Bond Families // Finally, Mini-Yo-We parents who have been coming to Camp for years know that the summer tradition of coming to Camp becomes a vital part of their family life. The rhythm of getting ready for Camp and the building anticipation is a fun part of a family’s summer. The actual trip to Camp often takes on similar patterns year after year as families develop traditions every time they make the drive to Mini-Yo-We (can anyone say Webers?!). For many parents we even become like an extended part of their family. Seeing Camp friends again and catching up on what has happened over the last year grounds our kids in sense of community. Even if families move cities they often come back to Mini-Yo-We, which gives their kids a deep sense of continuity amidst change in other areas of life. This sense of tradition only magnifies for the families that have been coming to Mini-Yo-We for generations. There’s something amazing about going to the same camp that your grandparents (or even great-grandparents) did! This sense of family connectedness over an extended time is priceless!
Are your kids coming to Mini-Yo-We this summer? Fantastic! Our team is looking forward to serving them.
Have you not yet registered for this summer? Why not?! Space is limited, and programs are filling up. Register today or reach out to the office with any questions.