The 2019 LYP Adventure Camp saw 32 campers and staff embark on the adventure of a lifetime, journeying by canoe into the boundary waters between the United States and Canada, while five dedicated volunteers maintained a base camp.
The trip began as everyone arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday, July 26, meeting at the home of Camp Director Mr. Michael Kreyer and his wife Kim. Tents for the men were set up outside, then everyone gathered for orientation. After a hearty dinner, Mr. Gerald Weston presented an evening Bible Study titled “Choose to Do the Difficult.” Later in the evening, God treated us to a spectacular thunder and lightning display that lasted for several hours before peace settled over our first night.
Sabbath services were held in Minneapolis, where we were greeted by a thriving congregation with many children. Mr. Weston gave the sermon, “Stand on a Firm Foundation of Faith,” and everyone enjoyed fellowship with the Minneapolis brethren. We were up at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning for an eight-hour bus ride into Canada, where Mr. Marco Manzo met us at Saganaga Lake with boats to transport us and our gear to the remote resort he and his parents, Living Church of God members Marc and Helen Manzo, run on the lake. What a joy, and how exciting it was for us to be there!
After a morning of canoeing instructions and loading up 16 two-man canoes, we set out on Monday afternoon. All went well until we came to aptly named Windy Point, which gave us a significant challenge, as the weather was even windier than normal that day, and three fully-loaded canoes swamped in the swells and whitecaps. Mr. Gerald Weston has written about this in his “Dear Brethren” article for this issue of the Living Church News (on page 1). Wisdom dictated finding an alternative campsite for the night rather than pushing on to the planned site—and in retrospect, we learned a very important lesson: Swamping a fully-loaded canoe when everyone is wearing a life jacket, nearly everything is in waterproof bags, and everything that can be tied down is tied down, is far from the end of the world. It is simply a part of canoeing—you deal with it and move on.
After an early breakfast, each day began with a Bible Study on the theme of this year’s Adventure Camp, “Mighty Men and Women of God.” Mr. Kreyer gave the first Bible Study, and Messrs. Josh Lyons, Garrett Steagall, Matt Lyons, and Marc Arseneault contributed to the daily learning. “That part of the day was really nice—you’re waking up, having your coffee, getting ready to have a good day, and you have a Bible Study about mighty men and women of God,” said staff member Mr. Kyle Wolford. “The big takeaway for me was that you’ve got to be faithful in the little things, and that builds up to what makes you a mighty man or woman of God. Just in your everyday life—‘No, I’m not going to do that on the Sabbath’—or whatever the case is.”
The first day’s forced change of plans affected the remainder of the trip, but the schedule still provided an excellent balance of long days of paddling and time to peacefully appreciate the features of the area. Our crew searched out exceptional campsites, at which swimming and fishing added to everyone’s enjoyment of the program—and the freshly caught fish added to our evening meals. “Just being able to relax and have that downtime was really helpful,” Mr. Wolford said. “It’s not like we just paddled all day, made it to camp, set up camp, had dinner, and went to sleep. We had a couple hours each day, after we got set up, to have that free time.”
We paddled some 12 to 13 miles on our longest day, which was spent in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. While there, we visited a waterfall and a cliffside pictograph, hunkered down until one thunderstorm passed, then successfully out-paddled another.
After a tiring yet deeply fulfilling week of canoeing, we embraced another Sabbath day at the Manzos’ resort on the lake before returning to Minneapolis, then departed for our homes.
These LYP Adventure Camps are always challenging, both physically and mentally—and this year’s camp struck a wonderful balance of challenge and rejuvenation. It truly was an adventure none of us will forget!
Compiled from reports provided by Adventure Camp attendees.