BCY Regional Newsletter June 2019

Update from Keats Camps

If you live in the Lower Mainland, you might be fooled by the great weather into thinking that summer is already here, bringing with it visions of heading to the beach, eating ice cream, and another school year behind you.

At Keats Camps, this great weather reminds us that summer is just around the corner, with 8 exciting weeks of camp ahead of us. Under the leadership of our Executive Director, Stan Carmody, and after months of preparation and planning, we are putting the final pieces into place to give campers the best week of their lives! With a wide variety of seatrades (including our high ropes, climbing wall, archery, sailing, and wakeboarding), daily cabin bible studies and camp-wide worship (led by our weekly Speaker), summer treats from Mariners Inn (our tuck shop), and some crazy antics like our giant foam party, campers can expect to have an amazing time at Keats this summer!

The maintenance crew (headed by Gil Fuller, our Facilities Manager), along with a number of volunteers,  are putting a new coat of paint on some cabins, getting the boats ready for summer tubing, and getting the grounds ready for the wild activities we have planned.

Campers will be coming from as near as Gibsons (a 10 minute boat ride across the water from us) and as far as Mexico, Korea, Japan, and Australia, to name a few places. Each week sees a different age group; our Buccies (grades 3-5) and Seafarers (grades 6-7) have three weeks to choose from, our Mariners (grades 6-8) have two weeks, our Explorers (grades 8-12) have two weeks, and our Mini Buccies (grades 2-5) have a three night camp.

Our staff team is coming together under the leadership of Danielle Hume, the Program Director. With a staff of over 100 each week, this is no small feat. But, having spent a number of summers at Keats (as a camper, volunteer and summer staff), Danielle is excited to lead. Our staff positions range from Skippers (cabin counsellors) to Captains (who oversee our program and games) to Waterfront (our lifeguarding team) to media and more.  We rely on a number of summer staff volunteers to make this all happen- and we still have a need for more volunteers, so feel free to talk with Danielle about how you can pitch in this summer to bring an amazing experience to kids lives!

With most camps having a capacity of over 200 kids (our Mini Buccies has a capacity of 81), 40-50  LEAD participants, and a staff of over 100,  that’s a lot of mouths to feed! But, our great kitchen crew (headed by Sharon Rosel, our Kitchen Manager) is up to the task. With a kid-focused and healthy menu, and working along our program team to create cool theme meals, we not only use the beautiful dining room deck, but have outdoor meals in our centre field, and even breakfast in bed one morning!

Our LEAD program has two pieces; if you are in grades 10-11, you can join our 2-week Deckhand program. Structured around getting to know Jesus, servant leadership, and adventure. It is a mixture of learning sessions, work in the dish pit and cleaning bathrooms, as well as a couple group adventures each week to play and enjoy. Although the girls spots are filled, we still have room for more Deckhand boys.

The second piece is the Crew program, for those going into grades 11-12. The Crew program is structured around four weeks: learning practical leadership skills, getting to know different leaders from the Bible, different martyrs and stories of influential Christians, and walking into what life can look like when we live as part of the Church.  We still have lots of room in August for those who want to join in.

Did you know we have camperships available for those for whom the cost of camp is just not in the budget this summer? We partner with Union Gospel Mission locally, plus have some aid that we can provide ourselves. Like many of you, we want every kid to have a chance to experience camp, and finances can be a barrier to that. Please talk with our Office Manager, Shelby Gregg, about what is available, so that we can help you bring your kids to camp this summer! If you are in a position to have a little extra this summer, we also gratefully receive donations towards our campership fund.

Keats Camps still has spots for campers this summer; check out our website (keatscamps.com) to see what is still available and register. We also have waitlists, as spots become available all the time. If you have questions about registration, camp, or just in general, give Shelby a call or drop her a line at info@keatscamps.com

We are thankful for each of you who supports us through prayer, through your local church, financially, and with your time. Thank you!

Update from Zao Ministries

Tulips are blooming, birds are singing, days are long, and the air is warmer. Spring must be here! This season at Zao we are getting excited about our upcoming trips and are starting to plan meals, book campsites, prep gear, etc. This summer we have exciting new programs up for offer. 

Do you ever get the feeling that you are on the edge of something big, but you are just waiting to figure out what the missing piece is? Right now we at Zao have that feeling. We have planned, and prepared, and prayed for a summer where we can offer our own camps and help people experience all the beauty that creation has to offer through whatever outdoor activity suits them. This is the summer, and now we are waiting, and continually praying that this is where we are meant to be, and that the programs would be enticing to those looking to sign up. We don’t know how many of our programs will run, or even if anyone will sign up for them, but we have that feeling that we are on the edge of something big, and we know there are a couple pieces we are waiting to fill to see the full picture. The biggest piece that we know is missing is campers! It is hard to run any programs without participants, and although we know that there is interest, and there are wonderful campers out there, we have not connected with them at the right time. Yet. We would love it if you are interested, or if you get a little twinge in your heart about what Zao offers, to share it with those around you, or get in touch to learn more about what we can do for you or your group to get you out into God’s magnificent creation, whether it is on Vancouver Island, or elsewhere. 


The Zao Team



Surfs Up?!

So what are we planning for this summer? Well for the first time ever (!) we are offering a family camp (June 25-28), the mission of the camp is to hangout with other families, and offer a low stress, easygoing environment for families to relax and hangout while only worrying about having fun. No experience necessary, and there will be activities for little ones beach side while parents and older kids are out in the waves. We are also offering a youth surf camp in July (14-18) for youth that are interested in learning to surf or are already surfers and want to dedicate a week of their summer to having fun an meeting new friends that are interested in the same thing. There are plenty other camps on offer for this summer, you can find out more about what we have scheduled on our website, zaoministries.org.


Another big new trip we have on offer for this summer is a 55+ Kayak retreat August 27-30! Alexis has been making the rounds to churches on the island, and connecting with people on the island, and the one comment she gets every time is that there are no camps for the older population. We have listened, and it is in the schedule! If you are one of the people that has been looking for this type of trip please pass it on and get a group of friends to sign up. We really want this trip to happen, and we think it would be a great annual trip to keep in our rotation if we get enough interest.

Support Our Ministry

Ways that you can support us in the next few months:

Praying for our campers, our staff, and all the families that we will be involved in Zao. 

Talk about Zao, pass our information on to those around you, and pray that we might have a healthy number of registrations this summer, and that we can trust God in knowing what his plan is for us. 

Keep a look out via our social media pages as we develop a page on our website for things that we are in need of to be able to better serve as a ministry. Some things on the list right now would be a small commuter car to use to drive to churches to deliver presentations, and as a second vehicle to leave at trailhead when applicable. secondly we are hoping to invest in new sleeping pads to make sleep more comfortable for our participants, especially the 55+ group.

If you feel like Zao is a ministry you can get behind and you want to be more involved with, please consider joining our board.  Contact board chair, Bill Cotrill for more information. email:bill.fbcport@shaw.ca

We are in need of more regular donors to support our ministry. For more information on how you can support Zao financially please visit the “giving” page on our website. 

If you would like to give support specifically for our guides to help pay their wages contact Alexis for more details. email: alexis@zaoministries.org

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email the BCY office: bcyarea@cbwc.ca