Spontaneous Camp 2017
On Monday, July 10th Young Life's summer camp in southern BC was closed due to a wildfire near the road into camp. But Young Life doesn't give up on teens- we knew we couldn't let them stay home disappointed. Young Life Grande Prairie immediately invited them to checkout the Peace Country. By Tuesday night, some areas had committed to coming and we put out a call for volunteers. On Friday night, over 110 teenagers and adult volunteers from Edmonton and Slave Lake showed up. Spontaneous Camp was on!
This community stepped up in huge ways. With 72 hours notice, over 60 local volunteers came forward. Peace River Bible Institute immediately offered use of their dorms. And many local businesses and organisations came forward to offer events.
In addition to four "Young Life Club" meetings, campers had the opportunity to take part in 12 events. These included an afternoon of adventure at Bear Lake Bible Camp, an epic night of electronica dancing and nerf wars, laser tag, a giant shaving cream fight, a picture with the Stanley Cup, a morning of fun at the Eastlink Centre, and biking and golf courtesy of Nitehawk.
Many teens and adult volunteers made comments like "we had no idea there was so much to do up here." More importantly, they were absolutely stunned by how hospitable this community was. People dropping everything to make this camp happen left an impression. Our campers and volunteers are going home with great stories to tell. Not many communities would open their doors like this.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible. And thank you to everyone who cheered us on! We have an awesome place to live with truly incredible people.
Below are some photos and videos.
We are currently working on a video of our entire camp. Check back in a week. In the meantime, enjoy this footage from the first night of camp.
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Thank you Grande Prairie! When summer camp was cancelled for these kids, you came together to give them a week of memories in the Peace Country. Over 70 people volunteered. Over $10,000 in gifts-in-kind were given. And hundreds more encouraged our people and cheered on kids. They went home telling everyone how great our region is. More important, they left with memories and friendships which will last a lifetime. So thank you!
We had countless individuals who helped. If that includes you: thank you!
We also had the following businesses and organisations step up:
PRBI - Peace River Bible Institute offered up their dorms. Bear Lake Bible Camp staff volunteered to give our kids an afternoon of adventure on their day off. Both these organisations made commitments within hours of our camp being cancelled. Parents would never have sent their kids without their quick offers of help.
Pomeroy Lodging gave our bus drivers complimentary rooms at the Holiday Inn Express. Not having to pay for rooms gave us some money to spend on kids. And having nice rooms was really appreciated by our drivers: this was a tiring trip for them.
Eastlink Centre not only let us use the facility for a morning, but also went above and beyond getting activities open. Wolverines Wheelchair Sports Association partnered to offer our kids wheel chair basketball. And City of Grande Prairie staff were helpful in many other ways.
Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park gave our kids golf and bike lessons in South Bear Creek Park. We also had lots of events in Muskoseepi Park and appreciated the staff's help.
Aaims Logistics, Certek, and Hillbilly Haulin' Ltd came together to provide a hot water truck to clean kids after a shaving cream fight. They expected cold water, this was a "unique to GP" nice touch to our camp.
Town of Sexsmith and Clint Froehlick helped us get one of our best memories: a picture with Carter Rowney and The Cup. Thank you William Vavrek Photography for capturing it.
Grande Prairie Regional College GPRC let us use their gym for games.
Ernie's Sports Experts let us crash food truck frenzie, Ramona's Pizza provided a great lunch, Grande Prairie Church of Christ let us use their facility for meals, and people from Grace Bible Fellowship in Sexsmith was instrumental in getting dishes cleaned.
Pineridge Adventure Camp / Heroes Academy let us use their facility for a great game in the woods.
Laser Tag Central provided all of our campers with a free game.
The Landing - Drop In was a great evening place for our kids to hangout.
McLaurin Baptist Church and Absolute Entertainment provided the facility and equipment needed for an epic nerf war and dance party.
Van Houtte donated coffee to our adult leaders- they needed that to keep up with the kids!
If we missed thanking your business or organisation: sorry. Please let us know: we would love to acknowledge you publicly.
Thank you again Grande Prairie for saving this week for kids.