The first of over 2,000 kids registered this summer to attend the Winkler Bible Camp began their camping experience Monday. Various sessions from day camp, to one week, and two week camps will take place over the next eight weeks.
Camp Director Dale Wiebe said as the kids end their experience at Winkler Bible Camp, he hopes they leave with a very positive experience of community and relationship, along with hearing the Gospel message. "Clear, simple, truthful, not anything past that. Doing that in community and relationships that are healthy and safe, " said Wiebe.
Wiebe said many of their children, and they're seeing it more and more, are coming from very difficult home situations. "The the whole idea of community, trust, and relationships, they come with challenging precepts, and we hope we can break some of those things down."
As they prepare to welcome each child, Wiebe said, more and more, they are working to ensure the staff recognize their important role, to ensure campers have a great experience.
Although the majority of the campers come from Southern Manitoba, Wiebe said they also welcome kids from Western Manitoba, Portage, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and even the United States.
As for staffing, Wiebe said they are always working hard to recruit staff, and right now it looks like they're in a good place. He said the first few weeks of July are always the toughest to fill positions, due to graduation and holidays, but right now, it looks like they have in place what they need. "If we can get the first few weeks in July staffed, then after that, we're usually doing very well."
Meanwhile, Wiebe said this year's campers will be the first to experience the camp's new giant harness swing.
Another new highlight is an expanded petting zoo, which Wiebe says is always a big hit.