Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 30, 2007
Camp Encounter has funds to get back on track
Fr. Mike Mireau
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Lac La Nonne
Camp Encounter is back in business.
Thanks to some significant donations, the archdiocesan camp at Lac La Nonne is ready to roll with its usual slate of fun programs to encourage Christian community and deepen Christian commitment in a natural environment.
The camp was put on hiatus recently because the level of financial support did not make it viable to operate.
"The mood is very positive right now. We're very optimistic about getting things rolling again - even better than they were before," said Father Mike Mireau, pastor of St. Michael's Parish in Leduc.
The camp received a $50,000 donation from the Knights of Columbus Council 1184 and another $25,000 from the Father Leduc Council.
Alta-Fab will donate and install a new kitchen. The old kitchen will either be moved and used as a craft shack, or dismantled altogether.
These large one-time donations have enabled the camp to operate again but Mireau says it's parish and community support that provides the lifeline needed to continue on a long-term basis.
School programs back
"We still have a lot of work to do, but we have reinitiated the fall and spring school programs," Mireau said. "We had to put those programs on hiatus, but they're a go for this fall and spring of 2008."
Camp Encounter runs seven weeks in July and August - well removed from the nearest television - for eight- to 15-year-old campers.
The camp is designed to build community with fellowship, fun activities and evening campfires for reflection.
Summer camp is already receiving registrations. It will start July 8 with Leadership Week, running until July 13, when some 40 to 70 counsellors are trained in a wide range of issues in a Christian setting. They learn, for example, how to manage a group and how to deal with homesick campers. There are two categories: counsellors-in-training for 14- to 15-year-olds and senior counsellors for those 16 to 18.
Camp Encounter has hired a new executive director. Ashley Dixon will manage the camp and keep things moving.
Mireau says he was impressed with the amount of her experience at a young age.
"Ashley is originally from Nova Scotia. She's recently married and only 23 years old.
"But she has been involved with summer camps at least for the last 10 years. She has a vast amount of experience and huge amounts of enthusiasm. She's very creative. She continually comes up with new ways to raise funds.
"Ashley is optimistic and high spirited in nature. But at the same time, she's level headed and sees the big picture. She's a gifted administrator."
An investment in the camp is an investment in the Roman Catholic Church, Mireau said.
"We are trying to maintain the high quality of programming we had in the past. If we can afford it, we would like to increase that quality with more programmers."
Mireau says he is optimistic about where Camp Encounter is headed and that he is looking forward to its future.
For more information about Camp Encounter's summer programs, call 780-967-2548, or visit www.campencounter.com.