Top 8 reasons to send your kids to summer camp

Are you scratching your head trying to find fun activities to keep your kids busy this summer? Or maybe you are looking for meaningful experiences for your kids where they will learn and grow. Why not send them to camp?


Here are the top 8 reasons you should send your kids to summer camp:

8. Your kids will grow in independence.

In a new environment, kids get to take risks and test their abilities in a supportive and safe place. They grow confidence in taking on challenges on their own.

7. Your kids will make new friends.

Kids not only make new friends at camp, they also learn how to relate to others who are different from them. They learn how to work through conflict with others in their cabin, how to encourage others in overcoming challenging activities, like sailing or horseback riding.

6. Your kids will try new activities.

It’s time to broaden their horizons! Some activities, like horse-back riding, canoeing, or mountain-biking, aren’t readily available in the city. Camp is a great place to try new activities with the help of certified and knowledgeable instructors.


5. Your kids will get outside and get active.

Instead of sitting with their electronic devices, kids can run around, get some fresh air, and develop healthy lifestyle habits. They also learn to appreciate the beauty of nature and all the little quirky creatures that they find outside.

4. Your kids will learn about themselves.

Their self-awareness grows as they have new experiences and are helped to reflect and look within. Camp is a safe environment for kids to learn to express their emotions and become sensitive to the feelings of others; camp gives kids space to grow their emotional intelligence.

3. Your kids will grow in their relationship with God.

Camp is a place where experiential learning happens, including in the realm of faith. Kids not only have a safe place where they can ask spiritual questions, they also get to see and experience faith values lived out every day at camp by their peers and leaders.

2. Your kids will develop leadership skills.

From learning to clean up a tent or cabin, to lining up to use the shower, to leading a silly song – these are the beginnings of leadership that can grow and mature over time. Camp develops leadership skills that will be useful in school and in the workplace as kids grow older.

1. Your kids will be mentored by older leaders.

Whether it’s a staff member, volunteer, or leader-in-training, your kids will be mentored by older leaders. When campers leave camp, they often rave about the leaders they had – older people who have valued them and helped them make the most of their time at camp.

There are nine spectacular Inter-Varsity Camps across Canada. Choose the one that best suits the kids in your life by visiting our camps.


Have you signed your kids up for camp this summer? What’s YOUR top reason for sending them to summer camp? Share with us in the comments below!

Celebrating the life of Yvonne Woods

“With the passing of Yvonne Woods, we say farewell to a faithful partner and significant contributor to the story of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada,”  says President Geri Rodman.

Yvonne, the widow of former Inter-Varsity Canada General Secretary C. Stacey Woods, died on Monday, April 7, 2014 at the age of 98. Throughout her life, she was actively committed to student ministry in Canada and around the world through the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES).

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, April 15 at Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA.  The service begins at 11 a.m. EST and can be viewed via podcast. Her remains will be buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto at a later date. For more details on the service scroll to the end of this story.

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Inter-Varsity Canada President Geri Rodman with Yvonne Woods at the 80th anniversary of the Canadian movement.

Yvonne Katherine Richie grew up in Toronto in a home where Inter-Varsity’s ministry was greatly supported.   Her mother, Joyce Ritchie, directed Girls’ Camp at Ontario Pioneer Camp and served on the camp committee in the 1930s. Inter-Varsity staff worker and Order of Canada recipient Cathie Nicholl lived with the Ritchies when both women were in their teens.

Yvonne was a student leader in Inter-Varsity’s University of Toronto chapter in the early 1930s, reporting to the board in 1934 that prayer meetings on campus continued even through exams. When Stacey fell in love with Yvonne, he offered to resign from his position as General Secretary, concerned that the organization would not be ready to support a married couple. The Inter-Varsity board quickly welcomed Yvonne as Stacey’s partner and refused his offer of resignation.

Yvonne and Stacey married in 1938, beginning a life-long partnership in student ministry. Stacey would often refer female students to his wife, believing it best that males be counselled and discipled by males and females by females. Together they led many students to Christ and mentored many more to faithful discipleship in Jesus Christ.

Even when Stacey and Yvonne left Canada, the couple continued to be connected and supportive of student ministry here.   When Stacey passed away in 1983, Yvonne continued her active interest and support of Inter-Varsity and IFES.

Yvonne rarely missed an opportunity to celebrate milestones and important events with Inter-Varsity in Canada. She was a special guest at both our 60th and 80th anniversaries and at the IFES World Assembly held in Canada in 2007.

When introducing Yvonne at the 6oth anniversary celebrations, Inter-Varsity Canada staffworker Cathie Nichol commented that the Woods’ “combined teamwork in the student field was just tremendous. Stacey would start one thing after another and he was ably supported by Yvonne.”

“With Yvonne’s death,” said Geri Rodman, “a chapter of our history, going almost back to the beginning of our ministry, comes to a close. But the legacy left by both Yvonne and Stacey continues today as we see young people committing their lives to Jesus Christ.”

Read a tribute from IFES General Secretary Daniel K. Bourdanné here.

For details on the memorial service, click here.



Top 10 Reasons from a 10-Year Mark Camp Veteran

Students studying scripture at one of our Mark camps

Students studying scripture at one of our Mark camps

by Communications writer Elsie Lee.

I remember clearly saying “yes” 10 years ago to attend the first Mark Camp in Ontario. I had just finished my second year at the University of Waterloo – I burned out after a semester on leadership with another campus fellowship, I ended a dysfunctional dating relationship, and I had nothing to lose when my friend Grace from the University of Toronto invited me to go to a week of Bible study with Inter-Varsity. So I said yes.

I have never regretted that yes. My feeble little “yes” began the journey that our every “yes” to following Jesus takes us on. In my years as both learner and teacher at Mark Camp, I have lived and breathed the story of Mark – the walks around the lake, the storms, the questions, the parables, the feedings, the cross, the resurrection…. Life with Jesus is incredible – incredibly challenging and joyful. It is filled with suffering, joy, pain, doubts and fears. It is by no means easy, but oh, it is so Good.

This will be my tenth Mark Camp in 10 years. I keep going back because studying the life of Jesus with a bunch of people for a week is amongst the most life-giving things I have experienced… along with lactose-free sour cream.

So take it from a 10-year Mark Camp veteran – say “yes”.

Top 10 reasons you should go to Mark Camp (register here):

10. It’s a good deal! $400 for 40 hours of instruction, that’s $10/hr! Not to mention a clean bed, three meals a day plus lots of snack food, camp activities (see #7), and oh yeah, life-changing stuff.

9. You’ll make new friends from other campuses. Who knows, maybe you will find your new BFF over your favourite colour of highlighter or your pre-study stretching ritual.

8. You’ll get in on the secret… 

7. You’ll experience a week at camp – kayaking, rock climbing, making art. But for grown-ups.

6. You’ll worship with a diverse group of people – from different schools, fellowships, countries, cultures, abilities and languages. A little taste of heaven.

5. You’ll receive prayer. You know that question you’ve been mulling over all year. Come work it out.

4. All your friends ARE going. The power of peer pressure is pretty strong.

3. Your summer job CAN wait a week. Ask your boss to start a week later, there’s no harm in trying. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. But they haven’t said no yet!

2. Your summer course CAN start without you. If it’s a semester long class, you will miss one lecture, usually the one where you get the course syllabus and get out early.

1. The only way to find out how good it is – is to go see for yourself.

Glimpses from my 10 years of Mark Camp (previously City/Script):