Family Camp Memories
As a family, we love the spiritual aspect of this camp and how well it is incorporated into the camp lifestyle. It is a very positive environment for the children, and the leaders are wonderful role models for the children as they are positive, cheerful and in touch with God and their spiritual side. "It's cool to love God" seems to be the message that the kids come home with. They have a wonderful time at camp and the predominant reason is the leaders, the children really bond with them.
Pioneer was well spoken of by other families we knew who had attended in previous years, in many cases for 10+yrs. Pioneer Camp won our respect and high regard through the attention to camper/staff ratio and attention to small details that make each year's camp experience fun and safe for the kids.
On the Dumoine River, soloing a boat in some rapid, a girl was displaying all the skills she had learned while being at Woodland Challenge. Some civilians passed down the portage trail, stopped to marvel at the mastery of this 15 year old girl taking on water they wouldn't think to enter. In recognition, they applaud her from the shoreline and across her face crept an ear toear grin of pride along with a little embarrassment.
Beat the Summer Heat
After a week of swimming lessons, a camper who was initially afraid to swim in the lake (she didn't like that she couldn't see the bottom), woke up early one morning mid-session and with some encouragement from her camp director, some lifeguards, her chalet leader and ALL her chalet-mates, she 'uped' her red lanyard to a green one. She now can't wait for Free Swim/Boats Out and is constantly jumping off the towers, jumping on the trampoline and splashing in the shallow end
"My daughter says that her best memory is the first time she went to Pioneer Camp and how welcome everyone made her feel. She wants to be a leader one day so she can make kids feel that comfortable too."
The Diving Tower
Keith had come to camp from a foster care situation, and at the start of camp, he wanted to be anywhere but Pioneer. Everything was stupid, and boring, and regardless of what we were doing, he was unwilling to participate. But his leader, a long-time Pioneer guy named Neil, patiently listened to him, spent time with him, and invited him to participate. It was amazing to see what a little love can do in the life of a camper. Keith gradually warmed up to Pioneer and to people and began participating in activities, and by the end of the week, he could hardly contain his enthusiasm. While I was life guarding on the dock on the last afternoon of camp, I heard a familiar voice say, "I gotta go talk to my buddy Mike." It was Keith, and he wanted me to watch him jump off the high diving tower. It's amazing what a difference caring and listening can make.
Pioneer has been just the most wonderful experience for our son. Each year he has grown as a person from the camp experience. He particularly likes the quality of the camp staff and the Christian foundation on which the camp exists. He has learned a greater sense of community, tolerance for others, confidence in himself, greater appreciation for his own family and life situation, understanding of his place in the world and his personal commitment to life as a Christian
The activities were amazing. My son loved all the games as well as sailing and mountain biking. The organization of the camp such as registration and first day are reassuring. Being a Christian camp is also a must. But you can get this in lots of places. The reason we come back, the reason I save for 10 months is the relationship between the staff and my son. Everyone, his chalet leader, his activity leader and the leaders all around set a tone of love, acceptance and positive discipline. These positive male role models are something that will have a lasting impact.