Children play outdoors at camp

Seeds of Hope in Bloom: Camp (is) Awesome!

Making the Jump

Among the rural community of Chelsea, QC, there was a desire to create an experience of church for local children, to provide youth with leadership opportunities, and to try bilingual ministry. “Offering Camp Awesome was a risk in the budget,” says Rev. Natalie Matkovsky of Grace United Church. “Seeds of Hope helped us make the jump.” She’s referring to their decision to host a bilingual faith-based summer camp through the United Church Camp Awesome program. So, they partnered with a local Anglican congregation and applied for a Seeds of Hope grant from the United Church of Canada Foundation. Upon receiving their grant “As small, rural churches, the grant also gave a boost to congregational morale.” Without a doubt, Seeds of Hope grants help make United Church camps possible!

A Surprising Response

Camp administrators were initially surprised by the demand for a French language children’s ministry in their English-speaking churches. They quickly realized, however, how much of a benefit this was for the children in their communities. The community responded to the camp with much excitement and enthusiasm. “21 children registered, as well as 3 teen helpers and 5 young adult leaders. For our small churches, this [is] enormous!” says Rev. Matkovsky. Having bilingual offerings allowed the children to practice their language skills, feel a sense of belonging, and build meaningful connections. One English-speaking parent was delighted that her daughter could practice speaking French at camp, as they were starting at a French language school. Some of the campers spoke limited English and having French in camp allowed them to participate fully. “Interest in French’s children’s ministry was invisible to us until we offered the program and tried it,” says Rev. Matkovsky.

Creating Opportunities, Building Leaders

Teens and young adults fully embraced the leadership opportunities that the camp offered. As camp counselors and leaders, they succeeded in creating a welcoming community for their campers. They were empowered to mentor the younger children, creating a warm environment where many wonderful memories would be made. “It was all silly, so much fun, and a great way to build community together… in both languages!” says Rev. Matkovsky.

Seeds of Hope

The United Church of Canada Foundation offers a wide variety of different grant opportunities for United Church of Canada organizations and individuals to bring life to the mission and values of the United Church. These grants are a part of the stewardship of our trusts and endowments, made possible by the generosity of donors to the Foundation and the United Church of Canada.

Make United Church Camps Possible!

Make United Church camps possible. Sun streaming through forest trees. 

Support the Foundation's Camping Trust.
April 23, 2023 is Camping Sunday. Let’s make United Church camps possible!

United Church camps are places for families and young people to create community and strengthen relationships with one another, with Creation, and with God. However, like many ministries, budget cuts, aging facilities, and economic uncertainty impact their work.

Many camps turn to the Foundation for support to modernize and upgrade their facilities, create engaging new programming, and welcome campers of all backgrounds. Seeds of Hope grants help make United Church camps possible!

Each granting round, we receive many requests from camps, stretching the Foundation’s Camping Trust to the limit. We need your help to boost this fund so we can keep saying YES! and provide a future of sustainable support to this vital ministry. 

Please make a gift to the Camping Trust today to help lift up these  communities for generations to come.

Celebrate the blessing of camping ministry and the future of United Church camping! Let’s make camp possible!


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