Over 170 former Camp Encounter campers, staff, counsellors and board members along with their families and friends, gathered May 27 on the shores of Lac La Nonne at the “narrows” to say a final farewell to the Camp Encounter property.
Many brought their children, the next generation of campers, to experience “a day in the life of camp.” Others came to salute the camp that changed their lives, loved them through difficult times and turned their heart to find Christ in community and creation.
The tears and laughter flowed freely all day. It was not only a farewell but also a reunion of 28 years of camp people spanning multiple generations. The day ended with a beloved “Final Campfire” with goofy songs, skits, and a powerful reflection and praying the camp “Our Father.”
The camp bell was rung one last time and many walked away a little lighter and with hope in their hearts that the Holy Spirit has something special in mind for this property. As one Camp Encounter alumnus said, “ I will treasure the memory of having my boys running around camp making memories with me as my closure forever.”
Camp ministry exists to support families and youth ministry initiatives in the Archdiocese of Edmonton by offering a week-long faith experience. At camp, everyone can Encounter Christ, Encounter Community, and Encounter Creation. Our Lady of Victory Camp is relaunching this summer, bringing together the best the past camp ministries at both OLVC and Camp Encounter.
Joining the final farewell were Fr. Marc Cramer, OLVC camp director, and Mike Landry, camp coordinator. Fr. Paul Kavanagh celebrated the Mass and Fr. Liju Jose, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish at Lac La Nonne, was there as well.
Judy Kramer – Archdiocese of Edmonton