Our 2015 "Living Waters Family Camp" was great with 240 registered campers. Wiconi was able to give 14 families and 17 youth scholarships which made it possible for them to attend camp.
Casey Church, Wiconi's new director, kicked off our 11th annual Family Camp on Thursday, July 23. Our theme this year was "Suicide Prevention" and even though it's a tragic subject, it was presented in a way that offered encouragement and hope through short talks, a skit, a great video, and small interactive groups. Campers learned that even in the midst of pain and incredible loss, there is a sense of hope that we can have and offer to those who are either contemplating suicide or have experienced the loss of loved ones through these tragedies.
Campers experienced fun and laughter through many different activities. On Friday afternoon there were crafts--making Potawatomi copper bowls taught by Casey Church, and loom beading taught by Jan Uttley and Delvina Kejick. There were also activities like rock wall climbing, a water slide, and our classic "cruising down the creek". Children learned through drumming and storytelling.
Making Copper Bowls
All About Drumming & Dancing
Heading up music for the weekend was RainSong, the husband and wife duo, Terry and Darlene Wildman, who sang at Wiconi's very first Family Camp eleven years ago. Jonathan Maracle, lead singer of "Broken Walls" from the Tyendinaga Territory in Ontario, Canada, also shared his talents with us.
Saturday was our main event to the community--our second annual Richard L. Twiss Memorial Powwow. This year we had around 600 people attend. At 5 pm the dancers and drummers took a break and everyone was invited for what has become our traditional Polynesian pork roast and chicken BBQ. It was well worth waiting in the long lines!
Wiconi's Family Camp is kind of like a living laboratory where Native and non-Native people come and experience, in an in-depth way, the freedom we have in Jesus to create new approaches to ministry models. "The ministry of the Wiconi Family Camp is a blend of the good aspects of our Native American culture and the rich heritage of our Christian faith," Casey Church said.
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