This is us with Sarah
For our first post in this is us, I was privileged to sit down with Sarah Kinsey and ask about her experience at Covenant Bay along with her family’s experience too. Here is what Sarah had to say.
My name is Sarah Kinsey; I am from the Wetaskiwin area and have grown up going to the Malmo Covenant Church. I continue to attend Malmo now as an adult, and my husband and I are raising our three children as a part of the wonderful church community. ( Easton – 12, Meegan – 9, and Brady – 7)
Camp has influenced my family greatly. I grew up attending Covenant Bay, and it has helped shape me into the person I am today. I remember the experiences I had at camp as a child and now want my children to have similar experiences. My oldest has attended camp for five years, and my youngest has just now attended his first full week! I notice the impact when they come to me, after a week or a day, and tell me stories of things they learned, friends they have made, and all the fun they are having. Overall it is a really positive experience.
Currently, I see God working in my family in many areas. In the time of COVID – 19, we, as a family, have been spending lots of time together. I would say, through this, he has been teaching us about patience and contentment. Being patient with each other, where we are and how to fully enjoy the company of one another.
I have been connected with Covenant Bay Bible Camp for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a church family that supported the camp has encouraged me to continue to support this place. I remember coming on the annual camp Sunday with the church and eventually attending every summer starting when I was old enough for Junior Girls Camp. Eventually, I worked my way up to volunteering and being on staff. This has always been a place of enjoyment for me.
This Ministry has been a part of my family for many years. My Grandfather helped found the original site called inspiration point and continued to help as the camp moved to the current site. My dad helped build the “Big Tab” and remembers that project fondly. I think my grandfather and dad had always wanted us to see this as a place where we could come and grow in our relationship with Jesus. To learn about Him and be challenged in our faith, which would help us grow as people and followers of Christ.
Camp is important to me for so many reasons. The take away each summer, from all of the speakers, was always this personal and close relationship I could have with Jesus. Each year, depending on my age, would shape me slightly differently. It was a safe place where I could come every year, where big questions could be asked and where staff who genuinely cared for campers could be a source of encouragement. Now, I won’t downplay the fun I had there! That is all a part of it. Camp is a place where you are able to have fun, learn and grow. Many of the friendships I formed throughout my years as a camper or staff I still have today.
Camp is a place where I, and my children, have been able to experience a continual theme of growing in our relationship with God. Through the many years, the different ages and stages of life. The camp continues to hold true to that theme.
One of my favourite memories was the summer I spent here as a staff. Katie Richter, if you’re reading this, you will know. That summer was full of practical jokes. Light-hearted and fun! Just honest fun. Things (practical jokes) that help you grow together as friends – and some that you still have to get back at your friends for. Things such as walking up to my car hidden somewhere on camp, obviously not where I had last parked it or going to bed and finding my pillowcase full of grasshoppers! (who had been in abundance that year!)
The idea that we could just go all out and have fun was worth it! A game of hide-and-seek would quickly force you to be in the water with a snorkel or hiding under a gross bugged filled cabin just to win! The fun was the justification for the ridiculousness of it all, but it made it special.
The campfires stick out too. The goofy songs that turned into more serious moments of sharing testimonies and speaking vulnerably to each other. This was always a highlight.
My hope for my kids is that they are able to have similar experiences, fun-filled days with ridiculous adventures that lead to vulnerable moments with friends. I hope they see this as a place where they can come and struggle with the BIG questions. I would love to see this be a place that becomes their own, that is filled with their own memories and moments of growing closer in their relationship with God.
I can’t imagine the amount of work and preparation that has gone into running a camp during COVID. I will say that my kids, on the entirety of the way home from camp each night, never stop talking about the fun they had or the stories they learned! This is all a testament to the staff they have hired and the work they have put in!