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Kaleo Blog

Kaléo 2018

Welcome to this year's Kaléo Program Blog! This is a great place to get the latest on what the students are up to and what's been happening in the Kaléo Program. Visit the program website: Leadership Program of Camp Qwanoes & Briercrest)

05/08/2018 05:57 PM

Just 3 weeks ago now the students officially completed their time at qwanoes as students in the Kaléo program. To start the graduation weekend off we hiked up maple mountain located right next to camp. After a short hike up the mountain we had our last chapel. This was a special time for so many students as they looked forward to how God is going to use them in light of how he has been at work in all of their lives thus far.

The next thing that happened this weekend was a time of getting to know everyones family up in club coco. The next day the skyscraper was open and the students and their families had a chance to experience some of the amazing activities camp has to offer.

Then finally that Saturday afternoon was our Grad ceremony. During this time of celebration we got to here from a few different people including Dan Gabor a representative from Briercrest, Chris Clarke who is a Pastor at one of the local churches in Duncan and our very own Landon Miller this years valedictorian. 

We also presented awards to our five award winners. Those who excelled in one of the specific components of the program. Kaitlyn Willems - Community, Tyler Weatherly - leadership, Julia Hood - Adventure, Teagan Lee - Academics and Christy Van Hoeve - Ministry.  

At the start of the year the students received a Root Beer and Cream Soda labelled first day and graduation. One of the last memorable moments of the weekend was being able to celebrate completing the program by opening up their graduation Root Beer or Cream Soda together. 

Continue to Pray

Please continue to pray for our students with whatever life has in store for them in the future. Pray for them this summer as many of are serving in either church or camp ministry and for those who are already started into summer jobs. Pray that they would continually trust God with their lives and that they would have confidence with wherever He directs them.

Check out this video as look back on the year, put together by our very own student Julia Hood

04/30/2018 01:06 PM

The last big out trip of our year was the Closing retreat. So on the Monday before Grad we loaded up our vans and headed up north of the Island to a familiar place, Mt. Washington. Our first stop on the way to our lodge was at Elk Falls.

Here there was a beautiful short little hike which lead us to a absolutely magnificent waterfall. The force of the rushing water was at the same time both frightening and beautiful. Across from the waterfall was a long suspension bridge and a metal walk way which lead to a look out of the waterfall. As the students crossed over from the stairs to the platform and across the bridge they were remembering all the different point in the year along the way. Remembering what God has done in all of their lives in this past year up to that point.

After this stop we went up to the lodge where we spent the rest of the next two days. Over these two days there was a lot of time spent just hanging out as a group, playing games and enjoying one another's company.


You can be praying for our students as it has been a little over a week and a half since they left camp. Pray for them as they begin to miss one another's close company and the encouragements they were to one another in the faith. Pray that in this new season that in whatever they are doing they would find their way and continue to stay in contact with one another and build each other up. Also pray that they would be able to build new communities wherever they are like the community they experienced out here. 

04/06/2018 04:34 PM

This last week we were at camping at French Beach which is located on the South-West end of the Island. We spent two nights there and marvelled at the beautiful scenery while doing some activities to take in Creation.

The first activity that we did as a group was a team building project. The students were divided into four groups and challenged to build something out of only the drift wood and other items they found on the beach. They then presented their masterpieces through a creative story or explanation.

On the second day of camping we drove ten kilometres down the road and hiked into Mystic Beach, which is known for its massive boulders and a waterfalls. When we arrived we started a campfire and roasted hot dogs for lunch along with chili, sautéed mushrooms, onions and most importantly... avocados! 

On Easter Monday, the students also had the opportunity to go on a small hike to Christie Falls near Ladysmith. 

This past week they were in the second half of their Camp and Youth Ministry class with Sid Koop, MA. This is their very last Class of the year and it was a very good class to end with as we go into the juniors retreat which all the students are going to be serving at, and is also good class to end with for many students who are looking forward to serving at camps this summer. 

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Pray that the students finish well as the program is coming to a close. Next week we have the our Closing Retreat (the last out-trip of the year) and then it is the Graduation weekend. Pray that they would be able to take in as much as they can while they are still within this community. Pray that they would be able to persevere and give it all as they wrap up their last assignments of the year. 

03/24/2018 09:38 PM

The students are currently wrapping up their second last course of the year! In this past week they have enjoyed learning all about Paul and his letters through the guidance of Brian Westnedge, M.A., in their Pauline Epistles class. 

"Learning about Paul and the 1st century context from which he wrote has shown me even more deep and real aspects of my faith in the 21st century" - Josh Blanchette

Also on the Thursday before, we ripped up to Victoria to spend a morning sea kayaking! We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day to enjoy a nice two hour journey up and down the Victoria Harbour. 

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Next week we will be camping on Juan De Fuca straight at French Beach. Pray that we would have good weather and safe travels. Pray that beach camping would be a special time together for the students as this is the second last out-trip. Also continue to pray for the students in their studies as they are still finishing up assignments from previous classes. Pray that in this, God would give them a spirit of perseverance and discipline. 

03/14/2018 07:35 PM
(Photo by Mark Jobst)

In the past week and a half the students alongside with preparations for their Pauline Epistles class have had a few mini adventures including: Cabbing, Rock Climbing and Curling. Starting on the Monday before last we dropped our Crab traps into the water to see what we would catch.

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

Over the next three days three teams of students checked the traps throughout the day and took care of the crabs that we had caught. By the end of the three days we had caught a ton of Crabs with enough Crabs to eat for all the students and staff who wanted some. We cooked up the crabs right on the beach and enjoyed the riches of fresh west coast crab. 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

(Photo by Mark Jobst) 

'It was kinda sad that we could still identify which crabs we had named and such after they had been cooked... but they tasted great.' 'What the Crab' - Teagan and Julia

 (Photo by Mark Jobst)

On the Friday we want to the Romper Room in Nanaimo for some Rock climbing and bouldering. 

Even though Rock climbing is one of our shorter adventures it was a super fun activity which pushed us to our limits, and helped a lot of us reveal some muscles that we never really use in our day to day. 

On Tuesday we had the great privilege of going to Duncan where we learned the basics of curling and by the end of the morning were broken off into teams and played a couple of matches.

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Up next the students are Kayaking this thursday and are going into their Pauline Epistles Class with Brian Westnedge next week. You can be praying the students that they would have the perseverance to finish off all their work to the best of their abilities, and that they would be blessed as they continue to serve in each of their respective church ministries. 

03/13/2018 06:13 PM
(Photo by Mark Jobst)

In the Past Weeks the students have returned from missions trips and went into their Interdisciplinary studies class with Grant Poettcker, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary studies was a heavy class in understanding the ideas and philosophies that have shaped the our world view, however many of the students found it quite beneficial to be forced to think in new ways about their way of how the view the world around them. 

"Interdisciplinary studies was one of our most difficult classes, however Grant was so gracious and intentional in the way he taught that it made a lot of these hard concepts and philosophies very engaging" - Bennet Schulz 


(Photo by Joel Cross)

The Mexico missions trip was based out of town called El Papolote which is where a bible school and Church is located, associated with Northern Lights Ministries (the organization which we were partnering with). Our main ministry was building adding the floor to the second story of what is going to be a two story classroom. 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

This ministry opportunity which was supposed to take up to seven days to accomplish ended up only taking about 4 days for us to accomplish so we also got the opportunity to drywall the ceiling of a Church in Benito Garcia which is Just down the road from El Papolote. 

(Photo by Joel Cross)

Along with the building project we also put some other ministry events including an evening youth event where we had a fire and hot dogs and played soccer and a message was given by one of the local Pastors. We also put on two children's events with crafts and games and valentines day event where made cake and just had people from the community in. 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

Another impactful ministry opportunity we had was to bring a bag beans water and rice to those who lived in the garbage dump. It was a pretty incredible experience to see the reality of what some of the people there in Mexico were living in. 

(Photo by Joel Cross)

While in Mexico we also had a couple of opportunities to take in some of the beautiful landscape including hiking a volcano and Chilling at the beach. 


(Photo by Mark Jobst)

Our first stop on the Vancouver missions trip was to New Beginnings church. Right from the get go we were involved in helping out with the ‘Say Yes’ Program, which is an after school-tutoring program, aimed at helping at risk youth succeed in school, and to bring them into a Church community. During our stay the students also helped deep clean the church, redo the floors, paint furniture and help with the general upkeep that sometimes gets forgotten in the busy ministry of the church. The students also had the opportunity to share community meals and get to know a lot of the member of the congregation. They also lead worship and helping in children’s church on Sundays. 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

“It was incredible to be with the staff at new beginnings, and see how deeply passionate they were about their ministry. Seeing that only made me want to invest in them, do something for them. That’s why I loved cleaning the church, it felt like something practical I could do to serve them” - Tyler  Weatherly

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

Then we traveled to Potters Place Mission, located right on the heart of East Hastings.  Potters place is a Mission that holds Church services twice a day each with a meal afterword. The students helped by preparing the meals, leading worship and some of them even got the opportunity to bring a messages. After the service we would all share a meal together and get the opportunity to get to know the people of East Hastings. We were also involved in street ministries such as giving out sandwiches or flowers on Valentine ’s Day. 

 (Photo by Mark Jobst)

Finally we went to Union Gospel Mission. Here we had a tour of their facility and heard the story of one of the alumni of their drug and alcohol recovery program Dave. After that we shared a meal with their other staff and volunteers, then we split off into groups to volunteer in various different areas. Some worked in the kitchen, others in the Cornerstone ministry and a few girls went and worked in the women’s sanctuary program. 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

Overall the students experienced just a small taste of the many ministries that are committed to working on the Downtown East Side day in and day out. Each of them came back with a changed heart, as they slowly realized that perhaps the real mission field was the work God did on their own hearts.  

- Vancouver write up by Kalie Brown

02/01/2018 04:35 PM
(Photo by Joel Cross)

This past week we were in Vancouver to take in Missions fest, the largest missions conference in North America. We arrived in Vancouver on Thursday and and took some time to take in the city, including going tandem biking around Stanley Park, and parking in West Van to tour around. On Friday we went touring around Granville Island as well Gas Town, and got to Missions fest for the first general session that evening. Saturday we spent all day at Canada place taking in seminars, a general session, and a youth rally in the evening which included great worship music put on by Chapel band and speaking from Jarrod McKenna.

(Photo by Joel Cross) 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

"It was awesome to see the people called from all over the world and the diversity in their missions"
- Caleb Gabor

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

Currently the students are in their Perspectives in Missions class taught by Gord Nickerson. This is a great lead up for the students heading into their Missions trips the following week. They are learning all kinds of important things including how to engage well in another culture and what it means to live a life of missions. 

"This class is great lead up to going into our missions trips next week. Even just thinking through the  effectiveness and role of short term missions and how to do it well by coming along side those who are already there rather than just providing aid."
- Jeremy Tiede 

 (Photo by Joel Cross)

(Photo by Joel Cross)

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

You can be praying for our students as they are looking forward to heading out on their missions trips in the next week. There is a team of ten with six students heading to Mexico on Wednesday and a team of sixteen with fourteen students heading to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Thursday. You can be praying that God would be preparing both their hearts and minds both amongst each other and with the class they are currently in. You can be praying that these trips would impact students in a special way and be a great encouragement to the ministries they are coming alongside. 

01/31/2018 02:35 PM

How do you best embrace the 8 months of the Kaléo Program? Adventure, Ministry, Community, Leadership, and Academics this is what you are participating in. How do I give you anything except encouragement to do well in such a high intensity program? First you should know that you all are doing great! I’ve been reading your blogs, heard some stories, and heard it from your profs out here in Sask. Trust me I’m one of your biggest fans. Kaléo is the purest form of day punching, so keep it up. 

I think that one of the best things you can do throughout the program is understand that the schedule is intense! You may not have as much time as you like to do your work, but do not get stressed out. I worked with a carpenter before I did the program and he said he runs on a “stress free program.” This was something that I took with me to Qwanoes, but as hard and annoying as it was at some points, I kept saying it. Do your work, but do not let the distractions stress you out. Some of the best memories I have are from when we had a paper due and everyone was experiencing the same struggle as you in the writing process. Moments like that are when High School Musical comes to life for you realize “We’re all in this together.” Embrace the struggle of how busy you are, with the people around you. Embrace those moments and don’t get stressed. You could even use the motto found in the 1994 Disney animated film, The Lion King, and just say “Hakuna Matata.”

Give God the time of day. Remember to allow God to work in your life. You are an individual, so do not compare the way that God is working in your life with how He is working in someone else’s life. Seek personal growth. I think that one of the best ways you can seek personal growth is going hard in all five components of the program. I believe that if you put effort into the community component first, then you will begin to see the people around you in a different way – a way that goes beyond friendship and enters into seeing others as fellow members of the family of God.

Seek to be joyful, patient, and loving with the people around you even when it is hard and you are busy (because remember Hakuna Matata!). Something to think about – you should never be too busy to love, too busy to be joyful, or too busy to be patient, especially if it’s going to affect the relationships in front of you.

Stay away from negativity; nothing will drag you away from growth as an individual and a community faster than being negative about your circumstances. Embrace the life of others as difficult as it is and (in the least cliché way possible) love them. John 15:12 & 13 says,

“Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Jesus laid his life down on the cross for us, his friends! This makes me think of the hymn that says, “An old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.” This is where Jesus showed his great love, on the cross which was the emblem of shame by giving his life. The song later sings, “So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross.” Cherish the love of Jesus that was seen on that cross. Love is seen on the cross, love is a rugged commitment. So if you hear any of this, hear that you should be RUGGEDLY COMMITTED to each other because there will be no greater thing that builds community than being ruggedly for one another.

You all rock! Honestly if you want to chat I would love to get to know you, and hear about your year. Just ask Shane for my number, I’m never too busy!
01/26/2018 05:48 PM
(photo by Julia Hood)

This Past Week we were with the Students at Mt. Washington enjoying some time hitting the slopes. We spent the week at lodge right by the bottom of the lodge, close enough to ski into. We were blessed with some great skiing conditions during  our time at Mt. Washington. During our time there we received over three feet of snow and Had the privilege of skiing some amazing powder.

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

(Photo by Joel Cross)

Even with such a great trip one of the most amazing things was the community that happened over this week. In the evenings during our chapel time we had space for each of the students to be encouraged by a couple of their peers. It was amazing to see how this 'activity' turned into just a habit of our community and all throughout the lodge in the evenings one could see all kinds of these little conversations happening of the students building one another up and telling them what they brought to our community. 

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

This Week the Students are at Missions Fest in Vancouver as well as looking towards their Missions Class with Gord Nickerson. You can pray for the students as they are in Vancouver that they would enjoy their time there touring the city and that they would be able to take away some good things from Missions fest. Also that they would Learn lots from their upcoming class and that they would feel prepared going into their Missions trips. 

01/14/2018 05:39 PM

The students are back after a well deserved Christmas break and they have already dived into their next class. This past week the students were taking Introduction to Christian Theology taught by Meril Dyck, MA.

"It was cool to enter into some well debated and possibly even polarizing topics, and allowing ourselves to simply search for truth, all while knowing that two godly people can disagree and that's okay" -Michael Mcrea

One of the highlights of the class was a debate all the students took part in. There were two different debate topics. The first was "Are Riches a Hindrance to True Spirituality?" and the second was "While Life in Heaven is eternal, is punishment in Hell?"

The students were randomly divided into groups to debate either for, or against each of the statements above. So, whether or not the students agreed, with what they were arguing for, they had look intently at the evidence for the side of the argument. It was really interesting to see the students argue for one side and then later talk to them about their actual opinion. Regardless the debates were very well done by both sides of each argument, which was pretty cool to see.

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Coming up next week we will be out at Mt. Washington enjoying a few days of Skiing and a day of Snowshoeing. While this time is very filled with adventure, it is also a great community time as we get to spend five days in a lodge on the mountain and there is plenty of community building time. So you can pray for safety as we travel and ski, and that God would use this time for this community to build into one another and grow in our love for Christ. 

12/07/2017 06:20 PM

This week the students have been in class taking Foundations in Church Ministry taught by David Lee, DMin. During this class week the students have spent a decent amount of time discussing issues facing the Church today as well as what it means for them to live out their God given gifting to equip and build up the body of Christ. 

David's focus on the students learning about their own gifting and what that means has been an encouraging experience for all. As it is now down to the last week in the semester the students are also working on wrapping everything up from other classes (as well as gifts as we are fully celebrating the Christmas season!). 

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Pray for our students as they get ready to go home. Pray for safe travels and that they would take in their time at home. As many of you reading this will actually be seeing our students as they return home, take a moment to encourage them in all the ways you can see that they have grown.

12/02/2017 05:58 PM
(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

This past week was a transition week for the students from Introduction to Old Testament with Don Taylor, DTh, to getting ready for Foundations in Church Ministry with David Lee, DMin. On the Thursday however the students took a well deserved study break and we all got ready for Christmas! 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems) 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

In the morning we drink hot chocolate, made ornaments for our tree and watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Then after lunch it was off to buy a tree. 

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

To pick our tree we had four groups create presentations on why we should take home their tree of their choice. We saw some pretty great presentations which included a play, a song, powerpoint, and a rap! After we got our tree we headed back to camp to paint our decorations that we had made earlier in the day. Following this we headed into lady smith for their 30th annual Lady Smith Light Up. This included a parade with lights, the lighting of all the lights around the shops in town as well as their large tree at the town square and was wrapped up by some spectacular fireworks. 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems) 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems) 

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying 

Up next for our students is their Foundations in Church Ministry call with David Lee, after that have just a few days to wrap up the last of their assignments and then its off to home for Christmas! Pray for our students that they would have energy to work hard these last two weeks and to be disciplined to finish well. 

11/25/2017 02:44 PM

This past week the students have were in their 2nd last class of this semester, Introduction to The Old Testament, taught by Don Taylor, D.Th. Along with a writing a couple of papers and having a lot of reading, the students had been working at putting together a film encompassing the message of the Old Testament. Their video aired yesterday and all the Qwanoes staff came out to watch, laugh and celebrate the students hard work.

On the Thursday of this past week it was nice enough outside that Don took the opportunity to do a portion of class outside, so as to take in God's marvellous creation.

"For me class really began to come alive in the latter half. As I was gaining a much broader understanding of the Old Testament and where it was headed, I developed a deep appreciation for each of it's smaller intricate pieces." - Tyler Weatherly

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

Were are currently in the final three weeks of the semester and you can be praying for our students as they work hard to wrap up all their school work for the semester. This next week for the students will be mostly dedicated to work on class assignments for past weeks and preparation as they gear up for Foundations in Church Ministry. Pray for the students that they would be effective in the time they have and that they would finish of this semester well. 

11/20/2017 01:52 PM
(Photo by Julia Hood)

The weekend before last some of the students were serving here at camp in our Senior High Retreat. A few of the students were able to serve by being counsellors as well as many more served on our maintenance team, in the dishroom or in the kitchen. On top of being able to put into practice this heart of service at camp, during the week our students were involved in what we call Love Crofton. This is essentially a time where the students create for themselves an opportunity to serve the community of Crofton through helping people with odd jobs around their yard. On Thursday night there was a potluck at Warmland Church in Crofton and it was amazing to see the impact of the joyful service of our students, especially on those who are physically unable to keep up with all the work around their house.

On Friday in the morning we took a trip to the Kinsol Tressel just on the other side of Duncan. It is a beautiful old Train bridge that has been refinished with rails and solid deck platform for the use of tourists. The students had a tone of fun exploring the area and just hanging out at this beautiful site. 

(Photo by Julia Hood)

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

(Photo by Julia Hood)

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

This week the students are in their  Old Testament Class with Don Taylor, D.Th. You can be praying for them that this time would be formative in their understanding of Scripture and who God is. You can also be praying for them as their semester is beginning to come to close, as they would not get too stressed with their school work but rather that they would finish strong. 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

11/09/2017 08:25 PM

This past week has been our prayer and leadership week, in which we have had several leadership seminars including sessions lead by both Ryan Morgan and Taylor Williams. These seminars throughout the week gave the students a chance to evaluate their own perspectives on what leading well means, and how to implement that in their own lives. Along with this, the students have had someone in prayer around the clock for the past four days concluding tomorrow after lunch. 

"Prayer has allowed me to slow down and relax and cast all my worries on Him even amidst all the craziness of the week and school" - Jacob Adams 

This past weekend, we had our Junior High retreat here at camp which several of our students had the opportunity to serve at. We had students serving in activities, programming and counselling. 

Up Next and How to Pray for Our Students

In the next week the students will be serving the community of Crofton in something we call "Love Crofton". The community is blessed through yard work, the chopping of firewood and the like. You can pray that as the students humbly serve, God's love will be demonstrated in some way. In the week following Love Crofton, the students will be in their Old Testament Class. Pray for them as they prepare for another class full of assignments and readings. One of their larger assignments is to make a video capturing the storyline of the Old Testament, prayer for this project would be greatly appreciated by many of the students. 

11/08/2017 04:36 PM

Kaléo 2018 

My name is Sarah McQuarrie and I was the recipient of the leadership award last year. There is actually so many things I could tell you, so I am going to try and choose some highlights here of what I believe I learned about leadership through the program, as well as what I believe will be helpful for you as you continue in it.

This is longer than my fellow award recipients, I realize, but I encourage you to set time aside to read this. Whether you feel like you are an amazing leader in the Kaléo Program, or whether you think that you are getting it figured out, I believe these ideas will help you grow where you are at, and are relevant for all.

#1. Leadership does not mean you get it right. I learned this both by examples of very humble leaders I have had in the past, and through some unfortunate experiences of living up to my mistakes. Humility, more than anything is a defining characteristic of a leader. Who are the people in your life that you look up to the most? Maybe it is a professor you’ve had, maybe your parents, or an older sibling. What makes them so great in your mind? I encourage you to practice the discipline of humility. There is a section about it in your spiritual discipline book and try not talking about yourself as you practice humility. This is in conversation, not bringing it back to yourself. This is also when you get it wrong, that you do actually call yourself out and not be afraid of the mistakes, because it is not about you guys.  Here is the thing, everybody else might not even realize that you are being so intentional about it - that can be humbling.
#2. Leadership is being intentional. Something about the program is that you guys are the program. Nothing that we did last year actually matters in comparison of this year. What we did when it came to relationships is not going to be the way that y’all are going to do it. The program facilitates this to happen, so allow it facilitate, and take advantage of the space that you have to do it how you would like. That is why is it so unique, and this is why it is a leadership program. It takes leaders to initiate, plan game nights during a super stressful week, plan prayer times or a hang out time with just the girls in someone’s room, and boys do whatever boys do when it is just them, etc.

#3. Leadership means using your voice. Peter warns us that if you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then you put away deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech (1 Peter 2.1-5). When was the last time you said something to make it sound like something else? Or that you said you believed something but have never followed through with your actions? Or looked at what someone else had and wanted it? Or was unkind to another being, whether or not you knew them? Or spoke sarcastically? If we say we indeed know the Lord is good, then these should not be said of us. Therefore, when I say use your voice, I mean in a way that calls out your peers in humility and with gentleness. I mean that when you have discovered truth from God’s word that you would be a man or women speaking from the authority of God. That our words would be full of truth. I have a quick example -

            My friend called me the other day and asked for advice. Before she told me the scenario she first said “I called you because I knew you would tell me what I needed to hear and that you would encourage me to be more like Christ” in that moment I realized that whatever I told her it needed to be truth. I wanted to live up to that, but had no idea what was coming at me. When she finished explaining I did not have anything for her but to remind her of the life that God had called her to. That God has called us to glorify him, and as I reiterated back to her her own scenario, she knew what she needed to do. I literally felt as though I had done next to nothing except remind her of what she already knew. But that was all she needed, someone to listen to her, someone who knew her. She did not need any crazy wise words from me, just to be reminded of what she already knew. I pray that all my relationships will be like that - two people trying to discover truth in the midst of life. Use your voice, and relay truth.

One last thing - I love you all. If you ever need anything, and I truly mean this, get in touch. You actually have a ton of recourses at your fingertips. So honestly, no matter what you are going through, whether you think it is normal and no big deal or super burdening, your leaders, myself, any of my past classmates, we actually are here to support you. Send your prayer requests, whatever it is.

        Praying for you all as you continue this journey.

                  - Sarah

11/04/2017 02:39 AM
(Photo by Julia Hood)

In the past week the Students have been hard at work studying and preparing for the exam they wrote this past Tuesday for their class, Introduction to New Testament. Yesterday we drove up to Horne Lake Regional Park, to go exploring in the Horne Lake Caves! We had a guided tour of three caves which included a climb up a small waterfall section and some narrow squeezes. 
(Photo by Julia Hood) 

On the way home we had our first experience with snow on the Island. We stoped at Coombs on the drive back to camp, which was a good time to take in the winter experience and get a good hot chocolate or some warm Doughnuts. As well they had the chance to see the artsy side of the Island as there were a couple of pottery shops and a few other touristy type shops. 

 (Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

Up Next and How You Can Be Praying

In the Following week the Students will be in their Prayer and Leadership week. This will be a time in which their will be multiple leadership seminars equipping them to understand and know where they are at as His anointed servants, and how to best culminate that in their setting. As well this will be a time of continual prayer where the students will take shifts of prayer from Monday to Friday. You can pray for our students that this would be a special time for them and that they would genuinely grow in their servant like leadership. Pray for our students as well as they look forward to Love Crofton in the following week, and their Introduction to Old Testament class with Don Taylor, DTh, in the week after.   

11/03/2017 05:54 PM

Kaléo 2018,

My name is Virginia Flahr and I was nominated this past year for the “Adventure Award.” First off, I’m totally stoked for all of you to be here! I believe that from the moment you hopped on that plane or jumped into the car, you were saying a BIG “yes” to an adventure-filled future God calls each one of us to (and I’m not just talking about the outdoorsy kind). Adventures always have an element of fear to them. Sometimes it specifically zeroes in on our uneasiness of the unknown, but more often it merely focuses on our expectations. By that I mean, we fear what we expect - what we conclude and label our situation to be. We see those “mountains” looming in the distant horizon (cough cough, Mt. Albert Edward) and instantly, by default, dread the ensuing elevation gain that brings with it insurmountable fatigue. We don’t by habit think positively. It takes experience, practise, and perseverance to realize that every summit is attainable - whether that be in the classroom or out - as long as we pack the right equipment (no knock-offs). So here’s my personal full-proof packers list that’ll get you through those mountain passes (and not lost with one shoe and no water in some backwood horror story).

1.) A GUIDE. Actually, His name is Jesus and He’s better than a guide. He’s like the trail master. He’s done every trail anywhere. He knows how it feels when you’re scared, exhausted...hungry! And besides, you should never attempt any sort of adventure alone (it’s just a bad idea). Life is one BIG ADVENTURE but it won’t feel like one if you take a go at it solo. Jesus honestly needs to be at the core. He’s your solid ROCK. You’re going to be walking a lot of miles this year both figuratively and literally. This is your chance to really grow in your relationship with Jesus. Get to know Him deeper and find time each day, to “walk with Him.” Take it seriously.

2.) A MAP. Not the kind you buy at MEC, nah it’s a better one. The Bible. It’s like, our compass and map put together. It’s a lifeline and if you aren’t prepared to find time to delve into the Word, than you might as well just start walking into a forest....

3.) CAMPFIRES. This is called the community program terms. It literally is your classmates, professors, interns, qords, church, youth groups, and leaders. Try to have daily “campfires” with these people. Talk with them. Invest in their lives. Take initiative. Discuss concepts, thoughts, and s’mores (more like cereal in the kitchen). Share your day’s occurrences. Cry and laugh together. Be real.

4.) RANGER CABIN. This is what I like to call your dorm room. It shouldn’t be a place of gossip, clichés, or weeklong hibernations. It’s where you need to be proactive. Take time to get to know your roommates. Be real with each other. No one likes talking about the weather (we all know it only rains anyway). Take the time to really get to know AND support your roomies. Take the time to get to know the other “ranger cabins” too. Plan games, outings, gym sessions. Just DON’T ever plan a math and science quiz contest.

5.) REST. This is so important for anyone out adventuring. In the Kaléo Program, it is vital to set time aside to rest. God mentions it so many times in the Bible. Try and make it a priority to find time once a week to just do nothing. And by nothing, I don’t mean absolutely nothing. But try not to do homework. Spend some time with your awesome Creator. Go for a walk. Breathe the fresh air and just allow your soul to say “It is well.” Challenge yourself and do another fast or silence and solitude.

6.) NUTRITION. Fuel your body, mind, and soul with the right kind of nutrients. This is your chance to really rid yourself of those nasty toxins. If you found yourself struggling with things back home - something as simple as too much screen time, unhealthy Netflix addictions (Wi-Fi kind of kicks this one), etc. - this is your time to address them. Don’t rid things out of your life though without replacing them. For instance, change out screen time with writing letters to your friends back home or taking a afternoon out in the town with some of your fellow classmates. Tell someone you trust about it too. Don’t keep it to yourself. There are so many people here that actually care about you and love you. Talk to them (your leaders would be a good choice - they have nuggets of wisdom).

7.) DO IT! This is it. This is your year to really challenge yourself and grow. You’re really only going to get as much out of it as you give. So go all out. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. That’s where we grow the most and that’s honestly, where I believe God wants us to be - where we can no longer rely on ourselves but God alone. Again, I cannot tell you all enough how pumped I am for you!! God honestly used the Kaléo Program to impact me in such big ways and I have no doubt He intends to do the same for each one of you. I hope you can take something out of the “packers list” and really apply it to your journey ahead. Finally, I want to leave you with one of my favourite verses that I think is very applicable to us.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

- Isaiah 40: 30-31

All the best, I’ll be praying for you.

Virginia Flahr

10/26/2017 08:34 PM

Introduction to New Testament!
This week the students are currently in class with Wes Olmstead, Ph.D., studying the New Testament. The students wrapped up their study of the Gospel of Mark yesterday and have moved on to Paul's letters today. 

This past weekend some of the students were serving here at camp in our Junior's retreat. Students had the opportunity to serve in all different areas of camp including counselling, kitchen, dish room, and program support. It was cool to see our students give of themselves so freely to a bunch of 8 to 11 year olds. 

Coming Up Next Week

This next week on Tuesday the students will be writing their exam for Introduction to New Testament. Also next week on Thursday we will be going caving! Hopefully the caves won't be flooded like there were at this time last year. In addition, students are gearing up for Love Crofton. Fingers crossed that they will have lots of opportunities to serve in our community. 

How You Can Be Praying

You can be praying for our students as they are currently in the most academically challenging class of this semester and they have much to do to prepare for their exam next week. You can also be praying for the students as they get things organized for Love Crofton, that they would be learning how to be good leaders as they prepare. You can pray for us as we go caving that our students would have courage to move outside of their comfort zone, that they would do hard things. Lastly, as always you can pray for safety on our out-trip. 

10/21/2017 03:14 PM

This past week the students finished off the first half of their Camp and Youth Ministry class with Sid Koop. Class went from Monday to Wednesday and Sid will be back in the New Year to finish off the second half of this class. Along with being in class this past week days the Students were also gearing  for class next week.

Along with class this past week the students were also gearing up for Love Crofton. Love Crofton is a service the students offer to the community of Crofton in partnership with Warmland Community so as to show the Love of Christ in their community. This looks like raking leaves, cleaning gutters, chopping firewood an so on. This will take place in two weeks from now but this week the students were handing out flyers so as to let everyone know so that the community can take advantage of their service. 

Coming Up Next Week and How You Can Be Praying

In the Following week the students will be in class taking Introduction to The New Testament with Wes Olmsted. This class will be one of the heavier classes the students take so you can be praying for them as they prepare with recourse work. As well you can be praying that the knowledge obtained in this class would would resonate in their hearts. Also you can be praying for the students as some of them are currently serving this weekend retreat with the Juniors Retreat. Pray that God would give them energy as they work with these kids and that even in this short weekend that they might be able to make an impact on these kids lives.

10/15/2017 12:33 AM
(Photo by Joel Cross)

This past week the students spent four days aboard a tall ship sailing around the Gulf Islands. In the past weekend the students participated in team building exercises at camp put on by Walden Darwin. Some of the exercises were as simple as a trust fall and were used to encourage vulnerability and trust amongst the group. Other activities however were more difficult, such as being lead through a low ropes course blindfolded or feeding a rope through every square in a cargo net without the one touching the other. These were used as a test to see how the students reacted and how they interacted with one another.

On Thanksgiving Monday we had our annual staff and student thanksgiving dinner. This was a nice time for the staff and students to connect, relax and reflect on things that they are thankful for. 

On Tuesday we packed our bags and met the S.A.L.T.S. Crew at the Victoria harbour to board the Pacific Swift, the tall ship we would be sailing on. Within a couple of hours of boarding the ship we were blessed with some strong wind and were truly sailing. It was an incredible experience to be on the ship as the ship keeled from the weight of the wind in our sails as it pushed us along the open seas. 

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

One of the many things we had to the chance to do on the boat was to climb the rigging that goes up to the top of the ship's masts. From the top of the masts one could see for so far out into the vast ocean. It was truly breathtaking. Also within hours of setting sail on the first day we had the privilege of having a couple of Porpoises come swimming alongside our ship. 

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

(Photo by Joel Cross)

While on the Ship we were split into three watches. This means everyone had a time in which it was their duty to help in the sailing process. When a watch was on duty the members of the watches would rotate through jobs such as bow and stern watch, being on the lookout for objects or other boats in the surroundings, listening for calls on the radio, or even steering the boat. Also one of these responsibilities was being on anchor watch. This is where two partners stay up for an hour at night making sure the boat does not start drifting from its anchored spot. One of the benefits of this is getting to see the dazzling night sky. 

(Photo by Joel Cross)

On Wednesday and Thursday we paddled small boats called Dories to shore for a couple of short hikes. On Wednesday we hiked up to beautiful look out spot on Pender Island. On Thursday we hiked through the woods to small lake where a few of the students went swimming.

(Photo by Julia Hood)

(Photo by Jeremy Tiede)

(Photo by Joel Cross)

(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

On Friday we arrived back at the Victoria Harbour and headed back home to Camp Qwanoes! 

(Photo by Jeremy Tiede)

Comming Up Next Week

This Weekend some of the students will be serving here at camp during our Women's Retreat. On Monday the Students will entering into the first half of their Camp and Youth Ministry class taught by Sid Koop. 

How You Can Be Praying

You can be praying for the Students as they are heading into back to back classes beginning with Camp and Youth Ministry followed by Introduction to The New Testament. This will be one of the most academically demanding times of this semester so you can be praying for them in this time. You can also continue to pray that the Lord would give the students confidence and energy as they serve in their perspective churches.

10/05/2017 07:01 PM
(Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

The past three days were spent in Tofino exploring its beautiful beaches and the true western coast of Canada. Plus within the past week the students finished off their first class, Introduction To Spiritual Theology with Dr. Cal Macfarlane, writing their final exam on Friday afternoon. Following this the students spent the Saturday at the Island Youth Workers Conference, where the got to sit in on 3 sessions of various kinds to help them to grow in their ministry as well attending two main sessions lead by Geordon Rendle from Youth For Christ Canada. 

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

We embarked for the beautiful beaches of Tofino on Monday morning. On the way we stoped at Cathedral Grove, one of Canada's oldest tree sanctuaries containing trees up to 75 meters high and 9 meters in circumference. 

(Photo by Joel Cross)

Just along the side of the road there is a beautiful river, Wally's Creek, where we stopped for lunch. There is also a chain link fence here where couples "lock their love" by locking a pad lock to the fence with their names on it and throwing the key into river never to be found again, locking their love together. On the way home we did a corny version of this locking the love this group has with one another, representing the relationships forged here which will last a lifetime.

 (Photo by Mark Jobst)

Before we went surfing on Tuesday afternoon we stoped at a beach and Shane lead us all in a devo and the students had time to sit and reflect at this beautiful rocky beach in Ucluelet. 

 (Photo by Kaitlyn Willems)

 (Photo by Julia Hood)

(Photo by Julia Hood)

Once we got to the Cox Bay, which is where we were surfing on Tuesday morning, we had a campfire on the beach for lunch. 

 (Photo by Mark Jobst)

(Photo by Mark Jobst)

(Photo by Joel Cross)

It was very calm day Tuesday afternoon which meant the waves weren't awesome, however Wednesday morning was almost perfect conditions for our crew. After a morning of surfing we had lunch at the beach and headed straight home so that those who were serving at youth group would be back for that.

Coming Up Next Week

Tomorrow the students will be doing team building exercises which includes using our challenge course. Monday will be our camp Thanksgiving dinner and on Tuesday we head to Victoria, to board the Pacific Swift with S.A.L.T.S. 

How You Can Be Praying

You can be praying that our students continue to grow closer as a community. That they would be learning what it looks like to be leaders in their community and in their many ministries. Pray that the S.A.L.T.S trip would be a great experience and that their would be sun on our faces and wind in our sails!

10/05/2017 06:59 PM

A Special Message from Kaléo 2017 Award Winner (Last Years Class)

Although it is not the most appealing aspect to everyone, the Academic component of the Kaléo Program is an important one. The professors from Briercrest College are incredibly intelligent and knowledgable about their subject. They challenge you to really think about your faith and the Bible in a deeper way than before. The content itself is very interesting. I learned more about the Bible from these ten courses than I have in sixteen years. I discovered a newer and more in depth way of reading God’s Word and listening to His voice behind the text. Some courses taught me how to apply my faith and knowledge in a practical way in the real world; through church, missions, at camp, and in day to day life. I developed a deeper passion and excitement to seek God and continue to learn more about Him everyday. Questions about faith and why we believe the things we do, were answered for me for the first time. Every course was interesting and challenging and taught me things I will use for the rest of my life. 

The academics are hard, there's no doubt about that. But if you put in the work you will learn things you can use throughout all your spheres of influence. At times it felt like I wouldn't get it all done. But with the support of my peers, my leaders, and by relying on God's strength, I made it. Putting in the work is so worth it. I won't easily forget the valuable things I learned from all my professors. Thank you God for teaching me about you.

-Morgan Pépin
09/28/2017 12:00 PM

Earlier this week the students began their first Briercrest course of the program year. The class, Introduction to Spiritual Theology taught by Cal Macfarlane, Ph.D.,  is all about what it means to be formed by the Spirit through His work in their lives and through the word of truth, the Bible. 

This means that amidst all the classroom time the students have enjoyed this week, they also have been spending a lot of time in contemplation and reflection. Included in this is a silence & solitude retreat which began this morning. The students have entered into a time in which they will take the next 24 hours to be alone, away from all the voices of everything else around them, to fast, pray and focus on His voice. On Friday morning they will break the fast with the breaking of bread and once again enjoy each others company to grow and edify one another. 

Coming Up

On Saturday the students will be attending the Island Youth Workers Conference, which will be an opportunity for the them to grow in their abilities to minister to the youth and children in their churches and at camp. On Monday of next week, we will be embarking on our trip out to the West Coast of Vancouver Island to surf the beautiful beaches of Tofino. Hopefully we will be able to shred some gnarly waves! 

How You Can Be Praying For Our Students

Pray for our students as they wrap up their first class. Pray that what they are learning and practicing this week would continue to impact them throughout the following year and the rest of their lives as they continue on their spiritually forming journey. Pray that the Island Youth Workers Conference would be a time in which the students grow in their ministry capacity. Pray for safety on our surf trip and just the ability to soak it all in. Pray for them in their relationships with one another, that as they get to know the other students better they would be able to go deep and go past what is comfortable and be able to push each other on in their faith journey.
09/27/2017 04:56 PM

A Special Message from Kaléo 2017 Award Winner (Last Year's Class) 

When I used to think of ministry, my mind immediately associated it with a task. That thought of ministry is action oriented such as; feeding the homeless, looking after kids or going to another country to serve. But something I have learned is, ministry needs to start elsewhere. Ministry is not so much a task but genuinely loving those around you. Ministry is having God’s love pour through you for others to see and experience. When you genuinely love, all these other things start to fall into place as you desire to express your love in tangible ways. 

While we were in Mexico the locals mentioned a number of times how much they enjoyed having our group from Camp Qwanoes come every year. They thanked us for not only serving them, but serving alongside them - interacting through friendly discussions at meal times, playing games with their children during free times and working with them on the job site in a way that encouraged community. 

You can do ministry in a way that is highly productive, only accomplishing a lot of tasks OR you can work hard and love hard. To be effective in ministry you need to have the love of Christ first. Everything else will follow after that if you actually take the time to imagine  what that can and should look like.

- Vince Hunter 

The Kaléo Program was a year for me to intentionally step back from the world adn focus on my relationship with God. This year gave me clarifty on what God's will is for my life. To live him and walk with him.
Gen Smith