Top Fives From Pioneer Camp

By Jack Connolly, Youth Pastor

Posted on May 14, 2013

St. Paul's moms were given a rare Mother's Day gift last weekend - a break from their teenagers, who we took on retreat to Pioneer Camp. It was an incredibly intense few days and some of us are still catching up on our sleep. 

Harrison and Jillian, two of our talented and dedicated youth leaders, as well as my wife Robyn and I accompanied 14 of our youth to Pioneer Camp. We spent time in team building exercises, worship, prayer, hiking and other activities that were just plain fun. 

Top 5 Most Important Lessons Learned At Pioneer Camp 2013

1. There is no such thing as too many marshmallows.
2. Old beat-up school buses are much more fun than luxury coaches.
3. Everybody has a story.
4. Nothing captures the attention of a group like somebody sharing their story for the first time.
5. Contrary to popular belief, our young people care deeply about establishing and maintaining a meaningful connection with God and their community.

Top 5 Most Memorable Moments from the 2013 Retreat

1.    When everybody made cards and crafts for one of our girls who couldn’t come with us due to hospitalization (she’s recovering just fine!).
2.    When Jillian, Hayley, Trent and Daniel took the courageous step of sharing the story of their faith.
3.    When the guys returned from their prayer-walk with the most incredibly deep and considerate prayer.
4.    When Jack started to get excited about the retreat on the bus and scared everybody a little bit.
5.    When we burned the names of our sins or of those things which keep us from stepping into the light. 

Our spiritual focus was on the first couple chapters of 1st John and we spent time asking ourselves the following questions:

  • Can we really expect to walk in the light, to know God?
  • What keeps us in the darkness as individuals?
  • How can we take new action to intentionally walk in the light like Jesus in our “regular” lives?
  • How can we be accountable to God and to each other?

Thank you to all of the youth who joined us and the leaders who made it possible! We are looking forward to our next retreat coming up in the fall. If you are interested in having your child attend one of Pioneer Camp’s summer programs, please visit or contact Jack Connolly or Janet Earle for bursary opportunities.