Hiking Beyond Comfort Zones
Tristan Hillock has been going to InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Alberta since he was eight years old. Last summer, at 12, he went to Senior Boys camp for the first time.
“The ages are 12-17, so I was one of the youngest.” says Tristan. “Usually I’m one of the older kids, so that was a lot different. It was a longer camp, too, 10 days long.”
Senior Boys is designed to bridge the gap between younger boys and older teens, providing the younger men with role models to learn from. During the week, campers do a variety of activities together, including wall climbing, sports, campfires and a three or four-day out-trip. Out-trips involve hiking, canoeing or horseback riding, and, for Tristan, this was the highlight of the week.
“We were hiking and I got to see a bunch of waterfalls.” I’ve never seen a waterfall before, so it was really shocking when we saw it. We went and were throwing rocks down the waterfall. It was pretty cool.”
During the out-trip, Tristan learned that he was capable of more than he thought.
Horseback riding and hiking got to be some of the outdoor
activities Tristan experienced while at Senior Boys camp.
“We went on all-day hikes through the mountains, and the leaders were really pushing us to our limits. And at the time, I was kind of mad at them because it was a really long hike, but after the hike was over, I was glad they did it that way. Because now I feel like I can do more than I could do before.”
For Tristan, spending time outdoors was one of the best parts of camp.
“I loved being outside with all my other friends and getting to learn about God’s creation and be with horses. It was really fun.”
And getting outside was something he encouraged his friends to do too, even during free time.
“I live on a farm, so I’m outdoors a lot. But a lot of kids were from the city and were spending free time inside. I just said, ‘you’re at camp, so might as well be outside as much as possible. Because when you’re back home it won’t be the same.’ So we went outside, playing different games that we all enjoyed, and we all had a lot of fun.”
Tristan says camp is “a great way to learn about God—how he cares for us and loves us, and how he built the world and all the beautiful things in it. You get to ride horses and be with your friends. It’s really fun—just a good time to get out of the house and do something different.”
Senior Boys is one of over 200 programs offered at InterVarsity’s nine summer camps across Canada. From horsemanship to family camps to teen leadership development, our programs are designed with our campers in mind—to be fun, age-appropriate and full of new opportunities.
If you’d like to send your child to camp this summer, visit ivcf.ca/camp/find-a-camp.
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