The “This Year…” series looks back at lessons learned in the past year of YL. It will feature several posts and guest posts.
Here is one from my friend Dougie in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, Canada…
We have been working with some higher risk students through contact work and they started coming to club. The only problem is that they have lagging social skills and really need attention so we came up with a plan…why not take them away for a camp?
But then we still struggled as to what to do with them…so we decided to do a work crew camp at our camping facility. It’s a big like extended contact work, with a club talk and an opportunity for the students to develop their work ethic and grow in their faith.
It’s been really easy to set up and local businesses have been sponsoring the camps…we invite 4 students to go and then just drive them up to camp, we work in the pits for about 6 hours a day and then have free use of all the facilities. We go on "excursions to town" and hang out with the YL community there. I set up a meeting with a guy that works with us in the Pits and he shares something about his Christian faith with our students.
It was hard the first time to set a precedent for behavior on the trip but now the students figure all this and respect the camp and their leader enough not to pull many stunts. They really enjoy working in the pits and achieving something. The Ministry of Children and Families and youth probation have been really encouraging along with our local municipality and the trips can be used for work experience credits in school too.