Young Salvationists from across the territory gathered in Jackson’s Point, Ont., this summer for the territory’s 47th annual National Music Camp. This year’s participants included 128 students and 41 faculty members from Canada and Bermuda, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and France. The camp offered three primary streams—brass band, women’s chorus and worship team—as well as a variety of electives, from timbrels to Salvationism to kung fu.
Among the campers were a group of 12 youth from northern British Columbia’s Camp Mountainview. Led by Damian Azak, corps leader at Gitwinksihlkw, B.C., and Erica Azak, director of Camp Mountainview, they represented the Nisga’a, Gitxsan and Ts’imshian First Nations, and gave a moving demonstration of how Indigenous Salvationists worship in northern British Columbia at the camp’s Tuesday night talent program.
This year, Bible study was led by Majors Norman and Lois Garcia, corps officers, Mississauga Temple Community Church, who focused on the life of Abraham. At the Sunday morning meeting, Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, challenged campers to live up to their God-given potential, and to use their week at National to explore that potential.
For Daniel Ho, a senior soldier at Toronto’s Yorkminster Citadel, attending National was an opportunity to renew his faith. “The outside world has lots of magnets that pull you, and to come to camp and make contact with a lot of people who have Christ at the centre of their lives really grounds you,” says Ho, who came to the Army through the musical influence of his high school music teachers, Cameron Rawlins and Greg Colley.
This year’s camp was the last for Major Kevin Metcalf, who directed the camp for nine years as territorial secretary for music and gospel arts. “For his own reasons, the Lord has chosen to bless the ministry of National Music Camp,” says Major Metcalf. “National has become a place for healing, restoration, redemption and life-transforming spiritual motivation.”
His wife, Major Loriann Metcalf, has also had a significant impact on the camp over the years, starting a Tuesday morning Fun Run/Walk to raise money for World Missions projects. This year, $2,000 was raised through the Fun Run/Walk. Students and faculty raised an additional $2,000 for World Missions as a farewell gift for Majors Metcalf, through donations throughout the camp. These funds will support a project in the Latin America North Territory.
Majors Metcalf were publicly thanked for their years of service at the camp’s final program, held at Scarborough Citadel on September 5. After remarkable performances from all the groups assembled at National, the final program concluded with the singing of Total Praise, a fitting end to a week of musical and spiritual growth.