My two sisters and I went to the Ezra Institute for a week in August this summer for the
Worldview Leadership Camp. The Ezra Institute is a place where Christians teach about apologetics and Christian world-views.
While the others were arriving, some of the boys were playing frisbee and I joined in. One important thing to know about the Ezra Institute is that it is not like most camps — there are no cabins or tents with a lot of bugs and cold nights — this camp is at a mansion!
The rooms had beautiful art, wall paper, wooden trim on everything. There were fancy chairs, book cases and wardrobes. In the library there was a table worth more than $30,000. The bedrooms were simple and nice. They had 2-4 twin sized beds, two side tables, a desk, a coat rack, and it was all white.
The room we spent the most time in was the lecture room of course, but whenever we were done the lectures we were in a game room. It had a ping-pong table, pool table and a tv for when we watched a movie.
Once we got settled in, there was a short talk about the many things we would be doing that week and an introduction to the Christian worldview.
The notes throughout the entire week were extremely fast-paced. Before I could write down the slide, they would go to the next one! But I am glad it was fast, because I could get a lot of information in a short amount of time.
We ate meals in Schaefer Hall which was always entertaining and always had the best food. All of these meals were five-star meals made by amazing chefs and cooks. One night we had steak and shrimp in one meal. It was a great atmosphere – we always goofed off and had great conversations. Anthony’s steak was more rare than the others, so it took him so long to eat it. Gabe ended up taking his and trying to finish it, but it was still too hard. So I finished it. I have no problem finishing someone else’s steak. It was very funny!
One of the big features at camp was the cleaning contest. Everyone would be marked on the cleanliness of their room. You could do many things to get extra points like leaving little treats or marking bible verses. What I did to get extra marks was write poems for the two judges who were Mike Boot and his wife. I ended up getting 4th out of the 30 kids, and I got first out of all the boys.
Here are my poems in case you ever need to win for a clean room contest 😉
Chicken Bone, Chicken Bone
Stuck between my teeth
Chicken Bone, Chicken Bone
Longing for relief
Chicken Bone, Chicken Bone
Drumstick and a wing
Chicken Bone, Chicken BoneChicken Bone!!!!
Its a grand ole thing
To Chaplin and the Missis
It’s been a grand old time
I love talking to you
about my silly rhymes
Hearing you both speak
Just fill my heart with joy
It makes me want to jumpTo the Judges
like a little boy
You two have been a real delight
I’m honoured by your word
What you say is true and right
be my poems absurd
Though sticks and stones may break my bones
your words are hardened steel
and even in my darkest hoursPoem 3
my soul, your words may heal
I wrote others as well but I don’t remember them.
Each day we had breakfast at nine and then a little sermon. And lectures by the founder Rev.Dr.Joe Boot, and other pastors and teachers. It was very interesting and I appreciate their wisdom and knowledge. They taught everything in a very understandable way.
We also had mentors which were camp leaders, just with a fancy title. They would make sure their groups got to places on time, and would answer questions and help us have good conversations in our small groups.
We had many lectures throughout the rest of the week they were:
- Think Christianly: Joe Boot
- The Rise of Religious Secularism: Joe Boot
- The Apologetic Mandate: Joe Boot
- The Apologetic Method: Joe Boot
- Origin, meaning, morality, definition
- Addressing and answering Islam: Wesley Huff
- Biblical Sexuality and Courtship: Rev.Dr. Michael Thiessen. (Gabe’s Dad)
- Biblical Masculinity. Also by Michael Thiessen. (the girls got a talk on Femininity by someone else)
- Brown and Black Privilege Samual Sey
- The mission of the Church
- Explaining Evangelism: Cory McKenna
- The Arts, Culture, and Evangelism: Jenny Boot
- Abortion: Samual Sey
- State of the Nation
My favourite lecture was Biblical Masculinity. It taught a lot about being manly, not looking like a girl or acting like one. It taught about keeping the family upright and strong.
During the week I made many new best friends. We were always playing together. We would usually be at the tennis court or in the library playing mafia or chatting. We played a tonne of games: spike ball, tennis, volleyball, ping pong, billiards, coup, and capture-the-flag. Gabe and I also played tennis whenever we got the chance. We were pretty equal, but I was out of practice so he beat me. We watched the movie Mully.
It is not a funny movie, but Gabe and I sat beside each other in the front row and made so many jokes. That the movie was hilarious.
We also sang every day, roasted marshmallows, cleared away logs and sticks in the woods, and did other farm work.
The Ezra Institute is also a farm. They are trying to preserve the woods there and keep out invasive spices.
Near the end of the week, we also had a talent show. There was a piano player who played Ragtime Medley and another piano player who played Rachmaninoff! There was a guitar player, sax player… there was a lot of talent! It was a tonne of fun. I sang the “Maladjusted Jester“:
Later we even had a hoedown where we square danced, and line-danced. We each had a partner and learned steps the steps to follow the caller for all the songs. It was so much fun – we all liked it!
Can’t wait until next year!