For a long time, our A Cappella Camp has been a special place for teenagers to experience the transformational power of music. Now, as we head into our 10th year of this unique camp, we'd like to turn back the clock to see what a huge impact this camp has been having for the past decade.
Above: Rachel accepting a gift from our New Gen team on A Cappella Choir Camp's 5th anniversary!
The idea for this camp was sparked when Rachel Yadu, a Canadian, came to Jamaica and heard of New Generation Camps. She approached us with the aim of starting a camp that harnesses the voices and musical talents of young people. Before long, we were able to attract, not only Jamaicans, but also several other Canadians from Mennonite churches abroad who helped to both sponsor and volunteer at the camp. Since then, our network of local and overseas support has only continued to grow, and now even includes churches in the United States which see the powerful effect our camp has had on Jamaica’s youth.
Above: Uncle Cam teaching campers music theory!
In fact, many of our overseas friends have volunteered as counselors, teachers and choir directors and have worked tirelessly with campers to learn a variety of songs and valuable musical concepts. It takes a lot of commitment on campers’ part as well to learn the material, follow directions and work together as a group. But, by the end of each week, they can see their hard work pay off in a BIG way when they perform at our annual end-of-camp concert in front family and friends.
“It’s fun to see the lights come on in the kids’ eyes when they catch unto to one of the parts that they’re singing. And then the sound that we get by the middle or the end of the week […] is so much different from the beginning. It’s so amazing to see the change.”
- Dwylyn (Choir Director)
Above: One of our campers singing her solo with confidence!
We’ve tended to choose diverse sets of inspirational songs, some of which are a bit more technical and harder to sing than others. But we’re happy to say that, time after time, we’ve watched in amazement as campers eagerly rise to meet the challenge. This is has usually been helped by the fact that our songs have wonderful melodies and lyrics which are fun to sing.
“We have had testimonies from students who remarked that in difficult times the words of the songs would come to their minds. I believe that music is a powerful tool that the Holy Spirit can use to guide these young souls in their daily lives.”
- Rachel (co-founder of A Cappella Camp)
Above: Several campers hanging out in our dining hall
But it wouldn’t be New Gen, without those quintessential hallmarks of camp! Apart from music, campers also enjoy swimming, sports, games, a campfire and more! Plus, after so much time spent with one another over yummy meals, in tents, and in classes – the campers all become close friends by the end of each week.
“You get to be away from all the stresses of life for a little bit. All the people are amazing. [...] You get to learn a lot. You get to build your relationship with God. You know, when you leave there, you get to leave with friends you can have for life […] The feeling that you get when you're there, it stays with you for a very long time even after camp has ended.”
- Sekayi (former camper turned counselor)
Above: Our campers and counselors from 2019!
It's been 10 amazing years of watching God work in the lives of all who pass through this special camp. If you think you’d like to join this incredible legacy, as a camper or counselor, just let us know! You can learn more about the upcoming A Cappella Choir Camp experience here.