Hi! My name is Hilary Richardson and I am the Program Architect for the Summer Camp Program – Community Roots Day Camp – being created by the Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI Youth and Family Ministry in collaboration with Parishes in local communities across the Diocese. Firstly, a few things about me: I am 22 years old and a Spring 2018 Graduate from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, I took a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Psychology and I looking forward to walking across the stage on Friday, May 18th! In the future I will be looking to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Psychology or a Psychology-related field. I am so passionate about community development and exploring ways to make even the simplest of daily tasks, to the most complex, easier for everyone! I am a Warden in the Parish of Falkland, Herring Cove where we are a 1-point Parish – St. James Anglican Church, Herring Cove is a cute little Church in a cove by the sea (and the views are breathtaking). What else can I tell you about me? Well, I am a fur-mom to a wonderful little kitty named Malachi – yes, I named him after a book in the bible, doesn’t everyone?
I am so excited to be a part of this vital emerging ministry because who wouldn’t want to attend a summer camp about FAITH AND COMMUNITY? I attended so many summer camps when I was younger, but none that had any faith-inclusive programming. I wish I had this opportunity when I was younger to learn and grow in faith and community with others my age at such an integral and influential time in faith and spiritual development. The relationships that I have formed throughout my adolescence have been the strongest when they were formed in a space where I felt safe to be myself, to share the things that I love with others without judgement and connect with others regarding one of the most important aspects of my life: my own relationship with God. Some of the strongest and longest-lasting relationships, have started with God being the one thing that initially connected us.
I believe that Community Roots Day Camp has something to offer, something special, something unique and interesting, something that can be differentiated from many other Summer Camp programming available, something which should shared with others and not kept a secret. That something special, is our FAITH. We should not keep the love of God a secret from others, we should be sharing it with whomever we can – and that is why I am excited for Community Roots. To allow the children of our communities to explore the love that The Lord has for them, to ask questions and then ask more, to explore the different ways to connect with God (of which cannot be quantified), and to grow in community and in faith while feeling safe in a space where they can express their true selves and have fun while doing it (which what summer camp is all about, right?)!
I cannot wait for what this summer holds for our Diocese, the youth whom attend these camps, the volunteers who will learn so many valuable skills, and how this position will also allow me to grow in faith and community with God and with others. I cannot wait to see what Parishes will do after these camps are over as they use these new tools and resources to continue on the journey of Youth and Family Ministry. I am excited for the seeds we plant, to grow and blossom.