Serving on and off the court at Muskoka Woods

Posted: August 23, 2017

Dan Dekoning’s uniform will look a little different this summer. Instead of his usual jersey, stick, and skates, Dan will be sporting a camp shirt and tennis racquet.

The second-year Briercrest hockey player is spending his summer investing into the lives of the campers at Muskoka Woods.

“I have always had a passion for kids,” Dan explained, “and I saw working at Muskoka Woods as a great opportunity to be able to shape the lives of many children.”

“My teammate this past year, CJ McCartney, has been an employee at Muskoka Woods for many years and explained how the place has changed his life,” Dan continued. “I’ve been extremely excited to jump into camp ministry this summer and to be able to build meaningful relationships with many kids.”

Although Dan can usually be found on the ice, he will be exercising his tennis skills these next few months.

“I’m the tennis area head this summer at Muskoka Woods,” he said. “In a snapshot that means that I plan and organize the training for the tennis instructors. I also plan the day by day lessons for the kids and supervise the tennis area as a whole.”  

Dan adds that his job includes a number of other responsibilities, including setting up programs and welcoming guests.

Having spent many years playing organized sports, Dan has learned to work well within a team context.

“I work on a team with my instructors to ensure the kids get the best experience possible. My experience playing on the hockey team this past year, as well as other teams in the past, has taught me to have a team-first attitude,” he said.

Having just completed his first year at Briercrest, Dan shares about the impact it has had on him and how it’s helped prepare him for working with the youth.

“Briercrest has had a huge influence on me this past year and I have grown as a man of God because of it. Attending a class like Youth Ministry with Ken Moser has been helpful when I am constantly a mentor for the youth at Muskoka Woods. I have the chance to implement what I have been taught at my time so far at Briercrest,” Dan said.

Dan is most excited about the opportunity camp provides to share his passion for Jesus with the kids he interacts with.

“Camp ministry is the perfect opportunity to display my faith in front of kids who might not know or understand Christianity. I have the chance to be the Christian influence in a kid’s life that they might not get anywhere else.”