Timber Bay staff love and support hurting youth in their communities through camps, group activities, Bible studies, and 1-on-1 mentoring. Many relationships begin in 6th grade and continue through high school.
Ministry Focus: Since 1970, Youth Investment Foundation (YIF) has combined community ministry with camping (Timber Bay) to reach troubled youth and help them discover that Christ can bring emotional and spiritual health. We commit to a purposeful friendship with our kids for years–through the turbulence of adolescence. This relationship can start early in middle school, continue through high school and in various ways with young adult alumni.
While many young people engage in destructive behavior, making unwise or illegal choices, most will mature into relatively mature and productive adults. Our focus is the young person whose destructive behavior can be a symptom of a dysfunctional background or a downward spiral of their own deliberately poor choices. Because our kids can bring friends and relatives who may not be struggling with similar issues, our groups can have a diverse blend of kids.
Camp: Contact with our kids often starts by inviting them to Timber Bay, our year-round camp and retreat center in northern Minnesota. TB, located on a private bay of Little Whitefish Lake, is as quiet as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, yet only 100 miles north of the MN Twin Cities.
Kids swim, hike, camp out, and play ball in the summer. In winter they cross-country ski, snow tube, play broomball and hang around a crackling fire. Year round they can enjoy rustic/modern log cabins, a beautiful log lodge and excellent food–all structured for our kids. Their spiritual perspective can begin to change after hearing short fireside discussions about Jesus Christ. Because of the ongoing demands of our active community outreach, camps generally are scheduled for weekends or overnights.
WorkCrew: Kids 14 and older can join a Timber Bay WorkCrew. They build cabins, shovel snow, landscape, and cut firewood. We believe that healthy work ultimately can have more value for kids than play. Working at Timber Bay builds in them a sense of ownership, caring, contribution, and accomplishment. Community: "The Camp That Comes Home With Kids"
It’s easy to leave camp with a "spiritual high." But, because we believe it’s irresponsible to get troubled kids "high on Jesus" and then leave them on their own, we are dedicated to follow-through in their home community. Our motto is, " The camp that comes home with the kids."The full-time and part-time staff, as well as regular volunteers, that bring kids to TB continue the relationship back home.
When our youth need compassion, support in crises, or emotional shelter from an abusive home, staff can be there to help. When they need loving, forthright accountability or confrontation about a problem such as chemical abuse, staff members are available.
One-to-one attention is balanced by community "care groups". These pull kids together for small group discussion and discipleship. Groups of peers who face similar struggles may meet with staff for Bible study, sharing, or drug aftercare. Others who are serious about their Christian growth are also taught and encouraged in these care groups.
Home Away From Home: Additional camps are held during the year such as Leadership Camps and Getaways for our youth who are growing in their faith. Staff-led workshops and sessions lead to many informal growth discussions. These camps and frequent WorkCrews allow our kids to return to TB as often as they wish during the year.