The Wetfoot Blog

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Camp Chaplain, Francie Corry


When a student studying both for a Masters in Divinity and Social Work calls you and says she was a past camper and is interested in the Chaplain position at Camp for the summer, you listen.

Francie Corry called me this fall and I was a bit taken aback by her excitement and enthusiasm for Manito-wish. "Who is this lady?" I thought to myself.  After talking with Francie, I found that her life path hasn't fallen into the ‘ordinary’ category.

Francie was a camper at Manito-wish in the 90’s. “It was through camp, my counselors and the young women with whom I backpacked that I obtained my values, morals, and reverence God and the earth.”

She followed her passion to the University of Montana in pursuit of learning from people and the earth. After a year in school she craved more out of her schooling, so she found a program at an Algonquin Indian Reservation in Ontario for one year. One year quickly turned into three years. During this time she worked with at-risk youth and mentored young men and women. She also used her time in Ontario to earn a BA in Environmental Conservation from McMaster University.

“Since I worked with these young people, I have seen many of them worked grow into happy, healthy, and spiritual adults who now have children of their own. Nothing could be more rewarding.”

This work expanded into work with other indigenous communities in Canada, particularly with elders and young adults in these communities. Currently she stays in contact and does some work with Native Americans from Manitoba and Six Nations of the Iroquis.

Francie then moved from Canada to Madison where she spent time working in nursing homes and pursuing a BA in English and Creative Writing. Her experiences there inspired her to self-publish a book: Wisdom of the Elders. For the project, she interviewed over 100 elders in the Madison community asking them what wisdom they would wish to share with the next generation.

Currently, Francie is working on her Masters in Divinity at the Chicago Theological Union, as well as her Masters in Social Work at the University of Chicago. On the side she is also working on another book called Small Miracles.

Before moving on to the next phase of her career in Hospice care, Francie has always dreamed of spending one last full summer at Camp giving back. “Ideally, [Camp is about] teaching these campers to return home with a newfound confidence that will help them be leaders in whatever way they are called to lead in their community.” Now isn’t that what it’s all about?

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You’ll see Francie around all summer working with the staff and campers, running program areas, special events and activities, and running chapel on Sundays.

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