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NHL’er spends face time with summer campers


Nick Spaling (right, dark green t-shirt) and Willard Metzger (left, dark green t-shirt)enjoy the excitement and playfulness of youth at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp in Ont. on July 4, 2012. For this and other photos of Nick Spaling’s visit, see

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Mennonite Church Canada and Silver Lake Mennonite Camp joint release
July 12, 2012
-Dan Dyck with reports from Dave Erb

Winnipeg, Man. —Not many kids at Mennonite summer camps have a chance to meet a bona fide Mennonite NHL hockey player, but that is exactly what happened when the Nashville Predators’ Nick Spaling spent the day at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp (Ont.) on July 4.

Spaling, a member at Drayton Mennonite Church who has been featured in Mennonite Church Canada’s first “Mennonites Everywhere” video project, took time to answer questions from 6 to9-year-old campers ranging from “What is your favourite cupcake icing flavour?” to “How does God help you?”

“The highlight was definitely having Nick at evening campfire as a special guest on Silver Lake’s Hockey Night in Canada” said Dave Erb, Silver Lake executive director. In front of 200 campers and staff, Spaling shared how his faith plays an important role in his life both on and off the ice. “What a powerful testimony to our young campers who so often hold hockey players and other professional athletes as role models.”

Willard Metzger, Mennonite Church Canada’s executive director, is a personal friend of Spaling and invited him to spend the day with campers.

“Nick’s visit and his role in the broader Mennonites Everywhere video series is an attempt to give an alternative view to the many Mennonite stereotypes that exist in society and in the media. In a sense we are speaking to the public and to ourselves at the same time,” he said. “Our own Mennonite young people need to know that they can pursue their dreams and hold tight to their faith at the same time,” Metzger added.

See complete coverage of Assembly 2012