Posted by John Borst on May 31, 2020
In 2014, guest speaker Norman Miller became the CEO of Northern Youth Services (NYS) a Mennonite program founded in 1967 by Clair and Clara Schnupp with the objective of ministering to the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of Indigenous youth.
NYS originally ran a residential school near Pickle Lake which they closed in 1990. Today NYS programs include schools, camps, retreats, and teaching programs. The model for each program is determined under the guidance of the First Nation communities and implemented by Northern Youth Services.
Beaver Lake just north of Dryden is their main facility. Week long summer camps are run there during July and accommodate about seventy youth each week. August focus is on family camp with workshops, family activities, and gospel singing.
Other programs include:
  • Youth Retreats three times a year for high school age students (50 - 70 kids);
  • A single Mom’s retreat each December;
  • Two-week Family programs, eight times per year dealing with loss and grief, abuse recovery, marriage and family counselling, and spiritual growth;
  • Community based programs involve teaching, dealing with grief and trauma, parenting skills, and youth programs.
However, this year with the Covid-19 pandemic there have been no camps or programs. Instead NYS is helping northern reserves with PPE & Mental health support.
Miller is also a pilot and lives with his family on Ghost Lake.
To learn more, go to