Footpaths After-School Camp

An affordable after-school camp in Uptown Waterloo.

Wednesday after-school care featuring transportation, games, snacks, music, and learning focused on spiritual exploration.

Who We Are 

Trillium Lutheran Church has offered Wednesday programming for kids and teens since 2020. Our community cares about inclusivity, hospitality, and care of creation. 

Our Family Ministry Coordinator, Nathan Mantey, has 7 years of experience working locally as an outdoor education specialist, and 7 years of camp leadership experience in Ontario, BC and the United States.

Check out our new Peacemakers summer camp happening this August. Early bird pricing in effect!

On the go? 

We’ll send you an email or give you a call to answer your questions about the camp.

Footpaths After-School Camp

Camp Highlights

  • Consistent, weekly after-school care: Wednesdays from 3:20 to 5:45 pm
  • Healthy snacks, games, craft activities, music and learning included with the program. 
  • Dynamic camp counsellor staff keep kids engaged (1:6 staff to camper ratio)
  • Staff and volunteers age 18+ are screened with a vulnerable sector police check and receive child safe training.
  • Walking School Bus Pick-Up option from Elizabeth Ziegler Public School.
  • Free community supper option provided for camper families, staff and volunteers.
What is your approach to spiritual formation and religion?

We take the bible seriously, but not literally.

What does this mean?

This means we see the stories of the Hebrew scriptures and early Christian writings as sacred gifts with which we can engage to learn more about what it means to be human in relationship with the Divine, with each other, and with all of creation. We do not consider the bible to be ‘science’ or a rulebook to be received unquestioningly. We consider each biblical writing as a product of its cultural context, written by a particular person for a particular audience.

Learning more about the people who wrote and read the texts in the bible can help us better understand how they experienced God and the world, which can challenge us to better understand our own relationship with the Divine and each other. 

At times, we will engage with partners from other spiritual traditions, as a way to deepening our understanding of each other and the Sacred. 

You can trust that your child’s and family’s beliefs and practices will be respected as having value in their own right. In fact, we always look forward to learning from them!

You can also expect that the portions of the Footpaths program lead by Trillium staff will assume the presence of a loving God beyond and in all creation, discuss Jesus as embodying this loving presence, engage in diverse prayer practices, and teach that questions, doubts, and differences are important parts of spiritual engagement. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Trillium’s Youth and Family Coordinator Nathan Mantey with any questions or concerns about the program content. (

What is the walking school bus?
  • The Walking School Bus pick up program is available to families with children attending Elizabeth Ziegler Public School who register for one or more session (7 weeks+).  
  • Participants in the program are picked up from school by Trillium staff in reflective vests.  Parents must provide permission to the school for our staff to pick up your child.
  • The supervised walking school bus group will walk from Elizabeth Ziegler, crossing Moore and Allan Streets, to arrive a Trillium 22 Willow via the driveway at 100 Allan Street.
  • The Walking School bus picks up at 3:20 and arrives at Trillium by 3:40.
What if my child has never been to church?

No problem! Our program does not assume that participants have any particular religious background.  We will be learning with and from each other.

We already have a faith community. Is this program for me?

We encourage families who already have a strong connection with their own faith community to give this program a try.  Don’t worry, we don’t want you to abandon your home church.  This is a mid-week program and will include participants from several churches and denominations.

We are aware that many Lutheran, Anglican and other protestant churches do not have the numbers or resources to justify a quality faith formation program or Sunday School.  Many families we speak to feel like their kids don’t have peers or community at their home church. 

Trillium’s Footpaths program is designed to develop community relationships for kids, in an inclusive learning environment, while respecting each family’s religious background and views.  We learn better when we learn together!

What safety measures do you have in place?
  • A staff member with current CPR/First Aid training will be onsite at all times during the program.
  • Staff and volunteers 18 and up are required to complete a child safety training in order to participate in the program.  This training includes education on how to recognize signs of child abuse and how to report concerns. 
  • Staff and volunteers 18 and up are required to submit a vulnerable sector police check to participate in the program. 
  • The supervision ratio is 1:6.
  • Walking school bus leaders wear high visibility reflective vests.
What kind of snacks are provided?

Snacks will include items like:

  • Veggie sticks
  • Fresh fruit
  • Yogurt tubes
  • Goldfish crackers

If your child has dietary restrictions or allergies, please note this in the medical info section of the registration form.

Do we have to stay for the community meal?

We developed the Wednesday meal program because we know that families sometimes struggle to cook at home during busy weeknights.

In the past, the meal has included entrees like pizza, mac & cheese, lasagna or soup.  Bread and veggies or salad are also provided.

The community meal is totally optional, however we ask that if you would like your child to join us for the meal, that an adult arrives by 5:45 to accompany them during the meal.  Staff will not be able to supervise campers beyond 6:00.

The Wednesday supper is typically attended by Trillium members and families.  It is a good place to meet neighbours in the Mary Allen area. Our youth group meets after the meal and visiting youth are welcome to join.

What times does the program run?

Daily Schedule

3:20 Walking School Bus Pick up at Elizabeth Ziegler PS

3:30-4:30 Drop off at Trillium 22 Willow

3:40 Walking School Bus arrives at Trillium

3:30-4:00 Snacks and Large Group Activities

4:00-5:00 Small Group Rotations 

Campers share their highs & lows of the week and hear an age-appropriate bible story or learn from a guest teacher.  Crafts or games connect to the day’s learning. 

5:00 Chapel Time: Puppet Show, Music

5:45 Camper Pick up or stay for the meal

5:45-6:30 Optional free home-cooked meal!

What does it mean that your program is "inclusive"?

Trillium Lutheran Church is affirming of people who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.  We feel called to affirm and welcome the queer community as part of living out our faith. 

We do this in a visible way because so many queer folks have been marginalized by people claiming to represent the Christian church.

We recognize the need for transparency and accountability with regard to welcoming people who have been historically marginalized by church institutions.  You can read about our welcome policy on the ReconcilingWorks website.  ReconcilingWorks is an advocacy organization based in St. Paul Minnesota and maintains a registry of affirming Lutheran congregations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Trillium is also inclusive of people who are marginalized because of other subjectivities. 

Part of our welcome statement is excerpted below, but we encourage you to read the full welcome statement here

“We embrace all those who have ever felt excluded by the Church because of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability, economic circumstance, or family status… Whatever your country of origin or ancestry; whether you are a believer, a doubter or a seeker; in Christ’s love, we welcome you.”

How much does it cost?
Program Pricing

You can register for one or more block of 7 weeks, or you can pay as you go using the drop in option.

$80 – Session 5 (April-June, 7 weeks)

$16/week – Drop In (pay as you go)

Why are you charging for families to participate? What if I can't afford it?

It is important to us that our programs are both affordable and professional.  Footpaths is a full-scale after-school care program.  While we do have several volunteers, we employee 6 youth and young adults as Footpaths staff in addition to our family ministry team.  Charging a small registration fee helps us to cover the staffing costs as well as expenses like craft materials, child safety training, snacks, and equipment.

It is possible to register on a sliding scale (pay-what-you-can) by making use of our camper bursary fund.  To access the camper bursary fund, contact Nathan Mantey at  You can choose to use the camper bursary fund to cover half or all of your registration fee.  Use the registration form on the bottom of this page to sign up.

Spiritual Formation with Integrity.

Not so sure about a church program?

Fair enough. The bible and Christian doctrine have been (and continue to be) used to reinforce oppressive structures that harm individuals and communities. 

Let us be transparent:

We do not see the bible or the Christian tradition as superior to other traditions or ways of being and knowing, but rather as a path that we have chosen to take up. We take seriously challenging the parts of our tradition that get in the way of loving as we feel Jesus taught.  We also work to better live out the parts of our tradition that we feel help communicate the presence of Divine love in the world. 

Read more by selecting the dropdown tab: “What is your approach to spiritual formation and religion?”

Daily Schedule

3:20 Walking School Bus Pick up at Elizabeth Ziegler P.S.

3:30-4:30 Drop off at Trillium Church, 22 Willow St.

3:40 Walking School Bus arrives at Trillium

3:30-4:00 Snacks and Large Group Activities

4:00-5:00 Small Group Rotations

    • Campers share their highs & lows of the week and hear an age-appropriate bible story or learn from a guest teacher.  Crafts or games connect to the day’s learning. 

5:00 Chapel Time: Puppet Show and Music

5:45 Camper Pick-up or Stay for the Meal

5:45-6:30 Optional free home-cooked meal!

Camp Dates & Pricing

$80 – Session 5 (May-June, 7 weeks)

$16/week – Drop In (pay as you go)


Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Wed, Mar 6, 2024
Wed, Mar 20, 2024
Wed, Mar 27, 2024
Wed, April 3, 2024
Wed, April 10, 2024
Wed, April 17, 2024


Bring a Friend Day:
Wed, April 24, 2024 (free!)


Wed, May 1, 2024
Wed, May 8, 2024
Wed, May 15, 2024
Wed, May 22, 2024
Wed, May 29, 2024
Wed, June 5, 2024
Wed, June 12, 2024