Good morning again everyone,
Wow, the weather has been amazing this past week. Soooooooo hot. It feels like summer already. This weekend wasn't quite as nice but it was ok to have a couple of cooler days. Hopefully the weather last week is an indication of the weather to come this summer.
We had three Activity Days last week. It has been awesome to see so many kids around the camp participating in lots of activities. When the kids come to the camp for activity days they get to go kayaking, make smores, launch bottle rockets, slide down a hill on a block of ice, shoot arrows and more. It is a great day. Hopefully we will see lots of these kids back here this summer. Also, there is just such a different energy around this place when there are more people here. It just feels more..... normal. Love it.
On Tuesday I was extremely blessed by the staff on my birthday. Michelle was away in Germany all week and so I was single daddying it for the week. On Tuesday the staff started the day by singing happy birthday to me and then we had cake at lunch. Also, the staff came over to my house on Tuesday night and hung out until probably way too late. There is such a feeling of community here at camp that it is unbelievable. People genuinely care for and look after each other and it is an amazing community to be a part of. I absolutely love our team. They are amazing.
However, Tuesday was also a tragic day as Jaydon Sommerfeld was killed in a car accident just east of the camp. While Jaydon was not directly connected to the camp, many of our staff and campers are friends with Jaydon. For those of you who do not know the story, Jaydon and his girlfriend were involved in a serious car accident on Tuesday night just east of Camp Chestermere. Unfortunately, Jaydon passed away on Wednesday morning as a result of his injuries. His girlfriend however survived the accident. On Thursday night Sherry made a casserole and cookies for the family and Brad Hunter, one of our summer staff members, and myself took the food over to the family. While it was great to bless this family in a small way with food, I have sat in way too many of those living rooms. Hug your children. Tell them you love them. Everyday. Our prayers continue to go out to Jaydon's family and all those affected by this tragedy. There is a fundraising event in memory of Jaydon on Sunday June 14 at 1pm at the Plainsman Arena in Airdrie. Jaydon was a lacrosse player and played for the Rockyview Silvertip Lacrosse Team. Admission is $5.
Also, there was a vigil held for Jaydon on Wednesday night in Chestermere and many of our staff went to support the family and others affected by this tragedy. Loving people and meeting them where they are at is what we do best and I am so amazed by how our staff has stepped up to support people at this time. Again we continue to pray and show support for Jaydon's family and those affected by this horrible tragedy.
Work continues to happen around camp. The CLTD area Down Under looks amazing. New pallet wall, new carpet, rearrangement of couches, new lamps, and more still to come. We had a dad donate money to help with this project and it looks amazing. The Chap continues to come along but much still needs to be done. We are having a volunteer work day on Saturday June 20 from 9 - 3. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help get the camp ready for the summer is invited to attend. Please RSVP Chantel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help out. On Saturday we will be installing a new sound system, doing some gardening and landscaping, painting, power washing, cleaning, and much more. Something to do for everyone with a variety of skill sets. Any help is appreciated. Lunch will be provided.
We continue to interview staff for the summer. While we are looking pretty good, we still need more cabin leaders, both junior and senior. If you know of some young people looking for summer employment then please send them our way.
On Thursday a number of our staff went to Rainbow Creek Elementary School and led an assembly. This was a great promotional opportunity for the camp. It was also great to go to help lift the spirits of the school a little. Rainbow Creek is very closely connected to the tragic death of Jaydon and so it was a nice to be able to help them have some fun for an hour. Our team did an amazing job.
We had a number of groups in on the weekend and again our staff did a great job. One group was so appreciative of the work that Gary, Evan, and Amanda did that they bought them all Tim Hortons gift cards. Great job team.
3 of our summer staff and one of our Season Leadership Team, Amanda Emsley, had the opportunity to participate in a leadership development seminar this weekend about child development. This was a great partnership between us and Synergy and a great opportunity for our staff to receive from very valuable training. Thank you to Synergy for partnering with us on this.
Also, I want to highlight a number of awesome donations that have come in over the past week. First of all, Arrowwood Church, one of our member churches, has stepped up and donated $1470 towards our financial assistance program. An email just came in and someone has volunteered to donate money to send two children to camp this summer. Another individual stepped up and donated sod and labour to the camp for the area between the gym and the lodge. Also, the Chestermere Family Community Support Services has given us a grant of $4740 for our CLTD program. We also had someone purchase another 5 puzzle pieces for our 5 for 1 campaign. Someone also donated another $1000 to our FA program. AND!!!!!! Guest Services Co-ordinator Vicki Welsh and Bookkeeper Heather Allan also took time this week to add up the expected money coming in from guest bookings and we are on par to not only meet budget but to exceed it in this area. Yup, things are looking good right now for Camp Chestermere. Again God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. Again our thoughts and prayers are with Jaydon's family and friends.