Update: Sept 13-19th
Hello again everyone,
It was another great week at Camp Chestermere this week. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and his wife Shay took a week off and headed to Disneyland and had an amazing time. So it was up to Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and I to hold down the fort and try to keep our heads above water. (Ok, I thought I was ready for one flood joke but I just realized that I am still a little twitchy from the summer.) But in all seriousness, I am glad that Collin and Shay were able to take a much deserved break and time away.
A new stress was also added to the Dean household this week as my son Evan started his hockey tryouts. Seriously, I don't know who gets more nervous, me or him. But tryouts have been going well and he and I are both about to be back into full hockey seasons once again. Let the fun begin. Oh, and just 16 days until puck drops for the NHL. Here we go.
Ok, back to camp. This week was filled with meetings and speaking to clients about upcoming bookings. I met with a school who is coming next week and we have been able to staff their event so that we can offer archery, target shooting, kayaking, and wall climbing. We are also going to be doing a few leadership development sessions with them. I love the diversity of programming we are able to offer to the clients who book with us. We truly do personalize each experience and work hard at ensuring that these experiences are memorable. Taking the time to go and sit with the teachers who were planning this event was a great connection point for us and it was great to be able to collaborate with a client to build something that we all feel will be valuable for their students.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Matthews this week. I have said it before but I do appreciate how Mayor Matthews supports the variety of work that is done in the city. It is clear that she truly values a synergistic approach to offering programs and opportunities to people in and around Chestermere. Also, I appreciate her willingness to connect me to the appropriate people who can help support what we do at camp.
There was also an interagency meeting at the Chestermere municipal meeting. This was a great chance to network with other agencies in the City of Chestermere and surrounding areas and to have conversations about further ways Camp Chestermere can support the amazing work that is being done by other organizations as well. Again, I love how Chestermere supports each other and how the different agencies in the city are willing to collaborate their time and resources to help each other find success. This truly is a community who supports each other and it great to be a part of it.
I also had the opportunity to meet with a key pastor from a large church in the City of Calgary to discuss future partnership opportunities. We really are working hard right now at exploring new opportunities and new ways of doing things. The possibilities for Camp Chestermere are endless and I believe that it is about having an attitude of yes and being willing to sit and have coffee with people and explore and dream together.
I also had a great meeting with Empowering Minds this week. Empowering Minds utilizes our facility a lot and we have enjoyed a great relationship for a number of years now. I really like working with this group and believe in the work they are doing with kids and adults. They run an incredible leadership program and I am glad that Camp Chestermere is a part of what they are doing.
We also welcomed a new user group, Young Life, this weekend and the Sea Cadets joined us again. While it always adds a few more wrinkles when you are hosting two groups at once, I have to say that Sherry (Curry) and her two kids Kaidon (Tardus) and Chloe (Oxygen), along with Natalia, did an amazing job hosting the groups.
One of the things that I do love about what is happening at Camp Chestermere right now is that we truly are working well as a team. When one member is away, the others just step in to help. When we send out requests for staff, people start replying right away. People are asking each other for help, seeking advice from each other, encouraging each other, and truly supporting one another. This week I had a bit of a rough afternoon and Bookkeeper Heather (Bookie) just sat with me for about a half hour and helped me process a problem that I was having. She helped me to see things from a new perspective and was able to encourage me when I was feeling a down, frustrated and somewhat defeated. This is who we are as team. Relationships is our number one value and we do everything from it. We build relationships, and not just with clients and kids but with each other. I truly am humbled by the way this staff is gelling and working as a cohesive unit. Well done staff.
I also had the opportunity to sit with the HR team for a couple of hours this week. This team has put in endless hours over the past number of years as they have worked to bring some stabilization to the camp. It's always great to sit with this team and dream and discuss the present and future of Camp Chestermere. All of the people on this committee have a heart for Camp Chestermere and their contributions to the camp over the past number of years has been invaluable. Thanks to John Picard, Susan Thiesen, Glenn Minnesma and Brad Knibbs for the work you are doing.
I do ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers right now. There are some big decisions coming up and some important conversations happening about a number of things. The future of Camp Chestermere is bright but the work is a little overwhelming at times. While these weekly updates are purposely meant to highlight the positive things that are happening, there is a lot of work that is happening right now that is helping prepare and propel us into this bright future. Please continue to pray that we would seek first the kingdom and that we would consistently ask for wisdom as we move forward. There are days when we feel a little overwhelmed but knowing that people are praying and supporting us is a huge help. Please do not underestimate how much your words of encouragement mean to our team. Thanks everyone.