Update: Sept 20-26th

Good afternoon everyone,

I was away for much of last week speaking at a retreat at Camp Evergreen. It was great to be able to go to another camp for a week and see how they do things. Being at another camp helps me to confirm why we do some things the way we do and I was able to borrow/steal a lot of ideas from them. Camp Evergreen runs a great program and it was great to be able to spend the week with them. I have to admit that I am slightly jealous of the 480 acres of land they have and of their horses. A horse named Ace literally took care of me on a ride. While he may have taken me right through a tree, I kid you not, I was grateful that he knew where he was going because I was a hot mess as a rider. However, while I was jealous of their land, Camp Evergreen was quick to admit how they are equally as jealous of the fact that we have a lake. I do like how the CCI camps all work together to share ideas and information. It's not about competition but about helping each other do what we do better. Thanks to Camp Evergreen and their staff for the conversations and ideas. It was great being with you.

Meanwhile, Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) held down the fort here at the camp. Collin and I met for breakfast before I left for Camp Evergreen. Collin and his wife Shay had just returned from a week in Disneyland. I felt a little bad for Collin as here he goes away and has a nice relaxing time for a week with his wife, gets back late Sunday night and then bam, he was back into the full sprint of camp again while I take off for a retreat. Ahhh, welcome to camp.

Camp Chestermere continued to explore ways to further work with Empowering Minds. As I mentioned in past updates, Empowering Minds runs a great teen leadership program and Camp Chestermere has a great relationship with this organization. We are continuing to look for ways to mutually support each other and work together. They run a great program and I am happy to be able to work with them.

Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), also held a Dream Team Meeting on Tuesday night. This was a chance for year round and seasonal staff, and anyone who would like to be a part of brainstorming, to come together and dream about possibilities for upcoming camps. This meeting was about the upcoming Teens Weekend on October 2 - 4. Thank you to Kylie (Trinket), Marie (Willis), and Amanda (Blush) for coming out on Tuesday night. We are hoping to see lots more people at these dream team meetings in the future. Great job Collin on organizing this and involving more voices in the dreaming conversations. Again former staff, lead pastors, board members, anyone from member churches and campers are welcome to join us for these brain storming sessions. Watch for future Dream Team meeting updates.

Prince of Peace joined us for a retreat this week on Thursday and Friday. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) did a great job hosting this group. I ended up volunteering him to do A LOT of stuff for them including teaching leadership classes, leading worship and a devotional at campfire, and more. He found out Monday that he would be leading all of these things 72 hours later while I was away. (I swear, he is never going to leave for holidays again, ha). But seriously, awesome job Collin. Also, HUGE props to Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) who ended up getting sick this week but still stepped up to lead wall climbing for the Prince of Peace group. Thanks Chantel. I am happy to report that she is feeling much better. The dedication of this staff to this place is incredible and not to be overlooked. Thanks also to Chris, Kaiden (Tardus), Emily (Lilo), Zack, and Pam (Monkey) for your help with this group.

While here, Prince of Peace participated in wide games, leadership development, team building, camp fires, archery, target shooting, wall climbing and more. It was a great couple of days and we look forward to seeing them again soon.

Another long time client joined us for the weekend. The Calgary Youth Singers have been coming to Camp Chestermere for many years and it was great to have them back.

Big shout out to the kitchen staff again as they continue to impress the clients who join us. Being busy is great but it puts a whole new set of pressures on our kitchen staff. Ruth (Momma Ruth) and Sherry (Currie) both continue to do an incredible job and we are very grateful for them. Anyone who truly understands this place knows that the kitchen is really the ones in charge. Great service, a friendly atmosphere and incredible food, all of which are provided by our kitchen staff, are significant contributors to the success of camp.

On Saturday I attended Teen Fest at Princess Island Park. This was another great opportunity to connect with people from the community and to tell the story of what Camp Chestermere is about. It was also a great opportunity to connect with some other agencies as well. It was slightly ironic that while a contingent of Calgary Youth Singers was at Camp Chestermere, other members of their group were also at Teen Fest while I was there. I also love the opportunities that open up for us to meet people. While at Teen Fest I met the guy who did the building inspection of the new lodge. It was great to connect with him and to let him know how things are going at the camp.

Also, thank you to Kaiden (Tardus) and Emily (Lilo) for your help with hosting groups over the past week. Our hosts do a great job and really take the pressure off the year round team while guest groups are here.

There is one person I neglected to thank but she needs to be thanked. Our Bookkeeper Heather (Bookie) is doing an AMAZING job with collecting invoices right now and working with clients to get us up to date. There are so many people who do so much behind the scenes that people rarely see but their work is invaluable to the camp. Heather is one of those people. She is an amazing part of our year round team and key to the success we are seeing right now. Thank you Heather for all of your work and efforts.

Thanks again for your love, support and prayers, Things are good but things are busy. We will also be announcing some exciting new ways for you to support camp in the next few weeks.

Finally, Camp Chestermere's thoughts and prayers are with the family in Chestermere who experienced the house fire this week. We hope that this family will be surrounded with support as they work through this difficult process.

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