Update: November 3-9

Good afternoon everyone,

Ummm, can someone please tell me how it is almost Remembrance Day already? Forget October, where did September go? Time is flying by way too fast. Pretty soon we will be welcoming a new Seasonal Leadership Team to Camp Chestermere and having Summer Camps again. Yikes. Seems like summer only ended yesterday. Anyone know any good strategies to slow time down?????

It's budget season right now at Camp Chestermere. The board meets tonight to discuss the proposed budget for the 2015 - 2016 year. Things are looking better financially speaking at Camp right now then they have looked in some time which is amazing. I believe that there are a number of contributing factors to this. First of all, our Year Round Leadership Team, Ruth (Momma Ruth), Sherry (Curry), Collin (Deuce), Heather (Bookie), Chantel (Lilac), and Marie (Willis), have simply done an outstanding job. These people work so hard and do so much behind the scenes it is incredible. One of our board members commented this week that our year round team works "oil patch hours for half the pay." The people mentioned above simply do an outstanding job and just love this place and should be acknowledge for what they have done. Many of them have been here through all of the change and turmoil that has happened over the past number of years and are now starting to see the fruit of their faithfulness to this camp. Thanks team.

Also, our Seasonal Leadership and Seasonal Staff brought back the true atmosphere of Camp Chestermere and that is that we are a family. Camp Chestermere is A Place to Belong. We have worked hard at defining and understanding who we are and because of this work we have been able to work from our identity and I believe that this has contributed greatly to the success of this year. We believe that we have a better understanding of our identity as an organization and this is extremely helpful in our decision making and in our ability to tell the story of Camp Chestermere.

Also, our board has worked hard at helping with a number of things behind the scenes. We have many board members who have served this camp faithfully for many years and we are grateful for them.

And finally, thank you to all of the people who read these updates. You are a part of our story and you matter. You are the reason why we do what we do. You support us with prayer, finances, encouraging words and in many other ways as well. Many of you have volunteered your time. Please continue to journey with us and invite others to do the same as well. Please let alumni know about the exciting new things that are going on and help us to get more of our alumni actively involved and engaged at camp.

I also want to make mention of a special group of people who came out from Varsity Bible Church and raked up leaves and mowed the grass for us. It was a huge blessing to have them here and they got a lot of work done. Thank you also to Sherry (Curry), who prepared a special batch of cookies for this group. Again, we love it when our member churches get involved and come and volunteer and help. We love it whenever volunteers, whether it be from the community, corporations, or from our member churches come and help us out at the camp as it inspires our staff to continue to do what we do. We feel loved and cared about when people are willing to volunteer their time and efforts to help us out.

This past week we had a school group here for a band camp. Thanks again to Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) for hosting a bingo dance party. She also had some assistance from my own children Julia and Evan. The kids of this group were amazing and so nice. They were constantly thanking our kitchen staff for their work and we consistently heard both the kids and the staff ask how they could help us more. Awesome group.

Empowering Minds joined us again this week as well and it was great to welcome them back. Camp Chestermere has had a long and very successful relationship with Empowering Minds and we believe in the work they are doing with kids. They inspire kids to be better leaders in their communities and they do an amazing job of it. Great organization who we love to work with.

Wednesday was what we called trades day at Camp Chestermere. First of all we had Drain Masters in to clean out our grease trap. The gentleman who comes from there and does the work here does an amazing job every time and I would totally recommend this company. They have been nothing but awesome for us and we really appreciate the work they do. We also had Ron Haug out to help us out with our furnaces and to make sure we were good to go for the winter. Thanks to Dan Styles, pretty much the best volunteer on the planet, for setting that up. It was also a very loud week at Camp Chestermere as we had a new Water Guard System installed in the basement of the Chap. This required A LOT of jack hammering and at one point our main water line got hit which caused us to not have any water at the camp for a couple of hours. But all in all it was awesome. The crew from Doug Lacey's Basement Systems did an amazing job and were a lot of fun to work with. We even introduced them to our "Welcome to Camp" expression that we have for when things don't always make sense. It was started by our Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and is an inside running joke we have. However, we had the crew from doing the reno's saying it by the end of the week. Ask me about it next time you see me.

Saturday was CRAZY busy here. We had the grad for Empowering Minds, a birthday party and a Football Banquet. Thanks to Shelley and Emily (Lilo) for the amazing job they did hosting the events. Shelley has been hosting for us the past couple of times and has simply done an outstanding job with the groups. The Football Team was so impressed with the work of Janice, Ruth (Momma Ruth) and Emily (Lilo) that they even left a $100 tip for the crew. Great job team. And thanks to Chestermere Minor Football for being such amazing clients and we hope we can have you back again in the future. The job Chestermere Minor Football did in cleaning up was amazing. Thanks.

So that's how we have kicked off November. A great start. We have some more exciting things coming up soon that I hope to be able to be public about after tonights Board Meeting. Please keep myself, Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and the board in your prayers as we meet tonight and finalize the budget for next year. Thanks for your continued prayers and support. And remember, tickets for our Christmas Banquet are now on sale. Just $10 for a HUGE feast or just $5 for staff.

Thanks again. Blessings.

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