Merry Christmas everyone,
Hello again everyone. Now I fully admit that I have been somewhat delinquent in my writing of these weekly updates and I truly do apologize for this. Thank you to those of you who have been bugging me about these and I do plan on getting back to these truly being a weekly update. However, please take the non writing of these every week as a very good sign because we have been CRAZY busy lately. Again, one of the biggest misconceptions of camp is that it somehow slows down when the summer ends and, again, nothing could be further from the truth. Honestly, the pace of life at camp doesn't really change from the summer but there are just less people around to complete tasks. This is why we want everyone to know that there is always a standing invitation to volunteer your time to come out to the camp and help out. Trust us, there is always something to do.
We are also coming off of an incredible event last Sunday night. We hosted our annual Christmas party at the camp and had over 160 people in attendance. We celebrated an amazing year of camp and had a great time. HUGE thank you to our kitchen staff Momma Ruth and Sherry (Curry) for all of your work in getting the food ready. Also, thank you to Bookkeeper Heather (Bookie) for coming in early to help set up and to CLTD Coordinator Marie (Willis) for all of your behind the scenes efforts. Thank you also to Office Manager Chantel and to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) for your work in ensuring that this event was a success. We have an amazing Year Round Leadership Team here at the camp who really know how to pull together to complete tasks and pull off incredible events. And a special thank you to my wife Michelle (Hockey Mom) for decorating the lodge for the event and to my kids Julia and Evan for all of your help.
At the banquet we presented A Year in Review. We accomplished a lot of things in 2015 and we are very pleased with the progress we are making as a camp. Some of the highlights from last year include the painting of the Orange and Green Triplexes, a new contract with F & G Specialty Chemicals Ltd., our improved relationship with Coke, renovations on the Chap, Down Under, the Staff Lunge, Horton's Hut, and the Hex, and a new boat. Camp Chestermere has also been working very hard at improving our relationships with others in the community and have seen success in our workings with groups like Synergy, Empowering Minds, The Chestermere Rec Centre, and with the City of Chestermere. We have increased our communication with our partner churches and vastly improved our technology at the camp (have you seen the new website). Donations and rentals were up last year and we established a new clothing provider. Again, these are just a few of the highlights from last year. We know that we still have a lot of work to do and there is so much more we would like to do. But God is good all the time and all the time God is good and we have been very blessed this year and celebrate the success we have seen.
This has also been a very exciting week for Camp Chestermere as we have been interviewing for a brand new Site Coordinator position at the camp. This position garnered a lot of interest from the community as we had a number of very qualified people apply for the position. We hope to announce the successful candidate before the New Year. We are very excited to bring this new person on board as we have been understaffed for a few months now and in need of someone to help out with various things around the camp. This truly is a brand new position as, while there have been similar job descriptions, this position has never existed at the camp. We have really taken time as a staff to look at who we are and how we could function more effectively. This has been a great and rewarding journey and we are excited to be bringing on someone new onto the team. We will keep you posted.
Empowering Minds joined us again over the past couple of weeks. For one of their events they partnered with Synergy. We also really enjoy working with Synergy as they are a great organization who are doing some amazing work in the City of Chestermere. We look forward to working with Synergy on more projects in the future and continue to enjoy our relationship with Empowering Minds.
A huge shout out to Shelley (Sky) and Kaiden (Tardus) for hosting Empowering Minds and other groups over the past couple of weeks. Our hosts really are the face of Camp Chestermere and we thank them for the work they do in ensuring the groups have a great time while on site. We are always looking for people who may be interested in hosting. If you would like to come during the week or on a weekend to host then please contact Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've also had the opportunity to continue to meet with lead pastors from our member churches. I absolutely love and look forward to these meetings. There are some amazing people leading our member churches and it is always a great time to get together with these other leaders and discuss leadership, family, and life in general. I often leave these meetings feeling very refreshed and energized and ready to take on new challenges at camp. It is always great to get together with people who inspire you to do what you do better and challenge you to be a better leader. Thank you to all of our lead pastors for taking the time to meet and further look at ways that the camp and our member churches can work together.
Speaking of member churches, over the past couple of weeks we have had a members from a couple of them on site for a couple of different events. First of all we had Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel here for a retreat and Abundant Life hosted their Leadership Retreat here. It's great to be able to have people from our member churches on site and we are excited to continue to explore new ways for our partner churches and Camp Chestermere to work together.
Also, Office Manager Chantel (Lilac), Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and I continue to work with On the Mark Promotions on creating new swag for the camp. We have had a few different meetings over the past couple of weeks to look at new swag options. We will be launching a number of new swag items in May of 2016. It is going to be amazing. And, we have a new online store coming to go along with the new swag. Exciting new things to come but that's all I can say about it for now. Stay tuned for more updates later.
We also had a kids camp and huge thank you to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) for his work on this. Not only did he do the majority of the planning for this event, he was also the guest speaker and did an incredible job. However, numbers were a little down for this camp and we are starting to wonder if we are starting to see the effects of the down turn in the economy. We join others in praying for those who are affected by job cuts and the negative turn the economy has taken lately. We also ask that you continue as you can to stand with Camp Chestermere during this time. We believe that we serve a big, amazing God who will continue to take care of Camp Chestermere no matter the world economy.
Finally, we ask that you continue to consider to give to Camp Chestermere and support the work that we are doing. We are currently running a campaign called under the tree where we are asking people to either purchase new and/or donate used items to the camp. People can also donate money to this campaign. For more information go to http://www.campchestermere.com/#!under-the-tree/c17oi. Thanks in advance for your help with this.
Ok, so that's the other problem when I don't do weekly updates is then I have too much to say. I mean if you think a lot happens in here in a week then it is simply overwhelming to recount the events of an entire month. Thank you again for your continued support of Camp Chestermere and we'll update you again soon.