Update: First of 2016

Hello again everyone,

Welcome to 2016. Can you believe we are already 12 days into this New Year. Doesn't seem to matter what year it is, the pace of life certainly does not seem to be slowing down at all. Just wait until you read about our first week back.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Our family took some time to go to Regina for a week and while Regina is not really a must go to destination for a holidaying experience, we had a great time away. My brother and sister live there and so we had a good time visiting with family. My highlight of Christmas was on boxing day evening staying up until 6:30 am playing video games with my brother in law. Now, while some of you may think I am much too old to stay up late and have an epic night of video games, I beg to differ. I wish I was more disciplined in my life to just shut my brain off more often and play video games. Maybe this would help with the stress levels of life and make the pace seem a little slower. You know, a once a week brain shut off might make me think, "wow, it's only January 12" instead of "oh my goodness I cannot believe it is January 12 already!!!!!!!"

Over the Christmas holidays the CLTD's held their annual sleepover event. This is a chance for the CLTD's from the summer to get together, reconnect, hang out and have fun. Our CLTD Coordinator, Marie (Willis), does an amazing job with this program and I love how she hosts varying events to reconnect with the CLTD's throughout the year. Kudos also to Eric (Balloo) Gary (Rahfiki), Evan (Stret), Kylie (Trinket), and John (Wave) who were here helping Marie with the event. We have a lot of leaders who give back to this camp and to the campers.

On Monday we welcomed our newest staff member Site Coordintor Vic Niekraszewicz (don't worry, we are all still learning to say his last name too). Vic is a great addition to our team and we are excited to have him. In just one week here he has already made changes around the camp that were needed. We were really needing a full time person to look after the camp and Vic has just jumped right in a done it. Camp name coming soon.

On Tuesday Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), his wife Shay (Yoshi) and myself went to Trinity Christian Academy in Strathmore. Collin lead worship and I spoke. We had a great time. First of all it was great because we got to see former staff member Dianne Ascott who works there. Secondly I love the opportunities that we get to travel to schools and other organizations to tell the story of Camp Chestermere. Having the chance to talk about this place is fuel to the gas tank. Then I was honoured that they gave me the opportunity to speak. It has been a little while since I spoke so it was nice to get back into the saddle. Felt a little rusty at first but the kindergarden kids in the front row laughed at all my jokes which made it way easier. I'd go speak there anytime. Great event.

However, it was trial by fire for poor Vic as Tuesday was his second day on the job and Collin and I were in Strathmore and Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) had a meeting with Chestermere Recreation. Camp Chestermere is participating in an event this weekend called Go Girl and Chantel is on the planning committee for this event. One of our goals is for Camp Chestermere to be more involved in the community and events like Go Girl are a natural fit for us and we are excited to be a part of it. But for poor Vic, here he is day 2 and holding down the fort. As we say at camp, welcome to camp.

Wednesday was amazing as we all met as a year round staff. One of my favourite parts of this job is the Year Round Team. I LOVE these people. They are all such dreamers who truly care about this place and have AMAZING ideas. One of the best things we have done this past year is to ensure that all members of the Year Round Team are invited to the table to brain storm and dream and work together to help Camp Chestermere be as strong as it can be. Wednesday was another example of how well this team works together. We laughed, connected, debated, disagreed, agreed, and worked. The Year Round Team is an incredible unit and I am humbled to be a part of it.

On Wednesday Night Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and I attended an Energizer Night at the Chestermere Recreation Centre. This is a great chance to meet people from the community and promote upcoming camp events and it is also a great chance to network. There are a lot of great organizations in the City of Chestermere who are doing some incredible work. I am a firm believer that the more organizations in a community connect and work together, the stronger that community will be. On Thursday night Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) attended a very similar event in Langdon.