Update: Jan 15-Feb 1

Good evening everyone,

So I blinked and then it was February. Actually I blinked and an entire year has gone by. It has now been just over a year since my family and I decided to make the transition to move to Camp Chestermere and take on the role of Camp Director. And the past year has been an incredibly exciting, scary, thrilling, overwhelming, rewarding, stressful, and awesome....... blur. As I sit here on my couch drinking hot chocolate and writing this latest update I think to myself, "has it really been a year??? Where did the year go??"

Speaking of hot chocolate, we have some cool stuff to let you in on in this update. Sooo, stop reading, go grab some java, tea, or hot coco, or water, or whatever you prefer, curl up and have a good read. Trust me, there's an announcement near the end worth reading this through for.

The past couple of weeks have been up and down. Unfortunately we didn't have quite as many rentals as we have had over the past couple of months but this is to be expected as schools get back into the swing of things. However, last week we had a school here from Monday to Wednesday and then another school here on Thursday and Friday. Then on the weekend we had our latest School Year Camp for 7 - 11 year olds.

Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) has been on tour a few times this month promoting camp and recruiting staff for the summer. As mentioned in the last update, Collin (Deuce), his wife Shay (Yoshi), and myself attended chapel in Strathmore at Trinity Christian School. Collin (Deuce) has continued to be on tour as he attended Camp Days at both Prairie Bible Institute and then again at Ambrose. CLTD Coordinator Marie (Willis) also joined Collin at Ambrose and Collin's wife Shay (Yoshi) joined him at Trinity. There is a hilarious video on our website of a sketch that was done at Prairie. I would say it captures what we are all about fairly well...... sort of. Ha. No but seriously, it's great. Thanks Collin for all you do to talk about the camp, promote upcoming events and recruit staff. It seriously is a treat to work with the guy because he is so ridiculously passionate about this place and does an incredible job. Thanks also to Marie (Willis) for your help at Ambrose as well.

Camp Chestermere also continues to be involved in events that are going on in the community. Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) was heavily involved in a recent event called Go Girl held at the Chestermere Rec Centre. This was an awesome event for girls from all around the community. Allison Springer was the special guest speaker at this event. Allison is someone who we have speak at Camp Chestermere as much as we can. She's great. Also, thank you to Bookkeeper Heather (Bookie) for stepping up and helping with promoting Camp Chestermere while at the Go Girl event. Heather (Bookie) hosted a booth over the lunch hour. One of the strongest parts of our team is how we all support each other in the various areas in which we work and that our staff doesn't limit themselves according to their job titles or job descriptions. People step in and support each other and it's awesome to see and be a part of.

We have been involved in a number of other community events this month as well. Chantel (Lilac) and Collin (Deuce) both attended an awards ceremony where we received second place in The Newsy Neighbour contest for Best Family Entertainment. Thank you to all of you who voted for us in that. Maybe next year we can get first. Collin (Deuce) also attended a worship night at Siksika Nation on behalf of Camp Chestermere and our partnership with Heritage Christian Academy for our camp at the end of the month (more on this coming). Chantel (Lilac) also attended a meeting for Chestermere Plays which is a family event that is happening later this month at the Rec Centre. Collin (Deuce) was also at a meeting an interagency meeting where not for profits gather to discuss what they are doing and how we can support each other. It's a great time of sharing, learning, and networking. And finally, Chantel (Lilac) and myself attended a meeting for Special Needs Children and Young Adults. Whew, that's a lot of 'also's' but we do go to a lot of community meetings, gatherings and events.

I've mentioned this in past updates but one of the things I love about Chestermere is how the local not for profits are exploring different ways to work together on a variety of projects. The latest dream is to explore ways to better serve people with special needs in our community. Camp Chestermere sees a number of ways we could help including speaking with parents about how we can accommodate their children in our regular camp programming, planning camps specifically for children with special needs, working with other not for profits to support initiatives for children and young adults with special needs, and by looking at ways we could hire young adults who have special needs to work at Camp Chestermere. There was a lot of very good conversation and it was a great event to be a part of. More information about all of this coming soon.