Hello again everyone,
Usually with these updates I try to highlight the great things that are going on at camp and let you know about upcoming events and so forth. However, in the wake of the tragic events from this weekend, it does not seem right to do a regular weekly update.
Camp Chestermere staff have heavy hearts at the moment as we grieve the loss of one of summer staff members. Jordan Caldwell (Jar Jar) was a loved staff member who had an incredible impact on our camp community. Jordan (Jar Jar) and his twin brother Evan were killed on Saturday morning in a tragic accident at Canada Olympic Park. Jordan (Jar Jar) volunteered at our last School Year Camp just 8 days ago. Jordan (Jar Jar) was loved by staff and campers alike. When campers would come to School Year Camps and Jar Jar wasn't here they would often ask where he was and why wasn't he here. A picture that has gone somewhat viral is posted below. It was posted with the following caption:
"In honour of Jordan Caldwell (camp name Jar Jar), one of my co-workers at camp, who will be so incredibly missed by so many people. He had such a joyful impact on everyone around, including the 6 year old girls who decided that Jar Jar, despite being a yucky boy, was worthy of entering their space at camp. You were such an amazing young man of God, Jordan, and you changed the world around you with the light you carried in your too short 17 years of life - a reminder for us all to impact the world around us as positively as we can with the life we have. See you in Heaven, brother."
This story is being heavily covered in the news and Camp Chestermere has been contacted by a number of media outlets. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) has been doing an absolutely incredible job with the requests from the media. Earlier today he wrote this about Jordan (Jar Jar):
Jordan was a phenomenal man of God. He was loved by all, had an amazing heart, and was incredibly bright. There aren't any words to describe how devastated our staff team is from losing him and his brother Evan (who we unfortunately didn't know as well). Jordan was the kind of guy who would give the shirt off his back to anyone he met - regardless of their situation - and I understand that Evan was the same way. Jordan loved the kids that he led at the camp and was one of the most genuine, integral men I know.
Jordan (Jar Jar), his brother Evan and their family attend one of our member churches, Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel (RMCC). There were some other boys who were also involved in the incident who also attend RMCC. I was at the hospital visiting with the families of two of these boys on Saturday and today. Both boys are recovering and doing better each day but have a long road to recovery. Please pray for them and their families.
Also, please be praying for the leaders, staff and the community at RMCC. I saw Pastor Colin Schlegel at the hospital when I was there this afternoon and he is working very closely with all of the families involved. It has been a very long couple of days for him so please pray for continued strength as he journeys with the families through this process. Please also pray for Pastor Quinn Davis and Pastor Stan Block who are also journeying with the families through this difficult time. Pastor Quinn was featured on the news over the past couple days speaking about the tragedy at the Sunday morning service at RMCC. I heard reports today that he did an incredible job walking the congregation through everything on Sunday morning and reminding people of the eternal hope of the gospel. Camp Chestermere is standing with our member church, their staff, and their community through this time.
Finally, I would like to make mention of some incredible posts I have seen on social media in regards to this situation. We have read some incredibly beautiful tributes from staff, campers and friends of Jordan (Jar Jar). We have also had many people from the community reach out to express their love and support to Camp Chestermere including former staff members and Synergy. We thank all of you for your love, concern, support, and prayers. While this is a very difficult time we know that God is still good. He is still a good good Father and we are loved by Him. That's who He is and that's who we are. We are reminded of the eternal hope we have through Jesus and we are thankful that while we miss Jar Jar now, we will one day see him again in heaven. This verse was on Jordan's bedroom door:
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? I Corinthians 15:55
Camp Chestermere is looking at some ways we can honour and pay tribute to Jar Jar and information on this will follow shortly. For now we are standing with the families, the community at RMCC and all involved in prayer.
God bless everyone. Hug your kids, hug your family and continue to keep the Caldwell family and the other families involved in your prayers.