Hello again everyone,
Can you believe this weather we are having. It's incredible. We basically have no snow at Camp Chestermere now and the season of mud has come early. Wow, cannot believe this weather that we are having in February and March.
We have an exciting announcement to make as our new Site Coordinator Vic has a brand new camp name. Vic has now been affectionately renamed Poppa Smurf. When you meet him it will totally make sense to you. Again, I want to mention what a great asset he has been to our team and has really become an integral part of our team here at camp. But I had to make this announcement about his name for when I talk about him later in this update.
The week started off great as Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and myself visited Lakeview Church. Collin lead worship and I spoke. We always appreciate the opportunities to attend and speak at our member churches. Thank you to Rick Gordon for the invitation and for the continued support you give camp. It is greatly appreciated. We hope to make it out to all of our member churches before the summer camping season starts.
From Monday - Wednesday of last week, Office Manager Chantel (Lilac), Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), Assistant Foods Manager Sherry (Curry), Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf), Board Member Brad (Rusty) and myself attended the CCI conference at Camp Caroline. CCI (Christian Camping International) is an organization that Camp Chestermere is a proud member of. CCI holds regional, national, and international conferences for camp staff from around the world. This was our regional conference and it was amazing. We all had the opportunity to attend some incredible sessions and connect with fellow camp staff from other camps. My favourite part of these conferences is these times called "Kindred Groups" when we get together with people who do similar work at their camps. So, for example, I get together with the other directors from around the region. This is an incredible time of connection and professional development as we all share our triumphs, successes, struggles and difficulties. It is in these times you learn you are not alone and other camps struggle with the same difficulties as you. It is also a great time to learn from other camps and implement/steal ideas. My other favourite time was sitting up until 1 am speaking with other directors about life in the world of camp directing.
I was honoured to be asked by the CCI Regional Lead Committee to speak at this years conference. I spoke on the topic of knowing why it is you do what you do. So often in the busyness of what we do we can forget our why and so I spoke on the importance of knowing and remembering your why. I think I took more reminders away for myself than anything.
We also did some significant learning at the conference. First of all, we learned the walls were quite thin at Camp Caroline as Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), Board Member Brad (Rusty) and myself thought we were being very quiet while playing video games until very late but then a knock at the door asking us to be quiet changed that. Oops. We also learned that Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) is a social butterfly. I swear, by the end of the third day, everyone knew who he was. People were unpacking their life stories to him and people would come to our other staff asking where Vic was. Seriously, we found a hidden talent in Vic (Poppa Smurf) that we didn't know existed. Not only does the guy work his tail off day in and day out here, he also makes connections with people like no other.
The past couple of weeks have also been exciting/busy/incredibly draining as we have been in the interviewing and hiring process of our 2016 Seasonal Leadership Team. I will announce the team next week as we are just finalizing some things first. But wow have we hired a dynamic and exciting team for this year. Thank you to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and CLTD Coordinator Marie (Willis) for all of your work through this process. These three put countless hours, prayer and thought into this process and did an amazing job. We had 29 applicants for 11 positions. Narrowing down the field was not an easy task but I am proud of the work these three did. Great job team.
Camp Chestermere continues to involve itself more in the life of the community of Chestermere. We are now proud partners in Seniors Week in June 2016 and will actually be hosting the opening ceremonies for the event. Details on this will follow soon. I also met with a number of community leaders and lead pastors over the last couple of weeks. Networking is an important part of what we do at camp as we truly do believe in relationships. We highly value relationships within our staff team, with our member churches, with our stake holders and with the community around us.
Last weekend was our latest School Year Camp and it was amazing. For this camp we partnered with Heritage Christian Academy Junior High Missions Team. A group of 11 grade 7 - 9 students planned our entire camp for their local missions project and did an amazing job. Thank you to Heritage Christian Academy for partnering with us and allowing us to help teach the missions team about camp ministry. We also partnered with Siksika nation and a teacher from HCA, Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf), and myself drove kids from Siksika to the camp and home again. Thank you to all of the staff who volunteered for this weekend and sorry again that we really didn't have a celebration after. We literally did a number of interviews for the 2016 Seasonal Leadership Team right after camp ended. Like I said, Collin, Chantel and Marie worked tirelessly on this and I cannot thank them enough for all of their efforts. Also, huge thank you to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) who I basically abandoned this weekend. Well I didn't abandon him but I got really sick on Friday afternoon and was in bed all day Saturdayand so was useless all weekend to the camp. Such a pain. But seriously, the amount of hours Collin puts into this place is incredible. Thank you also to Kitchen Manager Ruth (Momma Ruth) and Assistant Kitchen Manager Sherry (Curry) for all of your work as well. Great job as always team.
Of course the problem with writing this on Thursday night is I want to tell you all about this week as well but, as always, this is already long so I'll wait until next week. Thanks again for your continued prayers, support, and love. We ask that you continue to partner with us both in prayer, time and financially. We can always use an extra set of hands to volunteer at camp and your continued financial contributions allow us to continue to do what we do. Thank you.