Update: March 20th

Hello Everyone,

The Camp Chestermere Staff Team would like to extend its condolences and prayers to the victims and families of those involved in the tragedy in Brussels yesterday. We certainly live in difficult times right now and it was gut wrenching to watch videos yesterday of parents clinging to their children in the midst of smoke and debris. Again, our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the those involved in this tragedy but we are reminded that we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and of strong mind.

Monday March 14 was AMAZING!!!! The Year Round Team got together for a staff meeting and again, it was amazing. I really love the opportunity I have to work with this team. It is amazing how when our team comes together everyone collaborates and discusses and debates and agrees and disagrees and just gets stuff done. It is amazing to watch and be a part of. We were also pleased to welcome Board Member Darlene who joined us near the end of the staff meeting.

Some of the highlights of our meeting included a video that we started off the meeting with called The 3 Types of People in Your Life by TD Jakes. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG498iLSVT4. We then worked through a number of items and got everyone up to speed on the number of things that are coming up. We also spent some time dreaming about this summer and the future to come. We also came up with a new structure for Infuze and School Year Camps which we will make public in the near future. Finally, we planned the 2016 fundraiser, known as HUG, which we think is going to be incredible and we want to invite you to be a part of it.

HUG stands for Help Us Grow and the goal is to raise $50 000 for capital projects. We have many areas around the camp that need some major TLC and upgrading and so we are raising money to do this work. Part of this work is already happening in the Chap basement as we are completely updating and restoring the basement of the Chap. Starvan Construction has been doing some great work down there and we thank them for this. HUG will be about welcoming everyone to be a part of Camp Chestermere's future. More info will follow in separate emails.

This week was the week of 7 am meetings. Those of you who know me even a little bit know that I am not the morning type. I am a night owl. My brain starts to function at about 10:30 am and doesn't shut off until about 1 am. Anything done before 10:30 am for me can be a little touch and go. However, this week I had a 7 am meeting by COP on Tuesday and then another 7 ammeeting in south Calgary on Wednesday. What made these even better was the fact I had a hockey game on Tuesday night and didn't get home until after midnight. The waitress at the restaurant on Wednesday walked up and took one look at me and said "Coffee." She said it as a statement of need and not as a question. She later said, "Not sure I've seen anyone in a while who needed a cup of coffee as bad as you did this morning." Seriously, sometimes I wish I could just hook up the caffeine via IV.

However, I will say that one of my favourite parts of my job is connecting with people from the community and various stakeholders of the camp and this is exactly what these two meetings were. Any morning where I get to wake up and tell the story of Camp Chestermere is a good morning. I may be a little sluggish in the morning but there is almost nothing better then to get together with people and dream about the future of Camp Chestermere. It may have been early but always great to connect.

Empowering Minds joined us from Wednesday - Friday this week. On Thursday and Friday they ran a leadership development course hosted by Brandon Johnson called Heart of a Leader. Camp Chestermere would like to say a HUGE thank you to Empowering Minds as they sponsored two people from Camp Chestermere to attend the training. Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and Seasonal Staff Member Kaidon (Tardus) both attended the training. It was a great professional development opportunity for both of them and well worth the experience. Kitchen Manager Ruth (Momma Ruth) and Assistant Kitchen Manager Sherry (Curry) knocked it out of the park this week with this group. We hope to be able to host Brandon again in the future. Great week of leadership training and again, thank you to Empowering Minds for sponsoring two of our staff to be a part of this.

While the training was great, it did unfortunately take a toll on Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) and she ended up being sick all weekend. That's kinda the m.o. of our Year Round Team right now. We kinda just go, go, go until we can't, get sick for a day or two and do it all over again. Balance is a professional development goal of all of us right now. So, with Chantel down for the count, Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and I attended the Mind, Body, and Spirit Expo at the Chestermere Rec Centre. This was a great chance for us to meet people from the community and make some good connections with some other organizations. Camp Chesterme