So I know it has been a little while since you all have heard from me and if I were to do a regular weekly update then I would end up having to write an epic novel to include everything that has been going on. So, I've decided to break up the updates into smaller bits. Over the next few days, you'll receive a few updates of things that have been happening at Camp Chestermere over the spring. This update will focus on the facilities upgrades we have made. As you're about to see, we have done a ton of work around the site. Our team continues to receive complements on how good the site is looking. You'll hear this a few times throughout this update but thank you to all of those who have put in countless hours in doing work around the camp over the past few months. Sometimes you may not get mentioned in the weekly updates like you should but please know your efforts are noted and appreciated. Seriously, because our number one value is relationships, the best way to encourage our staff is to come out when you can and work alongside them.
First of all, let me start with the Chap. If you haven't been here for a while you will notice a HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! change in the Chap. Like seriously, the building doesn't even look, or, more importantly, smell the same. It is incredible what has happened in that building.
The upgrades on the Chap started in March 2015 when Varsity Bible Church Youth came out for a missions trip. At that time we created a new storage room, two new activity rooms and a speakers room complete with its own bathroom and shower. We also ripped out the old tiles in the main part of the Chap and in the back of the building. We then set our focus on the rest of the building. The following upgrades were completed in the Chap
Completely renovated girls bathroom downstairs. We added two new stalls to this bathroom for a total of five stalls
New boys bathroom with two stalls and two urinals
Upgraded entrance to the bathrooms
Upgraded all the duct work for the bathrooms
New slop sink
New stairs going down to the bathrooms
Brought the wall for the stairs up to code
New subfloor and carpet in the entrance of the Chap and in the medic room and infirmary
Renovated and painted the the medic room and infirmary
Finished drywalling the main room of the chap, painted and made to look like the rest of the Chap
New sound system
New base cove in all rooms
New drywall in the basement of the Chap in the programs office
Expanded and reorganized the programs office
Painted the pews outside the Chap
Painted the front doors of the Chap
Camp Chestermere would like to thank the following people for their amazing work in the Chap:
Starvan Construction for their incredible work on the bathrooms
Glenn Minnesma for hooking us up with product at a reduced rate
Josh Labrecque for donating his time to install the stairs in the Chap
Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) for working countless hours to have the Chap ready for the wedding we hosted this weekend. I could write a book just on what he did alone. Thank you also to his wife Cathy for all of her efforts in staining the stairs, painted the pews and painting the front door of the Chap.
Camp Medic Emily (Lilo), CLTD Leader Simon (Spruce) Day Camp Team Lead Nicola (Anchor), Media Specialist Kylie (Trinket), Program Coordinator Lisa (Dutchie), Assistant Programs May (Flower), and many more who put in hours mudding, sanding, painting, putting up drywall, installing sub floors and much, much more
CLTD Leader Devon (OP) for his tireless work on installing the carpet
CLTD Coordinator Marie (Willis) for the new sign that is now at the back of the Chap. It looks amazing.
Board Member Brad Knibbs for helping with painting the Chap floor and installing the new sound equipment
And that is just one building and I am sure there are things that we have done in there over the spring that I am forgetting about. But, while in the midst of all of that, we had other projects on the go as well.
As you may recall, last year Chestermere was devastated by a flood and the flood affected many areas of camp. Some of the damage was covered by insurance but not all. We learned earlier this month that the Alberta Disaster Relief Program (DRP) would cover much of the damage that was caused. A personal thank you goes from me to the incredible staff at Chestermere City Hall for helping me walk through the process with the DRP and for taking care of the camp through that process. I owe many a staff member at City Hall a debt of gratitude.
One of the areas affected by the flood was the Gym. So, over the past couple of weeks we have completely renovated the bottom 4 feet all around the gym and climbing room. This included removing the old plywood and insulation, decontaminating everything and rebuilding. Many of our staff put in many hours to make this happen and the gym looks and smells a lot better.
This spring we also had Brown 1, 2 and 3 painted. We also fixed up some holes and scuff marks in the lodge and painted over these marks. Our poor Lodge looked like it had chicken pox for a few days but it is looking great now. We also gave the lodge a good cleaning from top to bottom and work continues to better utilize the space Down Under. Thank you again to Cathy who has worked tirelessly doing a deep clean in all of the cabins and Triplexes.
We also had many volunteers come out and help us with the fire pit area. We rented a wood splitter and split a lot of wood and stacked it up. Seriously, I am down there a lot and I barely recognize the place. Huge extra thanks to Board Member Alex and his brother, Canyon Creek Youth Pastor Erik (Baloo), volunteer Roby, and Seasonal Leaders Simon (Spruce) and Devon (OP) and Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) and others for their efforts in getting this area cleaned up. It looks incredible.
WAIT!!!!!!!!!!! There's more. We also had students from Heritage Christian Academy who came out and did an incredible job helping with the wood splitting, cleaning the lodge, and doing a bunch of other work around the camp. Huge thank you to them for helping us to get ready for the summer.
So sorry, not done yet. Our Lifeguard Bailey (Salty) has also labelled all of the canoes and kayaks. This came in handy over the past few weeks when we unfortunately had a kayak float away down the lake but because it was labelled, a very nice resident from Chestermere brought it back to us. We also had some people from down the street make an unfortunate decision one day to "borrow" one of our canoes. But it was easy to spot with the bright green Camp Chestermere writing on it. Great job Salty. Salty has also now established a new sign in/ sign out procedure for our lifejackets and has labelled and tracked all of our lifejackets and disposed of the ones that were no longer able to be used. Great job again Salty in getting this area of the camp more organized.
A thank you also to Board Member Darlene for hooking us up with her brother who came out and cleaned all of our couches and chairs in the Triplexes and Chap. Thanks Les.
And that is just a snap shot of the facility upgrades we have done and there is more to come. Thank you to those of you who are supporting our HUG Campaign (Help Us Grow) as this is helping us to get some of this work done. We are currently in the process of purchasing new blinds for the Chap and we have had a VERY generous donation of flooring that we will be receiving in the fall to redo all of the floors in all of the Triplexes. More on this donation to come in future updates.
AND!!!!!!!!!! I almost forgot, Hortons Hut has been completely repainted and redecorated. It looks amazing. Thank you to Site Coordinator Vic, my wife Michelle and especially Media Specialist Kylie (Trinket) for all of their efforts in getting this room painted. Thank you also to Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) for all of her efforts in setting up Hortons Hut. It looks amazing.
So, if you're tired from reading this, or gave up a long time ago and just skipped to the end, thank you to everyone who continues to put in countless hours, both as staff and as volunteers in getting work done around the camp. And if you think you're tired from reading this, imagine how we feel. This is on top of getting ready for summer camp, hosting clients, building relationships with the community and the numerous other things we have going on. Thank you also to those people who continue to support us through our HUG Campaign. If you would like to financially support these and future projects then please donate to our HUG Campaign. Remember, if you donate through the ATB Cares program then ATB kicks in an additional 15% on all donations. Here is the link: https://www.atbcares.com/bcart/add/cause/124-132336777RR0001
Thank you again. And like I always say, God is good all the time and all the time God is good.