Summer 2016 Week 3

Well, week 3 was a lot less exciting weather wise which is fine with us. I mean as I write this we are still cleaning up from ping pong size hail yesterday and are watching another storm blow through. The weather has certainly seen a lot of ups and downs this summer. I would rather we continue with more ups and a lot less downs.

Week 3 was another Kids Camp of 7 - 11 year olds, the final week for our first round of year 1 CLTD's and Day Camp. We had 102 Overnight Campers, 75 Day Campers and 18 CLTD's. Great numbers for week 3.

Something that is new for us this year is that we are hosting groups on the weekends during the summer. Going into the summer we had some worries about how this would go because it was new. I have to say that it has been a HUGE success and our staff have really stepped up to the plate. Thank you to all of our staff who have been incredibly flexible to make this happen.

Camp Chestermere wants to send a big thank you to First Alliance Church for the Show N Shine Event at First Alliance on July 16. Show N Shine is a car show held at First Alliance every July. 100% of the proceeds from the show are donated to charities as chosen by their church counsel. First Alliance has many sponsors that help to put on the event, so there is no registration fee. In turn, they ask that people support their door and raffle draws. 100% of the funds from these draws (along with food sales, t-shirt sales and activity sales) went towards supporting the Sherwood School Breakfast Program and Camp Chestermere. Thank you First Alliance for letting Camp Chestermere be a part of this event. Thank you also to Board Member Alex (Crumpet), Summer Staff Member Breanne (Raven), Summer Staff Member Rachel (Lampshade), Camp Medic Emily (Lilo), Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), Office Manager Chantel (Lilac), Assistant Office Manager Amanda (Calico), Summer Staff Member Andrew (Coopa), Summer Staff Member Sydney (Troopa), Summer Staff Member Heather (Clover), Day Camp Team Lead Nicola (Anchor) and Summer Staff Member Molly (Misty) for volunteering your time to help.

Now, back to the week of camp. As I have said before, our Dead Cow ceremony is my favourite time of the week. We get together, eat, celebrate and then share highlights from the week. Some of the stories from this week include a girl who said to her cabin leader, "You know, I don't have a dad but now I do because I know God and He loves me and so now I have a dad." Those of you who need to wipe a tear from your eye before continuing on please feel free to do so. I have heard this story a couple of times and now wrote it out and I get a little chocked up myself. Many of the cabin leaders this week mentioned how well devo's went at night and many talked about how engaged the kids were throughout the week.

Huge thank you to Pastor Stan Block at Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel who hooked us up with our guest speaker for the week. Blair Butterfield, who is the chaplain for the Calgary Hitmen, was our guest speaker this week. We had sent out a message to let people know that we were in desperate need of a guest speaker as the speaker who we had booked was not able to come due to an injury. Stan stepped up right away to let us know about Blair and Blair was able to come. He did an incredible job. Thank you Blair for the amazing job you did with the campers and thank you Stan for the connection.

Another highlight from the week is all of the one on one work that is happening. We are trying to do a better job of working with kids who have special needs. Some of these children require more specialized and one on one care. It is incredible to watch as 16, 17 and 18 year old kids work tirelessly with these children and meet them right where they are at. And sometimes these kids lead us to new challenges. One of the children accidentally wandered into a residence and another child locked her cabin leader out of the board room. However, later in the week, this same child grabbed a mic and started singing "You Are My Sunshine" while her leader player guitar. And don't even get me started on how ridiculously cute the pillow fight video that is on our Instagram. Many of the staff mentioned the work people were doing one on one with kids and it is incredibly beautiful to watch.

And, some of our highest needs kids bless our staff in the most incredible ways. One day one of the cabin leaders got up from the table for something. When he got back, one of his higher needs children was missing and so he started looking around for him. This child has a tendency to wander every now and then. However, just as the cabin leader was about to get frustrated by the fact that he couldn't find the little guy, the camper came back with a plate of food for his leader and said, "I just went to get you seconds." How awesome is that.

The other cool thing that happened this week was the new signs that have been made for the fire pit. They are AMAZING!!!!!!!! Sorry, to see them you'll either have to look on our social media or come out