Well, Week 7 has come and gone and WOW what a crazy week it was. We had 112 campers in overnight, 13 who finished their first year of CLTD, and over 80 Day Campers. It was an incredibly busy week.
It was a unique week at Camp Chestermere this week as our guest speaker was not only new to Camp Chestermere but this was her first time being at a camp..... ever. Marilyn Schwab is the children's pastor at Eastside Victory Church and she did an amazing job. There was fire, and illusions and just tons of stuff going on to keep all of us engaged throughout all of her sermons. She dropped some absolute bombshells throughout the week including this one, "Jesus said that the things he did we could do but there aren't too many believers who believe that" and then later "The Bible and Gods love has to be believed before it is understood." Incredible job by our guest speaker and we cannot wait for an opportunity to have her back. Ironically her lead pastor came out for a site visit later in the week, ironic because while he knew Marilyn was at a camp he didn't realize it was at our camp and he came on an unrelated matter, and so I was able to give him a tour of the facility and discuss some future partnership opportunities. Love it when other churches catch the vision we have here at Camp Chestermere and want to be a part of what we are doing.
In regards to the above quotes, one of the things that we hope to be able to do in the near future is podcast Fireside. Right now though we often Tweet or otherwise post pictures and quotes on social media. Just another great reason to follow us on social media.
It was, however, a very stressful week. We had more homesick campers this week than all of the other weeks combined. It was easy to tell this week that we are getting near the end of the summer as campers, and for that matter staff, are getting tired. But all in all it was another great week but it was one of those weeks that we were glad came to an end. Those of you who have worked at camp before will know what I mean.
Adding to craziness of this week was the addition of a new member to our community. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and his wife Shay (Yoshi) welcomed their little girl, Eleanor Deanna Daws, to the world. She was was born at 6:30pm Aug 16th, 2016. Just over 10 pounds and 21 inches. Camp Chestermere is so excited to welcome the newest member to our community. We would ask at this time that you please give the Daws family some privacy as they adjust to the new world of having a little one around. Any gifts or cards can be directed to the office at camp and we will be sure that they make their way over to the Daws' house. Camp name of the little Daws still to be determined. Pictures available..... via social media. AND!!!!! I think it is ironic that she was born this week because the theme this week was Disney and Shay (Yoshi) LOVES Disney. Some say Ellie was late while others think she was just holding out for Disney week for momma.
Our work crew got A LOT of work done this week. The re-construction on the fire pit is well underway and it looks amazing. We are so happy to have a new fire pit that is much more safe for our campers. We also started the reconstruction of the beach and are putting in new measures to stop the beach from getting washed out. Camp Chestermere would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Fortis Alberta for their donation of 6 telephone poles which we are using to create berms in front of the beach. Fortis was great to work with as the request was put in at 10 am, noon I got a phone call from the yard and at 2 pm the poles arrived. Thank you Fortis Alberta for working so quickly to help us out.
Camp Chestermere would like to express its sincere thank you to Board Member Alex (Crumpet), who came and volunteered his time this week to fill in for Assistant Director Collin (Deuce). It was a huge blessing and help to have Alex (Crumpet) here. Alex (Crumpet) will be joining us again next week. Thank you Alex (Crumpet) for the many ways you continue to bless and support our camp. We love our volunteers as without committed people like Alex (Crumpet) we would not be able to do all of the things we do. Thanks man.
A few weeks ago I mentioned a new program that we are running this summer with CZIN. Part of what made this happen was the generous donations for Chestermere ATB and Eric's No Frills here in Chestermere. Eric from No Frills came for a visit this week and it was a great opportunity for me to show him around the site and to introduce him to who we are and what we do. He also had the opportunity to witness the new CZIN program in action. Eric and I also had opportunity to discuss some future possibilities for us working together. As I have mentioned before, I love how the organizations in this community, both for and not for profit alike, band together to support each other and to support our kids.
Ok, so now to the weekly highlights. Even though it was a bit of a stressful week, there were still several highlights.
The first highlight comes from our Program Coordinator Lisa (Dutchie). Lisa (Dutchie) has gained a new boyfriend here at the camp, my eleven year old son Evan Dean. This week Evan decided to bless his girlfriend and bought her flowers to encourage her. Lisa (Dutchie) was very touched. Nice work son. Nice work.
Sometimes you just have to live with the fact that kids tell stories to get attention. Well this week a young man walked into the Medic Office and said that he had been stung by a wasp. Well, he hadn't actually been stung but he was just a little guy looking for some love. So, Cabin Leader Neckbone took some tweezers and pretended to "pull out" the stingers. Then he took a pen and "rubbed polysporin" on his back. The camper said it helped, and felt better even though it was all fake. Sometimes you do what you gotta do to help keep a kid happy.
During Final Gratis one of our Cabin Leaders was cleaning the climbing room and overheard campers saying "I did this here and I'll always remember that!" This Cabin Leader thought it was really cool that we're creating lifelong memories. And that is what we do. When I am out in the community or at one of our member churches I often hear from people who still remember their time at camp. I think summer camp is so important for kids and I love the fact that we do create lifelong memories for campers.
A few of our staff mentioned this week how impressed they were with their fellow staff members who continued to step up in multiple ways. As I said at the start of this update, while it was a good week, it was a bumpy week. We had some cabin leaders who ended up going home sick and so others stepped up to help out. We had more home sick kids last week than we almost knew what to do with and the staff continued to work with them and help them have a successful week. Great work staff. It is sometimes easy to forget that a lot of our staff are under 18. Remember don't let anyone look down on you because you are young and don't look down on anyone because they are young. Our staff just continue to impress and knock it out of the park and we are blessed to have them.
Staff can also be very innovative and creative in how they solve problems. One night a cabin left their cabin doors open. With all of the rain we have had this summer the mosquitos are especially bad. So, open door plus a light on in the cabin in the nighttime leads to 100s of mosquitos in the cabin. The campers were in a panic as they didn't know what to do. Insert creativity and innovation here. A couple of the staff decided to turn it into an opportunity to have some fun. They went and got a vacuum and started playing the Ghostbusters theme music. They called themselves the Mosquito Busters and went through the cabin and sucked up all the mosquitos. The music played, the kids cheered and the problem was solved. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The theme, again, this week was Disney and one of our girls dressed up as Peter Pan but then was getting cold as the weather was not so great on Wednesday. So she went to the costume area and grabbed a fuzzy bear costume we have. Well, within a few minutes this cabin leader became a bit of a momma bear as campers snuggled into the warm costume to warm up. I tell ya, our staff are problem solvers.
And, speaking of stepping up, one of our staff filled in this week as Overnight Female Team Lead. During our Weekly Highlights she said, "It was interesting being Team Lead and is was a huge learning experience." She said she had no idea how much actually goes on behind the scenes to make things happen at camp. I think it would be great for people to come and shadow some of our staff for a day to see how much truly happens on a day to day basis. Here is someone who has been a Cabin Leader for a couple of years now and had no idea how much goes on behind the scenes. The good news is she is still interested in applying for Seasonal Leadership next year. Great job to her and to all of the other staff who have stepped up this summer to fill in when Seasonal Leadership have a week off.
Thanks as always for your continued prayers, love, support and encouragement. Thank you especially to those who send words of encouragement through email, texts, and social media. We appreciate the love.