I trust this update finds you doing well and hopefully settling into the routine of September. I know that January is the official "New Years" but I always think of September as being the restart month. Kids go back to school extra curricular activities start up again, and we settle into the reality that we have a ton of work to do at camp and less people around to help. (I write that last line with a small smile/smirk on my face, ha).
This was my first week back in the office after a much needed vacation with my family. Taking summer vacation as a family with children is tough as the Director due to the schedule of summer so my children ended up missing the first week of school. But they weren't all that upset about missing school. We had a great time visiting friends and family on the west coast. I even ended up running into my best friend from High School on the ferry. It was a great time away.
While I was away the staff ran a new camp called Mini Tyke Camp. This was a two night overnight camp for children ages 5 - 7. It was a great success and something we will explore doing again next year. There were less kids at the camp then we would have liked but that is common when you try something new. But I think we built some good traction for next year. And we didn't have one home sick child which was a bit of a surprised. We get homesick 14 year olds but not one 5 year old complained about missing mommy and daddy. A great week and something I am sure we will continue in the future.
The other big thing that happened while we were away was the end of summer clean up that we do. This is a MASSIVE undertaking. While we are busy all year, we see the most people consistently on a day to day basis during the summer and having that many people here everyday for 9 weeks takes a toll on the buildings. We really have 3 distinct seasons at Camp Chestermere; September - April, May - June and July and August. Each season has its own unique flavour of busy. But the clean up that has to happen between the July - August season and the September - April season is almost overwhelming. Thank you to all of the staff for their tireless work in helping to get camp ready for the next season.
Camp Chestermere is SOOOOOOOOOO excited to announce that we have hired a new person to be a part of our Year Round Team. Vanessa Krell (Ember) will be serving the dual role of CLTD Guest Services Coordinator. Vanessa (Ember) started on Monday September 12 and her second day on the job she hosted a group of 150 junior high students. Welcome to the party Vanessa (Ember). We are extremely excited to have her be a part of the team and the job she is doing already has confirmed that we made the right decision in bringing her onto the team. Congrats again Vanessa (Ember).
While the summer season has come to an end, we continue to be busy with Guest Services bookings. Over the past couple of weeks we hosted a church retreat on the long weekend, a school for a professional development day, and then a junior high school for a school year kick off retreat. On the September 9 - 11 weekend we had four different groups here at once, three of which who stayed overnight for the whole weekend. Oh ya, and Guest Services Coordinator Vanessa (Ember) did the hosting for these three groups. Ain't nothing like jumping right into the fire eh Vanessa (Ember).
September 11 ended with us hosting a wedding here at the camp. Remember that Camp Chestermere is available for weddings, birthday parties, family reunions, retreats, conferences, professional development days and more. Please check out our website for the many different options we have available.
One of the groups who was here on the weekend was the Rotary Amazing Race. We were a stop along the way for this great community event. Camp Chestermere is excited for the new and ongoing possibilities of working with great organizations like the Rotary Club.
Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) is busy again doing the promotional tours on behalf of Camp Chestermere. Last week he attended the Energizer nights in both Chestermere and Langdon. Thanks Collin (Deuce) for your continued work in promoting Camp Chestermere.
Speaking of community partnerships, Camp Chestermere will be partnering with another great organization, Synergy, for our Halloween Howler event at the end of October. This is a great family oriented event and will be held on October 30 from 2 - 6pm. We are excited to have Synergy join us as a partner for this event this year. More promotional information to follow soon but mark October 30 on your calendar as a day to come out to the camp and have some fun shooting some arrows at some pumpkins.
Camp Chestermere had a surprise visit from our Member of Parliament Martin Shields. Mr. Shields literally just showed up unannounced and asked for a tour of the facility and asked a lot of questions about what we do. It was a pleasure to give him a tour of the facility and a great chance to share the story of Camp Chestermere with another elected official. Thanks Mr. Shields for stopping by.
On another note, our HUG Campaign continues and we could really use you help. Our goal for the fundraiser was $50 000 and we are well short of this at the moment. The idea of the Help Us Grow Campaign is to celebrate our past while looking towards our future. Camp Chestermere has an incredibly rich 63+ year history and we would like to see another amazing 63 years. However, some work needs to be done to improve and upgrade our facility in order to help us take another step forward as an organization. Camp Chestermere is well aware that we are in a down turn in the economy and many, many people have been heavily impacted by this in a negative way. But to those who may be able to Help Us Grow in a financial way then please go to our website or click on this link and donate to our Help Us Grow Campaign. Remember that if you give online through ATB Cares then ATB will kick in an additional 15% on top of your donation. Here is the link: https://www.atbcares.com/bcart/add/cause/124-132336777RR0001.
And finally, there is always need for volunteer help. While we are a mighty crew of 8 Year Round Staff, we are only a crew of 8 and much work needs to be done. Come for an hour, a morning or the day. We always feel super blessed and appreciated when people take time from their often hectic schedules to help us do what we do better. Please contact the camp if you are interested in volunteering. We would love to have you, your family, your small group, your church, or your company out to help us out.
Thank you for your ongoing and continued support, love and prayers.