September 2016 Update
Well hello again everyone,
I hope you all are staying safe and warm as the snow has come far too early this year. We have a couple who are on sabbatical joining us at the camp this week and they were in for a surprise with the weather. They are involved in Camp Ministry in Oklahoma and were asking if this weather is normal for us this time of year. I said no and expressed how much I was not a fan of it. They had heard so much about how beautiful Calgary was and now with this fog they can't see any of it. This snow is way too early.
September was an incredibly busy month for rentals. The September 16 weekend saw us get to a point where we had too much going on and unfortunately almost had to turn down going to a promotional event. However, HUGE thank you to Board Member Alex Wright (Crumpet) who stepped in to help us out. On that weekend we had the Sea Cadets joining us, Young Life was here, Urban Grace Church joined us for a volunteer event and we participated as a host site for the Rotary Amazing Race. Yup, all of that happened on a Friday - Saturday. 4 groups all at the same time in 3 days. HUGE, HUGE shout out to our entire Year Round Team for just doing what you do to make all of this happen. And again, thank you to Board Member Alex (Crumpet) who stepped in and took on the promotional event at Chilli Fest at Canyon Creek Christian Fellowship.
Having the Sea Cadets is always a treat because it was the Sea Cadets who originally founded Camp Chestermere way back in 1953. I think it is amazing that after all of this time we continue to work with them and will continue to do so. Relationships truly is our number one value and I believe that it is because of this value that the Sea Cadets and Camp Chestermere continue to work together. Relationships is not a new value for us, it is a value that has helped us to work with the same group for over 60 years. Amazing.
Calgary Christian School joined us this month for a serve day. They brought out their entire middle school and spent time doing some work around the camp, participating in a chapel and then in some team building activities. Thank to Assistant Director Collin(Deuce) and Guest Services Coordinator Vanessa (Ember) for hosting this group, leading worship and speaking. And thank you to Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) for getting everything organized for the serving projects side of things.
I also love the diversity of the groups we work with. On Tuesday Calgary Christian School was here and then on WednesdayCalgary Islamic School was here for an activity day. And man did the Calgary Islamic School bless us. They brought more cookies and muffins and treats then we knew what to do with. Seriously, my office is still stock piled with mini chocolate bars (don't tell my wife). Thanks to Calgary Christian School for helping with several projects around the camp and to Calgary Islamic School for all of the goodies.
Camp Chestermere continues to be involved in what is happening in the community. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) attended a seminar called Aging in Place which was a community conversation about how we take care of seniors in our community. I think it is great for Camp Chestermere to be a part of these conversations as we continue to break the impressions that we are just a summer camp. We are a year round facility that seeks to be a vital part of the community and we want to be involved in the life of the community. Attending events like this helps us to break these impressions. Then later Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and I attended an interagency meeting to discuss how the different organizations in Chestermere can do a better job supporting and promoting each other. It was a great way to connect with some people we haven't seen for a couple of months and great brainstorming conversations of ways we can all help each other. I'd encourage you to check out the following link and see all of the great things Chestermere has to offer: http://www.beactivechestermere.com/
The second last weekend of September saw us welcome back the Calgary Youth Singers. They have been coming to Camp Chestermere for over 20 years now and we love hosting them. Man, those kids have got some talent. Wow. Great organization and their shows are totally worth attending.
The last week of September saw a choir group come for a couple of days. It's great to be a destination of choice for many public, Catholic and private schools in and around Calgary. Let your schools know about the many options we have for them and perhaps they can bring your children here for an event throughout the year. We are currently updating our website with all of the different options we have for schools.
Then on the final weekend of September we were very pleased to welcome the mayors from several rural communities and cities from around Alberta. This was an incredible event and Camp Chestermere would like to say a huge thank you to the City of Chestermere and Mayor Matthews for booking with us. We received lots of great feedback and compliments from many of the mayors who attended. Thank you again Mayor Matthews.
We then hosted a Cubs group, Ambrose University and Synergy all in one weekend. Yup, September was a busy month.
However, while things have been busy on the rentals side, which is great, things have been down on the camper side. I sent and email out a few days ago letting people know about the financial situation we find ourselves in. Rentals have been up and we love hosting user groups including corporate groups, weddings, birthday parties, school groups and more. But the heart of what we do lies in our camps. Our camper numbers were down and the vast majority of the reasons behind this have to do with the current economy. Families would love to come to camp but just cannot afford to do so. We again invite you to partner with us to help make up the loss we saw this year.
We invite you to help us meet our fiscal year end. The best way to do this would be through the ATB Cares Program. Through this program, ATB will kick in an extra 15% on top of each donation. The link for this is https://www.atbcares.com/bcart/add/cause/124-132336777RR0001. You can also find this information on our website at www.campchestermere.com and click the donate button. If you are not able to donate online then you could donate through a cheque mailed to the camp, by credit card over the phone or by coming into the camp and make a donation by cash or debit. All donations to our HUG Campaign are tax deductible.
As always thank you for your love, support, and prayers.
One final note, I know these updates are long and I get ribbed about them all the time. But we do want you to know how excited we are about the work we do here and we constantly want to invite you to be a part of our story. The story of Camp Chestermere, the purpose of Camp Chestermere, the call on Camp Chestermere is a an active call. We are a 63 year old beautiful organization and we want to take steps so that 47 years from now we will celebrate our 100th birthday. We invite you to be a part of that story. The story of active, ongoing, participatory legacy where people are blessed for having worked with Camp Chestermere. And not so that our name is great but rather that people would see our good works and glorify our Father.