Hello everyone. WOW have we had some snow over the past few days eh??? I hope all of you are staying safe and warm during this latest snow and cold snap. Hopefully it will warm up by the weekend.
It has been a somber couple of days here at the camp as we remember our fellow staff member Jordan Caldwell. Here is a message from his mom about Jordan that will soon be posted on our website under the Jar Jar's Kids section.
"Jordan Caldwell was affectionately known at Camp Chestermere as “Jar Jar”. During his 2.5 years of volunteering, Jar Jar was loved and cherished by campers and staff of all ages. Jordan had the “spice of life” and was adored by so many around him. He loved to play & have fun, but Jordan had a serious side too. He loved Jesus Christ with all his heart, and the evidence of that love overflowed in his life. Kids were naturally drawn to him because he was so genuine, kind, and inclusive. A frequent question for returning kids was always, “Where’s Jar Jar?” Heaven, is the answer to that question now. At the young age of 17, Jordan and his identical twin, Evan, died in a shocking accident that took place on February 6, 2016 on the Canada Olympic park bobsled track."
Jar Jar’s Kids is our financial assistance program that provides necessary funding to children who cannot afford the registration costs. Every child should have an opportunity to attend camp at least once in his or her life. Please consider donating to Jar Jar’s kids. During this time we have had a number of people who have made donations to the camp in honour of Jar Jar. Jordan, we miss you but rest in the hope that we will one day see and celebrate with you again.
This past weekend we had our Kids School Year Camp for Campers ages 7 - 11. It was an awesome weekend. We again partnered with Heritage Christian Academy Junior High Missions Team. A group of 12 grade 7 - 9 students organized, planned, and executed the weekend flawlessly. Camp Chestermere staff mentored these students in how to do camp ministry and they did an incredible job. We really value the partnership we have with Heritage Christian Academy and the many ways in which they support the camp. HUGE thank you to all the students and staff on the missions team.
Our guest speaker for the weekend was Marilyn Schwab (Sunflower). She spoke this summer and we had to have her back. If you are ever looking for a speaker to work with young children then this is the speaker you NEED to book. She is unbelievably good. Engaging, fun, interactive and just solid. Thanks again Marilyn (Sunflower) for blessing us with your incredible talent.
We also want to acknowledge the staff who came on the weekend. Staff who work these weekends do so on a volunteer basis and we really, really appreciate it. We could not do it without you. HUGE thank you to Kaiden (Tardus), Larissa (Giraffe), Rad (Salsa), Dylan (Gimli), Emily (Lilo), Chase (Stokes), Brad (Thumper), Darrin (Soul), David (Jumpman), Kevin (Neckbone), Astra (Thistle), Heather (Clover), Amanda (Calico), Andrea (Pudge), Aysha (Glimmer), Ashley (Flicker), Erin (Vendetta), Erin (Bonzai), Simon (Spruce), Courtney (Crayola), Josiah (Gideon). I know it takes a while to list them all but we really appreciate what they do. These young people work 47 hours in 3 days for free. Thank you for what you do.
Thank you also to our Year Round Team for the tireless effort you put in to pull off these weekends. To Collin (Deuce) for all the planning and organizing, to Vic (Poppa Smurf) for responding to all the emergencies, to Chantel (Lilac) for all the administrative work, to Sherry (Curry) for the food prep and organization, to Vanessa (Ember) for your work with CLTD, and to Heather (Bookie) for the money side. Great job team.
Our HUG Campaign continues. We have almost reached our goal of $50 000. Remember, green leaves are $25, pink are $50 and purple are $100. All donations to the HUG Campaign are tax deductible. Watch for information on our 2017 Campaign which will launch in May.
We are currently in the process of hiring our Seasonal Leadership Team for 2017. This is an awesome time but a very stressful time for our Year Round Team. We have lots of great candidates who have applied for only a few positions and so some difficult decisions will have to be made. Unfortunately we will have to say no to some very good candidates who have been a part of our seasonal team for a couple of years. Please pray for wisdom and guidance for our Year Round Team as they work through this process and make these difficult decisions. Please pray also for those who do not receive a position that they will still love them and that they will know that they are still a valued member of the community.
Please keep the Year Round Team in your prayers as well as we have lots of bookings coming up over the next while. We are an awesome team of 7 but only a team of 7 running a huge operation. Increased rentals is really helping our bottom line but it is a lot of work. Our team has been working really hard to promote camp in the community and we are really starting to see the fruits of this labour. We really want to continue to be a gift to the community and hope to continue to see increase in our rentals. Rentals help us do what we do better as they give us more flexibility and finances for the work we do in the summer.
This month is #lovecampc month. We invite you this month to take some time to pray for the camp and to post some prayers, declarations and memories of Camp Chestermere on any of our social media platforms and use the hashtag #lovecampc. We invite you to consider taking an hour, a morning, an afternoon, evening or day to come and volunteer at the camp. We have lots of projects that could use some extra hands and feet. Again, we are a mighty team of 7 but only a team of 7. Extra hands and feet are always appreciated.
So much going on and so much we could talk about out. Please follow us on social media for more up to date information. As always, thank you for your ongoing love and support. It is appreciated.