History of Camp Chestermere - Your Help Needed

June 27, 2017

Good afternoon everyone, 

 

I wanted to take a moment to invite you into a cool new journey that Camp Chestermere has been embarking on over the past few months. As you are well aware, Camp Chestermere has an amazingly rich history and thousands of people have been involved with the camp in so many ways and thousands of lives have been impacted. It is a history we continue to rely on, honour and build upon for the future. 

 

Last year when we launched our HUG (Help Us Grow) campaign, the tag line was "Celebrating Our Past While Looking to Our Future." It is amazing how God works in that since then we have had more and more alumni reconnecting back with Camp Chestermere, we've had some materials from the past dropped off at the camp and we have been learning more and more about our history. 

 

Then, a few months back, we were contacted by a gentlemen who works for Facts Net. Facts Net is doing an archiving project that involves looking at the history of Prairie Bible Institute, Camp Chestermere, Christian Missionary Alliance, and more. It is a huge project and we are excited to be a part of it. Through this process we have been connected with more and more people from the past and have learned a number of things. For example, last week we learned that bible camps started being held at Camp Chestermere in 1947 by Bethel Baptist Church. Up until last week we thought that camps started in 1955 and that the Sea Cadets started the camp in 1953. Well, turns out the camp actually started in the late 30's and that it started to be booked by churches as early as 1947, if not earlier. So you know that day when you wake up and find out you're older than you thought you were...... Ya, that was last week. 

 

Anyway, through this process we have now been connected with people who have photos of the very first church service that was held here as well as some pictures of early baptisms and some other historical photos. 

 

So, here is where everyone comes in. We are looking for things from past to assist in this archive project. This includes: 

  • Photos

  • Print Material

  • Old promotional material

  • Historical accounts

  • Stories

  • Staff Lists

As part of the work with Facts Net, 3 interns have been hired to do some of this archiving work. Two of these interns are working in partnership with Ambrose University to scan materials and archive them. This archived material is being stored as part of the archive project and shared via Google Drive with Camp Chestermere. We are involved in sorting all of this information and putting it into categories and files accordingly. One intern with Facts Net is going to be connecting with some key people who have invaluable historical information about Camp Chestermere. This individual will be meeting with these people over the next couple of months to collect as much information as possible. All of this is being funded and is costing Camp Chestermere nothing. 

 

From all of this work we hope to accomplish the following: 

  • Put together staff lists going back as far as possible. We want to include people's names, positions and camp names as much as possible

  • Hanging staff photos going back as far as possible. This would be similar to what you see when you go into a high school and see old graduating class photos. We think it would be awesome to fill the hallway of the Lodge with photos of previous and then future staffs

  • Host an event sometime next fall or winter where we'd invite alumni to come and help identify people in photos we have collected

  • Possibly publish a "History of Camp Chestermere" book that could be purchased by interested parties

  • Capture events and activities that used to happen at Camp Chestermere

The possibilities for this project are endless. But we need help. We need information, photos, print material, names of people we should contact, etc. Please don't assume we already have the photo. Whether the photo is 1 year old or 60 years old, we'd like to have a copy. If you can help in any way with this project or would be interested in becoming actively involved in this project then please contact Director Shannon Dean as soon as possible. We are only scratching the surface on what could be/is possible with the project and we hope you can be involved. Even something as simple as dropping off or sending in photos with information about those photos would be huge. If it relates in any way to the camp then we are interested. 

 

Thanks in advance for your help. More information on this project to follow soon.

 

Blessings,

 

Shannon Dean

Camp Director

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