Summer 2017 Week 1 Highlights

Well, we are well into Day 2 of Week 2 here at Camp Chestermere.........

That's when I started this email. And now it is the end of Week 2 and I am just finishing/sending this email. Ahhh, you gotta love the pace of this place

............and it has been a great start to the 2017 Summer. The weather has been HOT HOT and more HOT. The message to staff has been to pump as much water as possible into kids and when you're done pumpin water into them, give them some more. I remember learning the lesson the hard way my first year here when I learned that hot weather + candy from Horton's Hut + not enough water = a lot of kids puking. Avoiding having to learn that lesson again this year. And, at least today is a little cooler which will help with the temperature in the cabins at night. And, at least it is not like last summer where we could set our watches by the storm hitting at 4 pm everyday.

Week 1 was Kids Camp and so we had campers here ages 7 - 11. Our numbers were a little lower in Week 1 as we had 76 overnight campers, 30 Day Campers and 18 3rd Year CLTD's.

But, before I talk about Week 1, I need to back up one more week and tell you about the week that was Staff Training. The last week of June was staff training and it was awesome. The ebbs and flows of this place are still something I am getting used to. From September to May we operate at full swing with a staff of 5 full timers and 2 part timers. Then during the first week of May we jump to a staff of 20 and then at staff training we had 80 staff and 18 3rd year CLTD's. And then, two months from now, we will be back to our small, but mighty, crew of 7.

Staff training saw nearly 100 people here getting ready for camp. During staff training the staff learn how to lead the activities, get instruction on working with campers with all sorts of special needs, learn how to do gratis in all areas of the camp and on and on and on. Everyday of staff training is packed full as we try to prep the staff for what is ahead. Great job to all of our Year Round Team and Seasonal Leadership Team who spend a lot of time prepping for staff training and then in leading various sessions according to their area of expertise.

We also build in times of bonding and fun. This year the entire staff came to one of my men's league hockey games. It was crazy. 80 young people packed into the Chestermere arena all going crazy and cheering while cheering on a bunch of old guys who are way past their prime. There were posters, painted chests, chants and more. The boys on my team were deeply touched by the kids coming out and it was a blast. Unfortunately my team couldn't get the win but the two teams skated to a tie. Lots of fun.

AND, the end of Staff Training ended with a very exciting event. Our very own Seasonal Leader Lisa Nieuwenhuis got married. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so exciting for us to be able to host her wedding and to be a part of her special day. Congrats to Andrew and Lisa Fox on their wedding.

Now back to Week 1. Again, Week 1 was Kids Camp and the theme was Western. We were excited to have Marilyn Schwab back with us again this year. Seriously, if you are looking for someone to be a speaker at a kids event, book this woman. She is engaging, funny, and just solid. Last year was her first year ever at a camp, like ever. She had never been to camp as a kid growing up and had not had the opportunity to speak at a camp until last year. Now she is becoming one of our must have speakers. She does such an incredible job with the kids.

Even though the numbers in Day Camp were low, it was a bit of a blessing in disguise as it gave the new Day Camp Staff a chance to try out the brand new curriculum that was written for this summer. We have been working very hard over the past few months on revamping our Day Camp Curriculum. We really want the Overnight and Day Camps to have a different feel. HUGE thank you's go to Day Camp Team Lead Darcy (Brother Bear) and Office Assistant Amanda (Calico) for the countless hours they have put in on the new curriculum. So far so good with this new curriculum and we look forward to seeing how it plays out for the rest of the summer.