Summer 2017 Week 4 Update

Hello everyone and welcome to Week 5. We are back into a Kids Camp, 7 - 11 year olds, this week and again, there are a lot of them. Pray for us as we have a few of our Seasonal Leadership Staff on holidays this week. But, while it creates new challenges when our Seasonal Leadership take their week long break, well deserved by the way, it does create opportunities for others to step into the roles of leadership. We're excited this week to have Crayola stepping up to be on the Programs Team and to have Vendetta stepping into the role of media. I'm confident that they're both going to great.

Ok, before I do the usual update about a week at camp, I have to tell you about the amazing group that we had here from Philly for Week 4. Back in October 2016 I was contacted by Brian Russo who is the Director of Youth and Senior Adults at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill (PCCH) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was planning a missions trip and they were looking for a camp to come to in Alberta. Well, they found us and we are so happy and blessed that they did.

While here, the group from PCCH did a number of things including renovate the exterior of our Gym, prepare and serve meals at the mustard seed, removed the old fence at the lower end of the camp, cleaned the windows at the Chestermere Public Library, helped Synergy install the new mural in John Peak Park, painted large planters in Langdon, helped prep meals in our kitchen, served a meal here at the camp for CLTD, and more. They were busy. And WOW were they AMAZING. What a great group of young people to work with. On top of all the work they were doing they also interacted with our staff, played games with campers and had an amazing time power tubing with Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf).

I had been wracking my brain for the past few weeks trying to think of something very Canadiana to do with them and then I finally figured out while watching the news on Wednesday night. I learned that the Junior A Lacrosse Provincial finals were happening at Max Bell Arena. I called Andrew McBride who is the Head Coach for the Raiders and told him about the group that was here, what they were doing and how they'd never seen box lacrosse before. Coach McBride invited the group to come and allowed us all to get in for free. It was a blast. By the end of the game the Americans, who had never seen the sport before, were chanting, singing, cheering and maybe having a chirp or two for the opposing bench. The Raiders ended up winning the game in overtime. It was awesome. Thank you to the Junior A Okotoks Raiders and Coach McBride for giving this group an awesome Canadian experience.

We cannot say enough good things about the work this group did and we are so excited for how the Gym is starting to look and how it will look when it is all done. Both the Philly Team and our staff have written Bible verses, words of blessing, words of encouragement, prophetic words and prayers all over the shell of the Gym before it was covered up. Thank you to the team from Philly from everything you did. It was awesome meeting and working with extended family.

Now, on to the rest of the update for Week 4. Week 4 was Middle Camp, ages 11 - 15, and we had 85 campers in Day Camp, 90 in Overnight and 25 2nd year CLTD's. This was on top of the 25 people we had here from Philly. BUSY!!!! Which is great.

Our guest speaker last week was Justin Bills. Justin is the lead pastor at Canyon Creek which is one of our member churches. At the beginning of the week Justin posted this on his Facebook page: "So excited to be back at camp Chestermere this week sharing with 11-15 year olds. My theme is a simple one. Of all the lessons I've learned in my short 32 years alive there is one that stands above the rest: God is kind, slow to anger and abounding in love. Not only because the Bible says it but because I've known it deeply in my heart in the lowest moments of my life." And then at the end he posted: " I had many meaningful conversations with campers and could feel His presence in the sessions. It was awesome! I may sleep for days now though." Thanks Justin for doing an amazing job as always. We were truly blessed to have you with us.

Now for a bit of an apology and a plea for grace and understanding. For those of you who follow our updates closely you know that Momma Ruth resigned from her position at the camp back in April of this year. She was back in town this week for her 50 Wedding Anniversary and so on Friday night after Dead Cow we had a celebration for Momma Ruth and Dan. We apologize that we did not do an open invite for this but for those of you who have worked at camp I am sure, or hope, you can appreciate and remember how tired everyone is on Friday and, had we done an open invite, I am sure that we would have had well over 200 people. We just did not see it as being a great decision for the kitchen staff or for the volunteers who cook for Dead Cow to cook for over 200. So we are sorry that we did not do an open invite.