Ok, so I know I am two weeks behind on these and so you will shortly be receiving an update about Week 5 and Week 6. I apologize for the delay in getting these out. Thank you to those who have been responding about how much you appreciate these updates. One of our lead pastors stopped by yesterday and commented on how reading the updates makes him feel like he is here at camp. This is exactly one of the reasons why we do them. We hope to keep our extended community informed and ultimately involved in camp. Our being "A Place To Belong" doesn't end because someone is no longer a camper or staff member here. Having alumni informed and engaged is so important and something we are continuing to improve on. Thanks for reading these and being involved.
The other reason for the delay in the Weekly Updates is because we are entering Grant Writing Season. This week I wrote 3 grants that, if approved, would see Camp Chestermere receive about $40 000. This would be HUGE for our organization. Please keep these grants in your prayers. I will be writing a few more grant requests over the next few weeks. We have seen an increase in the amount of grants we are eligible for and this is due to the outstanding work of the Year Round Team and their continuing efforts to work with the community. Again, please keep these grants in your prayers and pray that more doors continue to open in this area.
Now, back to the update. Week 5 was Kids Camp and we saw 98 Overnight Campers, 78 Day Campers, and 25 CLTD's completed their Second Year: Discipleship. Our guest speaker was Alison Springer. We have had Alison out to speak at camp a number of times and we love having her here. However, this was her first time speaking at a Kids Camp and she was admittedly nervous. Most of the work she does is with junior and senior high girls and so it was new for her to work with 7 - 11 year olds. But, she did amazing.
For those of you who don't know Alison, she is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Young Women of Power and runs her own company called Greater Than Communications. Basically speaking is what she does for a living and she is incredible. It was cool to see her stretch herself as a speaker and work with a younger audience. She brought the same dynamic energy and her same incredible ability to capture the attention of her audience that we have seen in the past. Thanks Alison for blessing us once again this year.
The theme in both Day and Overnight Camp this week was Superheroes. HUGE shoutout to the Chestermere RCMP and Chestermere Fire Department for coming by once again this year and showing the campers the police cars and fire trucks. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a great relationship with the local RCMP and Fire Department and they are always great to us. Thank you for all you do to keep this community safe and for being so awesome with all the campers who swarmed you.
During Week 5 I had the opportunity to attend a planning session for a new partnership that we are working on. On September 16, 2017 Camp Chestermere, in partnership with the Alberta Men's Network and House on the Rock Church, will be hosting an event called Dad's and Kids for Healthy Families. This is in partnership for a new initiative in Chestermere that we are a part of called Engaging Men and Boys. The event on September 16 will be an opportunity for dads to bring their kids and attend some workshops and then do some activities with their children. Camp Chestermere will be putting on a BBQ for the event. It is going to be great. More info will be on our website soon. It is going to be a great event and we are excited to be a part of it.
Thank you again to Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) and his wife Kathy (Sweet Pea) for preparing Dead Cow. Because we were headed into the long weekend we kept it simple and had peach cobbler. It was amazing. Man, Sweet Pea can cook. So good. Thanks again Sweet Pea for volunteering your time to bless the staff.
Here are some of the highlights from staff:
CLTD got baptized
"Before/during Fireside a couple of 8-10 year old boys had been having some issues and wanted to sit out. So another leader and I helped them get some crafts to do in the back. That was the happiest I saw either of those boys all week"
One of our newest staff members mentioned that the highlight of his week was having the chance to talk to new people
"One of my campers cried tears of happiness as I tucked them in, said goodnight and prayed for them on the last night"
"When the Female Team Lead came to another leader and I and told us she was inviting us for coffee. She was great. We talked about our weeks and how we were doing. It was a great bonding time"
"Getting the chance to teach my kids about God and giving them bibles"
"Last night with girls. Bought them McDonalds. Came back into the cabin to see all the girls crowded onto one bed with the leaders and then having one of my girls perform a song she wrote"
"Devos one night the girls were really engaged in the story of Jesus calming the storm. I was acting it out with my co and the girls laughed the whole time. Afterwards they had really good questions and went to bed without complaint"
"My camper told me he finally heard God"
"During Fireside one camper came and hugged me and said "You would make the best dad." and smiled at me. Made my week.
"Being Team Lead and being able to support the team"
Some of the more lighthearted or funny highlights include:
For the Gender Night the boys played water polo but instead of using a ball they used various kinds of fruits and vegetables including a tomato, a kiwi, and eventually a full pineapple. Some of the comments on this game included:
"Winning cleanest cabin of the week. That has never happened to me as a camper or as a leader...... until now"
Female Cabin Leader in Day Camp: "Having the best children in the world and calling them my shirtless army of angels. Even though they were all boys they still treated me like one of them"
"During Gender Night the Female Team Lead got us slime and the next day we got one of the male Cabin Leaders to stick it in his armpits for $2 and a free tuck item. He stuck the remaining goo on our faces and so we ended up smelling like his armpits and he had blue stained pits. 10/10. Thumbs up. Worth it"
"I woke up to one of my campers taping her entire leg in green masking tape. I asked what she was doing and she said, "I want to be The Grinch"
And I'd like to end with this highlight:
"I'd have to say the biggest highlight of my week has been, once again, seeing this ministries heart for these kids coming through here and seeing God's constant presence here"
Amazing job team. Thank you as always for your ongoing prayer, love and support.