Summer 2017 Week 6 Update
Hello again everyone,
Well we did something different this year.... Well, truth be told, we tried to do something different but it didn't really work out and so we tried something else different and that really worked out well. As you know, we tried to run a Family Camp this summer but unfortunately we were not able to secure enough registration to actually run the camp. We made the unfortunate decision to cancel Family Camp. However, I love how even in disappointment things can work out. One of the reasons for wanting to to run Family Camp was because we have been noticing a bit of a trend over the past couple of years where the week after a long weekend tends to have low registrations. So we thought, "Why not run a Family Camp on the long weekend and then run a shorter week?" When Family Camp got cancelled we decided to leave the camp timeframe the same. This meant our entire staff got the long weekend off. It was AWESOME. A few of us from the Year Round and Seasonal Leadership Team decided to get away and go camping for the weekend. It was a great little break right in the middle of the summer and it is definitely something we are considering continuing next year.
Week 6 was Middle Camp, ages 11 - 15, and we had 82 campers in Overnight, 93 in Day Camp and 11 started their First Year of CLTD: Foundations. Our guest speaker this week came all the way from Regina. It was my brother Sheldon. It was great to have him and his family here. Not only did he speak but he and his wife both helped us out by driving boat numerous times throughout the week. Thanks Sheldon and Val for all your help.
Before I get into the highlights from the staff, I want to tell you about some of the other cool things that happened last week. First of all, on the weekend we hosted the Canadian National Wake Surf Competition. It was an awesome event and it gave the camp some incredible exposure. The event was live streamed all over the world and on Saturday alone the event was viewed by over 6000 people. It continues to amaze me how when we continue to say yes, doors continue to open and we meet new people. This weekend, as part of the event, there was one rider who is a local church planter and some of the people expressed an interest in partnering with us to help expand our programming by offering sessions on Wake Boarding and Wake Surfing. Something like that would be a huge addition to our Teens Week Program. Huge thank you goes out to Year Round Team Members: Kitchen Manager Sherry (Curry) for the amazing job with the breakfasts and then especially the banquet on Saturday night, Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) for... well everything, Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) for helping with the BBQ on Saturday and to Office Manager Chantel (Lilac) for the work she did behind the scenes in helping get things ready. Equally huge thank you's go out Seasonal Staff Wind, Kenya, Lazlow, Maverick, Stokes, Thistle, Frostbite, Goose, Fozzy, Spade, Auntie T, Bungalow, Chai, Glimmer and Kermit for all their help in hosting the event. Great job team and great exposure for the camp.
We were also blessed this week to have 4 interns from Prairie Bible Institute join us for the week. Thanks for CLTD Leader and Prairie student Simon (Spruce for connecting us. Thanks to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) who put together a schedule for them so that they could see every area of our camp. By the end of the week they had worked in Day Camp, Overnight Camp, been on the worship team, worked in the kitchen, worked on work crew and helped with CLTD. This was the seventh camp they had been to this summer. On Thursday night I had an opportunity to sit down with them and I listened to them talk about our camp. They had some amazing perspectives, both positive and areas of growth. It was invaluable to us to have them spend time in every area and give feedback. Great food for thought for us as we prepare for Summer 2018.
I do want to share three things they shared though. At the end of the meeting I asked them "What is your number one takeaway from the week?" Here are three of their answers:
The Gateway Program and the fact that anyone who wants to be a camper can register to be a camper at Camp Chestermere. The representative from Prairie said "You (the camp) are creating a family for children who may not have one."
The representative from Prairie said, "I learned that you don't always have to have your life together to be a leader. Camp Chestermere is finding ways to have broken people lead broken people."
The representative from Prairie said, "how much respect and care the leadership team has for the staff." The representative from Prairie talked bout how they appreciated how we build breaks and times of rests into the schedule. The one representative said that he loved the fact they were able to play Super Smash Bro's for a little while because it literally help him to recharge. They appreciated how our staff were able to go offsite on their breaks so they could recharge, grab coffee or a snack, and spend time away from the camp if only for 20 minutes.
The other piece that was a common theme was that the representatives from Prairie felt welcomed and accepted by the staff. This was cool to hear because it is the same feedback we got from the missions team who came from Philly. Again, Relationships is our number one value and it has been awesome this summer to see how our staff are continually communicating tha