Well, somehow we are nearing the end of September. It has been a quick month since our last summer camp and things are moving along nicely.
This past Sunday was an emotional one as I attended both services at Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel (RMCC), one of our Member Churches, and presented the envelope of letters from Jar Jar's Kids to Jason and Shauna Caldwell. For those of you who may not know, we changed the name of our Financial Assistance Program to Jar Jar's Kids last year in honour of Jordan Caldwell. Jordan was one of our staff members who unfortunately died in an accident at COP. His camp name was Jar Jar. Jordan loved kids, loved being with them, working with them, ministering to them, playing with them, and so forth. So, to honour Jordan we renamed our Financial Assistance Program Jar Jar's Kids. This year we had over 90 kids come as part of the program. At the end of each week, Jar Jar's Kids are invited to write a letter to Jason and Shauna, Jordan's parents, about their week at camp. It is an invitation, not a requirement. So, on Sunday Pastor Quinn at RMCC invited me to come and present the letters to Jason and Shauna during the service. It was a special time. Thank you to Pastor Quinn and RMCC for creating that space for us to honour Jason and Shauna and Jordan.
As a side note to the above, we could always use donations to our Jar Jar's Kids Program. At Camp Chestermere we believe that financial barriers should not be a reason why children are not be able to come to camp. So, while we follow the guidelines we have in place for this program, basically those who ask, receive. We could use your help in supporting this program. If you would like to give to our Jar Jar's Kids Program then go to www.campchestermere.com and click on donate and then give online. What's great is that the ATB Cares Program is back up and running which means ATB will kick in an additional 15% on top of every donation. Just type Jar Jar's Kids in the comments section and we will make sure the funds are allocated accordingly. Thanks in advance for your support of this very important program.
Over the past couple of weeks we have had some of our traditional rental groups back on site. It has been great to welcome back the Cadets, Little Leaders, Sea Cadets and Youth Singers. We've hosted a couple of birthday parties as well. Thank you to Site Coordinator Vic (Poppa Smurf) and Guest Services Coordinator Vanessa (Ember) for all the work you do in taking care of these groups. This is an important part of our ministry and your work is appreciated.
This past weekend we participated in the Chestermere Rotary Club Amazing Race. We were a host site. Teams showed up at the camp and chose between 4 of 7 activities to complete before moving on. The activities included Plank Walking, Obstacle Course, Fire Making Challenge, Volley Ball Challenge, Archery, Target Shooting and Kayaking. Camp Chestermere also donated 4 hoodies to the team who raised the most money for the Rotary Club. I attended the barbecue held at The White Cappers after the race and presented the gift certificates to the winners. It was great to be involved in another community event and support a worthy cause. Thanks to the Chestermere Rotary Club for allowing us to be involved and we look forward to being involved next year.
Our theme for 2017 - 2018 has launched. The theme is Undaunted. The theme verse is from Exodus 14:13 "don't be afraid, stand firm and watch God do his work." There is a cool story as to how this theme was landed on. As you know, we have been working on learning about the history of Camp Chestermere, including how this site was first used. What we have learned is that the first group of Sea Cadets who were on this site were called........ Undaunted. And they still exist today. BUT, when we heard this as a staff team we thought to ourselves, that's us. Through all the ups and downs, transitions, changes, times, everything, the purpose of this organization has not changed and we remain Undaunted. We will not be afraid but we will stand firm and watch God work. UNDAUNTED. We are very excited about this theme and cannot wait to see the things that are going to come out of it. Thank you to our Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) for your work in creating the graphics and launching the theme. More to come soon.
I was away all of last week speaking at a retreat at Camp Evergreen. One of my favourite parts of last week was sitting with several staff from Camp Evergreen and sharing stories and comparing notes. It is always great to visit another camp and find out how they do things. Definitely stole some ideas from both their office and their kitchen. Thank you to Executive Director Bob (Ranger) for meeting with me for over an hour and sharing stories about the camp.
Finally some prayer items. All over Alberta there are municipal elections happening right now. Please continue to pray for these elections in the municipalities in which you live. Thank you to those people who put their names forward to serve in public office at any level. It is a huge undertaking and it is appreciated. Please do pray that when the new mayor and council is elected here in Chestermere that our organization would continue to have the amazing relationship we currently have with our municipal government.
Secondly, please continue to pray for our rentals and donations. Rentals for us are not just a way to keep the doors open and the lights on. They are a way for us to build relationships with many community partners and it is incredible what we have seen come out of those relationships. And, financially, we can always use your help. Please continue to pray that people would not only believe in what we do here but would be willing to financially give to support what we do here.
And finally, we are in the process of completing some new grant applications and waiting to hear on some grants we have already applied for. Grants is an important funding piece for use. Please continue to pray that we would receive funding from the multiple sources to which we are applying.
As always, thank you for your continued support, love and prayers. We know that there are many who support and appreciate the work we do here at the camp. Even in September the days can be long and the work overwhelming but we continue to be Undaunted by the task ahead of us.