WOW, it has been a while but we are excited to send an update about several things that have happened over the past number of weeks here at Camp Chestermere. It has literally just been that busy here at that camp that I have not had a moment to sit and write an update. As I write this we have a youth group here for a conference for the weekend, a soccer team was here last night, the City of Chestermere is here for a training session, we have a hockey team here tomorrow, a birthday party on Sunday and a missions team arrives on Sunday night. WHEW!!!!!! But busy is good. But we do want to keep people informed of the amazing things that are happening here. For quicker updates please follow us on our social media platforms. The problem of course with not updating weekly is that these updates become long. BUT, please read and be encouraged about the amazing things that are happening here at the camp. I do apologize for how long this is...... however, the length of this email is just a small indication of the amazing things that are happening here.
School Year Camp
On March 9 - 10 we hosted a Kids School Year Camp for ages 7 - 11. This was done in partnership with Heritage Christian Academy Junior High Missions Team. They did an incredible job. They were mentored in all areas of the camp and got a full behind the scenes view of what happens at Camp Chestermere. The JR High Team planned and executed the camp and did so well. They donated some new programs equipment and donated financially as well. We are going to be stealing a bunch of ideas they came up with. We heard great things from both staff and parents about the job the HCA Students did.
In regards to numbers, we had 65 Campers, 28 Staff (ALL VOLUNTEERS), 5 CLTD’s, and 16 students and 2 teachers from HCA. Connie Jakab was our guest speaker and once again did such an amazing job. She is just so gifted at encouraging people to be bold. Here is a post she made about her weekend here:
"I’m speaking at Camp Chestermere this weekend. This young 8 year old girl comes up to the mic and says, “Hi my name is ____________. I have been in foster homes since I was 4. Some have been good, some have been bad. The one that was bad was really bad. I got to go back with my family for some time but bad things happened so I had to go back into foster care. I’m here to say that even though things can go bad, and we can feel sorry for ourselves, I feel the love of God and know he holds me.” No words."
We have three staffing updates to announce. First of all, we are saddened...... and excited that
CLTD Leader Evan Shier (Stret) was offered an amazing opportunity at a local radio station. While we are sad to lose him from our team, we are very excited for the opportunity he has been given. We have now hired Ben Matear (Roshe) to be on our Seasonal Leadership Team as a CLTD Leader. Roshe was originally hired to be on our Helping All Campers Succeed Program but we have moved him into the CLTD role with the departure of Evan.
This then created an opportunity for someone in our Helping All Campers Succeed Program. We are excited to announce that we have hired
Travis Nelson (Dragonfly) on in this program. Dragonfly is a graduate from Heritage Christian Academy and this will be his second summer with us. Last year he served as a Cabin Leader. He has also served as a host for user groups throughout the year.
And finally, we'd like to welcome a new member to the team who is helping on our Year Round Team. Meaghan Easthope (Sparkles) has been hired as our Guest Services Facilitator. This is done in partnership with Columbia College. This is her first week here and she has been doing great.
Helping All Campers Succeed
As mentioned, we have expanded our Helping All Campers Succeed Program. This program is funded by FCSS Chestermere and United Way. We are pleased to announce that we have signed a 3 year agreement with Between Friends. Between Friends is also funded by the United Way. Between Friends works with families to send children to camp and helps camps integrate those children into regular programming. They also offer free training to camp staff. So, all of our Helping All Campers Succeed Staff will attend a one week training session that is hosted by Between Friends. Some of this training will be hosted at Camp Chestermere. This is a huge win win partnership for Camp Chestermere.
Donate Your Change
An email was sent out earlier today about this program. Please have a look at this program and spread the word. Go to http://campchestermere.donateyourchange.ca/ to get started.
Assistant Director Collin (Deuce), Site Coordinator Vic (Papa Smurf), Kitchen Lead Erik (Baloo) and myself attended the CCI Conference at Deer Valley Meadows Camp the last week of February. It is always good to connect with other camps and find out what they are doing. Always great to compare notes and see where you are being more successful in an area and then to learn why other camps are being more successful than you in some areas. I was blessed to be given the opportunity to lead a session this year. At the session I talked about how it can be hard to be a "big personality" and a dreamer but the Great Commission is the great dream of God and we are invited to participate in the big dream and as a result given permission and invited to dream big ourselves.
Love Camp C Month #lovecampc
Thank you to all of those who participated via prayer in #lovecampc. As we have done for the past three years, we ran Love Camp C during the month of February. This is where we invite people to take a day and pray for Camp Chestermere. We received some amazing responses of what God was saying to people through their time of prayer. Many of these have been posted on all of our social media accounts. Some of the responses from people were kept internal as they were intended specifically for the entire Year Round Staff or for individuals on the Year Round Staff. Thanks to those who participated in this important initiative.
Infuze 2018 - Undaunted
Infuze 2018 - Undaunted has just launched. Check out the incredible video created by Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) on all of our social media accounts. This is an event for those ages 18+. Camp C staff are invited to come regardless of age. This is a two day conference held on May 4 - 5. Our main session speaker is Sammy Bernard. Breakout speakers include Levi Switzer, Connie Jakab, TJ Syroteuk, Allison Springer and Garth Reesor. Registration is as low as $50 for this conference. Check out https://www.campchestermere.com/infuze to book your tickets. It is going to be an amazing weekend.
We are pleased to announce that the work on Gabion Wall around the island has been completed. This is work that has needed to be done for a while now. Part of the island was starting to wash away. Homescapes did an amazing job on the island. Camp Chestermere would like to say a HUGE thank you to Chestermere Conrich Recreation Board for helping to fund this project. Could not have done it without them. Thank you.
We had our latest Board Meeting on March 15 and it was an incredible meeting. It was a little hampered by the weather as the roads were not great for travel. However, thanks to Google Hangouts we were able to meet. It was an awesome meeting and WOW did we accomplish a lot. An incredibly encouraging announcement from the Board Meeting is that we would like to officially welcome North West Community Church (NWCC) on as a Member Church. NWCC has been involved with camp for a number of years. A lot of their youth and young adults are either campers or staff at Camp Chestermere. A number of our 2018 Seasonal Leadership Team members comes from their church. We are really excited to have them officially join in this capacity. Thank you to all of our Board Members for your continued efforts to help us grow and expand as an organization.
Ok, that's it. Well, there's so much more but this is like the longest email/update ever so I'll stop there. More to come next time. Thanks again for your ongoing prayers, love and support. It is greatly appreciated.