An Update From Camp Chestermere

It is hard to believe that Summer Camp 2018 is just 6 days away. WHAT??? We are so excited, nervous, worried, prepared, unprepared, ready, anticipating and feeling a little like a deer in the headlights....... all at the same time. Here we go.

Staff Training Kickoff

Well, Staff Training has begun. Last night Val Lieske from Fire Exit Theatre came and kicked off Staff Training with an incredible session called "How to Tell a Great Story With Your Life." It was an amazing session. Val had mic drop moment after mic drop moment. For example “If you’re not a little bit terrified everyday by what you’re doing then you’re not doing your calling." Or one that spoke directly to me: “What if I had a different adjective other than ‘tired’ or ‘busy’ when someone asked me how am I doing." And a couple other quotes from the night:

  • “We spend so much of our life trying to attain something rather than live through something that can change us”

  • “My goal in life is to make sure that people don’t have to lie about me at my funeral”

  • “Your goal in life should be to figure out what pisses you off and don’t change the channel”

It was an AMAZING way to start off Staff Training. A huge thank you to Val for coming and dropping so much wisdom and an incredible challenge to us as a staff. Val and Fire Exit Theatre will actually be coming back for Teens Week where they will be running workshops on Clowning, Stage Combat and Intro to Acting for an afternoon. This is a cool new addition to our Teens Week Camp Programming. Please feel free to help us promo this to people you may know who are between the ages of 14 - 18. Teens Week is always great and this is a great new addition.


One of the things I am learning in my role as Director is the challenge of the ebbs and flows of recruiting Seasonal Staff. One year you have more staff than you actually need and then other years it is a challenge to recruit enough. This year is the challenge year. Perhaps you know someone who could give a week of holidays during the summer to be a Cabin Leader. All Seasonal Staff, whether Junior or Senior, can work for one week, three weeks or for the whole summer or any combination of weeks. In other words, you don't have to commit to the entire summer to be on Seasonal Staff. We are looking for:

  • Junior Cabin Leaders:

  • Junior Cabin Leaders are leaders who are between the ages of 16 and 18 and still in school. Being a Cabin Leader is a great way for these young people to build on their faith and develop leadership skills.

  • Senior Cabin Leaders

  • These are people who are 18+. Perhaps you know:

  • An intern who is looking for a placement for the summer

  • A youth pastor who is looking to grow their ministry

  • Youth leaders who are looking for new ways to lead and develop their leadership skills.

  • A teacher who would like to work with kids for a week this summer

  • A small group or family with older kids who are looking for a local missional opportunity

  • Someone who has been on staff here in the past who may be able to come for a week

  • All of these scenarios and more can be lived out by being a Senior Cabin Leader.

Camp Chestermere provides full training for all staff from Sunday June 24 - Friday June 29. If staff are not able to make it for staff training then we host training for them on the Sunday of their first week of working at camp. So one of the things that you can assure people of is that we have a very robust training program and staff go into cabin feeling prepared and set up for success. So even if you are only coming for a week, we will set you up for success.

Seasonal Staff can apply by going to or by contacting myself.

Brown 1 Being Renovated

A number of months ago I mentioned that we had received matching grant money from the Chestermere Conrich Recreation Board. Part of this grant is to help pay for the renovation of our Brown Cabins. Our Brown Cabins are in desperate need of repair. We are so happy to announce that Brown 1 is going to be completely renovated before the start of summer.

Something that has been happening behind the scenes is we have been inviting our Supporting Churches to Adopt a Cabin. I am excited to announce that North West Community Church (NWCC) and Lakeview Baptist Church have taken up the challenge. NWCC is currently renovating Brown 1 and Lakeview will be renovating Brown 3 starting in the fall. You should see Brown 1. It looks AMAZING. Please let me know if your church may be interested in Adopting a Cabin. Be great to see them all done before Summer 2019.

Fun 4 Fun

I know Fun 4 Fun was a few weeks ago but I wanted to send a huge thank you to all of the teams who were able to attend. We raised over $3200 for Jar Jar's Kids. This money will help send kids to camp who otherwise couldn't afford to do so. We will be running Fun 4 Fun in the same format again next year. So, mark June 8, 2019 on your calendar and start to put your team together to raise money for Jar Jar's Kids. We could still use some donations for Jar Jar's Kids and so if you would like to support kids coming to camp who can't afford to do so then please donate to Jar Jar's Kids. Thank you to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) for all of his work with this.

Crazy Weekend

Ok, this weekend was a little crazy. We had a church group here for a family camp, a youth group here, a church group doing their wind up for their youth group, a company doing their year end party, and a Leadership Training group. AND THEN....... another group showed up who's organization had booked their people to come but had not let us know that they were coming. So this is where I need to take a moment a brag a little. I am so proud of our Seasonal Leadership Team. We used EVERY space at Camp Chestermere this weekend to host people including the Triplexes, the Lofts, The Brown Cabins, The Tube, The Hex, The Speakers Room and we set up a tent!!!!!! The work that our Seasonal Leadership did to make it happen was amazing. I have learned that the identity of this year's Seasonal Leadership Team is "we make it happen." In a span of 30 minutes the team, most of whom were here but had the weekend off, moved their stuff out, moved people in, set up the Tube, went and bought groceries and helped kitchen staff prep for 28 people who we didn't know were coming. And a HUGE thank you to Michelle (Hockey Mom) who just made it happen in the kitchen. It was amazing.

There is so much more I could tell you about but this is already a long update. Like for example, we had a group onsite EVERY DAY in June up to Staff Training. That is awesome and is a reflection of the incredibly hard work the Year Round Team and Seasonal Leadership are putting in. And through all of that we are prepped and ready to go for Summer 2019.

BUT....... it is hard to believe that the first camp starts in 6 days. On Sunday night over 100 campers will arrive and we will do what we've done for 80 years, summer camp. It's going to be awesome, fun, exciting, exhausting, rewarding, and busy. Here we go.


Shannon Dean

Camp Director

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