Well, it is hard to believe but as I was starting to write this we were setting up for Week 2. Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and and Programs Lead Courtney (Crayola) were training new staff and some staff who missed sessions during staff training, Brown 2 bathroom was getting a quick overhaul due to a leak, and the worship team was having their practice for the week. But I didn't quite get the update completed. Now we have 107 new Overnight Campers onsite and Week 2 is underway. But I'll update more about Week 2 next week. For now, here are some updates from Week 1.
Week 1 Highlights
Week 1 was Kids Camp, Ages 7 - 11. We had 115 Overnight Campers, 42 Day Campers, and 22 3rd Year CLTD's.
Our Guest Speaker was Mark Little. Mark attends one of our Supporting Churches, Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel. Huge thank you to Pastor Quinn for hooking us up with Mark (Tin Tin). Tin Tin did a good job with the campers and found new ways to connect with the them throughout the week. He was also very encouraging to Deuce and I at the end of the week and he stuck around at the end of camp to help with Final Gratis. Thanks Tin Tin for coming and speaking at Camp Chestermere. Appreciate your willingness to jump in a serve.
Some highlights from Week 1 include:
One Cabin Leader mentioned how last week he learned what genuine patience is. He had a particularly challenging cabin but he did an amazing job working with the campers.
We have one Cabin Leader who is doing summer school for the first couple of weeks while working here. She said that every time campers went to her after she came back from summer school they would run and hug her. Always a good feeling to feel the love from your campers.
One of kitchen assistants mentioned how she joined a cabin a couple times and it was just "pure fun" to join a cabin and hang out with the girls.
One Cabin Leader mentioned, since it was Pirates Cove, that he came up with a Treasure Hunt for his kids to do and they had a lot of fun with it.
Another Cabin Leader mentioned how he and the Guest Speaker were cleaning Down Under and he got to hear the Guest Speakers life story. We really appreciate it when guest speakers pour into our staff. We do not believe in helicopter speakers who just come and speak and leave but rather we hope the speaker will be involved in the life of the camp. It was awesome to see our Guest Speaker this week help with Final Gratis at the end of the week.
"Little girl who has a crush on the leader rips head off a Polly pocket saying ‘This is your girlfriend, now you have to marry me". Ah kids.
"Movie making was super fun because the kids are super creative, and getting to execute it was great" Owl
"Spending a little time with a special needs girl, which is normally way out of my comfort zone but it went really well, she was so sweet, and it was neat to be comfortable in that situation for the first time" Sparkles
"Sharing my testimony with the CLTD's and they were really encouraged by it, but also really encouraging in return that they needed to hear those words and stories" Star
A little girl came up to one of our kitchen staff and was sooooooo thankful for the food that was made. She said, "I can't believe camp food was that good!" Camp Chestermere has always been known for its food and so it is good to see the new staff in the kitchen carrying on that tradition.
One Cabin Leader mentioned that her highlight was bonding with the kids and letting her inner child come out.
A few Cabin Leaders mentioned how nice it was to be back at camp and experience worship and Fireside.
Overall Week 1 was a success and we are right into the swing of Season 3 at Camp Chestermere. Oh, and one more highlight from the week. On Wednesday I went to Tim Hortons for breakfast with a camper and his mom to try and find some ways to help him have a more successful week at camp. While there Mayor Chalmers came in and came over to say hello. After chatting for a bit and meeting the young camper, he asked the camper if the camper would like to be Mayor of Chestermere for a while. So, this camper went over to City Hall and got to be the mayor for a while. When he came back to the camp he said to his Cabin Leaders, "Well now I need to be more responsible because I was the mayor." HUGE thank you for Mayor Chalmers for what he did for this camper and for the camp. It meant a lot. Thanks.
It may be summer camp but we still have lots of maintenance work happening. We learned this week that there was a bad leak in the bathroom of Brown 2. We aren't really sure how long it has been happening but the sub floor was a mess. Thank you to Volunteer Coordinator Alex (Crumpet), Site Coordinator Vic (Papa Smurf), and Program Support Jacob (Kermit), for stepping up and getting the reno started. Huge thank you to Board Member Brad (Rusty) for coming out and helping us complete the project so we could be ready before the camp opened.
This week we also installed a new hot water tank in the Washhouse and completed some other minor projects as well. Next week we will be fixing the shower in the Hex, installing another hot water tank in the Washhouse, putting in new screens in many buildings at the camp, and putting new shingles on Brown 3. Papa Smurf and the work crew will be busy. Thank you also to the other volunteers who are coming to help and to the work crew who work so hard at supporting the work that needs to be done. It is a lot of work to keep this place up and so please keep this in your prayers. And if you're looking for a way to volunteer we have many maintenance projects to work on.
We also had a church donate a number of items to the camp which was awesome. The problem was that we had to make it all happen in a short turnaround. Thank you to Shawn and Colleen Derrick for stepping up and going to pick up the items for us. We truly do rely on the incredible sacrifice made by volunteers and we are very grateful for the support we get.
Our Guest Services continue throughout the summer. At the end of Staff Training we had a church here for a weekend retreat and this past weekend we hosted a wedding. If you are an alumni of camp and you are looking for a way to support the staff this summer then please contact me about weekend hosting possibilities. It would be great to have alumni who now have jobs outside of the camp world to come and help host on some weekends. This would be a huge support to current camp staff. These weekend hosting opportunities would be paid.
So I know I have mentioned some opportunities already, helping with maintenance and hosting on the weekends (weekend hosting is paid), but we are always in need of volunteers throughout the 12 months of the year. During the summer though we especially need boat drivers, help in the kitchen, and doing odd jobs around the camp. Basically if you have an interest then we have a need. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you would like to volunteer.
So that was Week 1. There was so much more that happened but it would take way too long to update you on everything. Thank you to Board Chair Otto and Board Member Kara for coming out and paying the camp a visit and thank you to the representatives from Northwest Community Church for your encouragement package for the staff. It is shaping up to be an incredible summer. Thank you for your love, prayers, support and encouragement. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.