Good afternoon supporters of Camp Chestermere,
Well it is a hot one today as we enter Week 3 of Summer 2018. This weather is amazing for camp. We are just having to constantly remind our leaders to constantly be reminding their campers to HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE and when they have done so to HYDRATE again. Oh, and sunscreen is a big thing this week to. But this weather just makes Summer Camp so much more fun.
Week 2 Update
Week 2 was Middle Camp, Ages 11 - 15, and the theme was Star Wars. Our Programs Team did an AMAZING job of incorporating the theme into all of the activities. The theme dinner with the hanging Storm Trooper balloon heads was awesome. Was such a creative and fun way to incorporate the theme into the dinner.
In Week 2 there was 105 campers in Overnight Camp, 101 campers in Day Camp, 13 CLTD's in first year CLTD and 22 third year CLTD's. Another busy week but busy is great.
Our very own Erik Davis (Baloo) was the guest speaker. He focused on how there is access to information about our faith everywhere and how sometimes our faith is misrepresented in the information we can access. He spent the week focusing on the truth of God's love. It was an incredible week of speaking. Baloo has grown so much in his ability to speak. He did a great job.
I want to start off this section talking about the incredible job that the 3rd Year CLTD's did last week in their practicum. Each year our 3rd year CLTD's do a practicum week before coming on staff and the job that they did last week was amazing. I often say that a CLTD does not automatically make a "better" staff member but there is a difference. Again, I can't put my finger on it and it is not that they are better but just different and it is a good different.
On the Friday night we held their grad and it was such an incredible celebration. We had over 50 people come and celebrate with us. The kitchen, thanks mostly to Kitchen Lead Suzanne (Honey), did an awesome job preparing a prime rib meal with twice baked potato. It was awesome. Former CLTD Coordinators Marie (Willis) and Vanessa (Ember) joined us as well. There was the traditional handing out of the dog tags and the circle prayer with Seasonal Leadership. And there's nothing better than the current staff chanting "one of us, one of us" as the CLTD Grads walk out of the Chap. And then there was the jumping in the lake. Oh, and former CLTD Leader Simon (Spruce), surprised everyone with a visit. I didn't even know he was coming. It was awesome. Thank you to current CLTD Leaders Erin (Bonsai), Alissa (Star), Alex (Crumpet), and Ben (Roshe) for the work they did with the CLTD Grad. HUGE success. We are soooooooo excited to have welcomed 22 new staff members to our team.
Some of our weekly highlights from Staff
"Talking with my kids about life and faith and answering questions about God and sin and forgiveness. That and tossing kids in the lake." Static
"Watching two campers wrestle for 30 minutes for fun because it was so back and forth and they were laughing so much" Nike. Another Cabin Leader described the same situation this way, "The two campers had a wrestling match for 30 minutes straight and nobody ended up crying or dead." Treestump. I just love the difference in how the two described the same situation.
"Hanging out with my camper. He is one of the best kids I have ever met. I cannot wait for him to come back." Clover
"Well everyone in my cabin was really good but none of them were really participating in fireside but the last 2 days they got super into it and I had the biggest smile on my face. It was so much fun."
"My highlight of the week of the week was on Wednesday night. The girls in my cabin were having a heart to heart and opened up to us about mental illness, family problems etc. While one of my campers was crying, she came and sat next to me, hugged me and said, "I didn't want to come to camp at all. When you were standing with my mom at our van I didn't want to get out. Thank you for being so loving, showing me what self love is, teaching me how to over come fears of the future. Thank you for making me forget what anxiety and depression is. I hope you know how amazing you truly are." After talking to her it for sure lifted my whole week."
"The day at the beach where everyone was playing in the water. Seeing everyone having fun together showed me what the purpose of us being at camp was. It gave me hope for the future and also gave me inspiration to work more and to give it my all"
"Taking 5 crazy girls power tubing and watching them get braver and faster with each turn"
"After a very long day in Day Camp, one of the campers fell asleep in the room. It was absolutely adorable" MK
I usually don't share my own personal highlight from the week but thought I would this week. On Thursday night I was asked to come to the wide game field to deal with a situation. When I got there the situation had basically been taken care of. I took a moment to look around and see what was happening. I saw a circle form and a number of kids were having a dance off. People were laughing, cheering, clapping, and encouraging each other to get involved. Static and Big Nate kept one uping each other and then others jumped in as well. I watched three girls from 3 different cultural backgrounds playing catch. I watched two other girls doing a gymnastic routine. In the dance circle, no one cared who was standing beside who or how anyone was dancing or anything. People were just in community. I watched one of our Seasonal Leaders running around in the most ridiculous costume I had ever seen. And then very clearly I heard, "Do you see it?" It was so loud I almost looked around to see if someone had said something but I knew Who it was. Again I heard, "Do you see it?" This time I said, "See what?" It was just kids being kids. It was camp happening. It was just a group of people having fun. And then I heard again, "Do you see it?" By this time I was convinced the Holy Spirit was trying to show me something so I decided to not be stubborn and I looked again. I saw all of the same things, the dance circle, the laughing, the fun, the catch, the community. And then I saw it. I saw heaven. No one in that group cared about politics, where they came from, their cultural background, who was right, who had the best theology, who was who. All these people cared about was that they were in community, loving and supporting each other. Enjoying each others company. No one cared who they stood beside. Then I heard, "This is how it is supposed to be." There was this moment where I felt like Jesus could walk in on this and say, "Yup." It was beautiful. I almost cried.
I shared this moment at Fireside that night. I cried a little as I did. I shared how sometimes this job can be really hard. Sometimes people criticize you for not being Christian enough while others criticize us for being too Christian. All of the bad and negative and complaints all come to me. People have no problem letting us know about the the things we aren't doing right. But in that moment, God blessed me with the ability to be a gopher for a minute. To stop running in traffic and look up. Running in traffic is scary. Crossing the highway to get to where we wanna go is really hard. Doing the work to get to where we want to be as an organization is really really hard. Sometimes we need to remember to be a gopher. To stop, sit up on our hind legs and look around. In that moment I saw what makes camp.... well camp. It's what makes our ministry so awesome. It's these moments where we see relationships and experiences and community. Like in the cabin leader situation above, it's the moments of incredibly serious conversations, to tossing people in the lake. And sometimes these moments are minutes apart. So I am really grateful for my gopher moment last week. Ya, this highlight is long. But I just thought I'd give you a little insight into something the Holy Spirit taught me last week.
We received some awesome news this week. Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel has stepped up and they will now be helping us to renovate Brown 2. That means that by the end of September Brown 1, 2 and 3 will have a total overhaul. Thank you Jesus. This is amazing. That just leaves Brown 4a, 4b, 5 and 6 to go. HUGE thank you to RMCC for stepping up in this way. This will make such a huge difference to our camp.
Other Site News
Site Coordinator Vic (Papa Smurf) has been working his tail off to repair some things we needed done. Huge thank you to him and his team for the work he's done to meet the requests of the health inspector. It is crazy to me how much work our work crew gets done all during while camp is happening. I don't think Papa Smurf is aware of how appreciated, loved, and needed he is. When you see him give him a pat on the pack. But on his right side. I'll let him explain why. Thank Papa Smurf.
We got a new juice machine!!!! Random I know. But this a an awesome new addition to the camp and will really cut down on costs for our juice at breakfast. It is a very welcome addition to the camp.
We are super happy to welcome back the City of Chestermere Kidz 1st Network Parent Link Center on Wednesday night. They are running a pre school program down at the water front. Super fun. We also have the Chestermere Public Library here on Tuesdays for a reading program. And on the weekend we had three different groups here including a church group doing Alpha, a large group of 100 youth doing an Activity Day, and a bicycle group here for a quick overnight stay. Yup, it's been busy. But busy is good. Busy means we are involved in the community and the community is involved with us. Great week at camp.
So, that was our week. Hope you all are enjoying your July and maybe you even got a chance to head down to the stampede. Again, as always, thank you for your love, support, and prayers. Needed and appreciated.