Summer 2018 - Week 5 Highlights
Well good afternoon everyone. We are just nicely into Week 6 here at Camp Chestermere and in some ways on the home stretch to the end of the summer. Week 6 is slightly different as last year we implemented a new system where we take the August long weekend off and don't start camp until Monday at 5 instead of Sunday at 5. A short break but well needed. We also close the camp to rental groups for this weekend so that everyone could truly get a break. A number of our staff went away camping together and my family went as well. BUT, thanks to my awesome, incredible, wonderful, cannot say enough good things about her wife Michelle (Hockey Mom) I got to stay home. It was amazing. No one home. No one onsite. No one to answer to. I shut my phone off, put the lap top away and watched Netflix and played video games all weekend. It was a little slice of heaven in my life. Helped to recharge the batteries for the final four weeks of the summer.
Week 5 Update
Week five was Kids Camp Ages 7 - 11 and the theme was Disney. Friday breakfast was amazing because we put on a bunch of Disney shorts and the kids loved it. It was a great way to start Friday because everyone is usually pretty tired by Friday. The dining room was pretty quiet.
We had 113 campers in Overnight, 97 in Day Camp and 22 campers finished their 2nd year of CLTD. Nice big full camps and a great way to end the month of July. Our Guest Speaker was Alanna Jacobs. Her and her husband used to work up north at IPPC Camp. Now, small connection, IPPC was the first camp I ever spoke just over 11 years ago and I met Alanna while I was there. Small world to have her here speaking. She did an awesome job engaging the campers and helping them to understand what it means to be Undaunted.
One of the big highlights from this week was the out trip we did on Wednesday. Wednesday August 1 was National Play Day and Chestermere held it's own large Play Day event at the Rec Centre. In keeping with our ongoing goal of building relationships with our community and participating with our community, Camp Chestermere brought our entire Overnight Camp to the event. AND, we did it by boat. YUP, 113 campers plus staff were transported by power boat from Camp Chestermere to the Rec Centre for the event. At the event were a number of other community organizations including Synergy, Chestermere Rugby, Chestermere Minor Football, Mobile Playground and more. It was awesome. The campers and staff had a ton of fun. One of our staff wrote this as her weekly highlight:
"My highlight would probably be the play day at the Rec Centre. Got the chance to hang with rugby players and had the chance to hit some bags and knocked a guy flat on his butt" Crayola
Unfortunately the weather didn't help us out too much and we had to scramble to find an alternative way for the campers to make it back to Camp Chestermere. HUGE!!!!!!! thank you to Sue from Little Leaders for letting us borrow her vans and for driving and to JR Transportation for bringing us a bus at the last minute. Would have been great to bring all the kids back via the lake but it just wasn't possible. It is just awesome to have such great community partners like Little Leaders and JR Transportation who are willing to step up and bail us out of a jam. I also want to say a huge thank you to the Chestermere RCMP. We informed them that we were transporting all the campers via the lake and they were so supportive and helpful. I cannot say enough good things about the RCMP Detachment here in Chestermere. They are consistently so good to us and it is so appreciated. Despite the weather and small hiccup in transportation that it caused, it was a great out trip and the campers had an amazing time. Thank you to Assistant Director Collin (Deuce) and our Programs Team Chase (Stokes) and Courtney (Crayola) for all of your efforts in organizing this trip.
AND, we had another community partner on site this week as well. Community Therapy Dogs, formerly Chestermere Therapy Dogs, came for a visit. It was awesome. The campers all had a chance to hang out with the dogs. BUT, to be honest, I think it was more therapeutic for the staff than the campers. Our staff have asked for us to bring them back for Staff Training and for Staff Retreat.
So, busy week with lots of great support from community partners. Here are some of the highlights from the staff.
"The staff really supported and encouraged each other often this week" Spark
"Camper saying, "the wind is awesome because it will catch you," and then trust falling straight backwards into the dirt." This story is hilarious because it is like it sounds. The wind was blowing pretty hard and this camper thought the wind would hold him up if he leaned back into it an