Well, somehow it is Friday of Week 1 of Fall Programming. Don't worry, I won't be counting weeks during the fall but it is a bit of an adjustment moving from Summer to Fall. The hardest part is losing all of the amazing Seasonal Staff. Same amount of work to be done but we just have way less people to do it. But, the work goes on and we are excited about the things that are happening in our community and at the camp.
Week 9 Highlights
One of the awesome things that happened this summer was the demand we had for camps. Originally we had planned to only have Day Camp during Week 9 but we had so many requests for Overnight Camp this year that we added a Week 9 Overnight Camp for Kids 7 - 11. We ended up having 80 Overnight Campers and 72 Day Campers. We did very quickly learn how much we miss having CLTD's when we have a Kids Camp and I really have to commend the Seasonal Leadership and Seasonal Staff for the way they all stepped up to make Week 9 happen. They did an amazing job and, again, we were really reminded of just how important the CLTD Program is to the operations of Camp Chestermere. CLTD is not just a program we run but it is a vital part of the operations of Camp Chestermere.
Our Guest Speaker once again was Connie Jakab. What I loved about what Connie did this week was how well she engaged the campers in Fireside. Seriously, Connie has such an incredible and natural way to get people involved and interested in what she is talking about. It's impossible to be a passive listener when Connie is here. Her ability to have her audience be engaged and participating is second to none. It is just awesome.
Some highlights from our staff from Week 9 include:
"On the last night one of the girls that had been talking to me through the week decided to believe in Jesus and I got her a bible and wrote her a note and gave her a necklace and she started crying and said that she was really glad I talked with her and that she got to know me" Jewel
"MY Day Camp group took algae bubbles (convinced they were alive) and put them in cups of water in the Activity Room with their names on them" Bonzai
"Watching Bubba play with all my boys and watching how huge the smiles on their faces were. Another highlight was singing Stand By Me with Stokes during night break" Dove
"The kids listening to my devotions/stories. On the last night Cabin 4a, 4b, and 5 all joined in on one cabin to listen to my devos. It felt like a brotherhood/family. I hope they took something away from my devos."
"This week in Green, the girls put on a funeral for a bumble bee named Honey Jeff (but he went by Jeff). The girls came running to me asking to be a part of the funeral. They had made a little burial spot for him with a cross made out of twigs and flowers and the whole shebang. They even had Giraffe pray over Jeff and first night in Bee Heaven." Raven
"A girl in Green 2 started becoming attached to myself, Aqua and Jewel. This little girl started to call me Mama Giraffe for the week and then the entire cabin started to call me Mama Giraffe for the rest of the week. After closing program she ran into my arms and gave me a huge hug and then introduced me to her guardian as Mama Giraffe" Giraffe
"While taking my girls power tubing, I had a great time talking to Noah and seeing him interact with the kids" Tumnus
"My weekly highlight was seeing the children smile when we showed their movies" Roshe
"My highlight of the week was honestly just the whole week hanging with my one-on-one kid. While it was exhausting, I loved being the one he warmed up to and trusted to hang out with all day. We just got to do whatever he wanted and have fun and I loved it." Star
I would also like to say thank you to the staff for the amazing job they did with the Final Gratis on Friday. They were a huge help in resetting the camp for Fall Programming. Most of the work was done and there are only a few things left. Thank you staff for another amazing summer.
This week saw very little down time to transition from Summer Programming to Fall Programming. The Year Round Team took Tuesday off as an extended long weekend BUT we did have a wedding here the weekend right after Summer Camp ended. It was a unique wedding as they held the reception down in the Archery Range. It was beautiful how they decorated for it. A huge thank you to Year Round Member Erik (Baloo) who organized all of the details for this wedding so that my family and I could get away.
On Wednesday we hosted another group and then this weekend we are hosting 4 groups throughout the weekend. We are also participating in the Chestermere Ag Society Country Fair which includes us being in and helping with the parade and then helping at Kids Zone at the Rec Centre. AND!!!! I was at an amazing community focus collaborative meeting yesterday as part of the Chestermere Recreation Coalition. So much cool potential for the future from that committee and we are excited to be a part of it. Yup, Fall has begun.
Renovation in Brown 3
Lakeview Baptist Church, and especially their Lead Pastor Rick Gordon, continue to do amazing work on renovating Brown 3. The hope is that it will be done by the end of next week. Rick brought out a missions team from Lakeview who were here for all of Week 9 helping with the renovation. There have been lots of others from the church who have come out as well. We are so grateful to Lakeview for the work they've done on Brown 3. It looks great.
RMCC will be starting work on Brown 2 next week. That only leaves Brown 4a, 4b, 5, 6 and the Hex to go. If your church would be interested in helping, then please let us know. Remember, Camp Chestermere has $2500 in grant money to put towards each cabin. The renovations for each cabin is about $5000 and so we are hoping churches or other organizations can match the grant money we have to help pay for the renovations. You can come and help with the work or just donate the money and we will do the work. It would be amazing to have all of the cabins done by Summer 2019.
With us transitioning back to Fall Programming, we have once again set a goal for ourselves to have a volunteer onsite at least 3 days a week. We have lots of ways you can be involved including office work, minor and major construction work, helping in the kitchen, cleaning and lots more. Basically, the answer is yes ask the question. If you have an interest then we have a job. Feel free to contact me via email and we can get you set up.
Some thing to mark on your calendar:
Country Fair Saturday September 8 at the Rec Centre
October School Year Camp Friday October 12 - Sunday October 14
Halloween Howler Sunday October 28
As always, thanks for your ongoing prayers, love and support. Season 3 of the 3 seasons of Camp Chestermere has just ended and Season 1 has begun. Excited to see what's in store.