I know this may seem crazy, but it is actually harder to do Weekly Updates during the school year then it is during the summer. So, we are going to move to a Monthly Newsletter format. This month it is going to be an email but we are exploring other formats moving forward. You may even see another version of this same update coming soon. BUT, we feel like it has been a long time, too long in fact, since we did an update and we are so grateful for those who keep asking us to update them on how things are going at the camp throughout the year.
October was a very BUSY month at Camp Chestermere. Out of the 31 days in October, we only had 3 when we did not have at least one group on site and there were many days where we had multiple groups onsite at the same time. But, before I get to the highlights for October, I wanted to make a couple of very exciting announcements.
Seasonal Leadership Positions Now Open
As we start to head into Christmas, you may not be thinking about Summer 2019 but we sure are. Seasonal Leadership Positions for Summer 2019 are now OPEN!!!!!!! Positions that are available include:
1 Male and 1 Female Team Lead Position
1 Female CLTD Leader Position
1 Helping All Campers Succeed Team Lead Position (Funded by FCSS / United Way Chestermere)
1 Day Camp Team Lead Position
2 Lifeguard Positions
1 Office Assistant / Media Specialist Position
1 Team Support Position
1 Volunteer Coordinator (Funded by FCSS / United Way Chestermere)
1 Medic Position
2 Program Lead Positions
Applications will be accepted until January 11, 2019 and interviews will start after that. Our Seasonal Leadership Team for 2019 will start on Monday April 29, 2019. Some of the Seasonal Leadership Team Positions are already filled. These include:
FCSS Grants / United Way Grants
We are very excited to announce that we were successful in obtaining the following grants from FCSS and The United Way for 2019:
Helping All Campers Succeed - $14 237.20
CLTD Teen Leadership Program - $10 688.00
Volunteer Coordinator - $8 525.60
These will greatly help us improve and maintain programming.
Staff, Volunteer and Alumni Christmas Party
Saturday December 15, 2018 at 7pm will be our Staff, Alumni and Volunteer Christmas Party. If you were on staff or volunteered in 2018 or are a Camp Chestermere alumni then you are invited out to this event. And, it's FREE!!!!!!!!! The idea is to just gather and reconnect and have people from across the generations of Camp Chestermere gather and celebrate together. It will truly be a Christmas Party. More info will follow soon.
Community Builder Award
Camp Chestermere was selected as the winner of Closer to Home's inaugural Community Builder Award. "This award is given to an individual, business, group or organization who, through significant support, an innovative initiative or distinctive partnership, enhances the existing services of Closer to Home, thereby positively impacting the lives of those we serve." In their email to us they said, “Camp Chestermere has done so much for us over the years and impacted the lives of so many youths, and our staff and board are thrilled to share our appreciation with you.” We are super thankful and excited to receive this recognition. .
On October 12 - 14 we hosted our Teens School Year Camp. We partnered with five different churches including RMCC, Sunwest, NWCC, Whitefields and Lakeridge. We had a total of 93 campers here plus staff and volunteers. It was an awesome weekend.
Pastor Dan Llewellyn from RMCC was our guest speaker on Friday and Saturday and Pastor and CLTD Leader Erik Davis (Baloo) from Lakeridge Church and Camp Chestermere was our guest speaker on Sunday. Lakeridge Community Church brought their congregation to the Sunday morning Fireside and people from their church helped make up the worship team. It was an awesome weekend. Partnering with churches for our School Year Camps is a strategy that has been working and one we intend to continue.
October also saw us host our annual Halloween Howler. We had over 325 people out for the event. This event continues to grow and gain traction in the community. We received LOTS of great feedback. Community partners who helped with this event included:
More and more people continue to take advantage of the incredible services we have here at Camp Chestermere. As I said in the opening paragraph, in October there were only 3 days where we did not have a group on site. We hope that this will continue to be our normal moving forward. Guest Services is not just a way for us to pay bills but is an extension of our ministry. We want Camp Chestermere to be considered to be a gift to the community and this is happening more and more which is awesome. Thank you to those who continue to book with us and please help us spread the word about the amazing services we have to offer. Remember, our philosophy is, "the answer is yes, ask the question".
October saw various members from our Year Round Team attend many community partnership meetings. This is ongoing work that is having a direct impact on our organization. Meetings we attended and committees we are sitting on that met in October included:
Chestermere Recreation Coalition
Chestermere Seniors Coalition
Chestermere Seniors Week
Chestermere Volunteers Committee
Lakefront Owners Committee
East Lake School will be starting a community garden here at the camp in the near future. They will also be working on our garden beds around the camp. This is a really cool new partnership and we are really excited about the possibilities. The community garden will be going over between The Tube and Year Round Staff Housing.
AND....... Camp Chestermere staff went and helped the Rec Centre decorate for their Halloween Event. We are happy to be building further relationships and partnerships with other rec providers in the community.
Camp Chestermere is always in need of volunteers. We always have opportunities for people to help in the kitchen, help with cleaning around the site, help with office admin work, and more. If you have an interest we have a possibility. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer.
And while there is much to celebrate, we do have one point of growing concern. Camper Numbers are up, Grant Contributions are up, and Rentals are up. However, donations are down. As we head into the Christmas Season, often people are looking for charities and organizations to support and give to. We would hope that you would consider supporting Camp Chestermere with a financial contribution. Or, perhaps you'd like to become a monthly contributor. You can further support us by telling people about the exciting things that are happening at Camp Chestermere. Share our Weekly Updates, Monthly Newsletters, and social media information with people and point them to our website. Let people know about our Donate Your Change Campaign and share this link with them: https://campchestermere.donateyourchange.ca. Tell people why you support Camp Chestermere and the impact this place has had on your life. We thank you in advance for your help with this and please join us in prayer as we continue to believe that God will meet the needs of our organization.
As always, thank you for your ongoing love, support, concern and prayer for Camp Chestermere. There is so much that is going on and much work that is happening behind the scenes. We don't necessarily use these updates to talk about the challenges that are facing our organization but they are many. Hours are long, the work is hard, and there are many hurdles we are still working to overcome. Much to celebrate but much work to be done and many struggles behind the scenes. The successes do not come without many sacrifices by many people, especially those on the Year Round Team. Please do keep our Year Round Team in mind as we continue to live out the Great Commission at Camp Chestermere.
Thank you again.