Good morning everyone,
Please see below for the latest update from Camp Chestermere. Again, the update is provided in two formats. There is an email form and a newsletter format at the bottom. Please print and share the newsletter. Thanks everyone. So glad the weather is starting to warm up.
We are very excited to welcome to Natasha Karcz to our Year Round Team. Natasha has been hired as our new Office Administrator and is into her third week on the job. SHE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!. Natasha studied Insurance, Finance and Business Management with particular focus on marketing, and an extensive background in customer service. She is passionate about travel and wildlife conservation, both of which led her to live in South Africa for a brief time, where she founded a scholarship program that provides resources and opportunities for kids and young adults looking to make a positive environmental impact, study the Big 5, and achieve their licensing as a field guide and/or research assistant. Natasha is so excited for the opportunity to continue working with youth at Camp Chestermere. Oh, and the official camp name for Natasha is........... Shuteye. The girl likes her sleep.
At the end of February, the Year Round Team had the chance to attend the Regional CCI Conference at the Salvation Army Camp near Red Deer, AB. Camp Director Shannon (Coach) was asked to be the keynote speaker this year. This was especially special to Coach as this is the camp he went to as a child. It was an incredible time to connect with other camps and learn from them, share ideas, and spend time with people who do the same work you do.
New Mission Statement
At the February 19, 2019 Board Meeting, the Board of Directors, in collaboration with the Year Round Team, passed a new mission statement. The new mission statement for Camp Chestermere is At Camp Chestermere we present the love of Jesus Christ to youth and communities by Building Relationships, Creating Experiences and Developing People. A HUGE thank you to our Board of Directors and especially the Governance Committee, and the Year Round Team who put in countless hours working on this statement. We are very excited to move forward with this as our mandate. And, to be honest, we don't really see this a change but rather as a continuance of the amazing work that has happened within our organization for over 60 years.
We are about to pick up again in our Guest Services Department as we are booked for most of the month of March. More and more people continue to take advantage of the incredible services we have here at Camp Chestermere. We hope that this will continue to be our normal moving forward. We want Camp Chestermere to be seen as 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".
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. A special thank you to Jamie Vanderkooi who came out last month to help us in the office while we were in the transition period between Office Administrators. Her help was very welcomed and appreciated. Thanks Jamie.
As mentioned in previous updates, overall donations to Camp Chestermere for 2018 were down. We know that this is not a unique issue for Camp Chestermere as many ministries and not-for-profit organizations are expressing the same concern. We would hope that you would continue to 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. Watch for information that will be coming out soon for our annual fundraiser in May 2019.
Camp Chestermere would like to acknowledge and say a HUGE thank you the the Chestermere FCSS / United Way for their very generous contributions to our programming here at Camp Chestermere. Through Chestermere FCSS / United way we were given grants for our Helping All Campers Succeed Program in the amount of $14 237.20, for our CLTD Teen Leadership Program in the amount of $10 688.00 and for our Volunteer Coordinator - $8525.60. This is an incredible blessing to our camp and we are very grateful to receive these three grants. Hopefully we will have more exciting news about some other grants that we have applied for in the very near future.
February saw our annual #lovecampc campaign. This is an opportunity for people to take some intentional time to pray for Camp Chestermere. Here are some of the amazing things we heard back from people.
"Good evening all . As I prayed off and on today for camp as part of our love camp c month, one thing kept coming up. It was that I didn’t need to have some amazing revelation when I prayed , you know something so enlightening that I’d somehow feel “worthy” as a prayer warrior for the day. I kept hearing Jesus say just talk to me , bring your requests for camp to me, I’ll listen! So that’s what I did, simply prayed on the many things that are front and centre at camp like donations, future expansion, health for year round staff, courage for shy kids attending march weekend camp, wisdom in final hiring decisions (and comfort do those who don’t get hired) I felt a calm when I prayed a quiet confidence knowing Jesus was looking over our camp." Board Member John Mabey
"I just felt an overwhelming feeling of proudness from God while praying today. Shannon he is so proud of you. He is so proud of Collin & Erik & Michelle & Shay, those little behind the scenes things are not unnoticed. And the big things will not go unrewarded. He takes pride in the year round staff & their families. He is proud of the seasonal leadership team. Even though they haven’t all been picked yet, he has big plans specific for each individual. They’re going to excel in ways you haven’t seen yet, they’re going to excel in ways they didn’t know they were capable of. He knows each one of them & He is beaming watching them step into these positions. He is going to bring the people needed. Whether that be volunteers, campers, or rental groups. Thank you for letting me be a part of this organization & allowing me to intentionally pray over it. I can’t wait to see what you guys accomplish this spring / summer." 2018 Seasonal Leader Elisha (Chime)
"I pray for health for you and Michele and your staff. Busy times and stress can trigger health issues - so may God bless you all with good health." Doris Comfort
"The Lord wants you to know to trust your gut, Shannon. He's given you gifts of prophecy, discernment, and wisdom. He has anointed you for the task and decisions ahead. He's an unconventional God who uses unconventional people. He likes to surprise.
Your summer staff will be a challenging group but they have potential. They will challenge each other and may surprise each other with the decisions they make. Please mentor them to follow the Father's heart first and to go with what they know: does it bring people close to Jesus and glorify the name of God? He's the father God, he wants to see us take our baby steps. No parent who sees their baby take their first steps, scolds them when they fall. They are so excited and enthralled that their child take those first steps in the first place! Camp will always be a place of refuge for me. When I was a kid, I would tell my friends, "If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be camp". When my parents divorced, I went into safety mode. I never let my parents see my weakness. My mom would always point out that she never saw me cry. If you saw me at camp, you would think I was a different kid. I cried. All. The. Time. Every day, for the first few years I attended. I wouldn't even understand why. It was the single place I could let me guard down. I could be weak there, it was safe to be weak there. After years of attending, doing CLTD, working, and taking on leadership-I can only see this looking back- after finding the safety to be my most vulnerable self, there I was also built up. The wounded kid who had been trying so hard to carry that heavy armour in an attempt to protect themself, took off their armour. The muscles began to heal, the back straightened out without all that weight, they could rest. After time for healing and rest, it was time to move again. The child had mentors around them to teach them how to walk, how to carry weight, how to wield their sword and shield. The people, and the environment that welcomed in the spirit of God and the spiritual development of staff made this possible. I could have never gotten to a place of leading CLTD, teaching children of special needs & childhood trauma, building relationships and mentoring youth in shelters or group homes, if I hadn't had the opportunity to rest and heal earlier in life-becoming my passion and vocation in life. If I was still this wounded child, lugging around the weight of my armour, I could barely lift my arms to care for those around me. Heck, my head would still be down, staring at the ground, weighed down by my helmet-my pain and shame-unable to look up and even notice the others who were needy around me. Camp is not always an easy place to be. Your family, Collin's family; you are pastors to your team. This role is so vital for the young people who are trying to lead young souls, while navigating their own troubles and development at the same time. There's a quote I keep in my classroom: "If you're not going anyplace new, strange, odd, or uninhabited, you don't need anybody to take your hand. But to go where we never dared to go before, on the rough, rough road, then precious Lord, take my hand." Anonymous
Thank you to everyone who took time last month to pray for us and thank you to those who continue to do so. If there is something that you had not shared yet then please do so. These are just some of the things we heard back from people. Thank you again everyone.
Please know that we do not take your love, support, and especially your prayers for granted. We appreciate it and need it. Thank you for your continued and ongoing support of Camp Chestermere.