Good evening everyone,
Well, it is hard to believe but we have come to the end of Week 1 and are actually nicely underway into Week 2. As we have done in the past, I will be sending out a Weekly Update about each week during the summer. These will take the format of an email and we will not be sending along an additional attachment like we do with our Monthly Newsletters. While these emails do tend to be long, the reason for these updates is three fold:
To help you feel connected to what is happening at camp and celebrate with us.
To let you know, whether directly or indirectly, what you can be praying for.
To let you know of ways that you can be involved
The format will be the same as it has been in the past. We will give you a quick overview, some things that went on throughout the week and then we will end with the stories from the staff (part 3 is always my favourite part).
Week 1 Overview
Week 1 was Kids Camp for campers Ages 7 - 11. We had 96 campers in Overnight, 50 in Day Camp, and 15 in 3rd Year CLTD. In addition to our Seasonal Leadership Team and Year Round Team we had 39 Seasonal Staff and 10 volunteers.
The theme for Week 1 was DC vs Marvel. A HUGE shout out to our Programs Team, Chase (Stokes) and Becki (Periwinkle) who did an amazing job creating experiences in the programs that fit with the theme.
Our Guest Speaker this week was Jared Newson from Rock Pointe Church. He did an INCREDIBLE job. He used an awesome mix of video and his own speaking material to really connect with the campers in Fireside. This was Jared's first time here at Camp Chestermere and we were so blessed to have him.
I quickly mentioned our 15 3rd Year CLTD's but I do want to take a moment right at the start of the summer to talk about how well this program is doing. CLTD has always been high on this leadership teams priority list and it is so cool to see the work we have been putting into the program paying off. Our numbers for CLTD this year are great. We have 18 signed up for First Year Group A, 20 signed up for Second Year and another 15 signed up for First Year Group B...... oh, and there are more registrations still coming in.
A couple of years ago we came up with this crazy idea of what if we had a CLTD Coordinator who was also a youth pastor at a church. Well, we now have that. Our CLTD Coordinator Erik (Baloo) is also the youth pastor at Lakeridge Community Church. Having a CLTD Coordinator who is plugged into the community is having huge benefits for us. The other day Baloo was having a meal with the staff and said, "you know, I realized today that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing." Erik has spent a lot of time building up the program and we are working on having CLTD Leaders stay for at least 2 years, if not three. Well, this year, 3 out of our 4 CLTD Leaders are on their second year AND we have CLTD Coordinator who is a youth pastor. So excited to see how bright the future is for this program.
Highlights from the CLTD Leaders this week are:
Getting to listen and respond to all of the insights and questions the CLTD's had during my session. I really felt like they were learning and it was really rewarding. (Finn)
My highlight was getting to connect with the 3rd Year girls again and watch them connect with each other. Also, last night we had an encouragement time where they all encouraged each other with such sweet words. They've become a team. (Star).
My highlight was when many of the CLTD's woke up to go for morning runs with me (Brother Bear)
This Friday is the CLTD Grad. If you would like to attend the dinner and grad then the cost is. $10. We do need to know by Tuesday at supper if you would like to attend the supper but you are welcome to come to just the grad part. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pumba Joins Us
As you may be aware, we have kept up the tradition of Dead Cow, started by Frank Littel. For those who may not know, Frank (Pumba) was the Camp Director for 17 years. It's always great to find ways to honor the years of service he put into this organization. So, we thought it would be great to have Pumba come and kick off the first Dead Cow of 2019 and we were super blessed that he said yes. Pumba came and spoke a word of encouragement to our staff and then prayed a prayer of blessing over the staff. Now, what was really cool was when he said that when he first came here, the verse God gave him was Joshua 1:1 - 6. What Pumba didn't know was I opened a devotional for our Board Meeting a while ago with the same section of scripture. What a cool connection. It was also great to give Pumba a tour of the site and show him the upgrades and to hear him recount stories of his time here. As I have said many times, our goal is to move toward our future while honoring our past. Thanks Pumba for taking the time to drive down and visit with us.
Other Events in the Week
On Monday we were invited by the City of Chestermere to participate in the Taste of Chestermere Event. This was a chance to raise funds for Jar Jar's Kids by selling water and pop. We sent our 3rd Year CLTD's to the event. Well, unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and we had to cut it short and we didn't sell as much as we hoped. BUT, the city has already talked to us about being involved again next year and we of course have said yes. Thank you CLTD's and CLTD Leaders for your efforts.
Next Saturday we are hosting Chestermere Play Day 2019 and I had a great meeting with Kate Richards from the city to put the finishing touches on this event. This event is Saturday July 13 from 1 - 4 and is free. Feel free to join us and a bunch of other local organizations for some messy fun.
On Wednesday Board Member Lisa Fox (Dutchie) brought a treat for the staff. Thanks Lisa for coming and bring the staff a treat and for taking time to visit with the staff.
Ok, here is what is always my favorite part. One of the things I love about the summer is the wins come faster the stories more immediate. I love how at Dead Cow we sit and have the staff share their Weekly Highlights from the week that was. This is by far my favorite part of the week and I wish I could share all of the stories with you. Here are just a few:
Theme Dinner. Dressed up as Aquaman and attracted a legion of loyal followers to do my bidding. (Pique)
Most of my interactions with Shepherd's campers. Mostly when I gave them a few nerf guns ad they decided to use them against me. (Kermit)
Power tubing with the Work Crew. Playing on the worship team (Sailor)
One day in the 5 - 7's room Static was reading a book..... to only the leaders (Flicker)
Late night jam sessions with people I love and who love me (Owl)
Being with the kids again. I forgot how funny they are (Bonzai)
I was feeling tired and all these kids came up to me and started hugging me (Lil Maui)
The kids in the cabin were actually quiet on Thursday night (Carabiner)
Camp fire with great kids. Fireside with my cute great kids. Songs to sing praises and prayer and devotions to bond with the girls (Alegro)
When all the girls got new bibles and we all say on my bed and highlighted and shard verses we thought were meaningful (Patches)
My highlight of the week was when I told my camper I was scared while power tubing and he told me to "be like David". (Dio)
One of my campers went in the lake no matter the weather and it really just made me happy (Boom)
9 year old girl comes up to me and says "the favourite part of my week was learning about God and Jesus and the Bible" (Deuce)
That on the second last day all of my girls asked me to have a bible (Bambi)
I sat down with a camper at the wide game and I said, "What game are you guys playing?" He sighed and said, "I don't know but I'm out". (Nemo)
When I was dancing in Fireside one of my campers came up to me and said, "You know that will affect your reputation right". It made me laugh. (Axel)
Devos with my girls on Thursday night. They opened up about the things they were having trouble facing and we talked about kindness and how important it is to be kind to other people. I had a really fun week. (Sahara)
The highlight of the week was getting to the opportunity to comfort a distressed child on her first night of Overnight Camp. We went to Horton's Hut, grabbed her a snack, walked to the waterfront and talked until she was calm. Being able to make her laugh when no one else could was a great reminder of our purpose here. I saw her again at the end of the week and she was raving about how much fun she had. (Shuteye)
As always, thanks for your ongoing support and prayers. If you would like to volunteer then we are always in need of people in our kitchen and driving boat. And, please continue to give to our #legocampc Campaign and Jar Jar's Kids Campaign. As we announced last week, we have received half the funding needed for out furnaces and air conditioning. Now we just need to raise the other half. And, we have lots of campers on our Jar Jar Kids list. Check out www.campchestermere.com for more information.