Good morning everyone,
Well the end of Week 3 saw more weather that is a little less than ideal for Summer Camp Programming but Week 4 is starting off great weather wise. One of the low lights from last week was on Thursday afternoon when we had a severe thunderstorm blow through the camp that included heavy rain, hail and lightning. We quickly moved all of the Day Campers into the Dining Room of the Lodge and all of the Overnight Campers into the Chap. Attendance was quickly taken in both locations to ensure that all staff and campers were accounted for. Day Campers played board games with their cabin leaders and watched a movie while Overnight Campers watched a movie in the Chap. Overnight was in the middle of getting their Horton's Hut when the storm started and so they were able to enjoy their snack while watching the cartoon. While we had a few scared children, our staff did an amazing job of getting all of the children inside very quickly, keeping them calm, and redirecting their attention away from the storm that was happening outside. After the storm passed we sent an email out to all of the parents informing them of what happened. Oh the joys of a thunderstorm when you have 300 people onsite.
Week 3 Update
Week 3 was kids week and saw 123 campers in Overnight, 91 in Day Camp and 17 participant completed their first year of CLTD. The theme was Time Travellers. One of the coolest moments of the week was the job Programs did with the Theme Dinner. It was an amazing time for campers and staff with a head table, king and queen, a throne and some amazing swords that were brought in by one of our staff. I don't think the campers will forget that dinner any time soon.
Our guest speaker was Alicia Peterson and she did an amazing job. Alicia is on the leadership team at Lakeridge Community Church here in Chestermere and is a teacher by trade. She did an incredible job keeping the campers engaged and it was great to see her interacting with the campers throughout the week. AND, there were a number of congregational members from Lakeridge who just stopped by to see what was going on and see what camp is all about. One even stopped by just to see how I was doing. Was cool to see the people from Lakeridge come out and check out what is happening at Camp Chestermere.
Work on the Chap
The work on the Chap has begun. All of the furnaces in the Chap have now been replaced and we are in the midst of installing the new air conditioning units. Now, one would think that July is a safe time to start replacing furnaces but the weather was so cold on Saturday that it would have been nice to have some working furnaces in the Chap as it was a little chilly for the group who was onsite. BUT, we are so thankful to get this work started and excited to be upgrading the HVAC in the Chap. This is work that is long overdue. Again, this work is funded in part by the City of Chestermere through a grant and is part of our #legocampc Campaign. We would encourage you to please keep giving to our #legocampc campaign as we are still about $70 000 short of our overall goal.
This weekend saw three guest groups onsite throughout the weekend. The first was a church group who came here for the first time and they had a family camp here. They were here from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. At the same time, we once again had the pleasure of hosting the Canadian Wakesurf Nationals in partnership with Absolute Sports. This is a cool event that gives our camp some great exposure.
But then our third group was more on the heavy side. Brian Cook, who has been an AMAZING supporter of the camp for the past number of years and donated a lot of items to our boating program and to other areas as well, passed away of a heart attack. While we had to do some logistical gymnastics to make it happen given the other groups and the start of Week 4 Summer Camp, we held Brian's celebration of life on Sunday afternoon. It was great to be able to support the family in this way at this difficult time. And, it was amazing to learn about the number of people in Brian's life who were connected with Camp Chestermere in some way over the years. Special thanks to Site Coordinator Vic (Papa Smurf) for his work in supporting this event and helping to transition between the group that was here in the morning, the Celebration of Life and then Summer Camp Week 4. Our condolences go out to the Cook family.
We had A LOT of furniture donated this week which will help us to throw out a lot of our old stuff and upgrade in several areas which is great. Right now we are in desperate need of single sized mattresses. If you have a hook up on these that would be great. Along with the furniture we also received a number of items to decorate our gardens and other areas. Sailor made an awesome arrangement in front of the Lodge. We also had a work out gym donated to us. Donations of furniture, sports equipment, toys, or items we can use in programs are always welcome and appreciated.
Quotes for Landscaping
For the past 4 years we have been blessed to have a company doing our landscaping and snow removal for free. Unfortunately we are losing this service in October as they are ceasing operations in Chestermere. If you have connections for a landscaping and/or snow removal company we would love to talk to them about a quote.
Week 3 Staff Highlights
Before I get to the staff highlights, I have my own Weekly Highlight from Week 3. One of our Helping All Campers Succeed kids was having a bad day. He didn’t get to go power tubing in the morning because of the rain and he was having a bit of a melt down. I saw that one of our boats was still at the docks. So I found one of our drivers who was going to take the kid out for his own personal power tube session. BUT, the kid didn't want to go by himself. So, I went and asked one of our CLTD's if he would go on the ride with the campers. The CLTD said yes and he went out and took the camper for a ride. At the end of the day, when the dad came to pick up the camper, the camper was SOOOOO excited to tell his dad about how he got his own personal power tubing ride with a CLTD. Now that’s a good day at the office.
A camper who had no money for Horton's Hut came up with a toonie to pay for his own Horton's Hut. I took the toonie and let him get what he wanted. Later in the day I noticed that the coin he gave me was not a toonie but an Ethiopian dollar (Kermit)
Watching the kids participate more and more at Fireside
Going on a boat trip to Tim Hortons with Pique and Flint (Sailor)
Watching the tangible growth of the CLTD's. They grew significantly over the two weeks and I can't wait to get to know them better of the year (Baloo)
I met my kids for the first time and they said I have the hair of God (Lil Maui)
When kids would come up to me and tell me where they saw God working this week (Madame Pineapple)
Me and another camper made a fish-shaped moat during beach time (Flicker)
When my campers decided that it would be fun to have a competition to see who could give me the best hug
We had a very difficult camper in our cabin and it took a lot to convince her to listen to us and the the camp rules. On the last day I got her to sit at the table and wait for everyone else to eat even when ours was the last table . It was so cool to see her grow (Stardust)
Spending a quiet night break alone watching the clouds and the water while listening to music (Tacx)
3 of my kids told me they're going to miss me or that I was their favorite cabin leader that they've had (Carabeaner)
I made a camper from Overnight honorary Discipleship Pastor. He really owned up to it! During Fireside he saw someone was sad and hiding under a table and he went and got their cabin leader to make sure he was ok. (Bonzai)
My highlight was connecting more with Bonzai this week (Viper)
A camper couldn't sleep and was having a bad week and didn't have his teddy bear with him so we borrowed Nemo's sloth and he was very happy about it (Owl)
One of my kids came up with a saying for coughing. Instead of God bless you for sneezing she would say "there there buddy." It was the cutest thing when I was real sick (Hobbes)
I had an awesome God talk with a camper literally just in the middle of dinner. She asked me all kinds of insightful questions about who God is even though we were just eating and not in Fireside of devos. Really taught me that those conversations can happen anywhere and at anytime. (Harvest)
My weekly highlight was connecting with one of the Helping All Campers Succeed Campers. Every morning she would come to the office and ask me to have breakfast with her. She opened up to me a lot and told me how much she can't wait to see me again when she's back for her next camp. She proceeded to hug me for 5 straight minutes. She even drew me a picture to hang in my office so I wouldn't "forget" her. (Shuteye)
Nemo gave up her sloth teddy to a camper in my cabin. The camper was really having a hard time trying to sleep. Owl helped with making that happen too. I really appreciated both of them supporting me during that night (Shepherd)
On a final note, we are short staffed this summer and could for sure use some more help. If you know someone who would like to help out at camp for a week or for the rest of the summer then please send them our way.
As always, thanks everyone for your ongoing love, support and prayers.