Well, it was nice to finally have some summer weather for the.... well.... summer. A lot of nice days last week which was great. But, for whatever reason, wind is an issue this summer. We had a pretty bad wind storm blow through on Wednesday and then we had another one blow through while we had a user group onsite on Saturday. The Saturday one was really bad and a number of branches came down. No significant damage though but a pretty significant mess of branches and leaves to clean up. But, rain, shine or wind, here we go for Week 5.
Week 4 Highlights
Week 4 was Middle Camp, ages 11 - 15, and the theme was holidays. We did a different holiday every day including an Easter Egg Hunt, St. Patty's day themed events, a special Christmas breakfast and then we had Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night for theme night. Yup, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, and apple pie. We for sure need to do Holiday Theme every year.
Overnight Camp had 117 campers, Day Camp had 82 and there were 21 participants in Year 2 of CLTD.
Some other features of the week included our CLTD's going out and doing a service day. Each year our Second Year CLTD's do a service project in the community and this year we decided to keep it local. We split our CLTD's into a 3 different teams and some went and helped with the Community Garden in Chestermere, some went and helped a local senior, and some helped clean up the exterior of the library. At the Community Garden the CLTD's took out a number of weeds and basically made the site more user friendly by doing a big clean up job. For the senior they helped to uproot some trees and do some general lawn maintenance. And then at the library they cleaned windows and helped do some other cleaning as well. Huge thank you the the CLTD's and the CLTD Leaders for their great work with this. It is so great to give back to the community after they support us with a grant through FCSS UNited Way Chestermere.
Some of you may remember that years ago Camp Chestermere had a petting zoo. Well, we brought it back...... well at least for a day. Our Programs team booked Butterfield Acres to come for the day they brought chicks, rabbits, goats and pigs. Our Day Campers got to experience this as part of their programming. It was a huge hit. Stay tuned for updates on us getting a full time petting zoo....... again.
AND, we had 8 campers from South Korea last week. They are in Canada for the summer and experiencing different aspects of Canadian life. So, along with a couple of translators, these individuals spent a week with us at Camp Chestermere. It was awesome having them here.
Even though we are in the midst of our Summer Programming, we continue to work to improve our site and the experience for our campers and clients. Last week I told you about the work that has started on our HVAC Systems in the Chap and Lodge. Well, this week we installed a new/used sound system in the Chap and it is a huge upgrade. Thank you to Lakeridge Community Church who gave us an amazing deal on their used sound equipment. And a HUGE thank you to Ryan Linsley for volunteering to come over and help us install it. This is a great benefit to our campers and clients.
Another exciting site update is the work that has been done on the north side of our gym wall. Our gym has a brand new mural on it and it is beautiful. Huge thank you to Linda Bunn and her crew for heading up this project. The cutest part was when a bunch of our Day Campers all wanted to help and so they jumped in and did some of the mural. It is a great addition to the gym.
And speaking of site updates, I ended up with a tree in my office this week. It came in the form of one of our 5 year old Day Camper. One day a Day Camper was carrying around two large branches. He sat on the big chair that was in my office and said he was a tree. He sat for for a long time. He then noticed the jube jubes that were on my desk and asked if he could have one. I gave him some and then he said they were the seeds to help other trees grow. I then asked if he wanted a bag of seeds and he said yes. SO I filled a ziplock baggie full of seeds (jube jubes) and we hid it in my office for when he comes back. Yup, it was a very cute afternoon. I hope to see my tree again soon.
Volunteers in The Kitchen
We were very blessed to have a lot of volunteers in the kitchen this week which was a huge blessing. Hockey Mom ended up with an injury to her hand and so we were super blessed to have some extra hands in there. We can ALWAYS use an extra set of hands in one of three main areas, our kitchen, boat driving or work crew. Whether you come for an hour, a morning, an afternoon or the whole day. Any help is always appreciated.
Weekly Highlights from Staff
Thursday's Fireside. Everyone was linked and swaying. I was alone up front, arms raised. I honestly felt embarrassed and self conscious about being the only one. But I got to see the entire camp embracing each other, swaying, as if God was radiating from each level. I just felt God's love just took over and moved everyone. (Shepherd)
Two words....... Petting Zoo. (Shuteye)
Fireside was really fun on Thursday night (Flint)
Building the Peach Tea tree with my campers and getting everyone involved (Gambit)
My camper with downs syndrome made friends during fireside and danced with them (Mito)
My highlight was seeing my girls comfort one another while another one was upset (Goldie)
Qrow went all out in one of our devos. He presented the devo with such passion that some campers thought God was speaking through him. (Leeuwenhoek)
The Fireside where half of my cabin worshipped together as a group and God calling me to join them. That was really impactful. (Ferg)
I got to give titles to two of my campers: Questions and _____ the Sassy
I took the cutest video of some of the 5 - 7 day camp boys dancing. After I was done they just kept asking me to take videos and pictures of them. It was so cute (Kopper)
I had a camper that really didn't want to go in the water and she was really shy. I jumped off the dock with her and soon enough she meade friends and was in the middle of a water fight. (Wonka)
At the beginning of the week my campers were all sitting on the wall during fireside songs but by the end of the week they were all dancing and celebrating. It was cool to see their growth as friends and also their growth with God.
During devos in 5 - 7's, FLounder was asking where the memory verse was from. A little girl put up her hand and said, "I'm from Calgary...." It was the cutest thing ever. (Hobbes)
After a talk with a camper, she came up to me at the beach and told me I was her favorite leader and gave me a huge hug. (Dove)
One of my campers is from China and she couldn't speak English the best but she could understand a bit of it. So, during fireside on the last night we were singing Highlands (a song that she has never heard and can't read English) and she was singing every word! (Waffle)
Two little Day Camp girls would see me everyday. They would give me a big hug and then want to buy me tuck. (Papa Smurf)
A bunch of campers were begging me all week to add Pharaoh Pharaoh to the set list. At first I didn't know if I wanted to add it and spring that on the band last minute. On the last night I decided to pull some strings and make it happen. I'm glad I did because the kids had somuch fun. Almost as much fun as I had playing it.
They listened and were the sweetest kids I have ever had (Nox)
As always, thanks for your ongoing love and support. Something for your prayer list this week would be I will be doing some grant reporting and grant writing this week. I applied for a new grant last week and will be applying for at least three more this week. These are a huge source of our income and a vital part of us being able to do what we do.