September Update from Camp Chestermere

Good afternoon everyone, I know it has been a little while since you have heard from us but I wanted to give you a quick update about how things are going at Camp Chestermere. Summer 2020 Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Summer 2020 was obviously a very different summer for Camp Chestermere. Camp Chestermere was excited to be able to offer a bit of respite and some semblance of normalcy for children by being able to run our Social Distance Day Camp Program. We had 951 campers attend, some for multiple weeks, 59 rotational staff, over 50 volunteers and not one case of COVID-19. While some people needed to go for a test because they displayed symptoms and some were sent home for precautionary reasons, by following all the guidelines, cleaning and disinfecting often, great communication with staff and families, and through an abundance of prayer, we were able to maintain 0 cases. Volunteers put in over 2000 hours and many community members helped by donating items for programming. The feedback from children and parents was overwhelmingly positive. While we followed all of the AHS guidelines, when you were here during the day, camp was camp. Kids rode bikes, played on the beach, shot arrows, power tubed, played games, did devotions and just enjoyed being at camp. It was great having children back onsite and the staff did a phenomenal job of keeping it fun while keeping everyone safe. 

I am not sure what a good day at the office looks like for you, but when you run a camp, here's what a good day looks like. Thursday is dress up day at Camp Chestermere and on one Thursday morning I was walking around saying my usual hi to parents, campers and staff during drop off. I suddenly hear this roar behind me and I turn around and The Incredible Hulk, Ironman and a pirate are all charging at me and a cabin leader dressed as a pirate, complete with a monkey on her shoulder, standing behind them grinning ear to ear. Yup, that's a good day at the office. Earlier that same week I walked into the Lodge and randomly stumbled upon four of our leaders having a conversation about worship. I wasn't there for all of it but there was this whole conversation happening about worship and encouragement people get from worship and encouragement they had been getting through this time through worship. Those two stories describe Camp Chestermere. Superheroes, pirates, kids, worship. Sounds about right.

Volunteers Needed Now that Fall has arrived and leaves have fallen off of the trees, we are looking for volunteers to help us with raking and bagging the leaves. Come by yourself or gather your family or a group of friends and come for an hour, a morning, an afternoon, an evening or whatever you can spare. We have rakes and compost bags. We have some gloves available but if you have your own that would be better. Please only come if you are not sick and can adhere to all COVID-19 Guidelines. Other volunteer opportunities exist as well. If you have an interest we have a need. The answer is yes, ask the question.  Keep Camp Alive We will be relaunching our Keep Camp Alive Campaign in the next couple of weeks by sending out information via newsletters. Due to schools not being able to do field trips, our still not being able to offer overnight programming to youth groups and due to restrictions on indoor and outdoor gathering limits, our fall income has been greatly impacted. We would encourage you to continue to give to our Keep Camp Alive Campaign. The response over the past few months has been amazing and we will highlight this in our upcoming newsletter.  Thank You As we head into the Thanksgiving Weekend, I want to extend some thank yous. Thank you to the parents and families who entrusted us with their children this summer. Thank you to the people who continue to book with us for weddings, birthday parties, hourly rentals, events and more. Thank you to those who continue to uphold us in prayer. Thank you to those who have donated through our Keep Camp Alive Campaign. Thank you to funders like the United Way, Calgary Foundation, The City of Chestermere who have approved grant requests. Camp Chestermere is also thankful for government assistance programs like CEWS that have helped to keep us afloat at this time. Thank you to the volunteers who have put in so many hours to make what we do possible. It has been a difficult year but there is still much to be thankful for.  God bless you and your family.  -- Shannon DeanCamp Director Camp Chestermere