Friday, March 31, 2017

What Are We Drilling For Now?

I'm always surprised how fast a week goes by.  We talk about winter being our "slow" season, our season to rest, and here it's Friday already!  This winter seemed busier than ever.  Our new homes have kept us busy.  We've had a couple of larger winter groups.  And our staff is larger - which adds to the busyness.  It feels like I've blinked and spring is here!

What's been going on this week?  We picked up some band instruments.  No, we're not starting our own rock band (sorry staff).  We decided to purchase a few larger instruments so the schools don't have to bring them along for their band camps.  With the generous donation from an individual we purchased a large bass drum, xylophone and two timpani drums.

Scott and Brian have finished framing the houses.  The last couple of days were spent working on the decks with the "picture frame" finish.  Both homes are now covered in Tyvek which means the next step on the outside of the homes is siding.  We're excited that both Scott and Brian will be back in about a week to start the siding.

We had two groups of volunteers this week.  The Yang family from Calgary helped our staff insulate the walls on house number two.  Thank you very much for serving us!  And the boarding started on house number one.  Boarding is the technical term for putting drywall up on the ceiling!  A BIG thanks to Barry, Bob, Tobin and Matt for coming out today to board the ceiling.

The last of our hay arrived this week, we got our new freezer freezing and we replaced a well pump at the barn so our horses can drink.  The hot water at the lodge decided to stop working - just before our full ladies retreat!  Thanks Rolf for keeping up with everything you had to juggle this week!  And our new mugs arrived - you can pick one up in Moose Junction next time you're at camp.

We were also drilling this week and are now proud owners of three test wells.  Before we can build our new lodge we need a significant upgrade to our sewer system.  Sewer systems are not that glamorous, but they are needed!  (by the way, one of our septic tank pumps stopped working this week - another fix for Rolf!)  These test wells will help us monitor how "well" the new system is working.

Through the busyness of the week I've been reminded that lives are being transformed by the power of Jesus.  As a staff we have devotions every morning and the depth that our staff have in their relationship with Christ has been encouraging.  In the middle of winter, in our "slow" season, staff lives are being changed from the inside out to become more like Christ.  How cool is that?  (very cool!)

That's why we're reaching higher.  We want to see more lives transformed and to reach more kids with the life changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thanks again for you ongoing support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, March 24, 2017


One of our signs of spring here at Camp Evergreen is the Fallen Timber Creek starting to flow.  I experienced that first hand yesterday as the ice was not as thick as I had expected, and the creek was deeper than my boots were anticipating!  It was fun to break up some of the ice and get it flowing down stream.

A second sign of spring is 776 campers.  You read that correctly.  We have 776 campers registered and we continue to be about 100 campers ahead of last year at this time.  It's still March and nine of our camps are full.  Seven out of those camps already have waiting lists.  Unfortunately that means we are turning campers away.

A final sign (at least for this blog!) of spring is Rolf building a float.  I'm not sure what you think about when you hear the word float, but my mind immediately goes to a root beer float.  Frozen mug, Chapman's ice cream and super cold Barg's...focus Ranger.  I can also picture a float in a Disney parade.  But the kind of float Rolf is building will "float" our fields as the grass gets ready to grow.  If you've been on our fields at all you will have noticed lots and lots and lots of mole hills.  We will be "floating" heavy steel behind the tractor smoothing out our fields.

We also had signs this week that our homes are moving along.  Insulation arrived for house number two and drywall arrived for the ceilings.  Electrical rough in for house number two is almost finished.  Our "data wire guy" (not sure if that is the technical title) finished up house number two.

The board has voted to finish these homes as quick as possible and we're secretly hoping we can have a ribbon cutting for house number one at our AGM.  (Quick, mark Saturday June 24 on your calendar!)

We also continued to reach higher this week with a new freezer for our kitchen.  This freezer will help us especially in summer as we struggle to find room for all the food we need in our current freezer and cooler.  The beauty of this freezer is not only the size (it's BIG - think playing a wide game in it) but once the new lodge is built we can move this freezer to its new home.

Reaching Higher, as most of you know, is our recently launched ministry expansion and capital campaign.  The purpose of Reaching Higher is very simple.  We want to see more kids come to know Jesus and more lives to be transformed by the power of Jesus.  Reaching Higher is a bold plan to enable Camp Evergreen to have its greatest impact in our second 50 years.  We need your help to make this happen!

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, March 17, 2017

May The Sixth Be With You!

Consider this your official invitation to help us reach higher by attending our Annual Spring fundraiser on Saturday, May the Sixth!  We're excited about our Star Wars theme and are just a little sad that we are off by two days and can't say - May the Fourth be with you!  Gery Schubert will be joining us in full costume, character and regalia as we transform the gym at Dalhousie Church into a far off galaxy!  Contact camp to register.

Lots of progress on the homes over the last couple of weeks.  Our good friends from Duchess were back to finish roof number two.  A BIG thanks to Ron at Norseman Metal Supply and to the crew, Alex, Jacob, Corny, Choppo and Orlando for coming back a second time to tin our roof!  It is a huge blessing to receive not only one roof but two roofs from these generous individuals.
Our staff under the tutelage of Walt insulated the walls in house number one.  Scott and Brian were working hard this week on the front and rear decks.

Our plumber was back working on both homes and our furnace is ready to go in house number two.

What's next?  We're waiting for the rough electrical in house number two. Once that house passes inspection we will insulate.  We want to get heat in the homes and let them sit, settle and dry out for about six weeks.  During those six weeks we will be working hard on raising the funds needed to finish the homes.  If you would consider helping us by making a donation to our Reaching Higher campaign that would be great!

Our summer camp numbers continue to be about 100 campers ahead of last year at this time.  And we're excited to share that it looks like we have enough staff for our busy guest group season starting in May!

Please continue to pray for us.  We know that the enemy does not appreciate the excitement, momentum and lives being transformed by the power of Jesus that we are experiencing.  Your prayer is needed on a daily basis.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director