Friday, April 28, 2017

The Blog of Thanks!

Last weekend Camp Evergreen was at our annual Alberta Mennonite Brethren Church conference.  I tried to take a selfie of the delegates after I shared my report but was unsuccessful!  You'll have to make do with this selfie of Kevin and I.  I need to say thanks to Kevin for not only heading up our building committee, but for keeping me on the straight and narrow when it comes to Camp Evergreens financial numbers.  I appreciate Kevin more than you know.  On a side note - if you were at the conference and suddenly heard the Bee Gees singing "Stayin Alive" Saturday morning - that was me!  In my defence the mute button was on and there was a disco ball hanging from the ceiling...

I believe that I can safely say that we had our strongest (and largest!) winter staff this year.  It was great serving alongside them and seeing their heart for ministry.  Our vision is to see "individual lives transformed by the power of Jesus" and I have definitely seen transformation in our staff lives this winter.  A HUGE thanks to our staff for working so hard.  I'm looking forward to keeping this culture moving into spring.

I'm thankful for a couple of good Reaching Higher meetings in Gem and Rosemary recently.  It seems like the Reaching Higher momentum continues to grow.  Our current pledge/donation total is $694,003 and progress continues on the homes.  I'm thankful for volunteers like Barry and his daughter Kristianne who connected power to the homes.  The plan is to turn the heat on today!  I want to say another HUGE thanks to Scott and Brian for working on our "mud homes."  They are making great progress with the window batten, soffit and fascia in spite of the incredible amount of mud they are working in.  Brian was moving a ladder yesterday, got stuck, and we almost had to tow him out.


While I'm thanking people I would like to thank some folks from Lendrum church.  Our good friend Bob is working with David, Diana and Don to get our Gator back on its wheels.  Thanks also to David and Mary for donating our "new to us" maintenance truck.  This truck will replace our aging Dakota which we just found out was donated to us by George - who also attends Lendrum! 

We continue to be thankful for our full summer camps.  As of this afternoon we are 98 campers ahead of last year.  15 of our 26 camps are full - which means unfortunately we are turning children away.  I'm thankful for our good challenge, and I'm also thankful that as a camp we have a plan to address that challenge in Reaching Higher.  By the way, we are still looking for a few good men for our cabins this summer.  You know who you are!  :)

And finally, I'm thankful for your continued support!

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker - one last selfie with the Dakota!
Executive Director

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Number Blog...

We brewed sixty-nine pots of coffee last weekend for our Ladies Retreat.  At ten cups per pot - that's 690 cups of coffee!  There were 108 ladies.  Let me help you with the math - 6.38 cups of coffee per lady!  The .38 is probably pretty accurate because often there is a bit of coffee left in the cup!  It was a great weekend and as a staff we really enjoyed serving the ladies.  The "huck a boot" contest could be on its way to becoming a new activity here at Evergreen!

Speaking of numbers - 118.  We are 118 campers ahead of last year at this time.  11 of our 26 camps are full.  While we are thankful for the good challenge of full camps, there is a down side.  Traditionally we have been able to really promote summer camp to our school guest groups in spring.  This year, as last, our camps will be close to full by time our busy spring season starts.  That means most of our spring guests will have to wait over a year to come back as campers. 

It was a bit of a slower week on the homes.  Scott and Brian were working on another project this week.  Walt rounded up a few volunteers to help finish the ceilings.  Thanks Gerald, Shelley and Gary for coming out to serve us.  Speaking of volunteers - Ryan was setting us up with data lines in the homes and brought his son along for help!  It's never too early to start volunteering.  If all goes to plan (famous last words) we will be insulating the attic next week and we're very close to hooking up the electrical to the homes so we can start heating them.

The final numbers for this blog, 28, 100, 2 and 2.  Twenty-eight is the current number of staff and volunteers we have on site.  This is the largest winter staff that we've ever had.  We didn't start that big, but we've sort of been growing over winter.  Our last two volunteers - Helmut and Doris - arrived this week.  And it's a good thing we have such a large staff.  Holy Spirit Academy grade sixers came to Evergreen this week - all 100 of them!  100 is a large group for us to serve in winter.  And the good news?  As a large staff we are doing our job.  We just got word (again) that two of our recent guests registered to come back this summer.  That's why we are here and that's why we do what we do!

And the final number two?  You can tell summer is around the corner because I have two brand new pairs of Crocs - with new charms.  Bring on summer!

Thanks for your continued support as we continue to reach higher.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director