Friday, May 26, 2017

Dylan Peters!

One of the reasons for Reaching Higher is Dylan Peters.  Dylan shared with our seniors last Friday (read last weeks blog) and I was once again encouraged how Camp Evergreen has impacted individuals.  You've heard us talk a lot about numbers lately.  How our Guest Group Ministry and Summer Camp Ministry numbers are up - in fact we now have 1,012 campers registered for this summer!  You've heard us talk about how we do such a good job year round that guests are sending their children to summer camp.  That happened again last weekend.  But through all these numbers, through all the good challenges we have with space, individual lives are being transformed by the power of Jesus.  Dylan is one of those lives.  Listen to what he shared last week.

"When I was nine, my parents brought me to my first ever summer camp.  I was so excited that I forgot my sleeping bag and had to use the old blanket we kept in the van, but it did not dampen my week.  I had the time of my life!  Archery, climbing wall and candle making were just some of the things that filled my heart with joy.  On Roughin' It (Teepee Camp) we filled every available pot with small amphibians.  Our team name was "The Understatements" and our cheer was "We're OK".  And I learned about and experienced the life changing love of Jesus Christ.

I started working at camp in the summer of 2010 when I was 17 and the love I already had for camp grew.  I felt so blessed by the opportunity to come alongside campers and walk with them through an exploration of faith, to lead worship, and see the Holy Spirit stir change in their lives.  I now knew what I wanted to do with my summers!

I came back the next summer and stayed for fall where my love for camp continued to grow.  It was cool to experience another side of camp - our Guest Group Ministry.  Even though we don't have chapels its amazing how many different ways we can share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I was at camp for the next three summers, this past summer as one of our Pit Crew Directors.  It was the most amazing summer of my life!

Currently I'm the assistant food services manager working under Ken Underwood.  Not bad for a wrench turner eh?  In the kitchen I've seen so much growth in my life as Ken challenges me to be a better person and to really have a servant heart!"

Dylan will continue to experience growth this summer as he takes on another new role as one of our Intern Directors.  Our unique style of ministry allows us to mentor young people.  It allows us to train leaders which ultimately allows us to see kids come to know Jesus.  As we continue to reach higher, we will see more lives transformed by the power of Jesus!

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, May 19, 2017

One thousand and two!

Today was our annual Senior Day.  What a blessing to share the day with some of the very folks who started Evergreen 54 years ago.  It was good to hear their stories, and we hope the seniors enjoyed the stories of God's faithfulness today.  It's also encouraging to know so many of our seniors are praying for us on a regular basis.  Thank you seniors for the hard work and sweat poured out over our land so many years ago, and for having the vision to see lives transformed by the power of Jesus.

We continue to reach higher as we get ready for summer.  This week we're reaching with a brand new 54" lawn mower that arrived this morning.  One of our Evergreen couples funded the tractor and Moody's Equipment gave us their non-profit price.  Thank you very much!  I'm guessing there's going to be a line up to mow the lawn.

Rolf continues to work on his projects.  We're waiting for the good kind of strapping to go on the roof over the new freezer.  Having a covered area outside of the kitchen will be a great addition allowing us to BBQ under cover.  And what about that "thing" Rolf is building.  Its now at a different angle, and you'll just have to stay tuned to find out what it actually is.

Scott and Brian have finished up the window batten, soffit and fascia.  They are now framing another home in Cochrane and will return to finish the siding.  We're waiting for the ground to dry out so we can backfill the homes.  The ground around the homes has been so gooey we were afraid of losing the D6!  Once we've backfilled we can move on with the drywall and basement floor.  We've also upgraded the water pressure in anticipation of the two new homes.  The immediate result is not having to run around in the shower looking for water!

1,002!  That is the total number of children, youth and family campers that have registered for this summer as of today.  We have already passed our total number of children and youth campers from last year.  We're also excited that God is providing the staff that we need - including those elusive boys.

With an increase of campers comes an increase in our campership aid need.  Please consider donating to our campership aid fund which directly helps children come as campers who otherwise would not be able to attend.  This is a very practical way you can help our ministry of seeing lives transformed.

In other news I'm still working on my selfies.  Who knew you could angle the selfie stick?  I just kept trying to get the crazy thing higher!  :)

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, May 5, 2017

N x W

New for us this year was having our sister camp - Redberry Bible Camp - join us for most of our spring training week.  Redberry is located about an hour north of Saskatoon and about seven hours from Evergreen.  It was a lot of fun playing, worshiping and learning together.  We spent about a third of our time together and it was great sharing new ideas.

The GPS coordinates to get you not only to Camp Evergreen but more specifically the front porch of Moose Junction are N51`40'49" by W114`37'31".  Moose Junction is our General Store and if you haven't been inside - you should put that on the bucket list.  We're always very excited when our new clothing arrives.  A big thanks to Rolf for getting up early this morning to go pick up the pallet piled high with boxes!  (I wish I had a picture because he brought them to the store with the Skidsteer.)  We also got a brand new hanger organizer for those clothes.  I was "reaching" for a way to tie the organizer to Reaching Higher - but I'll admit I was stumped!

The staff are very excited about the red plaid shirts.  Our camper T-shirts have arrived as well and if you haven't heard, each of our summer campers will get a T-shirt this year.  It's a good thing we bought a lot of T-shirts because we reached a milestone today.  854 campers are currently registered for summer camp.  Why is that a milestone?  Our total number of summer campers for last year was 854!  If we add our family camp numbers we are currently about 975.  How cool is that!  (very cool)

Are we ready for summer?  Not quite.  We would really like six more (18+) male cabin leaders.  One would think that out of an Alberta population of 4 million people, and let's say half are guys, we should be able to find six solid men!  If you can't give us the entire summer consider a week or two.

A big thanks to our friends Bob and David for delivering our Gator back this week.  A group from Lendrum church not only donated the cost of a new engine, but installed it as well.  Our program staff started using it the day it arrived.

I was blessed to have several very (very) encouraging conversations with seasonal staff today which reminded me again why we are here and why we do what we do.  It's been a very busy couple of weeks for me and if you were to see my desk you would think either I'm very busy or very messy.  (It's most likely a bit of both - just ask Bev about my side of the bed.)  It was very uplifting for me to pause in the middle of my  "to do" list and just listen to my staff.  The conversations were deep and meaningful.  They shared different, and yet similar stories about how camp is changing their lives.  As we continue to reach higher, I'm very (very) excited about all the ministry that we can be part of!

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker