Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Volunteer - noun - a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise (Camp Evergreen) or undertake a task (scoop poop at the barn).  Volunteer - verb - freely offer to do something (lead a cabin of campers). 

We've had a total of 58 volunteers join us over the first four weeks of summer camp.  Why do I like volunteers so much?  Two reasons.  The first is very practical.  Simply stated there is no way that we could run summer camp without volunteers.  From helping out in the kitchen, to keeping our flowers watered, to mowing lawns, to washing lost and found, to scooping horse poop (our horses poop an awful lot), to teaching activities, the list could go on and on.  We need volunteers because the size of our ministry is too large to do by ourselves.

The second reason I like volunteers is because they are inspirational.  When you volunteer and are willing to help us out, we feel your energy.  We feel your encouragement.  We begin to think, we can do this, we can push through one more week.  Suddenly the ministry before us doesn't seem quite so daunting.

Let me share with you - from just this past weekend - why our volunteers are so encouraging.  We've just finished up three weeks of summer camp.  If you've served at camp, you know first hand how tiring it can be.  We are supposed to take the weekend off to rest.  However, one of our volunteers decided they would spend most of Saturday sanding picnic tables - instead of resting. 

As I was walking Saturday night, I met a second volunteer cleaning and vacuming the kitchen window right by the stove.  In case you missed that, this was Saturday night around 7 pm.  How encouraging is that?  They wanted to make sure the window was clean for Ken and his kitchen crew.  A third volunteer was dropping off their RV Saturday night so two nurses who don't have an RV have a place to stay while they are here at camp.

And finally, if that's not enough (that is certainly enough in my books) first thing Sunday morning I bump into a fourth volunteer who is up early watering and taking care of our flowers at the Welcome Centre.  Isn't that awesome?  Can I get an AMEN?  You four know who you are and I just want to say a HUGE thanks for not only serving us, but for encouraging us. 

I mentioned in an earlier blog, "there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer."  At Camp Evergreen, I've witnessed that first hand - over and over.  To the remaining 54 volunteers who have served us so well this summer, may God richly bless you for your service!

We are still looking for volunteers (Heros really) to join us in August and also into September and October.  Your gift of time will bless us beyond what you can imagine!

Oh and by the way - we are reaching higher this week on the new homes.  More on that next week!

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Scaffolding - Again?

Back by popular demand (or maybe we're too full!) we've asked Rolf to put the scaffolding back up at the Fort again to create some more space.  Last night, our first campfire of the week, 8 or 9 staff could not fit in the circle and were asked to sit outside.  If you remember back in July 2015 we put up scaffolding and started expanding our fire ring.  We continue to grow and $6,000 will allow Rolf and our volunteers to finish the ring.  If you would consider making a donation to camp marked "The Fort" that would be greatly appreciated as we continue to reach higher.  I'd love to take my mug selfie during the construction to keep you up to date!

A HUGE thanks to our volunteers this week!  We have volunteers who stay months and others who stay a week.  We are grateful for their service and want to say thanks for serving us and encouraging us.  Volunteers really are a breath of fresh air into our tired lungs.  We're still looking for kitchen and barn volunteers for August.  Please contact us here at camp for more information.

What about those houses?  We are close, oh so close to saying - GO!  Scott and the painters were back last week finishing up the window batten trim.  Scott is now ready for the Hardy Boys - I mean Hardie Board.  (siding)  Craig will be back this week to see if the homes have stopped their downward sinking trend before he declares - GO! (hopefully in a loud excited voice)  Once Craig says go - siding, drywall and the basement floor are next in line.

Week number three is well under way.  Ignite 1 is our second oldest camp with campers entering grades 7-9 here at the main site.  Roughin' It Boys 1 are down at the teepees.  We're excited that Brennan Dyck from Dalhousie is our speaker this week.  I was at our morning staff meeting where the cabin leaders were sharing what is happening in their cabins.  It was good to hear stories of God at work in the hearts and lives of our campers this early in the week.  As we read each campers evaluation at the end of the week, growth is definitely evident this summer.  Last week we gave out about 30 Bibles to campers who came to camp without one.  How cool is that?  (Very!)

I also love seeing staff and campers return.  Back for his second summer on Pit Crew is my friend Josiah.  Fun fact?  Josiah's dad was a cabin leader for me when I was the director at Camp Valaqua back in the early 90's!  That means I've had the privilege of serving with both father and son!

 Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty

We haven't exactly started to pack yet, but we cut the ribbon to celebrate the new staff homes at our AGM at the end of June.  Kevin Thiessen, our building chair, along with the rest of the building committee and the Underwood family were on hand to celebrate and pray for the new staff homes.  We're excited to see the homes get to this stage and are very excited to see them completed.

Both homes have been sitting for about a month as we were waiting for them to settle.  House number one has settled about 4.5 inches!  Thankfully its been an equal settle - not just the front or back.  The frost is finally gone and we're pretty confident that the homes have finished their downward trend.  We've been landscaping around the homes making sure the water will flow away instead of towards the basement.  Craig let us know that the drywall guy was coming to get his final "take off."  Apparently he's not flying in, just figuring out how much drywall is needed to finish the homes.

Reaching Higher continues to move forward as we finished up our new video and brochure.  We're working behind the scenes to get both of those up on this web site as soon as we can.  Our goal is to continue to visit with people this summer asking for support.  It is a large project and we need you to continue to give above and beyond to see it become a reality.

Summer 2017 has started.  My absolute favourite time of year.  It gives me great joy to see and hear the campers running around my office as I write this blog.  Our theme this summer is Shine and we are excited to see God's love shine through us and into the campers lives.  Our first week was one of two short weeks this summer and included our first ever Junior Explorer camp.  The weather was hot and our staff did a great job of giving our campers the best week of their summer.  Currently we are 83 campers ahead of last summers total.

This week is our first full week and one of our largest camps.  One of the reasons we are reaching higher with a new lodge is the number 3,840.  Three thousand, eight hundred and forty is the number of plates of food our kitchen (small outdated kitchen) is putting out - just this week!  If you think that is a little crazy - you're not alone!

Staff who eat at the end of the meal line will not have a seat in the dining hall and will not have a dinner plate!  They will be eating outside on a paper plate.  Thankfully we have a gazebo to eat in as its been raining over a couple of the meals this week.

Our lack of space is a good challenge to have and tells me we are doing a great job of seeing lives transformed by the power of Jesus.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director