Friday, September 29, 2017

What's In A Nummer?

5,500,000 - anticipated cost of our new lodge
810,613    - the total donations and pledges to date towards Reaching Higher
600,000    - the retail value of each of our two new staff homes

300,000    - the anticipated cost of each of our new homes
62,269      - the support Andrew Baerg raised on his biking4evergreen tour
23,400      - plates of food were served this summer
13,920      - pieces of tuck eaten by campers and staff this summer*
6,464        - slices of bacon eaten at breakfast this summer
5,180        - slices of (very good) pizza
3,600        - servings of ice cream**

2,173        - the number of guests we've hosted January through June
1,731        - the number of km Andrew rode on his Reaching Higher tour
1,153        - the number of youth and family campers this summer
944           - the number of children and youth campers this summer
476           - the number of campers who expressed spiritual growth
325           - individuals and churches have supported Reaching Higher
300           - the number of feet we directionally drilled for the new homes
204           - loads of laundry this summer (thanks Doris!)
149           - the number of first time commitments this summer
99             - the number of volunteers we had this summer

38             - seasonal staff this summer
9               - permanent staff
4               - hospital/clinic runs
1               - Camp Evergreen
1               - Awesome God

Thanks for your continued support!

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

*this number is approximate as we will never know how much tuck Ranger actually had
**this number does not include tuck, Helmut or Ranger

Friday, September 22, 2017


Shoot - I mean chute!  Kevin and his gang from Green Acres built us this fancy chute right into the basement of house number two.  Its going to be great for night games when you need to hide quickly!  It had a more practical use this week as a means to get extra gravel into the basement to prepare for concrete.

Progress continues on the new homes.  The first coat of primmer paint is up which means the cabinet guy (our good friend Ben Nickel from Rosemary) has been given the green light to go ahead and install.  We're waiting for his farming responsibilities to release him!  Our finish carpenter, Gary, has started finishing house number two.  And both basements are now ready for concrete.  If we can get a cement truck in here this Saturday, the plan is to pour the first basement.

We have now passed Eight Hundred Thousand in cash and pledges for Reaching Higher with a current total of $810,136.71.  Andrew's ride through Alberta was certainly a boost for us.  So a BIG thanks again Andrew!  As the homes come close to completion we are now turning our focus on the lodge.  If you were to ask me what our single greatest need at Evergreen is, I would reply - a new kitchen and dining hall.  As I write this blog we have 165 students and staff from Heritage Christian Academy on site - and its snowing outside!  Cold muddy weather adds a certain challenge to feeding and providing programming for such a large group when hanging around outside is not an option.

You're probably wondering how in the world schrakjlijch ended up in my blog.  It's my word of the day and I would pronounce it "shrek lich".  I don't worry about the j's.  Then make the whole word come out from the back of your throat somewhere.  It's one of those low German (Plautdietsch) words I heard my parents using as a kid growing up.  You can actually look it up online in the Plautdietsch dictionary.  It means, dreadful, shocking, terrible, awful, frightful.

Craig was back again this week filling some last minute cracks for the finish carpenter and I met him over at house number two.  Getting to the homes in this weather is schrakjlijch.  It's muddy, it's cold, the clay is sticking to your boots, your vehicle is sinking up to its axle because the ground is so soft, the ramp to get into the home is snowy, slippery and muddy.  Simply put - its schrakjlijch outside!  (try saying schrakjlijch ten times quickly!)  Thankfully the flooring is one the last things to go in because you can't help but track about 10 lbs of mud in every time you enter.

We're over halfway through our busy September already.  Most of the staff who have been battling sickness seem to be on the mend.  We would however still appreciate your prayers so that we can finish our fall season strong.

As you can tell I still need practice with my selfies!  Today's selfie was taken at the Columbia Bible College alumni reunion at the Calgary vs B.C. football game.  Take note of Kevin way at the back!

Thanks again for your ongoing support as we continue to reach higher.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, September 8, 2017

A New Sign...

I'd like to introduce to you...our new sign!  For those of you who have been to camp, you'll notice the sign in the middle is not new, however, it is surrounded by a new timber frame.  Rolf hasn't quite finished the frame yet, but since he had a skid steer on site decided to move it while he could.  The heavy timber frame is the style we like here at Evergreen and as we continue to reach higher we want to use this style and quality whenever we build.  The finished sign will have solar powered lights, a roof, flower pots and rain water collection.  Thanks Rolf for continuing to share your gift of woodworking with us.

It's exciting to see continued progress on the new homes.  Our taper finished taping the drywall and that was quickly followed by the sanders.  The crew of five sanders finished both homes in less than three hours!  The ceiling guys textured the ceiling with something called "Knock Down Span Tex".  For a second I thought they said "Spandex!"  That would have been a little awkward.

Arnold was back to install the septic tanks and connect the water.  Some of you may remember Arnold donated his time at the very beginning of the homes to dig the foundations.  It was amazing to see him directional dig 300+ feet underground and pop up right where he wanted to.  Arnold and his crew were here for three days, partly because - as Rolf likes to say - there is lots of spaghetti underground everywhere.  (gas lines, phones lines, water lines etc. all criss-crossing)

It was good to see Craig back again this week.  (We really like Craig!)  Craig brought Gary with him today and they were rolling, rolling, rolling on the primer coat of paint.  This means we're getting close to cabinets and some of the finish work!

Our lodge hot water barely made it through the summer and as quick as we could we installed a new system right after camp.  After we add a fancy mineral filter we're hoping that this system lasts us a long time.  One of our challenges at Evergreen is a high mineral content in our water.

Fall has started.  Our first guest group of the season arrived yesterday - 73 grade seven students from Webber Academy.  It will take a few groups to get back in the swing of it, but its fun working with the students.  Please continue to pray for us as a staff.  Even though we have a great staff, we are small in numbers.  Several of our staff are down with sickness and we lost another staff to an air boot - so your continued prayer would be very much appreciated.

And finally - the most important number from this summer.  476.  That's the number of campers that we know of, who had their lives transformed by the power of Jesus.  That is very exciting and we're already looking forward to next summer to see what God will do!  I would like to say a big thanks to my Program Team - Jogee, Safety Lane and Dish Rack - for a great summer!

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker

(My "guest selfie" this blog is none other than Jogee.)