Friday, March 23, 2018

What's Going On?

I often have people ask me how things are going and what do you do in the winter?  While it is true that we have less guest groups in winter, that doesn't mean we are less busy.  In fact, in some ways we are busier, especially when it comes to projects.  Here is a list of ministry expansion projects (formerly special projects) that we've either completed or are currently working on since the beginning of November.

 - Built 30+ shelves.

 - Built 7 bunk beds.

 - Painted the shoe shelves.
 - Painted the mini lodge interior.
 - Working on the beverage counters.

 - Painted both mobile home interiors.
 - Installed new beverage counter lights.
 - Painted the upstairs lodge - "staff" side.

 - Added equipment to our archery range.
 - Many, many, (many) hours spent making ice.
 - New flooring in the upstairs lodge washrooms.

 - Making a new Nine Square game - thanks John!
 - Working on a new guest group orientation video.
 - Painting the boot rooms and hallways in the lodge.
 - Installing an en-suite door into the guest washroom.
 - Installed a permanent video projector in the Heritage Room.

 - Shoveled snow.  Lot's of snow.  More snow than we wanted to shovel!
 - Renovated the Creative Arts Building.  (CAB)  Including some new shelving, painting the floors and the walls.
 - Continued work on The Fort.  Took down scaffolding, cut down two trees in preparation for finishing this spring.

As I look at this list I'm thankful for our staff working hard to keep Camp Evergreen looking good and moving forward.  A BIG thanks to Rolf as his hand was pretty much in every project!  We would like to finish these projects and if time and resources allow reach a little higher by starting a few more projects.  You can help us by making a donation to ministry expansion.

June 23rd.  I'll stop blogging for a minute while you get out your calendar.

Did you find it?  It's the second last Saturday in June, right between the 22nd and the 24th.  Go ahead and put Camp Evergreen Annual General Meeting in your phone/ipad/calander.  I'll wait for you.

June 23rd is our AGM, the perfect way to support Camp Evergreen and check out all the new projects.  I look forward to seeing you there.

And where does the blog word of the week fit in?  We're talking about none other than Ken's Uncle Ben VanHaga!  Uncle Ben is Ken's mom's younger brother, number 7 out of 10 siblings to be exact.  Uncle Ben helped us out by donating his truck to deliver hay.  On  behalf of our horses - thanks Uncle Ben!

And thank you for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, March 9, 2018

One Million!

Well we did it!  Through cash and pledges we have raised our first million dollars!  1,033,906.36 to be exact.  I always like putting the 36 cents in as it reminds us that no matter how big or small our pledge is, together we can do much more than by ourselves.  We need to take this first million and keep moving forward simply because we have run out of space.  We're still about 140 campers ahead of last year at this time, 14 of our 25 summer camps are full, and we've been turning campers away since January.

I think it's appropriate to stop for a moment and realize what Reaching Higher has accomplished so far.  First, we've built two staff homes for the price of one.  Two for one!  Buy one get one free!  That is no small deal.  Second, we've raised over one million dollars.  One million is a big number.  Any one of these would be a great accomplishment on their own.  Put them both together and you get a HUGE accomplishment!  Thank you very much to everyone who has participated.

We continue to move ahead with the new lodge.  I had the opportunity to meet with our architect recently and as a building committee we're working hard to finalize our needs and the floor plan.  Some of you might be wondering about the exciting septic system.  (I realize that septic and exciting don't usually go together!)  To be honest it's not likely that many of us have lost sleep wondering about the septic system.  But we are currently exploring the possibility of government grants and new technology.  That's exciting!  The septic system is needed for the new lodge and we hope to start on that project soon.

In other news we are working hard with some ministry expansion projects here at camp.  We want to finish the fire circle by summer.  One of our long time supporters has donated the funds to help us finish the project and I'll share more about that in another blog.  We are painting the lodge boot room, the hallway, and the upstairs lodge on the staff side.  Rolf is renovating our guest washroom in the lodge and all three upstairs bathrooms will (finally) be getting new flooring.

We have two new guest groups on site today and they needed both wings of our archery range open at the same time.  That gave us the opportunity to reach higher by purchasing some additional bows and arrows to accommodate the larger group.  This increase in programming is a trend that will only continue to grow.  John recently built us a new game called 9 Square which is a lot of fun and gives us another indoor activity.  Thanks John!

To complete these projects and to be able to start several other projects we will need your financial help.  Please designate your donation to ministry expansion.

Our family was able to celebrate Christmas in Orlando this year.  It was difficult for us to get together at Christmas so we decided to go somewhere a little warmer.  Of course I needed to bring the camp mug along for the ride!  Bev wasn't as excited about that as I was.  :)  In the bottom front right you have me with the mug, Mitch and Samuel beside me.  In the front is Bev, Nina and Samara.

Thanks for your continued support!

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director