Friday, October 26, 2018

Winding Down

Our busy fall is abwickeln (winding down) and our slower guest group season is finally on the horizon as we will be saying good-bye to seven of our fall staff members on October 31st.  We have been working long days with a guest group or summer camp on site just about every day since April 10th!  That's two hundred and five days!  No wonder most of us are a little tired!  (It feels like we've been sleeping in the middle of the road!)  While summer camp is my favourite season, there is something to be said about our slower pace during the winter season which allows us to rest and re-charge.

With winter guest groups mostly on weekends it gives us as a staff the opportunity to take some time during the day to read God's Word and to watch the Alpha series as a staff.  This winter we are planning on working our way through our Mennonite Brethren statement of faith.

We're busy (and by we I mean mostly Rolf and Dylan) getting ready for our 10th annual Pond Hockey Tournament on Saturday January 12th.  We're excited to celebrate 10 years of Pond Hockey and are inviting everyone to experience the fun day.  If you have not joined us, this is the year you should!  New for this year - Crokicurl - a cross between crokinole and curling!  We're keeping our eyes open for some used curling rocks so if  you know of a curling club that is upgrading and wanting to get rid of their old rocks let us know!  Hurry Hard!

Reaching Higher and the new lodge continues to move ahead.  We are still working hard in the background with floor plans, engineering requirements etc.  The good news is that our geotechnical report confirms that we can build the lodge where we want with a view overlooking the lower playing field.  The set back will be based on whether the lodge has a basement or a second floor.

Bob T, Shane, Don and Rolf spent most of the day today drilling holes trying to find the best spot to send our treated septic water.  The plan is to treat the grey water here on site and then send it somewhere on site!  Because of our high water table (read swamp) we have limited neighbourhoods in which we can go!

I was reminded again yesterday of one of the reasons we want to build a new lodge.  St. James Ambrose was back with their grade 7 band.  We had instrument clinicians everywhere!  In the dining hall, in the Welcome Centre, the mini lodge etc.  The trombones this time were in the seasonal staff living room (sorry to any staff who were off and trying to sleep in) and the euphoniums were in the foyer of the block washroom!  We had a guest group practising in the bathroom!

As I mentioned in my last blog the overall financial support for Camp Evergreen continues to grow.  It's exciting to be part of this ministry and thank you very much for your generous support.  However, our general fund donations continue to be behind last year and as we draw closer to the end of the year this becomes a concern as we work towards a balanced budget.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Friday, October 12, 2018


I trust that many of you had a great Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.  We were blessed to see two of our children from the west coast.  Samara, her husband Samuel, and their rescue dog Echo (named after Star Wars) made the long trek from Burnaby to Camp Evergreen.  We were thankful to be able to spend the weekend together.  On a side note I've been picking out turkey's that are too big for the roaster for couple of years in a row now so I'm officially banned from picking the next turkey!

Bev and I are off to Gem MB Church on Sunday to celebrate Thanksgiving.  There will be a thanksgiving lunch after the service so my message will be competing with the aroma permeating the sanctuary from downstairs!

My message is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where Paul exhorts us to be joyful always, pray continually, and in everything give thanks.  That's a tall order!  Not too many of us (read no one!) are able to live those commands out every moment of every day.

It often comes down to a choice, the choice to be grateful.  We sometimes think that it is being unhappy that leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that is is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy.  Becoming grateful will make us much happier people.  As we develop a habit of trusting God each day, especially when life is challenging, we will be able to give thanks.

The last few weeks have not been difficult for me to be thankful.

- I was able to celebrate another birthday and I'm thankful for my family!  (I didn't celebrate in Cars Land, I just really like this family picture!)

- I'm thankful for my nieces who - many years ago - taught my kids, who taught me, that salt and vinegar chips in turkey buns taste great!

- I was encouraged again with the volunteers that we've had over summer and the beginning of fall.  Volunteers who re-arrange their schedules so they can work hard here at camp on their day off.  Volunteers who drive 3 hours each way to volunteer.  Volunteers who wash 493 loads of laundry between May and the end of September.  (For perspective that's 493 loads of laundry and drying.  By my calculations it's 41.08 days of laundry!  That's why I'm thankful for Doris! :))

 - I was encouraged by the large number of youth and sponsors who joined us for our Lead Retreat - 148.  Add our staff and volunteers and we were very full that weekend!

 - I was thankful for one of our fall guest groups writing on their evaluation - "we have found this is the best staff team we have worked with to date!"  I'm thankful for an amazing staff.

 - I'm thankful that Reaching Higher continues to move forward.  (Let's not forget about our general fund!)

 - I'm thankful when I hear stories of God continuing to work in our campers hearts and lives.

 - I'm thankful for your continued support of Camp Evergreen!

What are you thankful for today?

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

PS  Today's blog is brought to you by the underline button!