Friday, April 26, 2019

Lawn Chairs and Baseball Gloves

My illustrious baseball career came to a short stop!  While I enjoy playing baseball, the only team I've been on was when Bev and I lived in Swift Current Saskatchewan.  Darbaryle Upholstering sponsored a slow pitch team that was mostly made up of players from our church.  I joined the team and lasted two seasons before we moved to Alberta for the first time.

The pitching was right down my alley (sorry to mix sport puns) as the pitcher lofted the oversize softball in a slow arch towards my bat - it was not that difficult to hit the ball.  I can't remember how well we did in the standings, but I do remember having a lot of fun.

Our son Mitch also had a short and successful baseball career.  Recently we were looking through some old pictures and found a couple beauties.  The greatest challenge in coaching a young baseball team is getting them to focus on the game instead of the bugs in the grass.

Why am I talking about lawn chairs and baseball gloves in this week's blog?  We're bringing back baseball to Camp Evergreen.  At this years Annual General Meeting and Open House (June 22 in the highly unlikely case it's not already on your calendar) we will end with a BBQ in the field and a baseball game or two.  So if you're coming - and you should come - bring your lawn chair and baseball glove.

The AGM in the morning is our most important day of the year and we need the support of our society members. There will be reports, a lodge update, staff sharing, and of course the now famous ice cream right in the middle of the meeting.

The Open House in the afternoon is a great way for you and your friends to experience camp.  Activities will be open and new for this year, will be a prayer tour in the afternoon led by our first full time director Walt Loewen.

We're also having two Alumni Days in 2019.  An opportunity to reunite and reconnect with former campers and staff.  For many of us camp has a strong memory and we would love to be able to get together and hear some of those "bear in the pantry" stories.  The first one is June 22 - which is also our AGM and Open House.  We will plan on taking some time in the afternoon to connect.  The second is Wednesday July 17th in the mid afternoon.  We'll join the campers for a BBQ supper out on the field (weather permitting) and spend some time after supper visiting. You may as well leave your lawn chair in the car!

It's always helpful for us to know who is planning on coming so we can be better prepared from a food perspective. We don't want to run out of ice cream!  :)

The lodge continues to move ahead as we get some more ducks in a row.  One of our newest ducks is a groundwater supply evaluation.  We're currently waiting for confirmation from the county as to what that exactly entails.  What we do know is our development permit is now delayed by at least two weeks.  Oh those pesky ducks!

Donations towards the lodge at this time are very helpful in allowing us to move forward.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The New Lodge

Let me introduce to you the newest member of our Camp Evergreen team - the new lodge!  Finally after what seems many months - well it actually was many months - we have some pictures to show you of our new lodge.  As a board and staff we are pretty excited about the ministry potential this building will allow us to have.  We are still making some last minute (minor) changes so the final result will look slightly different!

Here are some quick numbers:

1 - lodge
1 - elevator
1 - meeting room
2 - stories
2 - boot rooms - one really big!
2 - refrigerators - two different temperatures - you'll have to ask Ken...
2 - laundry rooms
3 - dining rooms - or one big one - for a total of 400 people (not squished)
3 - lounges/sitting areas
8 - hotel style rooms - expandable to 15

The lodge is approximately 22,000 square feet and will sit close to where our current mini lodge is located, overlooking the lower playing field towards the west.  We're hoping that we will be able to see some of the mountains from the upstairs rooms.

Some of you might be wondering - why a new lodge?  We've been turning campers away since January - shortly after registration opened.  We've also been turning guest group after guest group away from April to the end of October.  This lodge will allow us to expand our current style of ministry.

The lodge will also allow us to branch into new kinds of ministry.  We would love the host the Alberta Mennonite Brethren conference, we'd love to host church leadership teams and Alpha weekends.  There is a seemingly endless amount of new ministry that awaits us.

And finally this lodge is critical to our much needed winter revenue which in turn is needed for a healthy budget.

Many of you know that the board voted to start this lodge in October of this year.  We are still working with many, many ducks, trying to get them in a row for us to be able to put a shovel in the ground.  In fact a brand new duck showed up this morning!  One of the biggest ducks - finances.  Without your support this lodge will not move forward - it's as simple as that.  We have already raised in cash and pledges close to a million dollars towards the new lodge ($935,693).  We believe this project is doable because no contribution is too small - or too large for that matter!  :)

And Finn?  Finn is now almost 13 weeks old.  We're working hard on changing some of his bad habits and are rejoicing at his good habits.  At last weigh in he's 22 lbs already!  He's still pretty excited to see our guests so we're working hard at keeping all four paws on the ground!

May you experience God's blessing and goodness this Easter weekend.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker - and Finn!
Executive Director