Saturday, 13 July 2019

Postcards from Day Camps 2019- Week1











Week 1 is drawing to a close. It is Friday morning here at “Day Camps Central” and I’m making a head start on this post in the hopes that the Teams will send in more photos before I publish it sometime tomorrow.
Before I share news from the six Teams I’d just like to reflect for a moment on what I am doing this morning.
38 years ago St. Matthew’s Church held it’s first Day Camp and I was a young and inexperienced coordinator. It was the second year of my family’s involvement with the ministry as we had welcomed our very first CTM billet the summer before.
For our first Day Camp my parents hosted 2 Team Members from the Team, led by Grant LeMarquand (now a bishop in the Episcopal Church, then a theological student). Georgina Morley was a student at St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s College in Cheltenham UK and Sarah Morris was a Montrealer, fresh out of high school. The program they were presenting that summer was Luke Street, the same stories our Teams are sharing this year!
Over the past 38 years Georgina and I have continued to correspond and three years ago she and her husband, Mike, came and shared dinner with me during their vacation in Canada. Two weeks ago Georgina succumbed to the cancer she had been battling for over two years and this morning I am watching a live stream of her funeral coming from Witney, Oxfordshire UK.
This deep and long lasting friendship is only one of hundreds of connections that have enriched my life as a result of Day Camps. So I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the life of my dear friend. Without question Day Camps has made me the person I am today and I feel so privileged to be a part of this worldwide “family” of whom Georgina was a valued member.

 It’s now Saturday morning so let’s skip forward 38 years to summer 2019 and launch into the “postcards” from Day Camps- Week 1 😊

Team1




Team 1 has spent the this past week right here in Montreal, leading a Camp at JOY international Centre, a Filipino congregation in the Côte des Neiges area of the city. Franc and Rachelle have had a good week with approximately 26 Campers and a local team of great helpers. Pastor Imelda is a strong supporter of Day Camps and took an active role at this week's Camp, as she always does. Sunday Team 1 will be moving on to St. Joseph’s, Brossard, a suburb south of the city.

Team 2











Team 2 spent their first week in North Bay Ontario. This is the second year we have been invited there and the Day Camp is a Deanery project, involving campers from several churches. Donna, Angelica and Geneviève have really enjoyed the beautiful natural surroundings of this scenic area and Geneviève has taken some lovely photos! Team 2 is travelling today to Caledon East, near Toronto. 

Team 3






Miriam and KC (Team3) have had their hands full this week with a Day Camp in Toronto that was largely composed of very young campers. They have done a fine job adapting the Program to suit the needs and attention spans of these small children. The Coordinator, Rev. Karen says, “KC and Miriam were fabulous and we had a great week!”

Team 4&5






Teams 4&5 (Mikaela, Kelvin, Mariejoy & Charisse) doubled up this week at St. Luke’s Regina, for a big Camp with about 50 Campers!! St. Luke’s has been hosting our Program for a number of years and their local Team even has a training session ahead of the Camp when they learn all the songs and even the Liturgical Dance. Father Michael the Parish Priest, and Laura, the Coordinator were both actively involved, which, along with a 4 person Team, helped this big Day Camp to run smoothly. Today the Teams are splitting up with Team 4 leading a second Camp at St. Luke’s (they have ANOTHER 50 Campers registered for that!!) while Team 5 travels to Gordon’s First Nation. We have had the opportunity to lead Dap Camps on Reserve for 12 years and Gordon’s always tops out with over 100 Campers attending!!!! (no, they don’t always turn up at the same time 😊)


Team 6







Team 6 has had a very happy week at Christ the King Edmonton. This community has hosted Teams for many years and Nancy is an expert coordinator. Annie, the Team Leader, had been at CtheK two years ago and was excited to stay again with her previous billets. Miguel and Melina were also warmly welcomed so everyone had a super experience. Today, Team 6 is flying on to Vancouver for their second week

And that’s all the Teams!! 

I really need to close off now and makes some lunch but it won’t be possible to hit the “publish” button until I’ve received photos from all the Teams. I also did want to quickly add that we had our Retreat staff evaluation meeting this week and all in all felt that the new way of “doing” the Retreat had been successful. Of course there are things we would tweak for another year but it was helpful to feel we are on the right path.

Now let’s have a recipe.
For the Evaluation meeting lunch we had Summer Panzanella followed by Cantaloupe Soup. The soup is very refreshing and quick to pull together.

Cantaloupe Soup
6 cups chopped cantaloupe
1 ½ cups orange juice
¼ cup each lemon juice & lime juice
¼ tsp. each cinnamon & sea salt
½ cup plain whole milk yoghurt
fresh mint sprigs

Combine the melon, juices, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Blend or process in batches and transfer to a large jug. When ready to serve pour soup into individual bowls and garnish each serving with a blob of yoghurt and a sprig of mint. Serves 6.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Postcards from the Team Training Retreat

It is late afternoon Saturday at the close of our 2019 Day Camp Team Retreat Week and I’m only now “coming up for air”J
Our 6 Teams have dispersed and five are on their way to three different provinces while the sixth Team, whose flight to Edmonton has been delayed, is still waiting in Montreal. 
Instead of writing my own reflections of the Retreat I thought I would post a ton of photos, interspersed with some anonymous quotes taken from the Evaluation sheets handed in last evening by the Team Members.
Hoping you enjoy “Postcards from the Team Training Retreat”.











"First of all I am very thankful for the whole experience  itself because it was very educational and very helpful.I've learned a lot from the previous Team Leaders who were present, who shared their wonderful experiences.The idea of being in the Travelling Team was a big leap of faith, itself, for me.I've also learned to work in a team, most of the time a complete stranger, to understand where they excel and where their limits are and how to help them."









"I'm ready to minister to Campers this summer..It made me feel more committed.There were times when I wanted to leave but I remembered that I am doing this for the Campers so they can learn more about God, so they can follow Him."

















"This week was very different from past retreats for obvious reasons like the space and sleeping arrangements. It was also different in that it changed the way I viewed and loved other Team members since we were able to share family and/billet situations and were able to support and pray for each other. I've been able to see God's love through the group's support and prayers."








"This past week has challenged all of us in our faith especially in some Teams being changed. This did help me understand that God does have a plan for us and that we need trust and put faith in the Lord. This also helped me understand new stuff that helped me grow spiritually (for example the devotions and the messages from the evening speakers). Although this was one of the toughest Retreat Weeks I ever had because of the new changes, it has been a wonderful experience."










"This past week I really felt God's presence. I learned how to trust Him in every circumstance, especially when things did not go as I thought they would or whenever I found myself feeling down about being a Travelling Team Member. I am ready to go out and minister to these children."