As I start this post one of our 3 Training Day Camps will just be ending their last Day’s Program.
Due to the Fete St. Jean Holiday, the Camp at FFBCM chose to run Tuesday- Saturday (that is why our Daily Schedules in the Program Manual do not say “Monday to Friday” but instead “Day 1 to Day 5”) since sometimes Camps do NOT run Monday to Friday due to civic holidays or due to complex Team travel arrangements!
The 3 Camps have gone pretty well with the usual, mostly minor glitches, (that is why they are called Training Camps!) None were huge, all three averaging around 20 Campers. The Leaders have been just great I have talked and/or emailed with all of them several times to keep abreast of daily events. The weather unfortunately was pretty ghastly with rain and/or thunderstorms every day, but each Camp did manage some outdoor activities and it has been a real blessing that it was not too hot or humid so indoors was slightly more palatable.
My week has been spent up to my ears in grocery lists and hauling vast quantities of food over to Isaiah 40 (thank you, Alexander, for helping drive stuff over too!).
When not wrestling with towering mountains of boxes I have been making last-minute attempts to coerce churches into hosting Day Camps! Praise God, through the tireless efforts of Linda (Mum of 2 of our long-time Team Members) we now have a Week1 placement for the Montreal Team! This is such great news, and gives us hope that we will still find locations for the other, Week 4 gaps, one in Saskatchewan, and 1 in Alberta.
Most regretfully we have dropped to 5 Teams. I just hated to make that decision but we have prayed about it and, although we do not understand the reasons why, we just had to accept the reality that 4 more Churches were not going to be found in time.
It is very hard to face as I cannot help but believe that there are children out there who need to hear about Jesus.
As I walked Wil this morning I was reflecting on whether, after 35 years (yes, next Summer will be the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the Program!!) perhaps the era of Day Camps was over, but in my heart I cannot believe that is true.
In this post- Christian world of the twenty-first century, surely there is even more reason to equip our youth to go out and share the Good News and to give churches a vehicle with which to bring that Good News to children and families in their communities.
Whenever I visit a Day Camp and watch the Campers heading home at the end of the day with happy smiles, grubby hands and knees, empty lunch boxes, many of them singing snatches of the Theme Song, I cannot help but feel a burning desire to see more of this witness to our Communities. Surely the open church doors, the church hall floors covered with a patina of glitter and crumbs, the pew books left slightly askew and the bright artwork adorning the walls all speak to our neighbourhoods of a place where the best kind of community fellowship may be found where there is an opportunity to be “Family”, to be loved and to feel at home.
Given the loss of revenue we now face, I do not know if there will be a 2014 Program but we must believe that, if the Lord does want this Ministry to continue then perhaps some generous benefactors will feel moved to donate the equivalent of a Day Camp fee and thus provide us with just enough resources to begin plans for NEXT SUMMER!
By this time next week our 5 Teams will be trained, commissioned and scattered to 5 different Provinces I will be back home, (probably doing laundry!!)and Day Camps 2013 will be about to begin, in earnest.
No time for much else this week. A little gardening, a bit of knitting, some small-quantity cooking (for just myself!) and the completion of the side pathway, uni-paving (Hallelujah!) The rest of the renovations being on hold until after July 8th when I am back at home base!
So for a yummy summer recipe this is what I made for my dinner last evening; -
6 oz. tin wild organic salmon
½ cup cream cheese
3 scallions, finely chopped
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
chopped parsley, to taste
In a medium bowl, break up the salmon, discarding any bones and skin. Add the other ingredients and beat together until fluffy. Transfer to a small crock or serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped parsley.
Serve on large slices of toasted baguette or country loaf, accompanied by a big green salad. Serves 1-2