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Showing posts from 2015

Life Lessons from Zwiebach

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I've started a new family tradition - baking zwiebach (snowman) buns at Christmas.  For those of you who don't know what zwiebach is - its the best bun you'll ever taste - if they are built right.  My mom would bake zwiebach almost every week when I was young.  Some of you know what I'm talking about - the smell of fresh buns baking on Saturday morning while you're downstairs watching the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour.  During the ads (no pvr back then) I would run upstairs and grab another bun or six.

Zwiebach were also a staple of faspa.  For those of you who don't know what faspa is, it was (and is) my favourite meal of the week.  Traditionally Sunday afternoon around 4:30-5:00, zwiebach, cold cuts, (remember liverwurst - key word being wurst) potato chips, cookies, pineapple squares etc. would come out on the table.  No scary vegetables and no better meal to enjoy as a kid.

My personal zwiebach tradition started last Christmas.  I thought it was time to make s…

Waiting in Anticipation

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The Christmas season can mean many things to different people, young and old. Maybe it represents family, gifts, traditions of hiking out to find the perfect (or imperfect) Christmas tree to decorate. It can also mean a very busy season, year end for businesses, too many meals to prepare for and attend, bills, missing loved ones passed, and obligations.

Then there's 2015, where many people have been anticipating some other than Christmas:

Anyone else willing to admit that Star Wars has been more the thing to talk about than Christmas? I'll admit it. I saw it on Sunday. I wasn't dressed as one of the characters but when the first title popped up on the screen with the score that I learned on the piano as a child...I had an ENORMOUS grin on my face.

Last week, in our last general staff meeting before Christmas break, we read the Christmas story from Luke. We talked a bit about it and Taylor, our Program Director made a very profound point: What if everyone anticipated Chri…

Staff.. This one's for you!

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Did you know that Spring Staff will be joining us in just 4 months & 16 days and Summer Staff will be joining us in 6 months & 7 days! Craziness!
With all the snow on the ground and Christmas quickly approaching, I am guessing not many of you are thinking about summer. However, here in the Evergreen office we are already super pumped and expecting God to do amazing things! Here is the thing.. We cannot do this alone - we need you. We need you to come willing to be God's hands and feet and serve these kids!
We recently had someone write on our Facebook "Best camp ever" . Know what makes us the best camp ever? You - our staff, and a whole lot of Jesus. Camp is hard work and sometimes you wonder why you signed up but if you've ever been here you know the power of camp. Camp is a place where you are accepted, grow and hopefully walk away with a better understanding of your relationship with Christ.
Here the deal - I would love to hear from you if you are intere…

Camper Mail is coming your way!

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That's right! Campers you have mail coming to you! Letters from your cabin leaders and brochures for this next summer. There's even a poster to hang up on your wall to remind you to dream sweet dreams about    Jug 'n' Jog for the next six and a half months.

Registration opens on January 4th, 2016!
In the spirit of camp brochures and looking forward to Summer Camp 2016 - here's what one camper (we'll call him Jeff*) had to say about Camp Evergreen during his week at Impact in 2015 and why he keeps coming back.
CE:Hey Jeff, how has your week been? Jeff:It's great! Like, seriously awesome.
CE:When did you start coming to camp? Jeff:I have been coming here since I was in grade four. CE: Wow! Four! Why do you keep coming back? Jeff:The people here keep me coming back. You know activity-wise there's always another zipline, right? So, it's not that special in a way - but what makes it special is the people.Like, Cam (Sunshine), my cabin leader, was with me since…

The Countdown is on!

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Happy December!

Did that happen a little too quickly for anyone else? I was quite comfortable with November and then all of a sudden Tuesday happened and it was December...I don't know if I was ready to start saying/writing December. But it's here and Christmas is coming!

Christmas isn't the only thing coming. There's a couple other things that are right around the corner. Summer Camp Registration starts on January 4th! That's seriously only four weeks from Monday. Can we set a record again for first day registrations? I can't wait for it!

Then only days later is our annual Pond Hockey Tournament. This is always an extremely fun day where folks who love camp get together to play some hockey and raise money to support the activities and operations at camp. What better way to celebrate and support what happens at camp then to have an incredibly fun day at camp!

We have teams registering to play and Silent Auction items just begging to be bid on. This year we'…

A Decade of Joy

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Hey Folks!

Sorry if it's taken a few extra days to get the Green Spot up this week. We like to post about things that are happening at camp or to share from our heart about what God has been teaching us. This week was a little different for me because I had to actually write about me!

Last Friday - our Board of Directors and current Camp Staff surprised me with an undercover surprise party to celebrate my 10 years as a Director here at camp. I say 'undercover' because it was described as a Board/Staff social. But when the cake came out - it was obviously about me. What a blessing! People shared some very touching things about me and when I was asked to share - I found I was at a loss for words. Not because I didn't have anything to say but how do you fit a decade...TEN years of joy into a few sentences?

My time here started more than 10 years ago. I worked for 5 spring and summer seasons before I started full time. Summer 2015 actually marked my 15th summer here at Ever…

Team Evergreen

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This fall the Evergreen Barn has been as busy as ever! Not only are we loving and caring for our main herd consisting of 36 saddle horses, but we are also training our Clydesdale team to pull a wagon for hay rides! On an average day in our slower season (starting in November), we as a barn crew are working together to exercise the trail ponies, complete any medical care needed, and work on any barn maintanc(y) things that need getting done. This fall, however, is special because on top of all that other necessary work we love, the barn is allotting a fair amount of time to training our team of Clydesdale. Don't worry though, we still make sure we have time for the saddle horses so that they get adequate exercise and more than enough love. Let us introduce you to our big girls. On the left side of the wagon we drive Irish, and on the right there is April. These two are a mother daughter team that we have been blessed with by donation.

We will admit that the beginning of training wi…

There's a Willsonball Pit in Brazil!

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How far is Evergreen's reach? Well - there is now a Willsonball Pit in Fortaleza, Brazil. How - you might ask? If you keep reading - you'll find out.

I like to share stories about our staff here. Not just our adventures of staff who work with us through the year but of staff who leave camp at the end of summer and have different kind of adventures. We have so many staff that return to university and college to pursue what God has set on their hearts. Some of our staff leave here and head to Bible schools all across Canada and the world. We have staff at Capernwrays or YWAMs in Belize, Austria, France and New Zealand right now. It's amazing to think of where in the world our Evergreeners are right now.

With all that in mind, I'd like to take this moment to share the story of one of our past staff and where in the world she has found herself. Felicity, or better known as Hulkuin,  has been a camper, staff, and volunteer at Evergreen for many, many years. Felicity has als…

Change is in the air!

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Isn't that the truth! As we see pictures of Lake Louise or Banff getting inches of the white stuff - most of us east of the Foothills are just waiting with bated (or cringing) breath for the onslaught of winter. Whether that excites you or causes that ball of dreaded disappointment deep inside (can you tell which one I am?), it doesn't change the fact that winter is coming and regardless of how each of us feels - it means a lot of change.

Changing tires on our cars.
Changing wardrobes (winter jackets and pants out - tanks and shorts away).
Changing shoes (I get to pull out my snowshoes).
Changing decorations.
Changing those cute little mini-hidey socks in Toms and Sanuks to thick wool ones.
Changing furnace filters (our Maintenance guys are always on top of this one).
Changing basketball pads (to HOCKEY RINKS!).
Changing porch brooms to shovels.
Changing clocks back.

And one more that is a little more difficult for us here at Camp Evergreen: changing our Staff Team. Yester…

Foundations

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Foundations. Everything I've been doing lately has me thinking about foundations. Foundations, anchors, bases, footing, bedrock. A bunch of us staff went climbing at Wasooch creek two weeks ago on a day off and were instructed on the importance of finding a good place to build an anchor. If you're going to put all of your weight on a bolt, you want to make sure it's bolted into solid rock that will hold it. Last week we started setting up our second rink for pond hockey (coming January 8, 2016!), which involved spreading a lot of gravel to make a good base for the ice surface. If you read our plan for Reaching Higher, our fundraising campaign for upgrading our lodge, kitchen, and activity spaces, you'll see references to work that will “lay a foundation for growth and sustainability”. Even thinking back to this summer, I find that much of the work we do here can be analogized by the building of a foundation. Every time we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with …

Making a Way

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This is the best day of my life - I love camp, I JUST LOVE CAMP!! 

Those are familiar words at camp - kids living in the moment at camp. Each day is filled with new adventures - from rescuing princesses in towers (staff on top of the climbing wall) to stopping the cookie thieves on horseback or rounding up dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Camp creates a world like no other - opening doors of imagination and wonder. If that wasn't enough - the food is amazing (not as amazing as your mum's, of course) and the staff are like superheroes.
For some campers, a week at camp represents more than the games and activities - one camper describes camp as their "home away from home. It's impossible to come to camp and not make friends". It also offers a place to learn about the Creator of the world in a safe place. To learn who Jesus is and how much each of us are loved by Him. 
An application from one of our Interns this year said that every person should get to experience a sum…

Reaching Higher

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In the past few months, you may have heard about a new campaign at camp called Reaching Higher.  Maybe you've seen it in an email, or heard me talk about it at Closing Program throughout the summer.  Perhaps you stopped by to look at the plans (and eat the cookies) at the Welcome Centre during Registration or Closing in July and August.  We're very excited about how the camp is moving forward and we want to share it with everyone because you're all part of it.
As you know, Evergreen is focused on changing the lives of everyone who visits.  Through our loving staff, amazing facilities, and the beautiful wilderness around us, we share God's love, sacrifice, and the excitement of a journey with Christ.  During the summer we're able to reach hundreds of children and youth with the Good News of the Gospel.  In the winter, we are able to reach even more, by hosting school groups and retreats, with people of all ages and walks of life.  Check this out:
Reaching Higher fro…

Rise Up!

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We love retreat weekends! Camp has four different annual retreats and Rise Up is the first to happen after summer ends. It ends up being a bit of a reunion and a good reminder to keep pressing down the path towards a closer relationship with God.

Friday started with a lot of rain and a bit of snow which didn't slow any of our retreaters down. Joined by youth groups from Gem, Linden, and Dalhousie - we rocked out the Willsonball and giant Dutch Blitz late into the night. On Saturday night, we rolled out one of my all time favourites, Collector's Choice.

Tom Mulhern brought a band out from Dalhousie Church (plus a little help from Fender, Sunshine, and Yoshi) which kept us rocking all weekend long. Jonathan Klein from First Alliance Church in Calgary.

One of the things that really stuck with me was the phrase that Jonathan used: "Feed our faith and doubt our doubts". He shared how God has a purpose for us and not only that - He's rooting for us. We have a responsib…

A New Heart

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Hasn't fall just been absolutely amazing this year? I feel like we're being spoiled with the colours. I don't know if we have had the kind of colours that we have had this year in years. It's almost unbelievable to walk out to the barn and see the array of yellows, oranges, and greens.

We're just starting our second month of fall groups. By the time October finishes, we will have seen over 2000 people come through Evergreen in just two months. Isn't that crazy? I love Guest Groups. The variety and personalities of the group. One day we might have a group of Beaver Scouts and the next could be a quilting group. Today we have a huge Home Schoolers group and tomorrow will be Edge School of Athletics. It's always an adventure here.

This last weekend was a special one though. It was our Heart Transplant Group. Families from across Western Canada who have a son or daughter who has been through one or more heart transplant. This group has been coming for a few …

Rise Up is Coming Soon!!

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We love fall around here. The changing leaves and the way the air is so crispy in the mornings. Yes - it's a haunting reminder that winter is coming but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.

One of the things that fall means is Rise Up. It's our High School Retreat. It's so much fun and a great reminder of camp...which fades so quickly from our minds when school starts. So the most perfect way to solve that is to come to Rise Up! A perfectly packed weekend of fun, games, evening programming, and chapels.

We're joined this year by Tom and Malora Mulhern from Dalhousie Community Church:

And Jonathan Klein from First Alliance in Calgary (don't you just love what you can find on the internet?):

So if you're thinking to yourself - oh boy, I really, like, REALLY miss camp. Pack your bags because it's going to be a great weekend you won't want to miss! This retreat isn't just for youth groups! If you're a student enter grades 9-12 and you want to …

2,400 Guests!

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We're expecting 2,400 guests to join us here at Camp Evergreen between September and the end of November, 2015.  2,400 is a large number.  By comparison is only 2,637 km to Disneyland from Camp Evergreen.  (I just checked on Google Maps as Disneyland is never far from my mind!).

Typically when we think about the ministry here at Evergreen we think about our summer camps.  And rightly so.  We think about chapels and camp fires.  We think about singing and testimonies.  We think about speakers and cabin devotions.  And while its true that ministry happens in summer (267 campers made a life changing decision this summer), the other ten months of the year have just as much value in our ability to see lives transformed by the power of Jesus.

I was reminded again this morning scrolling through Google News, that we live in a very messed up world.  However, I was also encouraged this morning reading the apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians, that we need to make the most of every chanc…

Twenty and Counting

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That's how many Germans we're at. Twenty! Can you even believe it? Two weeks ago, Marlisa (Marley) Nikesch, our twentieth volunteer from WEC Germany arrived, rounding out Generation Four.

Introducing Generation Four (you have met Toby, Gerrit and Manuel on Facebook):
A giant welcome to Marley...we had some challenges finding the "right" picture:

Some of you may remember that we name each year of German Volunteers by Generations. We started back in 2012 with Generation One that consisted of Christoph (#1), Jessica (#2), and Hannah S. (#3). We assign numbers (for no other purpose than to keep their order straight in our heads) based on when they arrive - making Christoph German #1...much to Jessica's chagrin. Generation Two started with Maren at #4, Daniel at #12 in Generation Three, finally Miriam who was #15 started Generation Four off. It's pretty amazing to think that only a few short years ago this whole life-changing adventure started. Not just life-ch…