Friday :- 
        It is quite possible that this post will not end up being published until late tomorrow since today marks the start of PreCamp. This past week has been quite the whirlwind and today as I scrolled through photos on my phone I saw that I have been so occupied in “doing” that little time has been allowed for such luxuries as snapping pictures. 
      But as this is Friday morning and as of this afternoon I will be ensconced in the familiar kitchen of Isaiah 40, I am hoping to capture some of the essence of PreCamp to share with those of you who might care to know more about another facet of Crosstalk Ministries- Senior Youth Camp.
      All day Monday I was cooking and preparing for the Team Leaders’ Evaluation Meeting, which took place at the house Tuesday. Maddie (our Team Member from the UK) was also staying and Brett entertained her with sightseeing Sunday afternoon, a day trip to Quebec City on Monday and then a last sampling of Montreal Tuesday morning.
       Brett joined us for an impromptu dinner on the deck Sunday evening and then collected Maddie at 8am Monday morning, along with Amanda and Imogen (also Team members) to head off to Quebec.
      The Evaluation meeting is quite the marathon, starting at 3pm and continuing through until dinner @ 6pm, followed by a Committee Meeting right after. The meeting was a great time of sharing as each Team Leader had an opportunity to tell the stories of their Team’s Summer and to really debrief.
 After the Leaders left we did the dinner dishes (for 14!!) and moved into a smaller committee meeting where we could discuss the previous gathering and make a few basic plans for the 2016 Program!
       Then it was back to baking and cooking on Wednesday, with brief trips to the laptop to try and keep up with the daily barrage of emails-invoices and receipts to churches.
     Thursday evening we all gathered at Isaiah 40 for the annual Prayer and Praise Service at which we give thanks for the Ministry of Day Camps and offered prayers for the upcoming Senior Youth Camp. Prior to the Service I arrived early to set up and Alexander delivered the two big grocery orders for PreCamp, which had been arranged with my local suppliers….
      So last evening the SYC Staff arrived to begin their PreCamp training and my time as chef began! We started with dinner for 20 early arrival staff and the rest of the meals have all been for 30. Fortunately, my only responsibilities here are for the food preparation and cooking, which is pretty intensive but way less stressful than being responsible for that and also every other aspect of the Schedule! ….
Late Saturday: –
       And now I’m home, sitting peacefully on the porch enjoying the last sunshine of a very hot day. Hopefully the Staff is now safely arrived at Camp Livingstone (the site CTM rents for the week) and frantically making final preparations for the arrival, tomorrow of 54 Campers!!
     As you will see, I have managed to remedy the lack of weekly photos by taking plenty in the kitchen last evening and today. PreCamp was both exhausting and exhilarating (a familiar mix for life around here). There was time for a weensy bit of cuddling with the Godsons with baby Andrew falling asleep in my arms as the last cleaning of the building was completed and the Staff gathered outside the front door for a final prayer before climbing into the vehicles.
      I have a busy week ahead, writing up all the Team Evaluations and preparing more last-minute gifts to take with me when I travel down, next Thursday, to see everyone  and to lead my workshops at Camp.
    This morning’s breakfast was much enjoyed by the Staff so I thought I would close off this post with the recipe for –
Kamut Fruit Salad
  • 1 cup whole grain kamut
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 pear, diced
  • 1 cantaloupe, cubed
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 4 kiwis, chopped
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • ¼ cup peach juice
  • 1 pint vanilla yoghurt
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 Boston lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces
The day before making the salad, cook the kamut. In a medium pot bring 3 cups water to the boil, add the kamut and boil for 3 minutes, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 1 ¾ hours or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the stove and transfer to a bowl. Cool and then refrigerate, covered overnight. Next day, in a large bowl, combine all the prepared fruits, using only ½ cup of the raspberries. Add the cooked kamut. Place the rest of the raspberries in a blender or food processor along with the peach juice and ½ cup of the yoghurt. Blend to a smooth puree. Pour the dressing over the fruits and kamut and toss gently to combine.  Arrange the prepared lettuce on a large serving platter. Spoon the salad over the bed of lettuce and garnish with the toasted walnuts. Place the rest of the yoghurt in a bowl and pass around for adding a dollop to each serving. Serves 6.

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