Postcards from Week 3

      Here we are almost at the end of Week 3. Some Teams are transitioning today and some will move after Closing Services tomorrow.
      It has been another manic week both here at home base and for those out on the road.
Let’s get started with  Team “postcards”!
Team 1– Team 1 spent this week in Brossard, a suburb just south of Montreal. Their Clergy & Coordinator (rolled into one!) was Chris Belle; you can read some of his Day Camp thoughts here.
The Camp had over 30 children with a good mix of ages and all in all seemed to be successful in preaching the Gospel despite some tensions. Chris was a huge and enthusiastic supporter of the Team and the Closing Service, held last evening was well attended by the Campers’ families. Team 1 has just texted in to say they have safely arrived at Chicoutimi enroute to CFB Bagotville, their week 4 destination. They are pretty tired after 7 hours on a bus!
Team 2– Team 2 goes on record for having had the smallest Day Camp of any this summer, with a minuscule group of 4 Campers! It is much harder to run the program with a tiny group but they kept their level of enthusiasm up and their host church, in a Toronto suburb, was helpful and supportive. All in all they had a great week, which even included a visit to Canada’s Wonderland! Today Imogen actually left her fellow Team Members and took a 6 hour bus trip back here to Montreal to attend the wedding of a cousin. She will be returning to Toronto tomorrow to rejoin the others for Week 4, which will be happening at the Church of the Transfiguration, with one of our Training Team Leaders, Brenda, as the Coordinator. This will be a special treat for the Team, as they already know Brenda and are looking forward to working with her.
Team 3– Yesterday Team 3 travelled from Kawacatoose First Nation to the town of Dysart, Saskatchewan (sadly forgetting to pack the Ukulele, which I believe will be retrieved on Tuesday!!!). Rev. Warren is a real keener and I know the Camp at St. Cuthbert’s Church will make a super end to their Mission. This past week was yet another challenging time for everyone at Kawacatoose as there was a death on the Reserve resulting in the cancellation of the last day of Day Camp, as well as the Closing Service.
Team 4- Team 4 has had a happy week at St. Luke’s Regina. They will remain at the Rectory with Father Michael, as Father Michael also pastors the First Nation of Pense, where they will hold their final Day Camp, so they will be commuting there each day. They have beenenjoying two special occasions, as last evening they were invited to dinner at the Archdeacon’s home and today they were to have lunch with the Diocesan Bishop. Bishop Rob was Chaplain for the Day Camp Week held last year at Camp Harding and he is super interested in youth and children’s ministry, so I’m sure the Team will have had a nice visit, especially Kelvin who was on the Team at Camp Harding last summer!
Team 5-  has had a good-sized DayCamp in St. George NB this week, with over 40 children every day. They have really appreciated the amazing scenery right on the Atlantic Coast. I just spoke with the Team Leader, Myles, who has been busy organising tomorrow’s Closing Service, after which they will be driven to Chatham for their Week 4 Camp. Tomorrow they are also celebrating Team Member Elysha’s birthday, he tells me a small party as even been planned!
Team 6- this afternoon I had a long chat with Team 6 Leader, David. Their Week 3 Camp at Cumberland House has topped out with 89 children participating!!! The community was very supportive of the Day Camp and the Team connected with people like the school principal who were really interested and offered welcome encouragement. Later today they will be driven down to Prince Albert and will spend the night there before transitioning to their Week 4 location- Meadow Lake. This will be the first time one of our Teams has  visited this community so it will be very interesting to see what sort of an experience unfolds for their final Camp.
        So that is the Week 3 round up. Here at home base things have been pretty hairy. Office work has included a lot of time spent working out final travel plans for each Team’s return and ensuring that every family knows when and where to pick up their weary traveller.

There has also been a lot of intensive quantity baking in preparation for Pre-Camp, with odd moments squeezed in to work on the “Chicken Awards” and even a rainy afternoon sewing a new skirt for myself from this pattern.Last evening I hosted some really special visitors-Georgina and her husband Mike, from Oxford, UK. Georgina was one of our very first billets in 1982!!!

(Yes, that is 34 years ago!!!) and we had not seen each other since. We have kept in touch through letters and emails but she wrote about a month ago to say she and Mike would be in Montreal for just 2 days at the end of a two week holiday visiting family in Ontario. She asked if there would be time for a visit so, of course, I invited them to dinner!! It was such a special evening and we laughed as our dinner was interrupted several times by calls and texts from the Team Leaders. After dinner we sat at the table out on the deck where she had eaten dinners so many years ago with myself and my Mum and Dad, and we talked and talked. I fear poor Mike was slightly bored but he was a really good sport and seemed happy to listen!
      And so we now enter into the home stretch, the final week of Day Camps followed by the big Team Leaders’ Evaluation Meeting and the gala Prayer and Praise Gathering all of which will be immediately followed by the start of both Junior and Senior Youth Camp. I’m buckling my seat belt for “take –off”, it’s going to be a crazy couple of weeks!…but then, what’s new??
Before I head off to make dinner (the first of this summer’s corn on the cob!) it is time to share a recipe from the week just ended. Tuesday evening I hosted Janice and her boyfriend, Matthew to one
of my “Spanish Inquisition” Tea Parties. Amongst the foods for High Tea, I had baked Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread. It is so easy to make, but really delicious  and great to have on hand for afternoon nibbles!
Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbsp.  very finely ground espresso coffee beans
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ½  tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocloate chips
Place the butter, flour, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and work together with your finger tips, until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Press mixture into an ungresed 9” square pan. Score dough into 16 squares. Prick each square in several places with a fork.Bake in a preheated 325ºF oven for 20mins. Cool 10 mins. then rescore the squares. Cool completely in pan.

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