Postcards from Week 3-
Traditionally Week 3 is considered to be the most gruelling for the Travelling Teams. On Week 1 everybody is gung-ho, full of enthusiasm and Week 2 runs smoothly as the Teams have got into their grooves and have bonded. But Week 3, well people are getting tired, it is hard to be quite so enthusiastic singing the Theme Song when you have done it about 100 times, there is little space away from one’s Team mates plus there is still another week to go!!!  However, this year Week 3 seems to have been a great time for most of the Teams. Let me tell you about it 😊
Team 1-
       After changing Leaders (happily for the last time) Mae Anne, Bryce and Aaron headed to Brossard, a suburb south of Montreal. The priest at St. Joseph’s, Chris Belle, is one of Day Camp’s finest examples of the “vortex principle”, having been involved almost from the beginning, first as a Camper, then Parish Helper, Team Member, Leader, Training Leader and now Clergy & Coordinator with his own two children as Campers! The camp got off to a bit of a rocky start but with patience and prayer by mid-week there was a real turn around. Last evening, after the Closing Gathering, Mae Anne called to tell me all about it and also shared that, on Wednesday the older group of campers had started asking some really deep theological questions and several had made a decision to ask Jesus to be their “Special Friend”. With the 2 Team Members already knowing Mae Anne quite well from the Retreat Week, it has not taken them long to start bonding and Mae Anne called again this morning to give me a positive report about their improvements in the past few days.
As I write they are all on a provincial bus on their way to CFB Bagotville a 5-hour drive from Northeast of Montreal, near Chicoutimi.
Team 2-

 Chelsea and Kelvin are truly fortunate to have spent Week 3 in Huntsville. This town is in the very scenic Muskoka Region, “cottage country” North of Toronto.  This is our first Day Camp at All Saints. The Camp came into being all because, Gillian (one of our 2015 Team Leaders) is a native of Huntsville and was married at All Saints, just 2 weeks ago. When she and her fiancé visited the priest to discuss the wedding, Gillian gave such an enthusiastic review of our Program that the Parish decided to try us! It is even nicer that Kelvin was, last summer, on the Team that Gillian led!! Apart from a few restrictions due to church building renovations, it seems the Camp has gone smoothly and theTeam has certainly enjoyed being it such a beautiful location 😊.

Team 3-

 Christopher, Mercy Jade and Miriam, have spent this past week at James Smith Reserve, as has been usual with this Team, my reports in have been via email so here are some of Christopher’s own thoughts about the week: –

We’ve had higher numbers now- 14 on Tuesday, 28 on Wednesday and 44 on Thursday (Water
Day was on Thursday, which had warmer weather). The social profile of the campers has dropped a bit over the week, but the camp has still gone smoothly- help is very adequate. I led the Lord’s Prayer in Cree Thursday morning (Wilfred Sanderson was away). I asked Wilfred if there was a Cree children’s
hymn that we could sub in for tomorrow for « He’s got the whole world »- he suggested « God sees the little sparrow fall », for which he had words (and which does fit the theme of the day)- I’ll lead and Miriam will play. The closing will be similar in format to that at Meadow Lake.
Prayer request- our projector (from the Synod Office) is dying (probably the bulb)
Team 4-

 Although Joshua and Lauren had quite a small number of Campers at Fort Qu’Appelle they still had their hands full with a high percentage of VERY active Scramblers (ages 4&5) who were, apparently, extremely hard to control! Poor Joshua is also battling a nasty head cold and sounded pretty downcast when we spoke last evening. Fortunately nothing was planned for today so I told him to rest and drink tea with honey. Happily Lauren sounded pretty perky, when I had a short talk with her. They will both need all their energy for Week 4 as they are expecting over 40 Campers in the town of Dysart!!

Team 5-

  Oh my goodness! Emmanuel, Elysha and Miguel, have certainly had 3 challenging weeks. I am praying that week 4 will turn out a bit more smoothly. This week the Team was at Kawacatoose First Nation. They were told, last Monday morning that there could not be any Day Camp on that day or the next, due to a wake and funeral in the community. Wednesday they did have over 30 Campers and were able to lead the Program but Thursday they were told that everyone would be going to he local swimming pool in the afternoon, so that was a half day, as was Friday, which was supposed to end with a Closing Gathering at noon, however no parents showed up and only a few Campers. They all sounded pretty discouraged when Emmanuel called early yesterday afternoon. I spoke encouragingly to him telling him that for children in this place just having a Team of young adults come and show their love to them and thus give them a glimpse of Jesus’ love too could be enough. Of course the Bible Stories and Program are important and the Team is anxious to present them but sometimes just sitting with a child or listening to them can be enough. The Team does not know or realise how much of an impact they can make in theses young lives just by bringing the precious gift of Love. Emmanuel asked me to repeat to Elysha and Miguel what I had said; so he put me on speakerphone. I truly hope that my words of encouragement helped them to see that, even though there was little of the “On Fire!” Program this week at Kawacatoose, the Holy Spirit was still moving amongst those campers and the Team.

Team 6-

 Annie and Donna have had a super week at Christ the King Church in Edmonton. We have long time connections with this community and knew ahead of time that the Coordinators would have everything well arranged and that there would be plenty of experienced local helpers. Expectations were fully met and the Team was looking forward to an expedition, today, to Fort Edmonton. They both sounded still full of energy and enthusiasm. Yay!

Team 7-

 Brian, Maynard and KC, have very much enjoyed their week in Orillia. St. David’s has been hosting our Program for the past three summers and they also have an extremely well organised coordinator and local team, such a blessing. Maynard has had his challenges wrangling a group of boisterous Pathfinder boys (ages 10-12) but he and KC still sounded excited and ready for further adventures. Today they were going to meet the Week 4 priest, Simon, who also has SHEEP FARM; how exciting will that be for LAMB!!!!!

So that is the Week 3 roundup. I really cannot believe that the last week of Day Camps 2017 is about to begin. 48 long long weeks of planning, prayer and a ton of stress and then WHOOSH…. It is all
over and (ha ha) we start again 😊.

 At home base there have been a few Day Camps related visitors, gardening, knitting, the first batch of baking for the SYC Staff Meeting Day – NEXT Sunday, EEK!!! and about a gazillion emails, text messages and phone calls. I confess I will miss the almost daily contact with the 7 Leaders when Day Camps end, although there are many more conversations and visit to look forward to. One of the nicest visits this week was adinner and movie with Jessica. She had been promising for several years to introduce me to a series of Japanese films created by Hayao Miyazaki, we watched this one and of course it was necessary to have a Japanese meal too so I made:

Japanese Chicken Curry

  • 3 Organic boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 white sweet onions
  • 1 tart apple
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped gingerroot
  • 2 garlic scapes (or 1 clove of garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp. Japanese Curry Powder*
  • 3 Tbsps. flour
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups roughly chopped greens (I used Romaine Lettuce but Bokchoy or Napa Cabbage are good too)
*Japanese Curry Powder
  • 2 Tbsps. Turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. Coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp.
    each, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. each, cayenne pepper, ground cloves,
    ground fennel
Combine all spices in a small jar and shake well.
Cut the chicken thighs into large bite-size pieces, season with salt and pepper and fry in the oil over high heat, about 1 minute on each side or until golden, Remove with a slotted spoon, reduce the heat to medium and add the thinly sliced onions. Sauté for 1 minute then add the grated apple, curry powder, ginger and chopped garlic scapes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes then add the chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the greens and cook just until wilted. Serve over Udon noodles. Serves 2-3.

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