Postcards from the Training Day Camps

Hello Everyone, This week’s post comes to you in two parts. The first half is my usual weekly roundup of all things “Day Camps” The second part includes some quotes from our Training Team Leaders and photos from 2 of our 3 Training locations. I’m still waiting for the photos from the 3rd community and will try to update this post when I receive them but since tomorrow marks the start of our weeklong Retreat, I cannot promise that I will have time to actually add the missing pics.You have to experience the Training Retreat to understand just how  little “spare time” exists there but I do promise that the extra photos will eventually appear 😊

Part 1- Here we are already at the end of the first week of the Day Camps season! Today is a “day off” for the 3 Training Teams but given the fact it is Canada Day weekend I’m sure their billets are taking them along to various community festivities. It is overcast at present with a threat of a thunderstorm but the forecast for the next few days is scary HOT HOT HOT, as in 35º Celsius with humidity reaching 42º. I guess we will have to just take things one day at a time at the Retreat Centre and make sure people are hydrated and stay inside if there are heat warnings issued by Environment Canada. Everyone gets a bit stir-crazy shut up in the building for nearly a whole week so we normally build into the schedule at least one daily activity that takes the Team Members outside and over to a local park for some physical exercise but this type of heat means we may just have to find ways to stay indoors.Today I’m doing final grocery shopping of fresh produce because most stores will be closed tomorrow and some also on Monday so I need to have LOTS of food on hand. Even though our numbers are lower this year there will still be about 18-20 mouths to feed each day as, besides the Team Members there are some on site staff and then plenty of visitors who are all included at mealtimes.This evening Brenda will be arriving from Toronto and will stay overnight with me then as of Sunday she will be female overnight supervisor for the first couple of nights as well as leading a workshop and speaking one evening. I know how grateful I will be for her presence as we are very short of kitchen helpers this year and there is a huge amount of prep work to do for each meal even though a ton of cooking and baking was done in advance.The week has been full of Day Camp crises, large and small; from a Team Member’s glasses been broken by a small child (and mercifully repaired by the Team Leader’s husband!) to news, yesterday, that a Day Camp in Ontario was cancelling due to low registration (that was one of the MAJOR crises!!!).On a brighter note, the plans for the Team traveling to the Gaspé have come together in some really great ways and the priest there, who had expected to be committed to pastoral duties in another community has been able to rearrange her schedule to be on site at the Day Camp for the whole week, Praise God! While dealing with those sorts of issues, my main focus has been on final preparations for the Retreat.Thursday Janice came over and performed what has been come her special annual task of choosing table napkins and napkin rings to be used by everyone at the Retreat. As of the end of July Janice will be moving to Vancouver, firstly to be married there in early August and then to take up a new job placement at Simon Fraser University. We will miss her presence on the Day Camp Committee and I shall truly miss her friendship and all the visits we have enjoyed while she has been home in Montreal for a couple of months this summer.Then yesterday Jillian came to discuss her role as Worship Director at the Retreat and after we had shared a late breakfast together we headed to the CO-OP to pick up SEVEN boxes of groceries and deliver them to the Retreat Centre. This afternoon I’ll take over the smaller order I bought today and hopefully that food will keep us going at least until Monday!At present I have only received photos from one of the 3 Training Day Camps and so will hold off until this evening to actually publish this post But meanwhile I’m going to wrap this up with a recipe.. This week I had a lot of lovely ripe tomatoes and made a favourite simple summer dinner using them…

Fresh Tomato Sauce & Mint Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

  • 2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

Chop the tomatoes and drain, briefly in a colander. In a large sauté pan combine the tomatoes, mint, basil and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens, adding salt to taste. Off the heat stir in the olive oil. Meanwhile cook the pasta, drain well and place in a large serving bowl, add the sauce and toss. Garnish with some extra sprigs of mint.Serves 4.  

Part 2-
Team 1 at Promise Church- Christopher writes :-Hi Valerie,The camp at Promise Church has been going very well, with numbers consistently in the mid to high 20s. The team members have been doing well. Jennifer will send you the photos ASAP.
The rain basically held off today, so lunchtime swimming still happened. 
Rachel was Main Presentation MC and special event organizer today (Thursday) and did a good job. She is well-organized and getting somewhat louder and more expressive. I think she’ll cope well this summer. Emmanuel and Maynard are both doing well, of course. Team dynamics are good. 
Pray for weather, a somewhat chaotic Scrambler group (my group), and a strong close. Christopher
(photos to follow)

 Team 2- at All Saints Church-Mikaela writes-Hi Valerie! We had our big team meeting today,  everything is great, we’ve got everything prepared. Right now I’m preparing devotions with Emma who was also a helper from last year and my billets’ daughter 💕

KC led both morning and afternoon meetings yesterday and did reeallly well! Today she’s MC and she’s been awesome too! And just now, we have a new camper and she is willing to eat lunch with this new girl instead of taking her break, she is too precious 😭❤️

Nathan led the afternoon meeting and he did well! He also volunteered to MC tomorrow 🤙

  And this is Nathan, sheep of Team 1, being washed by a camper! 
Water day was great! We played a modified version of Bible Land since we got younger campers, drip drip drop, wash the sheep and what time is it wet wolf. Everyone seemed to have a blast although two children fell on grass and one of them got a little scratch.

Team 3 at First Filipino Baptist Church-Jessica Writes-“First Filipino is a loving, welcoming place, which makes it perfect for the ups and downs of a training week. With just over 40 campers and a brilliant local team, we experienced some roaring successes, like singing Go Tell It on the Mountain in a park, catching some passers-by who stopped to grin at us and tap their feet, and the whole team coming together to support a young local helper take his first stab at leading the day (I almost cried!). Kelvin’s patience and unflagging good humour stood him in good stead with the Scramblers. Patrisha demonstrated real leadership with the local team, answering lots of questions and mentoring the two who were working with the Pathfinders with her. Kathleen’s gift for bringing order to chaos showed itself throughout the day, especially in handling 15 very rowdy Climbers!”

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