Lent 2

Hello Blog Friends!

I’m making a Friday start on this post since tomorrow includes a 2½ hour session at a mandatory online course so my day will be somewhat truncated.

As I type this I’m listening to some of the songs on the list, which Mae Anne sent to me on Wednesday for Day Camps 2024. She has done a great job mixing up old favourites with some new pieces and, as she is a musician herself plus being a VERY experienced Team alumnus, she has made informed choices that I think will be great for refreshing the program.

Music is a very important element in CTM Day Camps and time after time I have heard stories of how campers sing the program theme song in their homes long after camp ended, so getting them “right” is essential!

This past week, as well as having the music settled, Jessica has also sent me the final version of the Community Planner, which is the last “puzzle piece” to be added to the Acceptance Package. That means that, as communities send in their application forms (and we are praying to see more activity in that area 😊), there can be a quick turn around, with the acceptance package being sent off straight away. Yay! Thursday we did receive our second application form so maybe the tide is beginning to turn.

Another very important part the Program is the Resource Package. This folder contains, among many other files, photos of all the crafts that the campers will be making. At the end of last week I sent out messages to some of the alumnae who have previously helped out by testing the instructions and making the samples and I’m so happy to report that all the sections are now in the capable hands of crafters 😊. All together there are about 25 crafts in any given weeklong program. Not every camper makes all of them, because some are designed for just one specific age group but we still need ALL the samples tested and made. We have set a tentative deadline of April 1st for people to send in photos of the completed crafts, hopefully that will give them all time to complete their allotted sections. Whew! check another item off the program prep list 😊.

There have also been several one-on-one meetings (both online and in person) with people involved in compiling the program. Sometimes those sort of meetings can do a lot more for keeping things on track than committee meetings, where we need to focus more on plans and decisions that require the support and input of all the members.

Of course many more emails have been sent on a variety of Day Camp related topics. I sent invitations to a large cohort of Team Alumni, encouraging them to consider registering for the upcoming Lenten Mini Retreat and, as per my promise to myself, I have also sent info about “Signposts 2024” to a bunch of clergy and laity across Canada, in the hopes of receiving some more applications.

At the beginning of the week I circulated the first Cook-Along recipe, following up on last Saturday’s Episode 1. We had a small group of young cooks but Chef Jessica adroitly managed to keep everyone from a tiny 3 year old to a tall 14 year old interested and engaged. At one point the 3 year old announced “I’m having FUN!!, as he grated radishes and the teen snapped some great photos of his younger brother slicing green onions. Our “Eat Your Veggies!” Theme is off to a good start 😊.

It is now Saturday afternoon and I have just completed the first session of the training course. It wasn’t too ghastly, however “sharing” with a bunch of strangers, certainly isn’t my long suit so I’m super glad to be free until session 2, tomorrow afternoon.

Due to the aforesaid course, this week I also had to switch my Bake to yesterday afternoon so today my only kitchen task will be dinner prep. Although it is Lent, I still like to keep the freezer stocked with some simple treats for visitors so, along with 2 GF loaves, a sourdough boule and the first Lenten batch of Hot Cross Buns I made a pan of Coffee Chocolate Chip Shortbread and thought I would share that recipe with you.

Coffee Chocolate Chip Shortbread

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbsp. very finely ground coffee beans
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Whisk together the flour, sugar and coffee. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the mixture, add the vanilla and work the mixture together with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips then press evenly into a 9” square pan. Lightly score the dough into 16 squares.  Bake in a preheated 325ºF oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and scored deeply. Cool completely on a rack, then store in a tin. These also freeze well, for unexpected company.

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