Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Brand New Summer

Good morning world! As you all know, school is almost completely finished which means that summer is here (technically, tomorrow in fact). And you know what summer means?!! Camp!

Our staff is hired. We've already had our big clean up day, the Charlottetown walk-about, and our 65th birthday out at the camp. Trust me, we are all very excited to get out to the camp for the 9 weeks we will live at the camp taking care of some of the Island's best kids and teens! This is the week prior to training week which is the planning week for the director staff.

Dan Docksteader- Director
Becca Judson- Assistant Director
Corbin Birch- Worship Director (and senior counsellor)

Today, the three of us are meeting up to go over some of our plans for training week. We will prepare a few workshops that gets all the staff ready for the summer! What kind of workshops? Well, we will be learning how to plan and give effective Bible studies, devos, and bedrocks. The staff will also learn some age-old tips and tricks for special camp scenarios; they will know how to best handle a homesick camper, a camper who is feeling lonely, any bullying issues, etc.

We will be doing so much more during training week! We will also be introducing some new ideas to our staff, planning our big theme days, having staff bonding time and more. We are very excited for it! Keep your eyes peeled for another post in the next week or so :) I will be revealing the BIG THEME DAYS before the weekend!

If you are a parent and have any questions or concerns, you can find our contact information on the camp's website:

Or you can contact us on our Facebook page:

Or if you would like to speak with someone in person, you can call our program committee head at 902-962-3348, the camp (902-675-3734), or message one of the directors who would gladly answer your questions. OR (the last one I promise), you can leave a comment below after you have finished reading this post. Trust me, we are reachable!

Don't forget to register ASAP!! We like having the summer's camper lists as soon as we can.

Take care! Can't wait to see you at camp this summer!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coming on the End

I have no idea where this summer has gone. We can hardly believe that we are already into Tuesday of our last week of camp for 2011. It has been an incredible summer filled with many blessings and once again we are amazed at how powerfully we see God at work in the lives of youth. There are some days where you can't stop smiling as you continue getting to know campers and hearing about God in their lives. Of course we have our rough days but knowing that God is in control surpasses all the rough times.

Last week we had such a fun group of campers. The 12-14 year-olds were here and we continually felt overwhelmed (in a good way) by the maturity and closeness of the campers. It was one of those weeks where you remember how much of a family we become here at camp. Keir is nothing like any other camp. Last week and this week we have had mostly returning campers and things like name games are pointless because all of the campers come back knowing each other. And I don't mean that they only recognize each other or sort of remember that girl that stayed in the bunk below, but they know each person's name. We have 25 campers this week, and only one camper is new but he has been quickly welcomed into the Keir family.

Man, God is faithful and so good! Last week we had a girls/guys night and we felt so encouraged. I can only speak for the girls but from what I heard, the boys night went great too. With the girls we played some teambuilding games where they really had to fully trust each other, there was a lot of cheering and smiles; there was no denying that God was so present and active in the hearts of those ladies. By the time Friday came, we were ready for a second week with the campers, guys and girls!

That's all for now! Chapel time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mario vs. Luigi

We have been very lucky to have two people from our childhood at camp this week. Very few camps around PEI - no Canada - are graced with the presence of Mario and Luigi in full human size. Oh, and Princess Peach. This is not a joke. Yesterday our second group of 9-11 year-olds arrived at camp ready and excited to see what Keir had for them. We took them to their rooms, introduced them to new friends, and played some fun games in the yard with them.

Then we had our usual Sunday night pizza meal and the campers were fueled for the rest of the evening and they really needed it. As one of the counsellors finished welcoming the campers, in came a beautiful princess in a frilly pink dress. She informed us that all weekend Mario and Luigi had been vying for her attention and were in a race to the lodge to see who would win her once and for all. 

A finish line was put in place and Mario and Luigi came running down the hall towards Princess Peach. At the same moment, they dove across the finish line. Now for the rest of the week, the campers are divided onto a Mario team and a Luigi team. The campers are helping them in the challenges to win the affections of Princess Peach.

As of right now, Luigi's team is ahead by two coins! On Monday both teams competed in the Koopa level where they found themselves diving wet flying sponges as they tried to get their items to the end of the splash pad without getting wet. In the end, Luigi's team won the Koopa level.

Yesterday was a packed day of Mario and thunderstorms! The teams competed in the star and mushroom levels and it was one of the closest challenges we have seen in a long time. Mario's team won the mushroom level while Luigi's team won the star level and in the end there was only a six minute difference between the two teams. Overall though, Luigi came through as the winning team with the best combined time. However, Mario's team deserves big recognition for never giving up or losing heart the whole afternoon.

What have we been up to with these campers and their Bible study? Well, this week, Superdarcy has shown up again to help the campers understand that God is much more powerful than any superpower she can ever find. Today we saw Joshua march around the walls of Jericho because that was the command that God gave him in order to win the city. Joshua was obedient and trusted in God's power; therefore, he was able to take the city! Darcy tried to break into the city with her own strength but struggled and was again unsuccessful. The campers are really learning about the power of God and how to trust him with every part of their lives.

Stay tuned for another update soon with some pictures and video! Keep praying for us here at Camp Keir. Pray for God's will to be done, that the staff will keep up their energy and enthusiasm, and that the campers this week will leave with great memories!

Keep following the blog! :) Take care!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Small but Mighty

Last week was our first senior teen camp with the 15-17 year-olds and we had one of the smallest number of campers we have ever had. Seven. Yes I said seven. We filled one room with six girls and one boys room. At first the staff was very hesitant about this week and how everything would work, there had even been brief discussion about the possibility of there being no week 3. However, we realized that a small week had the potential to be awesome... and it was! It was a week filled with closeness and LOTS of laughter. Our senior counsellor, Amos, will tell you about the week and all the great things we did and how much fun we had with these guys.

Last Week's Post by Amos:

As the campers arrived on Sunday we quickly ditched the idea of  name games and ice breakers and headed for the beach. It was a beautiful afternoon for the beach and we were all greeted with a majestic sailboat sailing out past Canoe Cove. I could tell just at the start that this camp would be one simple and restful week.

Boy was I wrong.

Monday rolled around like any other camp but when we were all called to the chapel later that day and told that we were all competing in the Big Brother competition all sense of rest went out the window. Since the counsellor's pretty much matched the campers, the teams were made with one counsellor and one camper, leaving one team with an extra camper; we all headed to our first challenge. The challenge consisted of running/walking and average of 6 km in total to collect little strips of cloth and water. When we had enough water and cloth to fill and lift our bucket over a wall you would be safe from the night's elimination. Also right after we had a strength test where the counsellors would crouch on a board and they had to have the tip of their finger touching a pylon, while campers showered them with water. The winner of this challenge won a veto power where they could either save themselves or another team from elimination. This went on all week. The competition rose, it was up for anyone, all we knew for certain was one team would stand above the rest holding the Camp Keir Cup.

The final Challenge came around with two big teams left standing, with a giant obstacle course and the finish line in sight, the teams lined up. We had thought about canceling  the event due to the rain, but this wasn't girl guide camp. This was Camp Keir!

But that wasn't everything that happened at Camp that week. Chapels were more like a bible study, where Andrew would have a topic and then we would all discus it. He kept a theme throughout the whole week based on relationships with Christ and with the people around us.

Tuesday we also took them on a Canoe trip and we couldn't have had a better day for it. With such a small group we did the route and set up the tents in record time. We were even faster than Andrew in the car bringing our bags over. The rest of the day consisted of rest and just bonding as friends. Later after supper God gave us a little show of his awesome power with a very short thunderstorm. We all got wet but nobody minded because of what came next.

A Rainbow!

God had been showing us his power all week after that with a couple more thunder storms. After our final crazy-intense Big Brother challenge on Thursday night we went down to the beach for a swim with the waves, rain and wind. It was surprisingly warm. Later that night we just had finished up our devotion for that night and the power went out on us. But we made the best of it! The girls held their final Bedrock together curled up with candles in the chapel while the boys hung out in the staff hallway with our only boy.. he was very privileged that night.

Overall it was such an amazing week! Keep praying for us and checking out the blog and our facebook page where you can see more pictures from the weeks!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wanted: Shiny Stuff at Camp Keir

Camp Keir was invaded this week by a pack of Snorglies after all the silverware. It has been a difficult week for campers and counsellors alike as we go through challenges to try and get the forks and spoons back.

Okay, I should probably explain what this is all about first before I go any further. This week we have the 6-8 year old campers and our theme is "Supercampers". This age group loves to play pretend and so we are having lots of fun with them as we protect the camp from the Snorglies who are thumbless creatures (aka: counsellors) trying to get the silverware for themselves because they like shiny stuff. The campers are getting so into it -  one girl even wrote a letter to the Snorglies.

When we got this letter, we thought it was so adorable and she continues to say the cutest things:

Angela (during evening chapel): Who knows what God made on the 7th day?
Camper: Love!
Angela: ... Close..

Here is the letter she wrote to the Snorglies:

"Snorglies, could you please stop trying to steal our silverware? I know you like it, but we can't eat without it. Also, why do you like shiny stuff so much? P.S. Please don't take my two shiny silver teeth and my shiny diamond sandels!

I forgot how much these campers can get to our hearts too. One counsellor was talking about it last night as she came into staff meeting. She said that as she went into one of the rooms to tuck one girl in, she couldn't help but re-tuck all of them in. We love these campers. We love getting to be silly and acting even more like kids than we already are.

So what else have we been up to this week? Today was a beautiful day and so we went to the beach with the campers after lunch. It was a perfect beach day. The water was warm and was coming up knee deep around the raft; naturally, the campers loved climbing up onto the raft to rock it back and forth. They jumped in and out of the water repeatedly, splashing the counsellors and each other. While these campers were out in the water, the others were up closer to the beach finding hermit crabs and building gigantic sandcastles for the hermit crabs to live in. Somehow some were also able to construct a hot tub with sand walls - that is how warm the water was.

Because it is superhero week, the Bible study is revolving around depending on God for strength just like many of the Bible's heroes did. This morning our heroine, SuperDarcy, challenged Goliath out in the backyard to a fight. With all of the power she could muster up in her 5 foot 1 self, she tried to defeat him on her own. She was very unsuccessful. However, David depended on God for strength and took Goliath down with one pebble. The campers loved this as they got into the entire Bible study skit outside. Who knows what will happen tomorrow with Darcy? Hopefully she will clue in that God can be strong for her.

What else is coming up this week? This is our mini week so we only have one full day left, but we plan on doing lots with them tomorrow: Spaghetti dinner, talent show, movie night, and hopefully defeating the Snorglies. I know that the campers desperately want to keep the utensils for the camp.

Keep praying for us! Keep reading and sharing the blog. Hopefully tomorrow we will have some pictures and videos for you to enjoy. It makes us smile to see that people are interested in what is going on at Camp Keir. We love this camp and ask that you continue to pray for us.

(I know that there hasn't been a post on the end of last week yet with the 15-17 year-olds but it is coming. There were a lot of pictures to sift through!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who doesn't love Thursdays at Keir?

Thursdays at Keir are great. Really, they are. One of the greatest things about them is that everyone loves them, not just campers! The counsellors love them too and last Thursday was no exception.

The day started off cold. I've been working at camp for 6 years and I don't remember a week where I've worn socks and jeans as much as I did last week. It's the middle of July - you should never want to wrap yourself in a blanket before stepping outside. But we made the best of it as we prepared for the traditional Thursday night activities: Fancy Dinner, the Talent Show, and Movie Night.

Here are some more lovely pictures from the end of last week. Everything went great on Thursday night! It was filled with a LOT of laughter and silliness at the talent show and the Fancy Dinner was delicious once again. The girls loved getting all dressed up in their favourite dress or in one of the counsellor's dresses while the boys pulled on their cleanest/nicest shirt and came up to ask: "Is this good enough?". All of them always look great. This was our first year that we had split our 13-16 camp into two camps of  jr. teens (12-14) and sr. teens (15-17), so now we get four fancy dinners instead of two.

We had a great week with the 12-14 year olds! Keep following for the next post!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What is camp without a prank or two?

First before I begin this post, I must apologize for the semi-lateness of this post but it's been because we are having so much fun with these campers and it's hard to find the time to update the blog.

Today is Thursday so in order to give a sufficient update, we need to go back to the first few days of the week. The theme of this week is Keir: An Epic; every day there is a big game that is adventure-themed such as Army, Circus, and Water adventure days. On Monday we played Commander and then for the night game, the power went out and we sent the campers running around the camp trying to find a light source for the camp. We are quickly discovering how competitive these campers are and they come into each game with high energy and lots of intensity. Junior teens love to win!

Something else that we love to do with the junior teens is to just hang out with them and they love to talk with us believe it or not. Some of my best conversations with campers in this age group have happened outside of Bedrocks, bible study, and chapel - it has been when we are just chilling after a meal or hanging out at tuck time.

Now you need an update on the adventurous day that we had yesterday here at Camp Keir and I do believe that at some point there will be a video upload of yesterday's events. The day started off innocent and fun, it really did. The campers were skimboarding and playing water games despite the cloudy skies, counsellors were doing various tasks such as playing with the campers or preparing the afternoon game, and Lindsay was hard at work making grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. A lovely typical day until a decision was made. Candace and Katie decided our weekly girl/guy night would work well for that night and so the plans began. The girls decided upon a Bake-a-Thon and then a girls' devotion and worship time. Nice, innocent, and fun.

The boys on the other hand, had much different plans in mind. Half way through the baking process of the tea biscuits that our ladies had made, the power went out. When the power went out, that is when everything unfolded. Watch and see. Be patient - the end is worth waiting for.

:) Oh the joys of pranking.

Keep praying for us! Be praying for patience and energy for the counsellors. Be praying for the campers to have fun and to keep learning about God.