As I sit down today to write, it is actually the first day of Week 4, the
FINAL week of Day Camps 2013, but I’m getting ahead of myself because this post
needs to focus on the week just completed- Week 3.

       
Week 3 saw most of the Teams with fairly reasonably sized Day Camps,
varying between just 8 Campers, in the Maritimes, to close to 40 in Montreal.       
       Most of my week was spent trying to arrange 
for each of the 10 disbanding Team Members to safely reconnect with
their families and to see that the 2 continuing Teams transitioned smoothly
into their final host communities.    
      It was very sad to be spending time “packing
up” Teams during Week 3 and my heart was heavy thinking about lost
opportunities for further Ministry.

     
Wednesday morning I had a break from these gloomy ponderings as I was
able to visit the Montreal Team at Snowdon Baptist
Church, only a 15 minute bike ride from my home.

      Going to visit the Teams was always one of my
favourite parts of being Day Camp Director. Prior to taking on this role I often visited as “chauffeur” to former Directors or as “gofer” delivering
mail or extra supplies. Of course in earlier years the Teams were less
far-flung and many Camps took place in Montreal, or within an easy drive of
the city.

    
Since I had to give up our old van five years ago I have really missed
that personal contact with the Teams, as they are out on the road and
also with local helpers,Coordinators, Clergy and of course, directly
with the children.
It
was such a blessing to watch the Main Presentation unfold, to actually see the Program in action.
    The advent of the Internet has brought photos and videos
right into my daily office work, but it still very different to be in the
middle of a Day Camp. To shake hands with a Pastor, meet the Coordinator face
to face, hear the laughter of the children and sing the Theme Song with them
etc. I realized just how much I have missed that unique part of my job in which
I can actually see all of what we have worked for a year to put together,
unfolding right in front of my eyes!

     There is still some uncertainty as to whether
we will have funding to launch into 2014. It will be the 35th Anniversary of
the founding of Day Camps so we are all praying things will work out.

     When I was at
Snowdon Baptist Jillian (Leader of Team 1), introduced me to the son and daughter of her Billet, who were Local
Helpers  they both want Team Application
forms for 2014!!

     The same day I had a phone call from Jeff, the Youth Leader in Two
Mountains. That church has 4 youth on the Travelling Teams this year. William
(who is on Jillian’s Team) had called him last week when it was discovered that
their Week 4 Camp was cancelled, to ask if All Saints could host the Camp at the last moment.
Jeff was calling me back to explain that,unfortunately, there is another community Camp happening at the same time so it
would not work, but that they are committed to running a Crosstalk Day Camp at
one of their 2 Points next year.

      For many years All Saints was a Training Week
Parish. They used to do a rotation with both the United and RC Churches as the
host location and it was always such a great Camp.But then the United Church
closed and the RC Priest died very suddenly and I think it must be at least 5
years since All Saints hosted a Camp, it would be lovely to be able to regroup
in that Community.

     Being
(most of the time) a crazy optimist, I am looking at both of these interactions
as signs from the Lord that the Ministry still belongs out there Serving
faithfully– “Helping People of All
Ages Become Strong Disciples of Jesus Christ”.
Who
knows, maybe I will even find a vehicle to borrow next year so that I can
make some of those special visits again!
 

  
And what did I have time for at home? Well, several visits with Team
people (including discussing the upcoming Day Camp which Emma is leading at the
end of August in Haiti!),gardening, processing summer vegetables from my Farm
Share, making a slightly belated birthday gift for my friend Sue and beginning
to bake things for Senior Youth Camp Staff Pre-Camp!! 
As my friend Michelle
would say…
“just a quiet week at the Taylors”
 

  
Yesterday I also made another batch of Pesto, as we are getting loads
of fresh Basil at present and one can never have enough Pesto stashed away in
the freezer.

  It
is super easy to make so I thought that would be a great Late July recipe to
share.

                                           Pesto




 1 bunch fresh basil, washed, dried and
tough stems removed

3-4 cloves garlic, or 1-2 garlic scapes, chopped

½ tsp salt

3 Tbsp pine nuts OR-walnuts, hazelnuts or
sunflower seeds

5 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Place first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a
food processor and pulse until well blended.

With the motor running,gradually pour in
the olive oil and continue running until the pesto is homogeneous.

Freeze in small jars or ice cube trays.
Pesto can be made with various fresh herbs. Try Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Sage
or Oregano, all are excellent!
So that wraps up Week 3. Now I’m waiting to hear from the leaders of Teams 2 and 5 who should be holding set-up meetings this afternoon or evening.