ESTEVAN — The Estevan Bible Camp celebrated their success, their members and members' creativity during their second ladies' tea fundraiser on Sunday at the Estevan Comprehensive School.
About a dozen tables were decorated according to various themes. Participants got to enjoy a festive tea together and then had a chance to get some Christmas shopping done, as many vendors were also set up at the cafetorium. Vendors also donated items for a silent auction with proceeds going to the camp's new projects.
The themes were decided by table hosts – one or two women who are part of the board or just involved with the camp, and who took over decorating and inviting guests to join them for tea and snacks. Themes varied from winter wonderland to baseball to safari to cowboys and more.
The event started with a video about the Bible camp. Then camp director Ladan MacKenzie talked about what they achieved, thanks to the money raised through the last year's tea, and also what they have planned for the near future.
The 2021 fundraiser helped the Bible camp to build a bridge across the ravine on their property so that they could start to develop the land on the other side. MacKenzie said the project is complete and paid for. And now they are working on acquiring all equipment and facilities needed for paintball – their newest offering, which will be set up on the north side of the riverbank.
Shawn Bissonnette, who is the camp's operation director, also demonstrated another game they introduced at the camp, which is called Kendama. It is a Japanese skill toy, a version of a classic cup-and-ball game, which Bissonette has an "incredible passion" for, as MacKenzie put it.
"[Shawn] compares his time spent figuring out how to play Kendama to a walk with the Lord – the more time he spends, the more effort he puts in, the better he becomes," MacKenzie shared.
Going forward, they are planning on building new cabins, as the ones in place are smaller and do not always serve the needs of the camp. The old ones would be used for staff. Besides, with a wider program offering, they would need full-time staff to run the programs.
MacKenzie said the past year, when COVID restrictions were out of the picture, was really good at the camp and they are looking forward to future progress.
"It was a wonderful year," MacKenzie said. "We're growing and we're trying to focus on growth."
Proceeds from the event will help the Estevan Bible Camp with their development plans, and MacKenzie said he was thankful to everyone who helped put the event together and who supports them.
"A special thank you to everybody who came out. This is an incredible event. It's a lot of fun. I like being here," MacKenzie shared.