Vicky & Jordan

November 1, 2016

The weather may have been a little misty and dreary but the emotions were high and lovely.
I loved watching Jordan greet his bride for the first time as they met before we began the photo session.  Vicky was absolutely stunning in her gorgeous gown and was radiant throughout the day.
Many congratulations to the both of you.  It’s obvious from the people you surround yourself with and the wonderful tributes they gave that you are loved by many.

Many thanks to Paul Misseghers for working along side me as a 2nd photographer.






























Anita & Eric

August 22, 2016

What a wonderful way to spend the day…photographing Anita and Eric’s big day.  Surrounded by friends and family who were all very excited and happy for both of them, it was a privilege to be a part of it all.  Anita looked radiant in her beautiful dress and Eric made a statement with his awesome white tux.
Thank you to JoEllen Sevcenko my 2nd photographer for helping me to cover their dayAEBlog001























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Red Rock

June 12, 2014

Well I’ll admit that I don’t do this too often (not sure if ever) but I’ve decided to make a blog post about a simple weekend.   Well, actually more than a simple weekend, more like a lifetime.
Allow me to explain.
I started attending camp when I was 7 years old.  I honestly think that I would think about the next year at camp, all year long.  It was the highlight of my year growning up and something that I always looked forward to.  As I aged I became a counsellor and then in turn actually directed a bit.  My young adult years were filled with retreat weekends as well.  So for me, like many who have gone before me Calvary Temple Camp (previously Calvary Temple Youth Camp) holds a lifetime of memories.
When I heard about a ladies retreat down at the camp this past weekend I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the camp once again.  I’ll admit that although many great activities were planned, I spent a good portion of my time wandering around (with camera in hand of course), remembering days gone by.
I thought that I would share a few of my images and perhaps a story or two to go along with them.  Hope you enjoy.

The road leading out of camp.  The entrance has now changed and a giant rock place to prevent traffic going through.  It was one of those things where the excitement rose when you turned down this road…you knew you were coming home.

CTCamp002Quite possibly the most significant place on the entire grounds is the Chapel.  As a young child I can still hear the Spiritual Guide from Junior girls finishing off her story each night with “…and I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.”   To which the entire room would groan.  Her stories were so rivitoting and she had a cliff hanger at the end of every night.  We looked forward each night to the completion of her stories – which somehow managed to take the entire week to tell lol

Throughout the years the Chapel has always been a very special place not only to myself but to countless others.  Evening Chapel at Senior Girls was probably the most significant times I can remember.  Truly a place where God resides.

CTCamp004When I was a camper this piano was old and it’s still there (kinda surprised about that).  It obviously isn’t played anymore but as a young adult I can remember many a retreat where I would retreat to the Chapel for an hour or two just to play and sing.  A very special memory to me.  Goes to show you that something doesn’t have to be in tune to be beautiful.


CTCamp005What I remember from these windows…being in the Chapel and having them slam shut in high winds or stormy weather.  Loud enough to wake a sleeping camper.  (Okay, let’s be realistic after a full day of activity every so often a camper would get a little too relaxed) lol.  Actually my earliest memory of this room it had theatre chair seating – old theatre chairs – they were red…AND COMFORTABLE.  They were old though and every so often you would hear a THUD on the floor as one fell off and hit the ground. Then they moved to hard wooden benches and now have regular plastic chairs.  Miss those old theatre seats.
Okay – one more kinda chapel story but it’s about a bear.  One year there was a bear that kept returning to the camp.  Eventually they had to trap it and take it away but one day it was down by the washrooms and a number of girls had gathered to watch it…including myself.  Then a counsellor came and yelled at everyone to get back to their cabins it wasn’t safe, etc.   Did I mention I was a counsel (actually I might even have been assistant directing that year)?  Did I mention I had my camera tucked away?  Hmmm, I left so that I could set a good example to the girls.  Well later in the day the director came up to me and whispered, ‘the bear is by the chapel’.  I was off like a flash.  Just me and the bear at the chapel.  Got some really cute photos of him in the bush – head sticking out of long grass just eating berries.

CTCamp007Lying in the grass outside of the Chapel I thought for sure I was going to get poison ivy when I saw a 3 leafed plant.  Of course there are a lot of 3 leafed plants and so far I seem okay…whew.


CTCamp016Red Rock Lake would be true to it’s name without a few Red Cabins.  Back in the day every building was red.  Now there are a few new grey cabins and the Dining Hall (aka Lodge) has an updated look.  You had to be careful if you were in cabin 4 – pretty tough to hear the buzzer from back there.  Many a time the entire cabin would miss a line up because they didn’t hear it.  Actually this isn’t cabin 4 anymore as the numbering system has changed.  And cabin 2 has been removed – good memories there – got to watch a child throw up onto the floor from the top bunk…yeah, great memories.



CTCamp008Okay, why on earth would I include a photo of mops and pails.  Because they’re still there…in pretty much the same spot as I remember from being 8.  Underneath the lodge they were housed and everyday we had to sweep and mop our cabin.  Now I always had the misfortune of being the messiest one in the cabin with the most to clean.  I really didn’t get why we needed to clean up every day – it was a dreaded time for me.
Not sure if being a counsellor was worse when I had to get kids who were like me to clean.  Although as a counsellor I tried to have a bit more fun with it.  One year I brought my Christmas decorations to set up, once we created a beach scene on the floor, then there were the times we stuffed the sleeping bags to look like we were still there.  Did I mention that the inspector could be bribed for bonus points?  Yeah, I’m all about those bonus points.
Being a counsellor carried a lot more responsibility than being a camper.  What was the most difficult part you ask – changing from the person who was ALWAYS the last out of bed in the morning to the person who had to be the first out of bed in the morning…not an easy accomplishment.  Let’s just put it this way, at retreats making it to breakfast was optional…I missed a lot of breakfasts lol

CTCamp013Can’t have a camp without a campfire.  Many times I can remember sitting around the candlelight and fire at Senior Girls sharing what God had done for us through the weekend.  One particular year I remember a hug given to me by a leader that just caused me to break and feel loved.  Some special people that gave of their time so freely and willingly to pour unconditionally into the lives of others.  I.WILL.NEVER.FORGET.

CTCamp033So, camp has a few more toys now than when I was a camper.  My favourite activity was being in the water.  Waiting for the buzzer to ring to signal the end of tuck/rest time so that we could race to the water.  I think I was always managed to be pretty much the last person out of the water.  Worst part though – hearing the lifeguard yell ‘buddy up’.  Groan – they actually made us get out of the water, hold hands with our buddy high in the air and wait until everyone was counted.  Didn’t they know I needed to be in the water, didn’t they know about the horseflies.  I guess they were more concerned with my safely 🙂  One buddy up memory:  I have two toes on each foot that are kinda like simese twins – they’re joined together like a web.  I was always embarrassed about them as a kid (pretty silly now when I think of it but it was real then).  During buddy up I would always bury my toes in the sand so they wouldn’t be seen.  Well one time they were and another girls remarked very loudly – hey you’ve got webbed feet.  I.could.have.smacked.her.  Yup – I was mad.  What a trivial matter – wish I could have realized how insignificant it was and still is.

CTCamp020The creek was one of the boundaries of the camp.  Really it wasn’t very far but to a ‘I’m too afraid to get into trouble’ type of person – it was the line drawn in the sand.  By the way, I’m still scratching the mosquito bites that I got in setting up these images.



CTCamp026Okay, I have a serious love of dragon flies.  I found these little guys in what I thought was a dragon fly graveyard.  They weren’t moving around much and there were these other very dead creatures hanging upside down.  Well upon a little more research I found that dragon flies are usually born under water and live a good portion of their life there.  When they come on ground they shed their shell/casing/whatever it is and they come out with wings…ready to eat mosquitoes.  Too bad these ones hadn’t figured that part out yet – the bugs were BAD last weekend.



CTCamp021Camp could not exist without massive volunteer work.  Many people have spent countless hours there giving of their time and resources.  This past weekend at the ladies retreat was no exception.  The organizers even went a step further to beautify our tables for a meal.  How pretty and thoughtful.


CTCamp017Who doesn’t like to sit on a dock and look over the water in peaceful serenity.






“On the Shores of Red Rock Waters

There Stands a Camp that we love

We play and sing together ‘neath the blue skies above

We pray and read our Bibles

So we may have the power to serve

Tis Calvary Temple Youth Camp in the Whiteshell Reserve

(I believe the song was written by Eva Schwab).

Many thanks to the countless volunteers who have given of themselves and poured into the lives of other at this camp.  You may never truly know the number of lives you have touched and impacted until you reach the other side.

Wow, if you actually made it to the end of this and read some of it, I thank you.
Hope you enjoyed a walk down my memory lane.

If you’ve been to this camp or perhaps another, why not leave a favourite memory in the comments section.

Soul Photo Fun

March 6, 2011

I had lots of fun photographing all of the crazy Soul crowd at last Saturday’s Social Evening. Great evening. Well done to all of the planners!

Okay this is the first ever Giveaway that Cheryl Struss Photography is hosting.  There are 2 Prizes:

1.  Complimentary Portrait Session plus a $200 print credit to go nuts with – can be used towards any product Cheryl Struss Photography offers!

Portrait session location is to be done in Winnipeg (can be in your home, a park, a building or my studio).  Rural areas close to Winnipeg or Cottage country are options but may incur a travel cost)

2.  Gift Basket including Bath and Body Works stuff (3 full size products) PLUS a $100 Gift Card to The Keg (winner will have to pick up basket)


1.  Simply go to Facebook and click ‘Like’ on Cheryl Struss Photography then post a note saying you wish to be entered (you will be entered into both draws).  Individuals who previously liked the Cheryl Struss Photography page are not automatically entered – you still have to post on my wall saying that you want to be included – and you will be.  This gives you one entry but there’s more:

2.  Recommend Cheryl Struss Photography to your friends and get bonus entries.  How it works:  Recommend Cheryl Struss Photography to your friends.  Then they need to click the ‘like’ button and also post a note on my wall asking to be entered into the draw AND they must tell me who recommended them (this ensures you get your bonus entry).  You will receive one additional entry for every friend that does this, and of course they will be entered to win as well and have the opportunity to get bonus entries.

Entries accepted until Friday March 11th – 11:59.  Draw held Saturday March 12th – winner will be announced on Facebook.