Below is Jon’s report after he’d had a chance to catch up on some sleep, following the Junior and Senior Boys’ sessions —
Junior Boys for 2013 will be recorded as a strong session with some really interesting opportunities for the Director to get creative!
The entire first week of camp was a downpour! We soldiered on unimpressed but undaunted by the rains, which at times were so hard I thought I had fallen asleep and awakened in November. We put the small pop-up shelters to good use at the archery range, the canoeing beach and the fire-ring. It took a bit of creativity, and some minor modifications, but we really never abandoned our plans because of the rain. Interestingly, because it rained the WHOLE first week, we never had a taste of good weather to spoil us. We just got busy running camp and it happened that it rained. We also had a few extra laundry runs and we had a wonderful round robin hockey tournament in the Big-A. Super fun!
The outtrip was great. As usual we split the Junior boys into older and younger and sent the youngest group to the beach and the older boys up Mt Gardner and rappelling. We also had a great Jurassic Park activity in the Orchard where all the counsellors were the Dino’s and the campers had to re-secure the keys and get the electric fence back up and running. Great fun for all.
The other brand new activity for the Junior Boys was sailing with West Van Yacht Club, which was met with a high level of enthusiasm from many campers.
Sunday Morning we caught an early ferry and drove the 2 hours north to the Pemberton Valley. We had a hot hike up, up, up. 4000 vertical feet over 8KM to Tenquille Lake. What an incredible spot. We saw no one on the trail, no one at the lake and no one in the beautiful new cabin built in 2011 at the top. We had this slice of paradise all to ourselves for three full days. Perfect weather and few buggy friends. Almost too good to be true.
On the second day of our 4-day outtrip trip we climbed up to Finch’s Ridge (another 2000 feet of vertical) and we all were impressed by the outstanding views of range upon range of mountains as far as the eye could see. Nine campers (and two staff) chose to sleep on top of the ridge as an extended 12 hour solo. This is truly a sign of a desire to push boundaries. It was a cold night up there, but every camper commented that this experience would for sure be something they would remember forever. I know they will. I remember every time I have done this. It is amazing. And we asked them to spend their time thinking. Thinking about their lives, who they are, who they want to be. What they need to do to get there. How they want to think. How they want to pray. Some shared what they had thought about, others less so. But I am confident that this one night will continue to resonate with these guys for a long, long time.
They returned as a group on the last day of our trip. After an amazing pancake breakfast, we all started the long trip back down the trail into the heat and familiarity of the lower elevations. We then drove to Whistler Campground and spent the night there before our final day at Murrin Park, rock climbing and rappelling.
What a great session! See you again in 2014!