Junior Girls started off with a few cooler days and a bit of rain, but that didn’t interrupt the fun camp activities. In addition to a classic game of 8-Stix on the field, trust activities, and fun icebreakers, the girls enjoyed a carnival-themed day in the Big A. Everyone got to put on silly face paint and costumes, participate in the pin the tail on the donkey, and a gymnastics show. The silly clown characters went off to the low ropes initiatives where campers participated in team building. Right off the bat, the junior girls showed their joyful care for each other and the staff. At one occasion while a staff member was teaching sailing, she began to feel unwell. Without any prompting, a camper offered a spiritual idea to support the staff in feeling better. The support and prayer resulted in healing and the staff continued to teach sailing peacefully.
Another unique activity the junior girls loved this year was making forest fairy peg dolls and building fairy houses in the woods. Before starting the project, we prompted the campers to think about the shelter God built for us and the spiritual sense of home we want to nourish in the fairy houses. Head over to our SmugMug photo albums to see the creativity of these homes and their peg doll dwellers. When warmer weather arrived, it made for lots of lake time and two beach days where campers swam, kayaked, sailed, jumped off the raft, read on the beach, and enjoyed making bracelets with friends—a perfect summer day!
Senior Girls had a wonderful session enjoying the rock wall, ropes course, kayak polo, plein air painting, getting to know each other, and reading the Bible Lesson together daily. Our goal for the first week of camp is always to create a strong sense of sisterhood that is joyful, supportive, and inspired by Love, so that we can put it to practice on the outrip. Throughout the session we had a couple of spiritual workshops before activities which set the tone for uplifting experiences, especially hiking. This group was especially supportive of one another if anyone was having any trouble staying motivated by sharing a spiritual insight and to appreciate all the beauty around us. It was bountiful and often mentioned that we were leaping through a field of wildflowers like in the sound of music.
This year Senior girls went to Tenquille Lake via a forestry road in Pemberton Valley, and explored an additional 500 meters of altitude to a ridgeline above the lake for expansive views of the Chilcotin Range. Many of the campers and staff on the out trip had the opportunity to give and receive metaphysical support. On the way home they did a guided bobsled experience on the fastest track in the world in Whistler, BC. The track was used in the 2010 Winter Olympics. The out trip and the whole session was full of demonstrations, appreciation for nature, and pure joy.
Junior Boys brought an abundant amount of energy to camp and were super stoked about every activity. This summer, we introduced skills rotation to Junior Boys. The three skills this summer included rock climbing, boating & archery. It was great to see some solid improvement over the course of the session. Junior boys LOVED lake time, which included rocking the raft incessantly, and organizing some ultimate frisbee on the field as well. First week finished up with a surprise mini out trip to the yurt! After a good meal and quite a bit of wrestling (campers vs. counselor Caleb was the main event), everyone was ready for a good night’s sleep! The second week of camp saw a bit of rain but that didn’t stop us in the least. While it was coming down hard we all took part in a very wet and slidy game of ultimate before a quick lake time! We also had some time for some indoor favourites and new games alike – floor hockey, life-sized battleship, and dodgeball. The Skills week campers joined in the fun which was extra special.
This year a new element was added to the ropes course that everyone loved! The flying squirrel – an element that involves a team belay where the belay team acts similar to a dog sled team to hoist the squirrel (or flyer) off the ground. It’s a wonderful way to experience the ropes course because the campers can choose how fast or slow they would like to fly and how far up they would like to fly as well. While not everyone might feel comfortable climbing a tree 10 meters up, we had 100% participation of flying squirrels – an awesome achievement. Overall the juniors had a wonderful time and we are looking forward to seeing them here again next Summer!
Senior Boys Skills (mountain biking) ran concurrently with Junior Boys during the second week. The skills boys started the session with some bike basics at a pump track on our beloved Bowen Island. During a rainy first night they had the opportunity to join the Junior boys for some indoor dodgeball. We had a few games of Juniors vs. Seniors and it was a blast! After packing up and plenty of metaphysical prep, they drove up the Sea to Sky highway to Squamish. The group really earned their stripes the first day with plenty of climbing and our first downhill runs, all in the rain! Our middle day was spent repeating short runs like Slippery Salmon to just have a blast and continue practicing skills before enjoying a beautiful ride through a meadow with a view of the mountains as we rode back down to the van before ending with an old fashioned trail known as Rollercoaster. What a ride! Our final day was truly a celebration of progress and growth as we visited our first section and rode our runs freely (and without rain!). It was so special to see uplifted thought and improved skill demonstrated by the campers.Overall, the skills campers absolutely loved biking in Squamish and many requested more mountain biking at camp as a result.
Senior Boys jumped right into camp full swing with trust falls, a hike up Mt. Gardner, and a dip in the ocean complete with a few rounds of king crab on the Tunstall floating dock. One of the campers experienced a significant healing of an injured knee on the Gardener hike and was able to run down the mountain towards the end with a big smile on his face. Just seconds after he passed the group another camper realized their glasses had fallen off while they were running down too. That situation was prayerfully addressed and the glasses were quickly discovered camouflage in a bush a few feet off the trail – we were so grateful to witness these healings!
A week one town day was a big surprise but the classics of beckons wanted and cage ball did not disappoint. One particular evening, the boys got into groups and made “mojo, dojo, casa, houses” (that’s a reference to the Barbie movie if you haven’t seen it). The creativity of the builds was amazing and we had everything from lashed timber frame style builds, to tree house contraptions and intricate tiny homes. In addition to crafting, hikes, trust building, and skill building, we also played a new campwide game, “Rings of Power,” to set us up for the outtrip, which took place in the heart of the Tolkien Range (yes it’s real) via Phelix Creek trail. The first day was full sun, joy, and a beautiful hike in. Despite a very rainy second day, the boys enjoyed a peak hike to Mt. Frodo, delicious meals, and a pre-bedtime dip in the cold lake for a few brave souls. Like the Senior girls, Senior boys wrapped up the experience by bobsledding in Whistler. The last few days of camp were filled with a Big Red Canoe adventure, Wednesday testimony meeting, Gaga, and the leap of faith at the ropes course. It was a wonderful session.
Family Camp sessions this year were completely full, with over 35 participants in each session and many wonderful staff. Running our back to back family camp sessions is a unique opportunity for staff that aren’t able to make it for youth camp but still want to give back in a meaningful way. Some of our staff even attended camp for the first time this summer and it was a blessing to have them. Speaking of staff, we also had an excellent cooking team for both sessions, with head cooks who both had years of professional culinary experience and excellent cook’s help as well. Every meal deserved a GOOD COOKING!
Family Camp I, our Spanish-English session, also had many youth and adults who had never been to camp before. The returning guests helped us welcome everyone to our camp home in their language of choice, with an emphasis on love of course. This year we had our most successful soccer tournament to date, with participants of all sizes playing and cheering everyone on. One highlight from Family Camp II was our town day, complete with a game of beacon’s wanted, some good cageball (dodgeball), and a game of CLUE upon return to camp. For both camps, morning kayak polo and lesson study was popular as always!
We can’t wait to see all of our 2023 participants back at camp next year, as well as the many new faces we expect will be joining us.