Adventure Camp 2017
Adventure Camp Pictures
All our Adventure Campers arrived safely and a little rain didn't dampen everyone's excitement. The group played some ice-breaking games, participated in the all-camp welcome and cheer, developed group norms for the week, and talked about upcoming plans. The chapel time included a story about determination related to the movie Cool Runnings and the infamous Jamaican bobsled team. This question was posed, with personal answers left for tomorrow's chapel: "What accomplishment are you proud of? Or, what would you like to accomplish in the future?" Because of the rain, sleeping in tents and gathering around the fire were not possible, so the boys had some fun and bonding time in Ferrell portable where they slept for the night and the girls lived the high life by sleeping in Artaban Lodge.
Adventure Campers joined in a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, fruit and cereal with the rest of Canterbury Hills. Then the group participated in a swim test with one of our Canterbury Hills lifeguards. Everyone passed with flying colours. The group then worked together to pack personal and group gear and headed out for Kelso Conservation Area. Mike Dowson, a camp alumni, drove group gear. Tim drove the mini-van we've rented for the week. Lance drove the camp van.
Kelso is an expansive and beautiful conservation area in the Milton area. Group site #112 became the new home as everyone worked together to pitch tents and set up the site. Lunch was wraps with roast beef, ham or baloney plus veggies. Then everyone walked over to the swimming area for a free swim time with a Kelso lifeguard. After the swim, canoe instruction and practice began.
The day got off to a great start with a delicious breakfast cooked by Ethan and Quinn. Then Mike Dowson taught hiking skills and it's was time to test those skills on the hike from Kelso to Rattlesnake Point. On the way there were beautiful sights and scenic views to be enjoyed. The distance was a good challenge and every camper made is successfully, feeling a great sense of accomplishment at the end, and maybe some foot blisters.
At Rattlesnake Point, Kevin and Lisa from AdventureWorks! taught rock climbing. The group climbed very well with many surpassing what they could accomplish and some who said they wouldn't climb ended pushing forward and doing amazing well. The drive from Rattlesnake Point to Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area was a good rest for everyone. When they arrived at their group site, they already looked like old veterans at this campsite set up thing. Most everyone enjoyed a 25 cent shower and a hot dog, campfire baked potato and fresh veggie supper, followed by s'mores for snack. In reflection the focus was on "setting an example." Everyone was asked to identify someone who has been a good example to them and describe what qualities they admired. I wish parents could have been present to hear the overwhelmingly positive words spoken about parents. It was wonderful. The group also took time to acknowledge good examples already demonstrated in the group so far.
The group launched into the Grand River today at the Petro Canada station on Water St. in Cambridge. The canoe leader and NLS guard is Kai from Grand River Rafting. Throughout the day, Kai showed some secrets of the river. Some wildlife was spotted. A cold springs was an amazing way to refill water bottles. Some great canoe skills and development in this group. After an enjoyable day of canoeing, the 3 Sister site was a great destination. It's a grassy and shady open space that is warm and inviting. With a refreshing swim and a chance to rest and play, the mood was lively and spirited. Dinner was feast with roast beef or chicken, a large pot of gravy, potatoes, cooked veggies, and chocolate cake. Games were enjoyed on the grass and the group gathered around the campfire for some fun and a chapel reflection from Genna and Janessa about the power of words.
Packed up from 3 Sisters and ready to land back in the Grand River, the group was delayed by some rain which just meant some extra time to relax or play some games before the day's journey. This leg of the river was full of many surprises including some historical sites. The highlight of the day was body surfing down the rapids. Natural play at it's best! The group worked hard in their paddling, arriving at Brant Conservation in good time. The first order of business was swimming in the extremely large swimming pool before setting up camp. Tomorrow the reward is a more leisurely morning to enjoy Brant Conservation some more before heading back to Canterbury Hills at 1:30pm.
In the morning, the group enjoyed a swim in the massive Brant Conservation Area pool which is rumoured to be the largest in Ontario. Next was lunch, site pack-up and a return trip to Canterbury Hills. Back at Canterbury, the group set up camp then played some gaga ball. Adventure Camp then joined the rest of Canterbury Hills for dinner, EP (evening program), and campfire. After dark, the group gather at campfire for stories, reflection and Eucharist. It was an intimate and meaningful time for everyone as they reflected on how they have grown throughout the week. Bonds had been forged. Trust had developed. Goals had been reached. Success!
After breakfast and packing up, the group reflected on their whole experience. Each camper said they would do it all again and would definitely recommend it to a friend. People indicated that the felt included and connected to their peers and leaders. Their feedback was a clear marker that Adventure Camp has a bright future at Canterbury Hills and with this successful pilot completed, we have much to build on.