October 17, 2017

camp chronicles - 2017 edition

Every year, our trip to my camp in Northern Ontario is our favourite family adventure. This summer, it was the only week where all four of us were on vacation at the same time, which made it even more special. 

On the August long weekend, with Cal scheduled to work ridiculously long days on the Friday and Saturday, I began to pack up the troops for the week. (Slow clap for me for doing my absolute best - and most efficient - packing that I have ever done. Very little went unused by the end of the week, and the truck wasn't overflowing in the same way it usually does! Win!) 

By Sunday morning, with a sleepy, hardworking husband in the truck, two excited children and the boat hooked up behind us, we were ready to go! 

So far, Lady M has only participated in dance camp up there, but this year she was determined to be a badminton camper. Last year she had planned to do the same, but pulled the chute at the last minute. But, I once again packed everything she would need for badminton (with some dance clothes, just in case) and packed Lady A for dance camp, as that's what she was planning to do. 
Our classroom is pretty awesome.

Upon arrival, camp was reeling from a tornado that had struck less than 48 hours before. Power had been out, weather had been iffy, and trees were down all over the place. But anyone who has worked at a camp before knows that almost nothing will stop counsellors and staff from bringing their A-game every day, complete with enthusiasm that cannot be rivalled. By later that afternoon when opening ceremonies rolled around, we were ready to rock! 

That evening, Lady M made her way to her first badminton session, and she LOVED it. I repeat L-O-V-E-D it. The coaching team for that particular sport are amazing, so I had no doubt, but seeing the joy in her face when she got back to the cabin made me beam. 

Lady A settled quickly into Dance Camp, where at 6 years old, she's already completing the program for the third (maybe fourth?) year, and jumped right back in happily with her amazing coach, and many friends. Watching her dance a lyrical routing to a gorgeous version of Wind Beneath My Wings in the end of week showcase brought this sappy mama to tears. So. Much. Sweetness. 

Despite the fact that the weather report was looking rather gloomy (rain. every. single. day.) we spent our week being active constantly. Cal and I played in the coaches' badminton tournament, the girls played in the coaches kids badminton tournament. We even tried our hand at a Pickleball tournament this year - quite fun if you've never tried it out (or heard of it for that matter)! We played tennis, badminton, swam, paddle-boarded - you name it, we did it in between rainshowers. 
Lady A rocking the ropes course

The girls developed even more courage this year with the high ropes activities. Lady M kicked off her week of heights with the "Giant Swing" - a very high (especially from a mother's perspective, even though I've done it myself) swing, that launches my less-than-50-pound-baby out over the lake at sunset. Lady A did it just a few minutes after - though she didn't start up quite as high, my littlest lady was launched out over the lake too, with a giant smile on her face the whole time. My stomach was in knots, and my fists were clenched, but I lived to tell the tale! 

The girls also tried the high ropes course, with Lady M flying up the telephone pole (again) and trying out a more challenging element this year. She ran through it easily and confidently. Lady A made it to the top of the telephone pole (further than last year!), but wasn't able to step out onto the platform to complete the element. At least not when I was watching! The very next day, she had an opportunity to try it again with the kids from her dance program, and I'm told she got up there and went all the way across!! So proud of her courage. 

Lady M ready for some pinata fun @ Coaches' Happy Hour
Both of the girls attempted the zip line as well, with Lady M rocking it, and Lady A climbing, but choosing not to actually zip. While the girls did that, I was out with my campers and co-coaches on our annual day-long canoe trip. 

Unfortunately we didn't even make it to the first portage this year - partly due to the impending weather, and partly due to (literally) the SLOWEST canoe campers we have EVER seen. Honestly, in 18 years of teaching this program, this one boat moved slower than a three-toed sloth. Thank goodness for great company in my own canoe (and for our ability to take naps in strangely comfortable canoe corners, right Trishy?). 
One of my fabulous teaching partners & friend!

By the end of the week, our kids were pooped. They did every single session (which is about 6 hours/day), and still managed to stay energetic for their free time, and for the campfires and manhunt games at night. When the week was over, neither of them wanted to leave...but I always think that's a good sign. 

And as a side note: I also knew there was a mouse in my cabin this year, and managed to keep myself very calm and collected. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me, as typically this sends me over the edge, and the thought of sleeping in the truck, or anywhere that might be mouse-free is more appealing...but I did it. 

Less than 10 months until we get to go back... 

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