Concluding Another Summer of Camp – Family Camp Week 4

It was an amazing fourth week of family camp to finish off our time here at Camp Kahquah this summer! We had a beautiful start to the week on Sunday, with some picnic games and sand building castle contests to get things started. We had a bunch of campers design a sand structure that resembled Ancient Rome, and I was told that it was a very “non-violent part of Rome”. They ended up being the winners of the week, and were rewarded with tickets for a free sundae or float. They used their tickets that night when everyone gathered in the lodge to consume those two delicious treats!

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Pontoon fishing started up regularly throughout the week on Monday, along with the Activity Hub opening up for business across the road. Campers had the chance to enjoy high ropes, low ropes, lawn games, and archery throughout the afternoon to keep busy and to make new memories. That evening, we had “Family Camp Night” under the big tent, with bingo, trivia, and family feud to get things running. It really wasn’t hard to engage the competitiveness in our campers – they were quick on their feet! While “Family Camp Night” was happening, the teens had their “Teen Movie Night” in the Crew House.

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On Tuesday, some of our campers had the opportunity to get their exercise on for Aquafit with Maggie Sider, which was a good time for all who participated. During the Activity Hub, the rock wall was opened for both experienced and beginner climbers to try and climb to the top! Jared Long also hosted a nature walk in the afternoon for motivated hikers to walk the Hiawatha Trail around Camp. In the evening, Cait and Graeme invited campers to a “Love Languages” seminar to determine everyone’s love language, with some fun games and laughter to help make the night memorable. While the adults were participating in this gathering, the kids had a night in the lodge watching a movie and hanging out with friends.

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Wednesday held some more activities outside, with the pamper pole being available up at high ropes. There was also some ladies crafts, where everyone gathered to create detailed wooden signs to hang up at home. We also hosted the Kahquah Penny Carnival, where both kids and adults came out to try their hand at some games to win candy for their candy stash. On Thursday, the teens had the chance to go paddle boarding and kayaking out on the lake as a group. That night, we also had some more campers showcase at the camp-wide talent show, with some sundaes & floats served afterwards to finish the night off perfectly. Everyone enjoyed their last day at Camp outside on Friday in the sunshine. Graeme held the final BIC book club meeting to discuss the book “Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners” by Bruxey Cavey. Friday evening there was our Euchre tournament, along with the last Kahquah Café, with coffee, pizza, desserts, and an open mic to bring everyone together for a cozy night in the lodge.

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It’s been an amazing journey and honour to have written the blog for both kid’s camp and family camp this summer. Everything that is recorded in these writings is just a small taste of the fun and the love that is experienced in this small corner of Ahmic Lake. Camp Kahquah is a special place where you can see God work throughout the lives of both the campers and the staff, regardless of age or time spent here. Thank you to everyone who made this summer memorable and who contributed to helping further God’s kingdom. We all hope to see you again next summer, and may you have an incredible upcoming year!

Blog By: Karley Sider

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Leisure Time at Family Camp Week 3

Our third week of family camp has gone by in a blink of an eye! On Sunday, we were able to enjoy some picnic games under the hot sun, which included games of limbo, the water balloon toss, a three-legged race, and wheelbarrow racing! We also had a sand castle building contest, where multiple entries were deliberated upon to decide a winner. One group built a huge sand alligator, which was chomping on a camper, and another group build an island in the water (called “The Tropical Island of Kahquahina”) and built a fire on it. Ultimately, the “Tropical Island of Kahquahina” was the winner! We also had the opportunity to see two baptisms happen on Sunday, Daniel Soppitt’s and Josh Day’s! It’s amazing to hear about how Camp Kahquah affects or contributes to people’s individual spiritual journeys.

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On Monday, the activity hub opened back up for the week, allowing for family campers to have some fun across the road. Archery, low ropes, and high ropes were available in the afternoon for everyone to experience! With a nice day outside, everyone spent time out on the beach and out on the water for most of the day. Our teens had a fun night in the Crew house spending some time together watching “Moana”, and everyone else had an entertaining time in the Big Tent for a family game night, which included trivia, bingo, and family feud!

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On Tuesday, after Chapel, we were able to experience another baptism out on Kahquah’s beach! Our very own Camp director, Caitlin Hogg, decided to take the big step to be baptized, and was enthusiastically supported by both family campers and all the staff who came out to witness the event. That day we also hosted a big volleyball tournament out on the volleyball court, which many participated in while others spectated. To end the day, we had the Kahquah Penny Carnival, allowing for some fun interactions between the family campers and staff members, and a good time for all the kids who wanted to win some candy!

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Wednesday was another busy day here at Camp! Some family campers went off campus with Graeme Hogg to go kayaking and canoeing down Distress River. It was a fun day-trip out of Camp to see some new sights! Our teens also had the opportunity to go on the Pontoon boat, where they sailed down Ahmic Lake to Magnetawan for some ice cream – it was a cool way to make new friends and hang out with their leaders. Cait and Graeme hosted a love languages seminar in the evening, with some hilarious “Would You Rather” questions to get things started. They then gave a test by the end to determine everyone’s love language! Simultaneously, there was a crafts night for the rest of the adults and a movie night for the younger kids, who were glued to the screen watching “Finding Nemo”.

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The weather on Thursday and Friday was a little on the rainy side, but it didn’t stop anyone from enjoying their time here at Camp. On Thursday night, we were able to host another Kahquah Talent Show, with sundaes and floats served by our staff afterwards. On Friday, Graeme hosted the BIC Book Club, and we also had a huge gathering to play in the annual Euchre Tournament – everyone competitively fought for the Euchre title and crown. The Kahquah Café in the lodge was planned afterwards, as a final hurrah before the week was over. Everyone was welcomed to help themselves to some coffee, pizza, and desserts, with an open mic to make the evening complete. Thank you to all the third week family campers for making this week unforgettable, and we hope to see you all again next year!

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Blog By: Karley Sider

Finding Fun at Family Camp – Week 2

It’s been quite an eventful second week of family camp here at Camp Kahquah! Despite the one-and-off rainy conditions, our programmers and staff have kept busy running events and helping make life-long memories, which our campers have been thoroughly enjoying. We’ve had fun participating in trivia night, picnic games, and café night. We were also able to host a talent show where all the amazing campers, both young and old, shared their gifts onstage in the Big Tent in front of a supporting crowd. We had some people tell jokes, riddles, stories, and we had others play the harmonica, ukulele, and perform in skits and dances. There was also a magic show performed – one of the highlights of the night! Those who participated were rewarded with ice cream floats, a small prize for such big talents.
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At the beginning of the week, campers and their families were able to participate in a classic sand-building competition. It got week two of family camp off to a great start! Abbey graciously put in some time to create certificates for our winners who wanted a physical reminder of their hard work. It was a great time spent on the beach and in the sun! This week we also hosted our first ever Kahquah family camp canoe day trip. It contained a two hour paddle with a bunch of our remarkable family campers. They had some great weather and were not only able to connect with nature, but with their friends and family who were experiencing the fun with them.

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Our programmers also put together a fun Kahquah Carnival for the family campers to get involved with. By purchasing some tickets, kids were able to play in carnival games in order to win some candy. There was gummy worm fishing, the Oreo forehead challenge, face painting, water balloon throwing, ring tossing, pantyhose bowling, and red cup stacking, which were a few of the awesome games available for the campers to play. The weather stayed beautiful in order for the night to be a complete success, and many campers left with stomachs full of treats!

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A volleyball tournament was hosted on our volleyball court on Tuesday and was supervised by Luke! He kept score while an hour of games were played, until only the last two teams remained. It was a very intense final game, with the match going all the way up to 24, where “next point wins” would be the winner. The “M&M Spaceballs” ended up getting that 25th point, effectively winning the game and allowing a huge chorus of cheers to resound throughout the camp. It was fun to spectate and see everyone come together, whether participating or watching, to have a good time playing sports!

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We’d like to thank all of our second week family campers for spending some of your time with us here at Camp Kahquah, and we hope that the rest of your summers are filled with more good times and memories.  See you again next year!

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Blog By: Karley Sider

Off to New Territories – Summit Day 6

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It was our last day of Summit today, as well as our final day of kid’s camp! It’s been a fantastic four weeks, and counselors & staff agree that it went by in a blink of an eye. There was some more great weather for this final day, with the sun shining over Camp ensuring that activities were lively and bustling throughout the day. Our last stop on this Canadian road trip was Yukon, successfully wrapping up Summit’s theme for this year. Campers ate a breakfast of yogurt parfait, and then gathered in Aboveground for one of their last sessions with Pastor Nolan. The tent was filled with lovely singing voices in worship and laughter as Nolan invited counselors up to beat-box and tell jokes. Once first activity was over, campers headed back to their cabins to get cleaned up for lunch.

For Pastor Nolan’s last Aboveground sessions today, he started with a little game of “Would You Rather” – Bible edition! Once the chatter had died down, Nolan started introducing the session, speaking about not being alone. Continuing with the story of Peter, Nolan talked about how in Acts, Peter becomes the guy who went from not talking in front of people to the man who made such a moving speech that 3,000 people decided to make the decision to follow Jesus. We see a new Peter, the guy God made him to be. Nolan then went on to say how we can’t follow Jesus by ourselves, we need God and the Holy Spirit. God wants us to follow him be he knows we are weak on our own. In His infinite grace and mercy, He sends help that saves us – The Holy Spirit. Often when we go home, we forget what we’ve been gives, and after a while we feel alone in our walks with Jesus. Luckily, we have the Bible as a source that helps strengthen our relationship with God!
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Lunch dress-up for today was anything to do with the Yukon Territory, so there were lots of campers showing up in warm clothes and other campers dressing as mountains. Uncle Matt’s cabin created a cardboard car that was a GMC Yukon, and were making puns such as “Yukon not get away!” They were pretty bad jokes but everyone laughed anyways. Campers were rewarded for their hard work with taco salad and veggies for lunch, and then assembled back in their cabins for some tuck and rest. Second and third activity came and went, with everyone wrapping up their majors for the week and showing off their newfound skills! Free swim was packed again today, with everyone getting in their last fun times in the lake before leaving tomorrow. Supper was ham, scalloped potatoes, and corn, with ice cream for dessert!
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The camp-wide game for today was a pentathlon, with a colour run at the end for some fun! Campers had to bike, run, kayak, canoe, and swim against other cabins and try to come in first. The whole Camp was used and all hands were on deck to make it happen! Uncle Luke and Uncle Noah did an amazing job in coordinating and organizing the whole event so it ran as smoothly as possible. After the game, campers headed to their last Aboveground session before enjoying their last campfire. Tomorrow they head back home, and we hope they have a wonderful rest of their summer!

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I have had such a great time this summer getting to share these pictures and stories with you. It is such a small glimpse into what happens here at kids camp- the memories that have been made and the lives that have been changed (even just in small ways) is what keeps bringing us all back here. Tomorrow we say goodbye to all these amazing campers, and even a lot of our staff team as we transition to family camp. Writing this final kids camp blog of the year is so bittersweet, but stay tuned for updates from family camp.

 

Until next time,

Karley Sider

 

The Aspire Program 2017

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Our Aspire team has been on an educational and enjoyable journey this week, alongside our Summit program! They had the chance to take over Crew duties yesterday while they were out on their solos. This past week, the Aspire campers have been receiving a lot of leadership training. This is courtesy of Aunt Amanda and Uncle Matt, who have been directing the program this year and who have been doing an amazing job. They described the program to me, saying that Aspire is “the best of both worlds” in the fact that these campers get to do everything the regular campers do, apart from a few exceptions. Instead of morning activities like everyone else, the campers get to do team building exercises. On Thursday’s, they get to take over for the Crew kids, where they were able to experience serving by cleaning (bathrooms, sweeping floors), kitchen duties (cleaning & drying dishes, dining hall duties), and programming (helping with games, tuck delivery). After they finished their duties for the day, they were able to have a Crew vs Aspire challenge, as a way to have a little more fun before the day ended!

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On top of all the chances for spiritual growth and leadership guidance, the Aspire campers were able to get a taste of what it would be like if they were to join Crew next year. The Aspire program has leadership building one activity period a day – if they were to continue next year to Crew, the program focuses on a more hands-on type of leadership and emphasizes on serving others. Another bonus of doing Crew next year is that it’s a good way to receive the 40 hours of community service that’s mandatory in order to graduate high school!

Why is leadership and the Aspire program so important? I sat down with Uncle Matt and Aunt Amanda to discuss with them why this program is such a vital week for aspiring young leaders. They said that it helps give young campers the chance to develop skills they already possess, but fine-tuning them so they can be used not only at camp, but be applied to other leadership roles in their schools and communities. Aunt Amanda mentioned that some girls in her cabin this year revealed that they are looking forward to doing Crew and LIT, mostly because they’ve had leaders in their lives – who they have really respected– that have done these programs. They have heard about the funny memories and good lessons these leaders have experienced, which they want to understand as well. Amanda also talked about how the girls declared that they wanted to give back to these services that helped make Camp such a memorable place for them, and do their part to pour into it for the next generation of campers!

Blog & Pictures By: Karley Sider

Saving the B.C. Trees – Summit Day 5

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The campers woke up to a beautiful sunny day today here at Summit, allowing for a great start to our day for morning activities and flag raising. The next stop on our Canadian road trip today was beautiful B.C! With that in mind, campers ate breakfast wraps for breakfast and then headed out to their cabins for clean-up, before heading to Aboveground with Pastor Nolan. After worship and a great message, campers quickly changed for their first activity to burn some energy off and get hungry for lunch.  The water activities were certainly full today as everyone took advantage of the lovely weather to get some time in the lake!

To start off Aboveground today, Pastor Nolan played a game with the campers, involving who could find certain verses in the Bible the fastest. It sure got their attention, especially when little prizes were involved! He then started in on his message for the day, a message about truth. Nolan asked all the campers a question: “If you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?” He talked about another woman today who was persecuted for her faith, a woman named Helen, who was confined to a shipping container for 2 ½ years because of her faith in Jesus. When she was released, she talked in interviews about how she thanked God every day for the situations she was put through. Nolan recapped from yesterday’s session, talking about Peter and the way he ultimately betrayed Jesus and missed the point of Jesus’ coming. Nolan talked about how the Bible can really be described as “God revealing himself to us in spite of how messed up we can be at times”. The Bible is the truth; no truer thing has ever been known – God is infinite, but sometimes we forget that. Nolan encouraged the campers to live out a day of thankfulness today, especially for the truth that is in God’s Word. He ended the session by asking again: “If you were to wake up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?”

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For lunch dress-up today, campers had to wear outfits that related to the gigantic trees that reside in British Columbia. We had many lumberjacks and tree-saving activists show up to eat some pizza & veggies for lunch! Once stomachs were full, campers had some downtime in their cabins with their counselors and their tuck. It was awesome to see activities two and three filled with campers who were eager to both make new friends and have fun in their majors. Tubing today was completely filled up, and anyone from across the lake could see the beach filled with energetic campers enjoying the water and sand. The lifeguards were certainly busy during free swim, as everyone enjoyed a refreshing dip in the lake before going back to their cabins to dry off.

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Tonight for supper, campers enjoyed butter chicken, rice, and salad, with cookies for dessert. After slipping on some running shoes and bug spray, the campers headed across the road for today’s camp-wide game. The game was “Capture the Flag”, but instead of flags, campers had to get to the other team’s designated tree made of papier mâché. If they made it there untouched, they won points, which ended up being the equivalent of one chop to the tree. The team with the most “chops” on the other team’s tree won the game! With hearts still pumping, campers directed their adrenaline to listen attentively to Pastor Nolan’s Aboveground session, hosted at the campfire tonight. Afterwards, with campers already being there, they stayed to watch the campfire entertainment filled with skits and songs. They then packed it in and went back to their cabins to get a good sleep for their last day of Summit tomorrow!

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Blog & Pictures By: Karley Sider

An Eh-cellent Stop in Ontario – Summit Day 4

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Ontario was the next stop for the campers on this cross Canada road trip! As we reached the halfway point of the week, campers got up for a breakfast of apple & raspberry turnovers, before picking their activities and participating in cabin clean-up. They then headed to Aboveground for a session with Pastor Nolan before heading to their first activity for the day. The weather was all over the place, with sun in the morning, to rain spitting in the afternoon, to a complete downpour during supper. Luckily, the rain didn’t stop free swim, activities, or the camp-wide game!

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For lunch dress-up today, campers dressed as people from the city – specifically, Toronto! The diversity the campers demonstrated was awesome; we had Blue Jays, Justin Bieber, and Drake fans, as well as cabins literally dressing up as the CN tower! Everyone was eager to get into the dining hall for some hotdogs, macaroni & cheese, and veggies for lunch. After singing some songs and sending cabin leaders & campers around the tables for fun, everyone headed to tuck and bunk for a bit of rest time before starting their other two activities. Even though it was lightly spitting, it didn’t stop anyone from having fun and enjoying themselves all around Camp.

Today for Aboveground, Pastor Nolan talked about facing fears. He showed a video of Peter denying Jesus three times, demonstrating one of the most upsetting moments of Peter’s lifetime. We often think that if our life was threatened, we would do the right thing – give it up and not deny Jesus, but in reality, Peter shows how fear often gets the best of us. A lot of us go to church, but sometimes we miss the importance of it, like Peter did; he followed Jesus but he missed the point. This was Peter’s worst possible moment, but he owns this story of brokenness. The point of following Jesus isn’t about getting it right, it’s about sharing how you messed up. Nolan shared a story about a young girl in Saudi Arabia who wanted to learn more about Jesus, by keeping a blog and writing about her discoveries. However, when her family found out about her love for God, they did not take it well. She kept writing in her blog about how amazing it was to know Jesus, knowing that it was for Jesus’ sake she was persecuted. Her brother ended up killing her after she gave her life to the Lord. She gave it all in a world where it is very difficult and costly to follow Jesus. A faith like that should scare our fears; this is the kind of faith we should ask for. God will bring us opportunities to show our love for Jesus!
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For supper, campers had a classic Canadian food – poutine! It seemed only fitting for a Canadian theme this week, and watching the campers receive their food excitedly made it seem like they thought so too. Once everyone had scraped their plates clean, campers changed for their camp-wide game activity. The game Uncle Noah and Luke introduced was a new one for Camp, and was designed like a Canadian reality TV show! Two campers participated in each round, one was blindfolded and the other was directing the blindfolded one. Uncle Luke would ask a Canadian trivia question, and the two campers would have to find their way into the dining hall to their designated table and flip over a “true” or “false” response, as to what they thought the correct answer was. Uncle Noah was there counting the points! It was a game filled with laughter and entertainment, what else can you ask for from a camp-wide game? After an Aboveground session followed by some campfire time, the campers snuggled up in their cabins for a small snack, and quickly fell asleep after a tiring day!

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Blog & Pictures By: Karley Sider