99 Camp Kahquah Campers in Cabins….

As many of you have heard, due to an illness and a recommendation from a doctor, our fearless canoe trip leader Graeme has been decommissioned this week, and was unable to run our Algonquin Adventure.  As a result, kids who would normally have been gone most of the week and not on-site are now fully integrated into our Summit program, which started today.  We are literally busting at the seams, with 99 campers spread out over 12 cabins.  You’ll be happy to know that we have maintained our ratio of staff to Campers, but it’s going to be NOISY at lunch!

Today, my blog is going to go backwards, because there were some fun shenanigans yesterday that I want to mention so it only makes sense.  Starting with most recent, here is the news for tonight.

Ryan and Laura are back as the dynamic duo of program directors.  Their theme this week is Call of Duty.  Our dining hall is set up in camo and the kids have adorned bandanas while General Ryan and General Laura wear camo pants and salute for attention.  I am certain that this theme has great ties into the Word of God, and that the one and only Pastor Paul and Rick will deliver those ties well to your kids.

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We started the night off right with a trip to Headquarters (the Chapel), where our teams were divided out and the cabins had to create charges and team names.  Some of the charges were very well done, and I got pictures of everyone presenting them.


Birchmere Woods and Retreat Up -- The Cool Runnings

Birchmere Woods and Retreat Up — The Cool Runnings

Porcupine Ridge and Birchmere Lodge -- The Boogs

Porcupine Ridge and Birchmere Lodge — The Boogs

Cedar Rest and Retreat Lodge again -- The Eyes of the Tiger.

Cedar Rest and Retreat Lodge again — The Eyes of the Tiger.

Cedar Rest and Retreat Lodge

Cedar Rest and Retreat Lodge

Maplecroft and Wyldewood -- KCCO

Maplecroft and Wyldewood — KCCO

Retreat Woods and Deer Run -- The Blue Team, even though their bandanas were brown.

Retreat Woods and Deer Run — The Blue Team, even though their bandanas were brown.

Beechwood and Bunker Down -- G.U.E.S.S. (I can't remember what it stands for, but it was clever!)

Beechwood and Bunker Down — G.U.E.S.S. (I can’t remember what it stands for, but it was clever!)

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After the kids arrived and ate dinner, it was time for medication drop off, head checks, tuck deposits, and swim tests.  As I’m sure you can imagine, with 12 quite full cabins, this took a while.  In the mean time, while cabins waited for their turns at various stations, I have some pictures of some goofing around, some football throwing, and some playing of Kahquah’s official sport — tetherball.


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When the buses arrived, in expert fashion, we got those buses unloaded and got the multitude of children in to eat their dinners.  Our bus drivers always enjoy coming in, grabbing some dinner, and dining on the Muskoka Chairs facing the lake.  Who wouldn’t?  We appreciate our service from Niagara Air Bus very much, and we’re glad they feel comfortable grabbing a meal before they head back out.

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Yesterday, it was staff day off after the kids left.  It was our last Saturday to be all off at once, all together until the end of Bravo, so we enjoyed every second.  There was swimming (although the water was quite choppy, and you may have heard that the humidity has broken) but not many went in the lake, and unfortunately we weren’t able to offer tubing and water sports until this afternoon due to how choppy the water was from yesterday’s winds.  But the staff got their fun in nonetheless.

Saturday evenings, starting last Saturday and continuing through the next three Saturdays, there is square dancing offered at the community centre in town.  Some of the staff, LIT, and all of the Crew went in to partake, and Brooklyn was kind enough to throw 95 of her best shots onto my jump drive so that I can share them with you.  Don’t worry, I won’t put 95 pictures on here, I’ll have to pick and choose, but I do like having the option ;).  So here they are!  Apparently this was super fun, and I’m told that I won’t forgive myself if I don’t go next week.  According to Natalie, it’s her new passion, so… I may have to check it out.  But for now, please enjoy Brooklyn’s pictures.

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Oh, and one last mention before I go get some sleep — I know down South there have been some completely crazy weather patterns this weekend.  I just want to assure you all that while you may have heard about damage around us, we were not affected by more than a tornado warning and then an impromptu talent show in the basement on Friday afternoon.  I don’t mean to diminish a tornado warning, we did take it seriously, but the threat passed and has not returned.  We had a windy and considerably chillier day on Saturday, but it was beautiful, and today was gorgeous.  We are aware that we are blessed by God in His provision for us in keeping us untouched by Friday’s (and the rest of the weekend’s) crazy weather, and I know I speak for at least myself, if not more of us, when I personally wish everyone who WAS affected a speedy recovery from whatever they were left with.

Kahquah’s Got Talent!

Before I was awake and out of bed this morning, much of Camp was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to go for their last day together.  The Crew went for an island swim in the fog this morning before I was even out of bed!  Kim took pictures and graciously offered to let me take them.  I gladly accepted, because while I may be a good photographer, I’m not quite good enough to take pictures while I sleep….. yet.  The kids were taken to the island on the pontoon boat, dropped off, and, accompanied by lifeguards on kayaks and canoes, they swam back to the dock.

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Before lunch, the wilderness kids must have been REALLY hungry!  I promise, the kitchen feeds them well!  They don’t HAVE to resort to eating grasshoppers!  But while I sat in the office, this is the conversation I overheard (and creeped on with my camera… I may not be able to get pictures in my sleep, but I can get them through the office window super stealthily).

Jared:  Who wants another grasshopper?
Several kids:  Me!  I do!  I do!!!

They take a grasshopper to Kristen, one of our crew leaders, and the whole group of them stands in front of her, Jared’s palm outstretched with a grasshopper on it, and they chant “EAT IT!  EAT IT!!  EAT IT!!!”  Of course, Kristen shrieks, says no emphatically, and refuses with everything in her.  My kind of girl.

They see me spying and snapping pictures from the office window, and decide I should eat it.  I of course reply, “Absolutely not!!!”

A camper proceeds to give in to the peer pressure himself, and says “FINE!  I’ll eat it!”  He takes it from Jared’s hand, and in his mouth it went.  Folks, I watched him chew it and swallow it.

Kristen:  I can’t believe I just experienced this!!

Group of boys:  Why?
– What’s wrong?!
– We roasted them last night!
– Yeah!  They taste like chicken!!

…… I don’t have words.  I’m really glad I took notes during this conversation, because I can’t believe I experienced it, either.

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The LITs have been gone since Tuesday on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park.  They returned just before lunch, dirty and bug bitten.  Brooklyn refused to have her face shown in the picture as they devoured some mac and cheese and pizza.  Rumour has it, Brooklyn showered three times this afternoon.  I’d say it was deserved though, as they were troopers to go on a trip like that!  It’s not for me, that’s for sure.  My camera would probably get wet, and then what would I do with myself!?

The theme during lunch today was to come dressed as your favourite video game character.  I managed to get a few shots of some kids (I think they’re all girls, sorry boys) before the birthday festivities distracted me.

Check out a character from a Cars game….


a whole group of Venelope impersonators….


Pac Man (side note… this young lady is the granddaughter of my Grade 8 teacher!  Boy, do I feel weird!)


Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach….


Just Dance characters….


and even more characters from Wreck It Ralph…

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Next, there were two brothers celebrating a birthday today (not Wednesday!  We had a false alarm earlier in the week where cupcakes with candles were brought out at breakfast and the boys informed us that their birthday was actually Friday).  Here’s Aunt Liz delivering cupcakes with sparklers while we all sang.

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And then during the sing-song part of lunch, Benjamin was asked for a gun show, and boy did he deliver!!!

I managed to get one shot of water skiing from the dock… and sorry, I don’t know who this was…


Here’s the Crew doing a 5-legged race, which required some great teamwork!  There was a lot of “LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT!” yelling going on from each group.  They had to proceed back to the Crew campfire area and stick their faces in a disgusting concoction of foods that shouldn’t go together (all fit for eating, don’t worry), and find the Smarties.  Gross!!  Glad it was them and not me!
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The game today looked super involved.  I didn’t get to see any of it, because I was in the tuck shop at the time.  They moved camp-wide game to accommodate the talent show (which there are pics of further down), so thanks to Lindsay for snagging pictures for me!  I’ll do my best to explain them without having been there.

It looks like one of the stations involved eating mini donuts suspended from the clothesline….

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One involved talking to Aunt Liz about something (sorry, that’s a lame explanation, haha)….

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One involved moving from hula hoop to hula hoop on the shuffle board courts….

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One involved moving stealthily through mini inner tubes.  This looks like a relay of sorts…

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When finished, beach balls needed to be maneuvered stealthily in and out of pylons… using a pool noodle!  Yikes!


This activity had one partner blindfolded while the other verbally guided him or her through a minefield of water balloons!  Tricky!

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Also tricky, try making a paper airplane under pressure and then getting it to fly through a hula hoop!!

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We had to talk to Aunt Hope along the Hiawatha Trail… and it looks like they may have had to do the “ee ee, oo oo” monkey dance for her!

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Lastly, there was a talent show before their last Underground tonight where we saw some VERY talented Kahquah kiddos!

Porcupine (Porky) Ridge did a skit… I don’t remember the words.  It was pretty gross, though.


There was some gymnastics….


Owen and Aunt Sarah did a kayaking skit about the importance of wearing life jackets while kayaking…

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Savannah sang beautifully!!


So did Bethany, accompanied by Aunt Liz


Annika played the piano…


These young ladies did a skit about going to the movies…


Some more gymnastics… and on a concrete floor, even!


Rebekah played us a lovely song on her violin.  Mom is proudly filming in the background.


Owen sang for us


There was some dancing…

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Some tumbling…

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Lilith sang a song accompanied by Aunt Natalie… and she had the whole room clapping along with her.

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Jocelyn danced without music.  She’s got some stellar moves!  I wonder what song was playing in her head.


Lilah sang We are never getting back together, accompanied by Aunt Natalie as well… and it’s been in my head all night.  Thanks, Lilah!  I guess it’s a good thing I like Taylor Swift!!


Well, tomorrow morning we send these kids off.  Back to you they’ll bound, hopefully full of stories about how great a time they had and how much fun it was!  They’ll have made new friends, and maybe tried things they never knew they were capable of.  Hopefully they learned a lot more about Jesus, how much He loves them, and how they can be saved by Him if they aren’t already saved.  If they ARE saved, YAY!  We’re so happy, and hopefully they were able to strengthen a relationship with Jesus that was already there, and maybe even be an example to their cabin mates!  After all, this IS the point of Camp!  We love that they have fun, but we strive to tell them how loved, precious, and perfect they are in the eyes of Christ.

Have a good weekend!


Jesus, healer of hearts and lives.

Today was my day off, so sorry, no pictures, but I had a chat with Aunt Liz who gave me some spectacular updates about how the day went.  Before I start though, because the story at the end deserves to be the note to end on, trust me, I have some Quest updates for those of you arriving NEXT week :D.

If you’re taking the bus or driving here, please take a look in your emails for the bus schedules.

Tonight during the Camp-wide game, our Kubbies boys participated with one of the Nova boys cabins, and the wonderful news is that they kept up the whole time!  They’re well on their way to being super ready for Nova once they’re old enough, and we’re so thrilled about that.

Liz also shared a couple of incredible moments from the Underground session this morning.

First, this morning, the kids were given an opportunity to share what they’re thankful for right now.  Two in particular stuck out to Liz, and these are what was heard:

“I’m thankful for Uncle Noah, because I fell down and he helped me up.”   What a great memory for a kid, knowing that even when they were hurt, our Camp staff cared and was there for him.

“I’m thankful for Camp Kahquah, because I can come here.”  Do I need to say anything else about this?

Second, during the teaching part of the Underground this morning, Ashley, one of our Kubbies moms, shared an incredible story with the kids.  The topic of Pastor Natalie’s message was “Jesus, healer of hearts and lives.”  Ashley got up after Natalie’s talk and shared the story about her car accident, which happened one year ago tomorrow.  Some of you know the story behind this accident, many of you probably don’t.  Ashley had spinal and brain injuries as a result that doctors weren’t sure she’d ever recover from.  She’s been on a one year long road to recovery.  She was able to sing a song for the kids that she wrote, after doctors saying a year ago that she’d never sing again.  A bunch of the kids, these precious young kids, laid hands on Ashley and prayed, thanking Jesus, the healer of hearts and lives.  What an unbelievable testimony to the power of God.  Someone who shouldn’t be able to sing, shouldn’t be able to walk, is here at Camp with her son, and can give glory back to God through the journey she’s been on for the last year.  As I sat and chatted with Ashley for a moment to ask her if it was OK if I shared this story with all of you, her son Xavier came running to her cheerfully and quipped “thumb war?”  What an incredible God we serve.  Healer of hearts and lives.