Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast

Good Saturday Afternoon!

The Bravo kids are gone.  The Aspire kids are gone.  The Grad Campers are gone.  For the first time, ever, we had to tell the bus to sit and wait for half an hour because we were EARLY and ready to go too soon, but if we let the bus leave that early, all of the kids would make it to their bus stops way sooner than their parents, and that’s bad news bears.

We had an excellent finish to the week with Bravo’s Beauty and the Beast performance in the afternoon.  Aspire got to go do some Archery yesterday morning, and then some low ropes team-building in the afternoon, following the performance.  There was a talent show in the evening following Spotlight (Frank’s teaching session), where apparently hosts Riley and Jacob had to stop the Bravo kids from performing long enough to get all of Aspire up to sing a song together.  Shocking, I know, that kids who signed up for a week long drama camp culminating in a musical production would want to participate endlessly in talent shows.

DSCF1979 DSCF1976 DSCF1975 DSCF1974 DSCF1972 DSCF1970 DSCF1963 DSCF1962 DSCF1961 DSCF1958 DSCF1956 DSCF1955 DSCF1953 DSCF1948 DSCF1947 DSCF1946 DSCF1945 DSCF1943 DSCF1942 DSCF1940 DSCF1939

Unfortunately, while taking pictures of the performance, I was struggling big time with the poor lighting in the chapel.  I don’t have nearly as many pictures as I’d have liked, but I do have lots from throughout the performance.  All of the Bravo kids performed wonderfully, and Riley stole the show again!  I think Jared would make an excellent candidate for the next Batman movie with his gruff, angry voice in his role as the Beast.  I’ve heard rumours that yesterday afternoon and evening, Lynn was being referred to by some as “the Beast’s Mom.”  How flattering 🙂

Thanks to Sherri for giving me her pictures of the kids during their final makeup and rehearsal prep, as I was in the tuck shop making sure all of the kids had their completely necessary and not at all superfluous run of candy for the day :).

IMG_9262 IMG_9266 IMG_9269 IMG_9272 IMG_9277 IMG_9286 IMG_9288 IMG_9293 IMG_9296 IMG_9298 IMG_9299 IMG_9301 IMG_9304 IMG_9306 IMG_9308 IMG_9309 IMG_9320 IMG_9323 IMG_9325

DSCF1816 DSCF1928 DSCF1926 DSCF1925 DSCF1920 DSCF1917 DSCF1910 DSCF1908 DSCF1907 DSCF1906 DSCF1904 DSCF1903 DSCF1902 DSCF1901 DSCF1895 DSCF1894 DSCF1893 DSCF1890 DSCF1884 DSCF1883 DSCF1882 DSCF1879 DSCF1876 DSCF1875 DSCF1873 DSCF1872 DSCF1865 DSCF1864 DSCF1863 DSCF1859 DSCF1855 DSCF1843 DSCF1841 DSCF1839 DSCF1838 DSCF1836 DSCF1835 DSCF1833 DSCF1832 DSCF1831 DSCF1830 DSCF1825 DSCF1824 DSCF1820 DSCF1818 IMG_9313 IMG_9315

While I was across the road snapping pictures of the Aspire kids at low ropes (sorry, I have no pictures of the Archery, I was writing yesterday’s blog while they did it!), I came across two Grad Campers who were picking containers full of wild blackberries!  I picked a handful myself, and they were DELICIOUS!

DSCF1935 DSCF1934 DSCF1933DSCF1980


And, since it wouldn’t be one of my blogs if I didn’t finish it with a sunset, here ya go!


Rehearsals, Sets, Sandcastles, Paddleboards, and Water Colours

Good morning, readers.  Yesterday was a hot one!  We haven’t had heat like that since Blaze the third week of July.  I imagine it was much warmer in the South, but we were quite warm up here.  Like I said in yesterday’s post, we had a 5am thunderstorm.  We were a bit concerned that we’d have some icky weather through the day yesterday because there was a risk of thunderstorms throughout the day, but it was a gorgeous, hot, sunny, humid day with no more rain to be found.

That worked out really well, actually, because first thing yesterday morning, Aspire headed down to the beach to work on their leadership challenge building sandcastles.  In three different groups, one camper in each was named the leader for this activity.  They had to brainstorm together, design a concept that they wanted to build in the sand, justify their reasoning for it, and then build it, all while following the instructions of the leader of the group.  They were given about an hour to complete their task, and I got down there with about 15 minutes remaining to take pictures.  Reagan’s group, under the leadership of Melissa, designed theirs as God looking over all of creation, with clouds behind Him (Reagan was buried in the sand to serve as God), and animals and cities all around.  Noah’s group, under the leadership of Chris, designed and built the City of Light, which Frank had talked about at campfire the other night.  They built a lake, and the buildings all around a river, running down to the actual lake, and several bridges across the lake.  Finally, Kristen’s group, under the leadership of Aidon, built a canoe to symbolize the fun they were going to have canoeing when they were done this activity.  Everyone looked like they were working together quite nicely.

DSCF1790 DSCF1788 DSCF1786 DSCF1785 DSCF1783

After their sandcastle adventures, the Aspire group headed out on paddle boards and in kayaks for some time in the lake.  I’m not sure what they were doing out on the point of the island, but it looked like they were having fun at any rate.

DSCF1798 DSCF1810 DSCF1807 DSCF1805 DSCF1804 DSCF1803 DSCF1802 DSCF1801 DSCF1800 DSCF1799

Bravo was working hard all day yesterday on final set preparation, and on final rehearsals for their Beauty and the Beast production which goes on this afternoon at 2pm.  They’ve been working hard all week, and while I was sitting outside yesterday reading a delightfully adventurous book, I heard the rehearsals taking place.  It blows my mind what these kids are able to crank out in a week in terms of memorization and acting.  They are talented individuals, to say the very least.

DSCF1794 DSCF1793 DSCF1782 DSCF1780

In between all the rehearsals and the sandcastles and the paddle boarding/kayaking, I found a group of Grad Camp ladies doing some water colour painting and some scenic sketching with pencil crayons at one of the tables in the dining hall.  Who did I find right in the thick of all of it, just loving life?  Our very own Danielle, of course.  Apparently this isn’t out of character for her at all, though, as she’s right in there even during our Retirees’ retreats, playing games and chatting about life.  What a kid.


For ice cream we will go!

Yesterday was a lovely day.  It was warm, breezy, humid, and there were not clouds to be found.  Don’t worry, we’re making sure your kids stay hydrated, especially today as it’s quite humid and warm.

On the Aspire front, they went for a Nature Hike yesterday, escorted by Frank, to the Beaver Dam.  The water around the dam is mostly dried up, so they were able to walk across the dried up mud to quite close to the dam itself.  When they got too close though, the mud got thicker and the passage to the Beaver Dam was a bit trickier.  It didn’t stop a few of our girls, though.  Off came the shoes, and they plodded through the mud until they were right beside the dam, able to see down into what a beaver dam looks like close up.  Frank did not take off his shoes, though, which explained why when Nancy and I returned from North Bay, his shoes were outside of the door, letting the mud dry and cake up so it could be banged off.

IMG003 IMG004

Apparently Campfire was a huge success last night, led by Aspire kids once again.  Cassandra and Stephanie brought some new skits and songs into the mix from a different camp they’ve attended, and were able to lead the Aspire and Bravo group in the new fun.  Here at Camp, we’re always looking for new ways to be goofy and loud at Campfire, so while I wasn’t there, I’m sure it was fantastic!

Bravo spent the day doing their usual rehearsal blocks, and then in the afternoon they got to take the Pontoon Boat across our little bay here, around the corner to Crown Island.  I wasn’t there, and I have no pictures, but I hear they had fun all around.

After dinner, the Pontoon Boat was put to good use again (what would we do without this thing??  Kayak to the island, and drive to town, I imagine, but where’s the fun in that!?).  Chris and Sherri (along with Madelyn and Isaac) took the support staff (those who aren’t in cabins) into Magnetawan on the boat for ice cream.  I did go on this activity, because even on your day off, who doesn’t love free ice cream!?  Naturally, I also took tons of pictures along the way.

DSCF1617 DSCF1618 DSCF1624 DSCF1632 DSCF1635 DSCF1636 DSCF1638 DSCF1640 DSCF1641 DSCF1642 DSCF1643 DSCF1644 DSCF1646 DSCF1648 DSCF1651 DSCF1655 DSCF1656 DSCF1665 DSCF1677 DSCF1683 DSCF1688 DSCF1695 DSCF1702 DSCF1709 DSCF1727


Today was a lovely day.  It was warm, it was sunny, it was breezy.  It was so breezy in fact, that I found a streamer roll on the ground outside of the chapel, and once I picked it up to roll it up, the tail end never hit the ground.  The wind let it lick at the beautiful blue sky.

DSCF1611 DSCF1610 DSCF1609

I snuck in on the first Bravo rehearsal this afternoon.  They are working on Beauty and the Beast, and were listening to and then singing along with the first song — the one where Belle flits through town, sitting at the fountain, going into the library, etc. (if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know the scene of which I speak).  There are some talented singers in this bunch, I remember them from last year.  The only one that I heard today practicing though was Charis.  Her voice is stunningly beautiful, and I can’t wait for the production on Friday afternoon.
DSCF1607 DSCF1606 DSCF1604

I talked to Frank this afternoon about his highlights from the Aspire program, since he’s both the Camp Pastor and the program director this week.  He mentioned that he’s got a very eager, happy to participate group of kids.  They were doing some getting to know you chats last night, and he said that most of them were willing and eager to contribute to the conversations.  Throughout the day today, three of the kids in the program were given the role of leaders of Campfire tonight, which is not necessarily something they would naturally have gravitated toward.  That will come to fruition tonight when they actually lead the fire.  Evidently, their challenge was to continue leading, even if someone who would have a natural tendency to take over would want to step in.

I look forward to seeing more of the leadership skills innately borne within these kids throughout the rest of the week, as well as witnessing firsthand the natural talent within the Bravo kids drawn out and showcased.

As I headed upstairs to write this blog and watch some Downton with my Mama, I saw the Grad Campers watching a movie in the Pine Room.  This is a tradition they enjoy annually, complete with fresh-popped popcorn.  Tomorrow morning, they continue the tradition of a 7:00 am island swim.  They’re brave, and I know that they take some of our kids with them on their swim as well, every year.  They’ll be knighted into the order of the Polar Bear at the end of the week, in true Grad Cramp tradition.

I don’t have much else to say, tonight.  Enjoy this short blog, and enjoy your Tuesday tomorrow!

Bravo! Bravo! (and Aspire, and Grad)

Well, it’s happened.  We’re back in Kids’ Camp mode.  Kind of.  We are running three camps this week — Bravo, Aspire, and Grad.

Bravo is a Drama camp that’s been running the past five or six years, under Liz’s leadership.  Since Liz is no longer our programming director, and is not here now, we have passed the reins into the capable hands of Natalie and Jordanne.  The Bravo campers, kids between the ages of 11 and 15 with a flair for the dramatic, are working all week on a production of Beauty and the Beast, which they’ll perform on Friday afternoon, in amongst other typical camp activities like water sports and campfires.

Grad Camp is a rental group that has been using our facilities happily for decades, and continue to come back.  They were a graduating group from the Christian Fellowship group, I believe at the University of Toronto, and were looking for a place to have a reunion.  They’ve been back every year since, many of them bringing along their children and grandchildren with them now.

Aspire is a program that is new this year.  It’s for aspiring leaders.  It’s the first step in our leadership training programs.  We’re looking to expand our leadership program, and this is one of the ways we’re doing that.  It’s kind of like a precursor to our Crew program.  Kids aged 13 and 14 are on site, working with Frank this week.  They’re doing servant leadership training which involves team building, and practical leadership training in other various activities.  They will be given opportunity to develop and hone their leadership tendencies through various tasks, whether individually or as a team.  There are, of course, other activities for them which are kids-camp style, including water sports and campfires, among others.  This program features an emphasis on developing faith, growing independence and self confidence, and leadership trough service of others, while learning about service from a Biblical point of view.

Here they all are, getting off the bus, ready for a week of awesome at Camp!

DSCF1580 DSCF1582 DSCF1581

The weather has been downright lovely the past couple of days here, and is set to continue along this trend throughout the rest of the week, with a possible blip on Thursday, but we can handle that.  We actually have humidex values into the 30s this week!  Since it’s been quite chilly though, the leaves have begun to turn in varying degrees of intensity.

DSCF1562 DSCF1589

But when the sun shines so brilliantly, and there’s hardly any wind and not a cloud in the sky, as was the case Saturday, yesterday, and again today (though it’s a wee bit hazy and breezy today), the lake sparkles like it’s covered in millions of little diamonds.


This kind of sparkly water is inviting, even if it’s a little chilly.  On Saturday, it encouraged Jared and Nat to do some hand fishing.  I don’t think they caught anything, but they had fun anyway.

DSCF1577 DSCF1570

It also encouraged jumping in feet first off of the dock, for a refreshing dip in Ahmic Lake.  It’s been a little while since I’ve seen people so eager to just fling themselves into the lake!


The other thing I observed this weekend, were some bona fide camp kids in the making.  All summer, we’ve been watching Chris and Sherri’s kids, Madelyn and Isaac, along with Jay and Trish’s youngest, Danielle, just absolutely love life at Camp.  Madelyn and Isaac went from being kind of shy and a little hesitant, to dancing around, loving life, banging on water cisterns (I think Isaac may want to be a drummer like his Dad), and getting right in there and comfy with our staff.  Danielle is a girl I’ve seen dive head first into every single aspect of camp life, happily, and enthusiastically.  The girl always has a smile on her face, whether she’s helping her Mom in the kitchen, sneaking in on a programming meeting, or just hanging out with some kids.

DSCF1590 DSCF1564 DSCF1586

Check out this chipmunk I saw!


And as always, Camp sunsets never disappoint.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the dock in time to get pictures as the sun was actually setting last night, but as my Mama and I sat on the dock just chilling until it was too cold to do so anymore, we watched the reflected colours from the sky turn the water a gorgeous orangey purple colour, that my camera failed miserably to adequately capture, but I took some pictures anyway.

DSCF1601 DSCF1595

Stay tuned throughout the rest of the week for pictures of Bravo and Aspire, and some updates about what’s going on here at Camp this week!  We have a week and a half left of our summer season, can you believe it?  Crazy.