When time moves too quickly

I can not believe this week is over already.  I just can’t.  It’s Saturday afternoon.  The first group of kids is GONE!  How did this happen!?  Alas, it’s true… but they had fun!  And we had fun!

Dave finished up his lessons on what we need in our backpacks for life by talking yesterday morning about an axe/hatchet.  This hatchet would help us feel safe, hammer nails in, and cut down fire wood so we could cook and stay warm on our journey.  If you’ve never seen a hatchet before, it’s iron on a wooden handle, sharpened at one end.  Dave talked about the importance of friendship, and more importantly — the importance of having friends who will push us toward deeper trust and faith in God through our relationships with them.  Deep friendships are like iron, which sharpens our iron.  Dave used the story of David and Jonathan to illustrate this point.  Jonathan could have given David up in a quest to be King, but because of their deep friendship — stronger than the bond of brothers — Jonathan did what he knew was God’s will and saved David’s life, which let him eventually become King.  The verse surrounding this was Proverbs 27:17, and yet another bookmark was given to be stuck into that verse as well.  The idea here is that if we can surround ourselves with great friends, we’ll always be pushing each other into deeper, more God-honouring relationships.

The final item in Dave’s backpack was a flag.  Jesus sent His disciples out to go and make disciples of all nations.  The idea here is that Jesus has this “crazy and inefficient idea” of letting us spread the Gospel, so we need to GO!  This message was based around Matthew 28:19 a.

If you would like a visual reminder to spark conversation with your kids after they’ve now returned home, Dave shared his outline with me and I’ve attached it here.  It’s got the symbol, the verse, the story, and the Big Idea that went along with each teaching.


Do you have a YouTube account?  Are you the kind of person who subscribes to YouTube Channels?  If you are, you should totally follow us!  I took a couple videos on my phone this week, and the only way to get them onto the internet with Camp’s limited bandwidth supply was to upload them from my phone to YouTube while I ate dinner at Wendy’s in Huntsville last night… haha thanks for free Wi-Fi Wendy’s!  So here they are, embedded into the post.  Feel free to click on subscribe while you’re there so YouTube lets you know when we upload a new one (hopefully once or twice a week, but I’ll have to wait til I’m off site to put them up).  I think you can even set it to email you if we add a new video!

The first video is of worship during Underground one morning.  Wednesday morning I believe.  I really like the sound of so many voices, especially so many young voices, blending together in worship to God.  That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it?  (Apologies on the skinny video — apparently I forgot how to take video from my phone 😉 )

The second is of Julia helping and encouraging a Camper at the Low Ropes course.  From what I saw while I was there, this was the climate set for the whole course with campers encouraging each other and being built up by their leaders and friends.  The low ropes course is all about team work and building trust, so that is great to see.

Finally, check out some pictures from the day!

We had tubing….

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Water sports…..

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The LITs arrived safely back from their Algonquin Park canoe trip!  I’m told Cait and Graeme have great stories, pictures, and videos for me, so look forward to those soon!

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I told these kids to look ‘fierce’ while they waited for the targets to be fetched so they could head up to archery.


Yesterday’s lunch theme was ‘Rest.’  As usual, the Kubbies were in fine form, with some of them even cuddling on the family member who came with them!

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The beach was lovely yesterday, and the water was even much calmer than Thursday (which let us get water sports and tubing pictures).

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Here are all the Cabin Photos from Nova/Kubbies 2015!  It was quite the task to get everyone together in one place, let me tell you!  But they always turn out so nicely and they’re great mementos for the kids, so feel free to download them from the blog here and save them if you see your child in one of the pictures.


Birchmere Woods


Birchmere Lodge

Birchmere Lodge

Cedar Rest (Kubbies)

Cedar Rest (Kubbies)



Porcupine Ridge

Deer Run

And, because I love the sharing nature of our Kahquah family, I was given memory cards and jump drives through the week with some GREAT pictures on them, so I thought I’d share.  I know I already gave you my pictures of Capture the Flag, but David got some awesome ones too, as well as some great shots of Campfire.

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The Blog takes a break tomorrow as we prepare for our Quest campers, but keep an eye on our Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts for pictures of the bus arriving!

Until Monday!



A busy, beautiful day!

This blog is going to be very picture heavy, as I got to see lots of awesome things yesterday, and there was lots going on!  I’ll try not to talk too much but will let the photos speak for themselves.  Yesterday was a much nicer day than the day before.  The sun was shining brilliantly, and it was quite a bit warmer.  Today is looking to be much more of the same, which we all love to hear!

In Underground yesterday, Dave continued to unpack the backpack of items that he needs on his journey through a life with God.  Yesterday morning, he talked about being active and staying healthy.  Aunt Tara led everyone in a Zumba song to get everyone moving and to illustrate that moving keeps us healthy.  We learned about endurance ~ how to push through difficult circumstances which builds our ability to push through even longer.  Dave talked to us about playing football in high school, and how as a rookie he was responsible for carrying water jugs long distances.  At first, that would be hard — water jugs are heavy!  But as he endured, it got easier and easier, and eventually he didn’t even have to take breaks!  How true is that in our own lives.  When we practice endurance, we can make it through much more!  Base Camp is us preparing for the journey of life — in which we will certainly need to endure.  The verse yesterday morning was Hebrews 12:1b ~ running the race set before us.  It’s important to note that we need to run the race set before US.  It does me no good to try to run someone else’s race.  I need to endure through mine.  Enduring is running even when it’s hard.  Last night, Dave talked about a map and how that shows us the way and guides us through life, much like the Bible does.  I suppose it would be important that we know how to use our map, just like it’s important that we know how to use our Bibles!  Kids looked at John 14:6 — Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  How true that verse is!

I will now regale you with many, many pictures!  Everywhere I went yesterday, kids looked to be having a great time!  I love seeing kids having fun!

During Underground yesterday morning, Aunt Tara led everyone in a Zumba song, where the goal in jumping was to try to hit the ceiling.  I certainly don’t think I have a powerful enough jump to hit the ceiling, so I was kind of in awe of that!

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At Crafts, kids made Mountain Climbers, and a few of them showed them off for me!


The pontoon boat took kids out to their usual spot, just off the tip of the island, and while it was a beautiful day for some fishing, the kids that came back said they unfortunately didn’t catch anything.  They looked like they had fun anyway, though!  Maybe the water was too choppy…. though I don’t know anything about fishing, myself, haha, so I don’t know if that’s even a thing….

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The lunch theme was Wreck Your Counsellor — kids got to mess their counsellors up, and that’s always one of my favourite lunch themes.  It’s so much fun to see what the kids and counsellors can think of to make it look like their counsellors have just had a really bad day.

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The beach looked like a lot of fun today!  There were kids building hot tubs at the beach, and kids frolicking in the water.  There were also a few who just enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon laying in the sand.

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Rock Climbing was great yesterday.  It makes me so happy to see encouragement coming not only from our rock climbing leaders, but also from the other kids who are sitting waiting to get onto the wall.  “Keep going!  You can do it!  You’re almost at the top!” were things I heard all around me every time I went to the wall yesterday.

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At sports, kids were seen testing out our new 9 Square in the Air court.  It’s kind of like a cross between volleyball and four square!  I can’t wait to try it out, because it looks like lots of fun!


At archery, I loved seeing Tanner Hammil helping younger kids out with their archery skills.  He seems to be quite enjoying Archery, so to be able to assist younger kids is awesome!  We’re hoping that he continues to grow in his leadership skills and love of camp to the point where he wants to come back and be Camp leadership here!

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At low ropes, I heard the same kind of encouragement as I did at the rock wall.  Julia is a great leader at this activity, giving everyone she assisted the next steps they needed to take to succeed, as well as the encouragement to know that they could keep going.  I’ve been on that course, it’s not as easy as it looks!

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Last night’s Camp Wide Game was a fort building game where kids had to run around in teams from station to station, gathering currency to buy supplies with, and with the supplies they bought they had to build a fort.  I’m not sure of the determining factors for which team’s fort won, but it looked like everyone was having lots of fun!  Thanks to Lindsay for taking pictures for me!

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Finally, I just wanted to show you what a beautiful day we ended up with yesterday.  Check this out!

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Canada Day fun

Yesterday, being Canada Day, one would expect it to be warm.  It is July, after all.  Unfortunately, anywhere you were yesterday you probably noticed that it was unseasonably cool.  That did not stop our Nova and Kubbies kids from having a great time at whatever they were doing yesterday, though!  And there were many smiles and lots of laughter despite the chilly temperatures.  Today promises to be a much nicer day, as the sun is shining brightly and we’re aiming for a high temperature of 21º.  It’s not as warm as we’d like, but, we’ll take it!

Lots happened yesterday in our first full day of Camp.  This is a new thing we’re trying this year, making Camp a shorter week for our youngest campers.  It seems to be working, and it sure gave us time as a staff to get all sorted out and ready for their arrival.  I know I sure appreciated the couple of days after school ended to get ready for a different angle of working with kids!

Last night in Underground, Pastor Dave talked about more of the things he needs in his backpack — which has been his teaching theme to go along with the program theme of Kahquah Base Camp for the week.  Last night’s object lesson was the First Aid Kit.  He had kids look at the red cross that represents healing and help that comes standard on most first aid kits, and then superimposed the Cross of Jesus over top of it to drive home the point that the Cross of Jesus is our help when we’re sick and need healing.  Sin is our illness, and Jesus can heal us from it.  He talked about archery — what happens when we don’t hit the target?  We miss the mark!  Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory — it’s the same idea as shooting an arrow and it not quite flying far enough but falling on the ground short of the target.  This is what sin in our lives is like.  That imagery is an excellent companion to this idea.

Pastor Dave has been giving out bookmarks with each Underground session to tuck into each memory verse so that when the kids get home, they can continue to be able to find the verses they learned about.  We’ve given away over 20 Bibles this week to kids who didn’t have any, and as a result we need to get more!  We’re thrilled about that news!

Enjoy these pictures from yesterday!

There are some from Rock Climbing where kids were learning how to tie their ropes properly.

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There were some from Gaga Ball — which was explained to me as being just like Dodge Ball, except you’re in a pit and you’re only trying to hit your opponents’ feet.  Your goal is to be the last person in the pit whose feet have not been hit!


There were pictures from Crafts, where kids made Canada Day wind socks.

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I popped into water sports, where though it was cold, kids were still enjoying learning knee boarding skills and getting into the water behind the boat!

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There are a couple pictures from archery, where Daniel even hit a bulls-eye!  Good for him!  Tate’s form looked pretty good, too!

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Yesterday’s lunch theme was ‘rocks’ and there were some creative dress-up displays!  Personally, I think the Kubbies ROCKED it!  Haha, get it?  I’m funny…… :p


‘The Rolling Pebbles’

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And lastly, check out the pictures of Capture the Canadian Flag!  It looked like everyone was having tons of fun playing in the field up across the road!

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Until tomorrow!


New Beginnings

Happy Canada Day, friends of Kahquah!  And happy first official (full) day of our Camp Season as well!

I’m sitting in my office this morning, listening to more than 50 people singing to God “Shine your light and let the whole world see, we’re singing for the glory of the Risen King”… just their voices. It’s wonderful. I’m in my office with the door propped open so I can hear the worship and the message while I write to you.

Nova and Kubbies have started! Praise the Lord, everyone is here! Can I tell you what a great day we had weather-wise yesterday, too? I was a little concerned – if you followed the blog last year, you may remember that almost every week of kids’ camp we unloaded in the rain. We shuttled every piece of luggage in a mad dash to the Chapel porch and then had to deal with it and sort it out later. My day yesterday started at my home in Brantford because I had to run home quickly on Monday night. As I drove back North I battled through various strengths of mostly just bothersome rain. It was annoying, and it gave me cause for concern. But as I continued North, the sky got lighter and lighter, and the rain stopped, making way for beautiful skies with just white puffy clouds.  The temperature rose a dramatic 11 degrees between Barrie and Magnetawan, which was a welcomed jump, since Barrie was sitting at only 15 degrees as I drove through.  Not a great temperature for June 30th!

Joe Flagg and Ellen Crane are the directors of Kahquah Base Camp this week, our theme for Nova and Kubbies.  Ashley Cunningham is the director for Kubbies, with both of her kids now graduates of Kubbies and settled nicely into Nova!  We welcome Dave Hamill as our Camp Pastor for the week, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say in the next couple of days!

This morning in underground, he was teaching our kids about the Bible, and how he knows that what’s in it is true.  He made a great point.  If you were going to make something up and try to convince people that it was true, wouldn’t you choose stories that were a little more believable?  Wouldn’t you pick stories that people wouldn’t immediately dismiss as crazy, or believe them as truth because they couldn’t possibly be anything else?  Take Noah’s Ark for example — wouldn’t it be more believable that Noah’s family had a boat already, and they survived a particularly wet summer?  Or… without believing in God, would you believe that walking around the city of Jericho could really bring down the walls?  I wouldn’t be able to, I don’t think….

Today’s memory verse is Psalm 119:105 ~ Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  The Bible is a guide that is a light in the darkness that helps us get from one place to another without falling into traps.  How much easier would our path be when it was fully illuminated?


Well… I have to go and gather stories and pictures from today so I can report to you tomorrow!  Enjoy your Canada Day, and enjoy some pictures from yesterday!  More to come 🙂





Julia avoiding the ball at our new Gaga Ball Court. I don’t really know how to play, but I’m pretty sure I’ll learn!


Look at that volleyball form!

Look at that volleyball form!

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It wouldn't be an Underground without Nat dancing!  Love it!

It wouldn’t be an Underground without Nat dancing! Love it!

Second Verse, Same as the First

We thank you for your prayers… we were able to get our swim tests done…. They were done in the pouring rain, but… they’re done.  All the kids were super accommodating to our need to be flexible and rearrange the schedule a couple times as we dealt with yet another day of completely out of nowhere soaker systems, and then random thunder claps in the midst of beautiful sunny skies.


Today’s lunch theme was “Tacky Tourist” and some of the cabins pulled it off really nicely!  I didn’t see them, unfortunately, but my dear Mommy was gracious and thoughtful enough to grab my camera while I dealt with the change of plan in the tuck shop.

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Like I mentioned above, we had another complete deluge of rain this afternoon… that lasted for a solid 8 minutes… then the sun came back out.  It poured, but once again, no one seemed to really be all that bothered by it.  I even heard a few kids mention that playing in the rain meant they didn’t need showers!  Don’t worry though, we disagree.  Aunt Laura and baby Landon got a good dance in the rain in as well, and Landon didn’t seem phased!

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Because it stopped raining so quickly, the water evaporated rather quickly and left us with a beautiful afternoon.  Kids were even able to play outside!

steam off the roofs as it went right back to hot and sticky after the rain.

steam off the roofs as it went right back to hot and sticky after the rain.

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I had to make a trip into Parry Sound this afternoon, but when I got back the kids were just assembling for Underground!  It’s been so nice to hear energetic worship bounding through the floors, and I had a chance to pop in this evening and see it in action.  This morning, through the walls of the tuck shop, I heard a rousing competition of that old “hallelu hallelu hallelu hallelujah!” song brought back to life.  I hadn’t heard it in years, and it’s lovely to hear the kids praising Jesus so excitedly.  The pictures you’re going to see are blurry, but that’s because there’s an action for almost every word of My Redeemer Lives.  The kids and the leaders were dancing…. and Noah and Chloe were photo bombing!

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While I was in my parents’ backyard watching yet another glorious sunset (doesn’t it just remind you that God works all things together for good after a stormy day like this?), I could hear the kids screaming at the Campfire.  Did they ever sound like they were having fun!  I know sound travels well over water, but I bet that was loud at Camp, because we’re off site and down the road a little bit.  That’s alright, though.  Campfire is supposed to be loud!

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It’s time to think about Camp!

Are you tired of all of this cold weather?  I sure am.  Are you tired of the snow?  I definitely am.  To free yourself of the winter blahs (if you indeed have them), it’s time to think about Camp!!  Registration for kids’ Camp opens in a mere 19 days!!  The brochure with the information about all the programs we offer is available now on our website.

I’m here to start pumping you up.  Are you excited?  I’m excited!!

Before I start our first highlight for kids’ camp though, I’d like to announce that staff applications are now available online, and are now being accepted.  Come on, you know you want to come work with us this summer!  Join us.  Please note that the process is different this year.  I don’t believe you were able to apply to be staff online last year, so for most of you that will be the easiest option.  Sure beats having to go fill out an application when you get to Camp (like I had to…), doesn’t it?  Please make sure you fill out both the staff app and the medical form.  They’re equally important.

Today I’d like to highlight Nova and Kubbies.  Both run concurrently from June 29 – July 5.  Kubbies is a parent and child camp that runs alongside Nova for children aged 6-7.  Younger campers are introduced to all the fun of a week of summer camp while maintaining the sense of security from having a parent stay them at night.  Each cabin has a leader assigned to help guide the campers through their first experience at Camp.  Last year, we had two young boys with very different levels of Camp experience.  One of the boys has been around Camp since he was a baby, and he probably doesn’t remember a time when Camp wasn’t a part of his life.  His brother comes to Camp, all his cousins come to Camp, and his entire family sets up shop for three weeks during Family Camp.  He came with his Mom and loved every minute of it.  The other had never been to camp, neither had his Mom.  By the end of the week, he’d made friends, so had his Mom, and they’re looking forward to finding a way that they can come back again!  What a fantastic story!  Here are the boys with their counselor, Brittany.  She stayed with the boys and their mothers and led them through all their activities for the week.

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Nova is a camp for younger or first time campers that accommodates for your child’s unique needs for supervision, rest, and patient instruction while also meeting their desire for new experiences and adventure.  It’s for kids aged 8-11, and runs alongside the Kubbies program.

Well — I’m stoked.  I can’t wait to see all of you throughout the summer.  Get excited, because there are going to be amazing things happening at Kahquah this summer.

This post brought to you by the Magnetawan Public Library….

Strange title, I know…… but I’m currently sitting in the Magnetawan Public Library’s parking lot, thankful tonight that they never turn off their WiFi and that it actually reaches with great strength TO the parking lot, because Camp’s Internet is down.  Why, you ask?  Silly question, it’s Camp.  Camp’s Internet needs no reason to be down….

That being said…….

Today was the last day of Nova.  The kids all appear to have had a great week, and so did the cabin leaders, Crew, and LIT.  My highlight for today was when the kids (or maybe the cabin leaders) made Uncle Jay (facilities manager) sing a love song down on his knee to his wife, Aunt Trish (kitchen manager).  It was very sweet.

Tomorrow morning, the kids will come down for breakfast after cleaning out their cabins, doing one final Cabin Clean-up inspection, and then dropping their luggage in the appropriate destination location so it can be loaded on the buses.  They’ll get on the buses and we’ll sing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good bye” as the buses pull out of the driveway like we do every year.  The kids who were driven here will get picked up, and then the staff will have 24 hours to recoup, rest, and do laundry.  I think I might try paddle boarding.  If there happens to be photographic evidence of this though, you won’t see it, because I’m the only one with administrative rights to this blog 😀

Last night at Campfire, there were various games and skits as usual.  I couldn’t go, I never can.  Campfire happens to be the only time that enough people are off of their various internet powered devices that I am able to upload pictures to here… so a big Thank You to Kim for handing her camera over this afternoon and letting me steal her campfire pics.  Also included in Kim’s pictures were a few of the daily tradition of gathering around the flagpole to sing O Canada as the pole is raised….. say, does anyone else remember the days when we arrived on Camp property and had to set our watches back half an hour?  The Kahquah Time Zone?  I can remember the first flag raising being VERY difficult when I was a camper because it was SOOOOO early!

Check out the pictures of the singing, dancing around, and general merriment at last night’s campfire!

I’m not sure what this skit was about, but Uncle Jacob and Uncle Nat sure look like they’re having fun.  I bet it was hilarious and there was laughter to be heard from everywhere.  Someone commented on an earlier blog post this week that they’re at a cottage elsewhere on the lake, and that our campfire songs and merriment can be heard down the lake.  I think that’s pretty sweet.

A challenge of some sort….

Today, a big hearty thanks goes out to Heather, who, after the boat broke down (sad face…) had nothing to do during first activity period.  I sent her out with my camera to the beach, one area I hadn’t really made it to yet, and let her snap to her heart’s content.  And she did!  I have some excellent shots from first activity today.

The Junior Lifeguard major was attended by just one camper during Nova.  Owen was very excited to practice many, many rescues on our poor victim, Uncle Nat.  He was led by the expertise of our Assistant Waterfront Extraordinaire, Uncle Daniel.  Uncle Nat’s life was saved NINE TIMES today!!  Check Owen out!





The Wilderness kids… the brave, brave wilderness kids… made filters with straws, grass, and charcoal today to clean sandy water and make it safe to drink.  I’d never want to be in a position where I’d have to know how to do this, but if it ever comes up, I’d sure want to be with these guys!

They searched for berries in the bush….
They showed off the wintergreen (spearmint) leaves they were chewing on….


And Uncle Jacob is here holding up a Daddy Long Legs spider, explaining to the kids that you shouldn’t eat too many of them, because they’re poisonous in large quantities…….. TOO MANY!?  No thank you.  YUCK!

From the dock, we also have some pictures of our young fishermen and fisher ladies coming in from fishing off the pontoon boat.  Lifeguard Uncle Dave drove them out, assisted by Cousin Ben, and accompanied by Aunt Brittany and Uncle Ivan.  They came in all smiles, so I assume they had fun!  I don’t know if they caught anything though, you’ll have to ask them.

At the Beach, there was lots of sandcastle building and just plain fun in the water.  Also note Natalie, our camp pastor for the week, and her daughter Erin swimming in the water and mingling with the kids.  What a great relational moment.  Aunt Sarah kept a watchful eye over the whole beach from the lifeguard chair.

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The canoe major group was doing tips and rescues in the water.  Heather saw great team work involved in getting their canoes turned back over, getting the water out, and getting the kids safely back in the boats.  I remember when I learned to canoe at Camp, and the first time our canoe was tipped, we got no warning….. it was very scary.  These kids look tougher than I must have been 😉  Also check out Lifeguard Aunt Trinda driving the e-boat, keeping a watchful eye on all the kids as they flipped and scrambled around the canoes.


Meanwhile, inside the lodge, check out Aunt Jordanne and two of her expert cookie bakers!  The cookies were DELICIOUS, by the way…

As the boat was unfortunately out of commission today with a broken bar to hold the ski rope onto, the water sports participants were sent to the paddle boards.  These are the first shots I’ve had of the paddle boards that weren’t from the office window, so enjoy!  And thanks again, Heather!

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Lastly, check out some very cute posed shots of our two Kubbies boys, Xavier and Dolyne, and their cabin leader, Aunt Brittany.  They seemed to have had a great time, and hopefully we’ll see them soon as Nova campers!

This is the last blog of Nova.  I am taking a full day off tomorrow and since the only thing interesting there would be to post would be the back of a bus as it departs, there will be no blog until Sunday evening.  If you’ve just been with us to hear about Nova, we’ve loved to have you, but we’d love it if you’d stick around, keep following, and tell your friends to follow us through Quest.  I can’t wait to see what God’s got in store for us next week.

Until Sunday night!!