I would be lying if I said I didn’t welcome the end of kids’ camp, I think that we all would, but it’s still really sad to see the end of a summer disappear. It’s sad to see all of our kids get on the bus and go for the last time, but at the same time, it’s refreshing. Terrifying for those of us who have to teach in six days though and haven’t planned anything… WHOOPS!
Zenith was a blast. The kids seemed to have so much fun, and they participated enthusiastically in everything we threw at them! We loved it. Yesterday was no exception.
It started out kind of foggy yesterday morning, and we weren’t totally sure what we were in for weather-wise, as the forecast called for a chance of thundershowers all day long. I don’t know what the difference between a thundershower and a thunderstorm is, but thankfully, we got neither. Once the fog burned off, it was sunny, hot, and humid all day long. This is some of the nicest weather we’ve had all summer! It makes me very sad to leave the lake when it’s this warm out. I’m sure the kids felt the same way. I know our staff had a hard time saying goodbye after 9 or 10 weeks together.
After lunch, we managed to have another panel discussion with the two groups of kids, one in the Chapel and one in the Underground, but this time the panel topic was for members to share a time when they chose to put themselves second. I was not in attendance at this event, but I quite like the idea of a panel of adults being able to affirm what’s being taught in session, and allowing the kids to ask questions and hear different perspectives.
Activities throughout the day were completely unhindered by weather, as I mentioned earlier, which is an amazing way to finish off the year’s summer programming.
There was a chance for the canoeing and kayaking majors to head out. I managed to quickly snap a shot of the kayakers headed out into open water before they disappeared beyond the reach of even my fantastic zoom, AND you can check out the canoers flipping their canoes and practicing getting back into them.
There were in fact kids at the beach. I saw some girls enjoying the water, even though I imagine after all that rain we had the other day the water is quite chilly. That’s not going to stop me, I’ll be in it before I leave on Saturday.
Tubing managed to happen today, and I believe it was run at both major periods because it didn’t get to run the day before because of the weather. Madelyn got to go out for one last tube ride of the summer with Brenna before she goes home tomorrow and Brenna went home today. I took Madelyn out on Saturday, and boy is she a trooper. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 3.5 year old be quite so adventurous before, but maybe I just don’t know that many 3.5 year olds?
Not only were there kids at the beach, but there were kids at the volleyball courts as well, which isn’t really shocking. They did play in the rain the day before, so it’s not surprising that they’d play in the sun. Second only to tetherball, I’d call volleyball a very popular Kahquah activity.
When I walked into the Chapel to check on the Art Majors, it was completely silent except for some lofty background music playing.
There were a few who managed to get out on paddle boards throughout the day as well, and I overheard one group of girls who saw me snapping pictures say “oh great, Laura took a picture, now we’re gonna be in the blog.” Yes, girls, yes you are.
After dinner, the camp wide activity had two parts to it. The first was a physical relay. Kayakers set out to kayak to Daniel, who waited beyond the swimming area. When they’d turned around and come back, they needed to tag a runner, who ran with the highest of knees for the back buoy line at the end of the swimming area and back, waiting to tag a paddle boarder. For obvious safety concerns, we didn’t think it’d be overly safe to let kids race while standing on wobbly boards beside rocks, so we didn’t give them paddles and let them lay on their stomachs and paddle themselves out and back. Upon their return, the paddle boarders would tag three legged racers, who raced across their beach to tag a canoer, who would then jump in their canoe with their partner and canoe out to Daniel and back. Keep a close on the picture of Nate and…. either Brad or Jaydon’s…. canoe (I can’t tell from the pictures who it is)… they had some struggles, started out going kind of backwards, and finished with the canoe nearly submerged. The canoers would tag a swimmer who swam with all their might to the swimming dock, sending another swimmer who was on the dock waiting back to the beach, where the whole team got together to strategize a way to build a sandcastle that was three buckets high, which required teamwork to figure out how to stabilize the bottom so it didn’t collapse.
The second part of the relay was a building challenge, where teams were sent to different stations. They had to build a structure that only one group could see in the Underground. The group in the underground could relay the message (what the structure that needed to be built at the beach looks like) only to the messenger group, who could relay the message only to the suppliers at the volleyball court, who relayed the message to the delivery people, who took the supplies down to the beach and relayed what the structure was supposed to look like to the people who needed to build it at the beach. It was intense, and very closely related to telephone, but on a much larger scale.
We managed to get all of tuck taken care of between the game and Underground, while a major dance party happened as we waited. Once Underground started, the group of Glee Majors who have been working hard on their harmonies and combining several songs, showed off their performance, which ended in Paul Fletcher being broken up with and told that they are never ever ever, getting back together…. like… ever. I was really glad that I had my phone in the tuck shop with me so that I could run out and witness this when I heard it start. They worked really hard on this.
Paul delivered a powerful message on suffering, grief, and loss, and what to do with it, that I could hear from the tuck shop while I was processing refunds and finishing up the paperwork for the summer. He talked about suffering, and what we’re going to do with the information we’ve learned at Camp. If suffering is kind of like a test of the knowledge you’ve learned, are you going to get 10 out of 10 because you have meditated on and kept close to you the information you learned? Or will you fail it because you heard it once and didn’t think about it again? It’s a choice we need to make with the Scriptural teaching we’re taught. I didn’t catch all of the teaching. There was a lot of mental math going on in that tuck shop last night, and I was concentrating on that quite intently, but that part of Paul’s message really stood out to me.
This morning, we piled all of the kids onto the bus one final time, sang our song to them as they pulled away (na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye), and then immediately flipped into cleaning mode! All of us who remain (Me, Frank and Nancy, Lynn, Jared, Sarah, Jay and Trish, Ethan, Danielle, and Chris and Sherri) have flipped into “let’s get this place clean!!” mode so that we can all take a much-needed day off tomorrow and enjoy some down time before the next season starts.
For me, that means as soon as I hit publish on this blog, I would desperately like to get my first week of school mapped out. For Chris and Sherri, they head back to London with their kids and go back to their off-season jobs. Jay and Trish and Frank and Nancy get ready for a Labour Day Weekend retreat rental group, and then some downtime before three weeks of retirees’ retreats begin. Ethan and Danielle are getting ready to begin Grade 8 and Grade 7. Lynn will be leaving so that she can get back to teaching, and Jared and Sarah can get ready for school and their jobs. It’s like the Camp season has come to a screeching halt and it’s time to wrap our minds around different things. It’s been an amazing summer, and I want to thank each of you who’ve read this all summer so sincerely, because without your following and reading, there’d be absolutely no point in the work that went into writing it.
There will be blog posts throughout the off-season as well, but it will not be daily. Please stay subscribed so that you know what’s going on with us all the time.
Have a wonderful fall at whatever you’re doing!