THUNDER BAY – Day Two at Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario started bright and early with a delicious meal of make-it-yourself English muffin sandwiches that could be stuffed with eggs, bacon, ham and cheese. The sun was out and shining bright, which deceived many a camper and volunteer on what to expect weather-wise for the day.
Once our bellies were full, we loaded onto the bus to head into town to one of our favourite events, the Staal Foundation Open. On our way, we stopped at the Terry Fox Monument for our annual group photo. It is always nice to take a moment and remember how courageous Terry really was. After loading back on the bus and heading out to Whitewater Golf Club, we arrived just in time to watch the opening ceremonies which included bagpipes, speeches and a dance party featuring all the mascots. The campers were excited to see our old friends Bobby Orr, Ronald McDonald and the Staal brothers!
Next, we had front row seats to the Pandora Intercity Summer Classic hockey game. It was wonderful to see kids being able to play (and score – wooo!) against adult, professional hockey players. Pretty cool! Unfortunately, although it was sunny out at Camp Duncan, in town, the weather had other plans. It began drizzling, then showering, and then completely downpouring!
The campers did not let the weather deter them and instead stood out in the rain watching Brett Cleverdon, a trick golfer, do some pretty incredible things with a golf ball. He stood in the pouring rain and hit the ball with a bendable club, a six foot club and a backwards putter – all better than any of us could hit with a regular club. He swung while on one foot on a balance board, while on his knees and feet on a yoga ball and while someone threw the ball from behind him. Needless to say, it was very entertaining and well worth standing in the rain for. His final trick was to smash a watermelon with the golf ball – it was a fruit explosion and there was watermelon everywhere! His favourite way to make fruit salad as he said.
After lunch at the Open, we headed back to the bus to venture home to camp in hopes of sunny weather. Instead, as you can imagine, it was still raining. Fortunately, by this point, we were all pretty tired, so it was time for our “Toes Up Time” – this beloved time is a crucial and much anticipated time during each day for campers and volunteers to lay down for some quiet time…okay, maybe most anticipated by the volunteers! You don’t have to be sleeping, but your toes have to be facing up.
After we were refreshed, we woke up to see clear skies and a warm breeze – a much appreciated break from the rain. The campers had some free time and chose many different activities. We had campers playing badminton, playing cards, operating a construction company, building a toy car city, arresting people and singing songs about sombreros.
The afternoon also brought with it, a very special guest – Heather from the Ontario Camps Association has joined in for an overnight experience to see what CQ is all about.
We enjoyed yet another amazing meal courtesy of our kitchen team – pork roast, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and salad. Once dinner was finished, we thanked the cooks and made our way to the tennis courts to practice for tomorrow’s tennis tournament.
Unfortunately, again, the rain got the better of us and after about an hour we were rained out.
The campers retreated to under the gazebo to play cards and board games until it was time to roast marshmallows over the fire for some delicious s’mores! Thankfully, the rain held out long enough for everyone to enjoy one or two or ten s’mores (just kidding, we’d never let them eat ten – or would we?).
After some campfire songs, it was lights out and everyone made his or her way to bed – just in time, because it started …you guessed it…raining again!!
We are looking forward to many fun activities tomorrow including a scavenger hunt, our Olympic Games and our annual visit from the Thunder Bay Police Service!
And lastly, but most certainly not least, we are wishing and hoping and longing for sun, sun and more sun!!
This is the fifth year that NetNewsLedger.com have hosted the Camp Quality Northwest blog. NetNewsLedger is pleased to support the work of Camp Quality, and the ongoing battle to beat cancer. On a personal note, cancer has taken both of my grandparents, it tried to take my mom. There are few people in Northwestern Ontario who are not impacted by cancer.
When cancer takes on children, it is time for us all to rally to help them.