Camp Quality Northwest Celebrates 15 Years
THUNDER BAY – Our last full day at camp was certainly a packed one. As it is, I sit here writing this blog at 1:28am because we had so much fun celebrating our 15th anniversary of Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario, we partied late into the night!
We started our day with a delicious meal of French toast, bacon, ham and the mixings. It can never be said enough that Karen and her team are incredible and kept our bellies stuffed for the entire duration of camp. During breakfast, we learned that one of our kitchen volunteers, Shirley, donated nearly $5000 of food for this week. Not only did she give so graciously, but she was here the entire week preparing all our delicious meals. Thank you so very much, Shirley!
After breakfast, the campers took part in a relay race. The camp was split into two teams and one by one each member of the team had to run over foam noodles, jump two-footed into four hoops, perform some trick with a basketball, soccer ball, tennis racket, and volleyball, before they ran to a chest of costumes and put on four pieces of clothing and ran back, all while carrying an Olympic torch.
Needless to say, it was pretty entertaining for us on the sidelines, and the participants had a blast. Our programming team has done an incredible job of creating fun activities every day for our campers to take part in.
After some free time, which many of us spent around the fire because it was pretty cold, we had camp favourite lunch meal- soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. This was followed by some much needed toes-up time, as we still had a big day ahead!
After toes up time, the campers woke to find that the sun had finally come out and although it was not hot, it was at least warm. We had many visitors including Kelly and Sarah from Highlights for Hope and the facepainting team from Our Kids Count.
Many a camper is now sporting a light pink highlight in his or her hair and some form of painted artwork on his or her body.
At the same time, the waterfront was open and campers could take tubing rides. The boat was particularly fast and the campers and their companions has some pretty epic rides (I’m speaking from experience). After tubing was finished, the campers had some time to prepare for the nights festivities – an anniversary celebration worthy of 15 years of providing uplifting experiences for kids with cancer!
To help out with the celebration, we were joined by many current and past campers, families, volunteers and major donors. We had such a great turnout and could not be more thankful for all those who came out to help us celebrate! First, we invited them to join in on our dinner which was so delicious and courtesy of Maltese Grocery.
Dinner was followed by the closing ceremony of the CQ Olympic Games which included a procession of all the campers and their companions with their handmade flags created in the Craft Shack. Next, the companions awarded their campers with their unique awards, including the “Lucky Duck” award, the “Fishmaster” award, and the “Biggest Sparkle” award, among others.
There were many laughs, a couple tears, and overall it was a fantastic awards ceremony.
Next, we awarded a special volunteer, with the “Volunteer Extraordinaire” award- this award goes to someone who has shown true commitment through their volunteerism to Camp Quality.
This year’s recipient was our Camp Organizing Committee secretary, Shirley Wragg. Shirley has given many years to Camp Quality and could not be more deserving of this award. We also awarded the “Quinten Spirit Award” which is provided to a camper who has, throughout the week, shown enthusiasm for and takes part in all the activities during camp week and who is welcoming to all other campers.
This year’s recipient was a first time camper with Camp Quality, Ezekiel! Zeke was new to camp, but jumped right in like he knew us all for years. He was an active participant in all the activities and could be found hanging with campers and volunteers of all ages. He was a pleasure to be around and we are so proud to call him part of our CQ family!
After the awards were finished, we were joined by Partie Sound for our annual dance party. But before the campers could break out their moves, we were treated to a fantastic fireworks show! The fireworks were put on by Fireworks Unlimited.
It was amazing as always!
As the families and visitors caught their bus for home, the campers and their companions were already heating up the dance floor and dancing up a storm. We danced well into the night and had an amazing time. We could not have asked for a better last night at camp and for a more wonderful 15th anniversary celebration!
Thank you to all those who were involved in making this week a huge success!