By Jacklyn Spithoff, Volunteer
CAMP QUALITY NW – Hello and welcome back to our annual blog courtesy of NetNewsLedger! This week we are excited to take you on a journey with our campers and volunteers as we jump into our EXPLORER’S ADVENTURES theme! Stay tuned throughout the week for our daily blog updates and get play-by-plays throughout each day with our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CampQualityNWO.
Our first morning started with a fantastic breakfast of bacon and quiche. With bellies full, our Companion volunteers boarded the bus to meet our campers, the ride courtesy of bus drivers Edith and Mark from First Student Canada. We pulled up and the excitement grew as the Companions unloaded the bus and searched for their partners for the week. We saw lots of happy reunions as campers reconnected with their Companions and camper friends. We also welcomed many new faces with three new campers and a slew of new volunteers joining our Camp family this week.
After we rounded up our group and loaded the luggage, we saw some parents left in the dust as their kids, in anticipation of the awesome week ahead, forgot to say their goodbyes and rushed to load the bus. “Sorry mom and dad – we promise we’ll call at least once this week! Plus, there’s this really cool blog you can follow to know what I’m up to…”
When we arrived at our campsite, the campers were greeted with applause, cheers, and high fives by some volunteers as they conquered the hill with their suitcases in tow.
Our campers then took the opportunity to settle into their cabins and unpack before lunch. When the bell rang for mealtime, everyone rushed to the kitchen for some grilled cheese and yummy soups. When lunch was over and we had made sure to put our “FOOD DOWN, HANDS UP and CLAP FOR THE COOKS!”, the campers got their creative juices flowing and decorated their cabins to fit this year’s theme – Explorer’s Adventures. The winner of the sought-after “Best Decorated Cabin Award” will be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned. Following decorating, each camper and volunteer had the opportunity to make their own Q-mail (Quality mail) envelope, which will be posted throughout the week so we can all share some warm fuzzies with each other. A warm fuzzy can be a compliment, a thank you, or anything nice you want to say.
Next up, camp rules, followed by a much needed jump into the gorgeous Loon Lake for a refreshing cool-down on this humid day. Some very generous volunteers who also camp on Loon Lake took time out of their day to take some lucky campers and volunteers tubing – a big thank you to Bruce and family!
Swimming and tubing sure do work up an appetite, so our campers were ready to dress up for our Explorer’s Adventure theme of the day – “Rooted in Nature” at dinner. We saw some pretty cool costumes – I’d say our group was certainly rooted!
Once we’d eaten ourselves full of lasagna, garlic bread and caesar salad (yummy!), some of us moved down to our beautiful place of solitude where we held a memorial moment. A handful of campers and volunteers took some time to reflect and remember those we have lost, including 6 of our previous campers who are no longer with us. It was a thoughtful way to honour the campers who helped shape Camp Quality into the amazing place it is today.
Our last activity for the day was a nature-themed scavenger hunt. Each cabin was given a list and raced around camp to find items such as a spider web, tree sap, a green leaf, and more, as well as sing a nature-related song for the Program team. Each team had a great collection of items, but in the end Cabin 3 was victorious with a score of 24 out of 17…they won many bonus points for creativity. Congratulations Cabin 3!
By completing this activity, each cabin also earned a puzzle piece, which is one small part of a very large treasure map they will work to complete throughout the week. With activities each day to earn more puzzle pieces, X will mark the spot at the end for the campers to find our hidden treasure.
Finally, to wind the night down, we had a campfire tended to by our Fire Master Jon, where kids and grown-ups alike ate the classic campfire snack – s’mores. Nothing like a gooey, chewy, chocolatey snack to end a great first day at camp!
Our campers are all tucked into bed getting their rest for the full day we have planned tomorrow as we get stranded on a Deserted Island. Stay tuned for more adventures!
This is the eighth 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.