THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Next in our line-up of camper writers, is Austin Visser who is 18 years old and enjoying his 7th year at camp, which is also his final year as he graduates and joins our CQ alumni.
By Austin Visser
Today was an early one, as if we didn’t get up early enough as it is. I woke up at 6:50am for a workout, just barely enough time to get back for breakfast at 7:30. Another shout out to Lauren for lending us her voice yet again, to remind us of the big day ahead of us, with the exception of a few early birds here at Camp Quality.
A nice hearty breakfast awaited us, from boiled eggs to bagels, yogurt and fruit (fit to meet everyone’s dietary preferences). Thanks to all the cooks for putting in so much effort to feed Camp Quality’s bottomless stomach.
Once breakfast was done, it was time to get ready for a day of meeting celebrities, playing games, hangin’ out and shooting arrows. Once we were all geared up in our CQ apparel, it was time to rush on the bus.
It was a nice long bus ride on the way to Whitewater Golf Course, which gave you plenty of time to chit-chat, communicate with family, or sleep (my preference) thanks to a nice, smooth ride from our amazing bus drivers Edith and Kathy.
When we got to our station we got to meet the Staal Brothers and Bobby Orr, get some autographs/pictures and even pelt one of the brothers with tennis balls (while he was wearing protective gear of course). Once everyone got their pictures and autographs, the brothers and Mr. Orr had to go, which gave us plenty of time to hang out, play golf-based games and watch some golf at the 18th hole. I definitely worked up an appetite from being out in the hot sun all day, and I think I speak for everyone else when I say that (based on all the grumbling stomachs around me). We all got to go up into a box to eat and watch the 18th hole from a better vantage point. We were served plenty of delicious cheeses with grapes, raw veggies and little sandwiches.
There was a whole section of sandwiches that were gluten-free for those with celiac attending, a growing number.
After eating everyone was posing for the camera for the media, our CQ photo crew and yours truly (for this very blog). Everyone seemed to love getting their picture taken, I know I do. After all the photos were done we got to sit around and digest a little bit and sign autographs for Denver, one of the younger campers at CQ (because the CQ crew is the best he ever knew :P). Once we said our “thank-you’s and goodbyes” we hopped back on the bus and started off to Lakehead Archers.
At the archery range we were greeted with a familiar face, which happened to be one of the police officers who participated in our soccer game the day prior (who still hadn’t come to terms with the blowout he endured from our elite athletes). There were plenty of seats and comfy couches to sit on while the instructor explained to us the basics of archery and some rules before we stepped out on the range.
8 marksmen were permitted to shoot at any given time, being that we had 24 arrows to divide evenly. With some further instructions and rules, the first wave of campers got a chance at hitting the target. This challenge proved most difficult for pretty much everyone, at least on the first time around. Once we (myself included) found our “groove” the shots definitely began to get closer to that elusive bullseye.
As for most of us being first-timers, I’d say the current Olympic squads had better watch out (cause we’re coming). Some of those who preferred spectating got a chance to see what it looks like to shoot a bow, and what true awesomeness looks like. While the archery was going on there was more media to attend to with special guest Taylor from Taylorpedia. A bunch of campers volunteered to talk about how great Camp Quality is, which kind of took a while (cause come on, it’s pretty amazing). After archery was finished and we said our goodbyes and headed back to camp…or so we thought.
Because we’re sadly seeing rain in the forecast for tomorrow, we moved up our photo with Terry Fox and because of the reschedule, we took the fastest group photo our camp has ever seen, then almost ran back to the buses for some long deserved shut-eye. When we finally got back to camp, we had a little bit of free-time to play games, converse or wait eagerly by the dining hall for the dinner bell to ring. Supper was RIBS, RIBS, RIBS, RIBS, RIBS and I guess some beans and salad and dessert (but who really cares about those sidekicks).
Once everyone had finished eating, it was time to prepare for the long-awaited Talent Show!! All the performances were amazing, with so much thought that went into every one of them…I would expect nothing less from the CQ crew; however, I’ll only be detailing a few.
Starting off with some laughs we got entertained with some comedy magic from Lyndon and Cole, then got some deep emotion from Spencer’s heart-felt poetry that could send chills up the spine of Edgar Allen Poe (it definitely did it to me) and ended with some music and animal noises from some of our other performers.
As great as the talent show was, I think the highlight of the night was having local-celebrity (and past CQ camper, now alumnus), Collin Clowes, come and perform songs from his first album (This is Where I Leave). I found myself taken in by the emotion conveyed in the songs and felt connected to the messages in each and every one. I was too engaged to look away and was extremely impressed by the professionalism displayed in the song-writing and execution. As all good things must come to an end, what better way to end a great day than to experience your emotions and share an intimate moment surrounded by family (our CQ family)
This is the fourth year that NetNewsLedger.com has hosted the Camp Quality Northwest blog. We are 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.