Camp Quality Blog 2016 – Day One

Camp Quality 2016 - Group Shot by Alan Dickson
Camp Quality 2016 - Group Shot by Alan Dickson
Camp Quality 2016 - Group Shot by Alan Dickson
Camp Quality 2016 – Group Shot by Alan Dickson

Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario 15th Year

THUNDER BAY – Let the games begin! Today marks the opening of the Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario Olympic Games – a momentous occasion, especially since it marks Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario’s 15th year!

After being dropped off by their families at the Landmark Inn, the campers ventured on their chariots with their chariot drivers to the Coliseum, in other words on the bus with Edith and Nadine to our home for the week, Camp Duncan. Upon arrival, with the sun shining and the fans cheering, our Olympians broke through the starting line to enter the stadium. Campers and their companions settled into their cabins to unpack their gear and were reunited with their fellow Olympians, both new and returning.

Cutting the Ribbon on the Camp Quality 2016 Olympics
Cutting the Ribbon on the Camp Quality 2016 Olympics
Torch Carrier for the 2016 Camp Quality Olympics
Torch Carrier for the 2016 Camp Quality Olympics

After a hearty lunch of homemade soup and mac and cheese, the campers began their first task of decorating their cabins. It’s clear to see that our campers are proud Canadians as their cabins are covered in maple leafs and the colour red. The official Opening Ceremonies for our week included a salute to Canada with our whole camp singing the Canadian anthem, and the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by our director, Ashleigh, who declared the games officially open. The Olympic flame was run into the stadium by our lifeguard, Meg, who lit the CQ Olympic Games Torch (flames made, of course, of tissue paper) that now hangs under our gazebo and will not be extinguished until the games are complete.

Home Depot Wood Working Class - Camp Quality 2016
Home Depot Wood Working Class – Camp Quality 2016

After a quick review of our camp rules, we were lucky enough to be visited by Carmine and Mike from The Home Depot who guided our campers in building wooden bowling alleys, helicopters and tool boxes. Who knew that we had such talented carpenters? Next, Alan Dickson generously donated his time and visited our camp to take photos of each of our Olympians. He also took a group photo of our whole CQ family. We do this every year and it’s wonderful to see the growth in our campers from year to year. Thank you Alan!

Our incredible kitchen staff, with their fearless leader, Karen, served a delicious dinner of parmesan chicken, Swedish meatballs, potatoes, veggies and dessert. Our campers and volunteers were so full they nearly rolled out of the dining hall!

Before settling in for a movie night under the stars, our campers took some time to remember campers who have passed away in the 15 years of Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario. Campers and volunteers visited our Place of Solitude for a ‘Memorial Moment.’ Starting out with a poem, many of us took some time to reflect on the memories of those we have lost, but will definitely never forget.

Throughout the day, our campers had some free time and enjoyed many activities including swimming, playing board games, doing crafts in the Craft Shack with Sylvie, throwing footballs, baseballs, Frisbees, and anything else they could find. We can plan as much as we want, but it is always wonderful to see that the simplest things are always those that are most treasured. When asked the question: “What was your favourite part of today?”, our campers answered: “playing badminton with my friends”- Connor, “doing crafts in the Craft Shack”- Isabella, “making flags. I made four!”- Lucas, “decorating our cabin”- Alyx, and “the memorial moment”- Quinn.

Although we are sure that the competitiveness of the CQ Olympic Games will eventually take over, for now, we are more than happy to hear laughter filling the air at Camp Duncan. Such a wonderful start to an exciting week! Tomorrow, we are off to visit our friends, the Staal brothers, at the Staal Foundation Open!

This is the fifth year that 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.

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