“So my first high” Molly’s already starting to giggle, “is when it was raining so hard that our tent literally had a puddle in it”. By this point, she’s got a full belly laugh and has been joined in a chorus of laughter from the other girls. She goes on to share that it rained so much that their tent had a puddle in it, and they used zip lock bags to catch the dripping water to bring it outside…only for it to roll back into the tent. Then Aisosa shares that his “high” was the 3km portage. “It was so hard, but we all worked together to make it happen” he gushed, clearly proud of himself. The LIT (Leaders in Training) and JC’s (Junior Counsellors) returned from their 6 day canoe trip in Algonquin Park on Thursday, which is always one of my favourite parts of the summer. They arrive back to camp, covered in scrapes and bug bites, smelling just awful, and beyond proud of themselves. Moments after arriving, when the memories are still fresh, we gather to share their highs and lows. Despite the fact that it rained for 3 of the 6 days, not a single camper wanted to share a low, and most squeezed in a third high. “The scenery in Algonquin was astounding”; “the 3km portage was so hard, but we did it!”; “’I’m just feeling really proud”; or “We sank into the mud and fell over a few times on the portage and just couldn’t stop laughing”. These were just a few of the highs shared moments after returning to camp.
Our Leadership Program changes lives. I’ve seen it first hand, and the annual trip into Algonquin plays a huge role in that change. Teens return standing a little taller. They have a newfound sense of pride and self confidence, a whole lot of joy, and importantly have worked on building their resilience. It is one of my great privileges to be able to witness their transformation. I’ll send you a more comprehensive letter in a few weeks when summer is over and I have some time to reflect. But I just wanted to share some highlights from this year’s trip with you because I know you’ll appreciate hearing about the joys, challenges and triumphs as much as I did.
Yours in camping,
Executive Director, Camp Scugog