Wa-Thik-Ane Summer Camp Diaries – Week 2 + Adventure Camp!

The following is Part 2 of 2 of a round-up of diary entries sent to us from the shores of Lac Bouchette at Québec’s provincial Girl Guide camp – Wa-Thik-Ane. (Follow the very latest from camp on our Camp Wa-Thik-Ane Facebook page!)


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: How does summer camp happen?

How does summer camp happen? It takes a lot of planning and coordinating but the key to summer camp is the volunteers.WP_000436

Every week we have a core of 20-25 women who take their vacation time to be here at Wa-Thik-Ane for the campers. Without these ladies the girls would not have the opportunity to soak up what Wa-Thik-Ane has to offer; challenging themselves to swim to a boat and back or across the lake, outdoor cooking, sleeping under a beautiful sky filled with stars, learning new skills and best of all making new friends the real way (not in cyberspace).WP_000426

So today I use this space to say a huge thank you ladies for sharing your time and knowledge from sun up to sun down with our Girl Guide campers and Wa-Thik-Ane.

Have a great camp day. :)

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Keeping spirits up!

Yesterday was a wet day at Wa-Thik-Ane. The sun did not shine but the smiles did. I love to hear the chatter passing along the roads from campsite to campsite as they head for their swim and boating even though it’s raining. Part of camp life is keeping your spirits up even when the skies are cloudy.

wwwtaBoating is a huge part of summer camp and the Brownies started their day with just that. It is amazing to stand on shore and listen to the singing come from the boats. They already had their favourite songs chosen before they pushed off.wwwta

The Pathfinders and Rangers worked on their t-rescues in a mist. Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers challenged themselves to the Short Lake swim but it was cut short because of a thunderstorm. No Short Lake but we hung out in the boathouse together until the storm cleared. They even got a snack as one prepared leader had a bag of apples and another a knife to cut them up and share! Not to worry – we will do it again on our next sunny day. :)

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Regatta Day! 

Wednesday is Regatta Day, one of the traditions at Wa-Thik-Ane summer camp, and yesterday was no disappointment. A few dark clouds rolled in but no rain and for the most part the sun was shining. The campers enjoyed a rotation of water and dry land games in the morning. “How many cups of water can you fit on a human table?” and water balloon piñata were some of the favourites.

Wk2-RegattaLunch was well earned as girls worked at building fires and then roasted hot dogs. The afternoon was a live game of Clue as I went missing and the girls went from station to station for clues on How? Why? Where?

The day closed with a quick dip to cool off and the smell of campfires at nightfall as smores were made and songs were heard.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Campers Got Talent!

Camp Wa-Thik-Ane started the day with a chill in the air yesterday but it quickly warmed up. The day was busy, canoeing and swimming. There was a special buzz in the air though as girls practiced for the much anticipated talent show at central campfire.

WP_000539Evening came and we all headed to central for the big event. The talent that shines from these girls amazes me each year. We even had a surprise pirate skit float up in canoes from the waterfront staff. The sound of laughter echoed across the lake as Pip and Flynn battled it out in canoes with pool noodle swords.

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The rain began to fall first lightly and then heavily but it did not stop the acts as we completed all the acts of our 2014 Talent Night.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator WP_000533


Summer Camp 2014 – End of Week 2 

For a treat, I’ve asked Katie, one of our Rangers, to wrap up the action for last week.         – Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

fr-archivesIf you look at the tattered black and white photographs of summer camps from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, you will see small canvas tents, clotheslines scarce with campers’ clothes and campfires cooking not only smores but full meals as well, an effort that takes hours each day.

“Summer camp” seems to always include kitchen staff to cook all your meals, a maid or two, and heated cabins complete with power outlets and beds – but not for us.

The first of my two weeks here, my fellow Rangers and I had many laughs over our accommodations at Cree. Our tents gave out and flooded, we only had the classic three bins to wash stuff, and our marquee was filled with leaves.

The next week we moved sites to Mic Mac and everything just got more rustic. Our showers were cold enough to give polar bears shivers and we had no electricity at all.

That week ended up teaching us to camp like never before. We learned everything from putting away canvas tents to cooking chicken or even steak on a fire. We even made an oven out of a pizza box. We did our chores three times a day, and were all encouraged to organize activities for the younger girls. This led to a talent show, a litter walk as well as a fairy walk.

Although this second week required everyone to work extremely hard, we realized that working for things makes it all worth it. I felt useful, wanted and needed. All the challenges we faced as a group made us stronger as individuals and made our friendships stronger than ever. I learnt more about real camping skills and overcoming problems at this camp than any other. It might sound crazy but even our chores ended up being fun!

I find that my generation does not always know the incredible feeling that comes from working for things, which Wa-Thik-Ane has provided for us. I am astounded by the leaders (who, by the way, are all volunteers) as well as the waterfront staff’s effort and commitment. I’m just a camper and I get tired sometimes, but the leaders always have a smile.

Although there’s a lot of resources, time and money that go into keeping Wa-Thik-Ane alive I feel that it has its upsides. Through the rough times I can see more love, passion and commitment that ever before. Nobody is giving up.

Well, I’m back at camp and my friends are impatiently waiting for me to join them. So it’s time for me to go. Hope everyone’s summer back home is as great as summer here at Wa-Thik-Ane, but somehow I doubt that’s possible!

- Katie from the GGC Valois-Dorval Ranger Unit


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: First campfire!

Yesterday we began our Adventure Week with learning about dehydrating our food for our trips. The girls sliced mangoes, fresh strawberries, apples and bananas to make fruit leather and fruit chips for our Mont Tremblant adventure day today.

Just before lunch most of us jumped in the lake to encourage those who wanted to do the boat swim for their crest. It was hot and a great way to cool off. We made grilled cheese on our buddy burner stoves which always tastes better than on a regular stove.WP_000546x

After lunch we treated ourselves to an afternoon of canoeing and swimming at Blueberry Island. The day ended with just over 30 beautiful voices singing camp songs around the fire.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Adventure outing!

WP_000553Yesterday was a day reserved for an adventure outing! After doing my best to work out where and how we were all going to our respective activities, some hiked, some ziplined, and those with a real adventurous spirit chose Ferrata du Diablo (rock climbing).

WP_000556After sorting all the paperwork I was able to relax and hang from the cliffs. No words can say how amazing it was. The view was beyond belief. One of the reasons I do this is to see a young lady who is afraid of high heights attempt the activity and face her fear. From a position of not being able to take both hands off the wall to hanging off the bridge suspended in air.WP_000559

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Day 4

Yesterday was a familiar day around camp. WP_000569We did the usual boating and swimming. Just to add a little more adventure to the boating, we attempted to line all the canoes up side by side to have a race. The wind was so strong that by the time we joined up our canoes side by side we were already at the finish line (shoreline). A quick decision was made by Super Eagle to have a race in reverse. Needless to say we all had a smile and a good chuckle.

WP_000572We explored the different types of travel stoves and a few pointers about tripping. Our skills were tested on fire building along with cooking our supper on fire. After dark as I headed down to the food building, I was lucky to catch a glimpse about what summer camp is all about. Check out the red sweaters!WP_000575

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Uncovering Mafking

Yesterday was a great camp day, not too hot but sunny. :) We started our day with a delicious breakfast of sausage, pancake and blueberries – yum! Our first activity was boating and I had a personal drive; to find Mafking.

Years ago we campers and our leaders were able to pack the canoes and head over to the other side of the lake to camp overnight on a site called Mafking. So, we headed out and found it! A future project awaits us, to clean up the site and once again camp over there! After boating, some of the girls challenged themselves to the long lake swim and all who tried succeeded.

moonThe day ended with a challenge to earn our camp tour crest in a new way. We had four teams do the course of all the sites in a different order in the dark. There were three rules: no running, stay hidden from the opposing teams, and all team members must enter the marquee to count for visiting the site. If you were seen by the other team, there were time penalties. We had an awesome time walking around Wa-Thik-Ane – survival mode!

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

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Northshore Girl Guides go to beautiful lengths to earn a Québec Spin!

While getting ready for Camp Wa-Thik-Ane and a trip to SOAR BC, Pathfinder Leah Suissa and Guide Zoe Suissa from Northshore District chose to cut and donate their hair for wigs for cancer patients.

donations! Guider Dora Hemsworth joined them and they have almost enough hair donated to make a whole wig!

Bravo!Taking their program for a spin, they decided on the following:

Red circle: QCSpinner-fullimage_260Make a Difference

Green circle: With District

Brown circle: Share it!

Pink circle: Sisterhood

Find out more about the Québec Spin Challenge here.

Find out more about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program here.

Thank you to Northshore District Guider Dora Hemsworth for sharing their story with us. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Challenges, Community Engagement, Défi Qc Spin, Girl Greatness, Posts in English, QC Spin Challenge | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wa-Thik-Ane Summer Camp Diaries – Week 1

The following is Part 1 of a weekly round-up of diary entries sent to us from the shores of Lac Bouchette at Québec’s provincial Girl Guide camp – Wa-Thik-Ane. (Follow the very latest updates on our Camp Wa-Thik-Ane Facebook page!)


Summer Camp 2014 – Opening Day, Week 1

I awoke to a quiet camp and the sound of raindrops on my tent. I thought – oh no, please not on opening day. Well, the camp spirits answered my call because by the time I showered and dressed, the sun was out and we had a beautiful day. We were treated to a wonderful breakfast by chefs Glenn Keeble and Elaine Keeble. Well deserved by all the hard working volunteers who are prepping for the start of camp.

Soon enough the parking was busy with bags being dropped off and parents kissing their daughters goodbye with wishes of a great week. Immediately the waterfront and sites were filled with squeals of laughter and shouts of encouragement for those doing their swim test.

After a busy afternoon, we officially opened camp with the raising of our Canadian flag and a delicious BBQ. The daylight began to close on the sites and campfire were burning for a last treat of marshmallows and songs. When stories and songs had ended, goodnight was said and so ended our first day of summer camp 2014.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 1, Day 2

WP_000422We awoke to an overcast day with raindrops falling. The weather forecast was gloomy with a chance of thunderstorms and high winds. Camp life continues, however, and girls were in the water for a 7:30 morning dip challenge and by 9:30 the Wee campers were off in their boats.

The rain showered here and there but we are happy to say nothing consistent and heavy. Boat lake swim went ahead for those that were up to the challenge and 20 girls both young and young at heart did the swim. Way to go ladies!

Camp WTA

 

The Wee campers also took a hike to the bluff in the afternoon and enjoyed the misty view. The day ended with sweet voices running through the campground to the melodies of Guiding songs at our Youngson central campfire site.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 1, Day 3

Today we said goodbye to our awesome Spark campers and their moms. These ladies certainly were good camp material, arriving for morning dip both mornings and smiling through sunshine and rain showers as they completed their planned activities. Their camp came to an end with a hike along the waterfront path to Mic Mac and cooking their own grilled cheese sandwiches on buddy burners.

As the Brownies arrived for the start of their camp so did the heavy rains, which made an exciting and challenging time to get them and their gear to their campsite dry. The Brownies pitched in transporting gear from vehicles and made it an easy challenge. The skies cleared for a short time so that all the new campers could complete their swim test and boat test.

WWWTA2014-Day3Part of camp life is collecting and returning your coolers of food each meal time, to and from Food Services. The wagons gain weight as they climb the hill and I hear the encouragement and complaints as the girls make their way uphill outside the office. Well done, girls!

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Our new waterfront toy was installed and tried out by the older girls with the sound of laughter and squeals. Thank you Arnold family for your donation – it will be enjoyed.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

 


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 1, Regatta Day!

Regatta Day! The half way mark in our week long camp usually brings Regatta, our fabulous fun water activity day that our fantastic waterfront staff plan.

WP_000453WP_000446Yesterday the sky was overcast and the air cool. In the true Guiding spirit we decided to go ahead as planned unless it poured rain or thunder and lightning became part of the picture. Well, mother nature was on our side because after a few gentle showers at lunch, the sun began to peek out and the air warmed up.

Indeed it was the Guiding spirit that spread as the Brownies started the event with their Boat Swim Challenge in cool waters and then warmed up by the fire that Guides and Pathfinders pitched in to build with their leaders. Hot dogs were cooked in milk cartons and on sticks as we all enjoyed lunch together. The afternoon continued with lots of laughter and participation in the games.

WP_000442 One of the best things about Guiding and a provincial camp is watching girls of all ages learn from each other and make new friends which I watched unfold in abundance today.

As I made the evening garbage and recycling rounds I was entertained with a joyful round of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by the Brownie site and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on the ukelele by a Pathfinder. Life is good at Wa-Thik-Ane.

WP_000460- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 1, Day 5

Thursday was a beautiful day, everyone was happy to see the sun. :)

The Pathfinders did the annual event of a sunrise hike to the bluff. I know that they all enjoyed the view and were tired from the 3:30 a.m. hike. Today their adventure is hiking into town to buy their dinner supplies!

The annual short lake swim took place and all who tried the swim completed it. Way to go girls!

We will say goodbye to our Brownies today after a fun filled and very busy three nights. They had the opportunity to do four camp challenges: sleep under the stars, camp tour, morning dip and short lake swim; which many of them completed.

Our weekend Wee Camp arrives today and we are excited to share the magic of Wa-Thik-Ane with them.

V__A1E0 – Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – End of Week 1

Wa-Thik-Ane’s gates have seen a lot of campers come and go over the last few days. Brownies packed up on Friday and ended their camp with some amazing weather for swimming and boating, filled by a picnic lunch. As the Brownies hiked to the parking lot to say their goodbyes, the Sparks arrived with their moms for two nights of Wee Camp.

The Guides had a special treat this year as they packed up their gear on Friday afternoon, leaving only with their bedrolls and a daypack with extra clothes for an overnight trip to Mic Mac. At Mic Mac they enjoyed a night with propane lanterns lighting their way through dinner and set up for a beautiful night’s sleep under the stars. Thank you, Guides, for moving off your site so the Wee could use it and thank you to all the amazing Guide Guiders who made my plan come true.

Saturday brought goodbyes to a lot of week-long campers, some of whom will be back this week. The Wee enjoyed an amazing day of boating, swimming and songs. Sunday brought heavy rain and the arrival of a new crop of campers! We smiled through our arrival with wet luggage, departed to our sites and enjoyed a delicious barbecue all together. The evening brought clearing skies. :)

I found this note for Wa-Thik-Ane on Friday from some wonderful Brownies and their amazing Guider moms that sums it up. It reads, “Dear Wa-Thik-Ane, you are amazing!!! I love this camp!” Wa-Thik-Ane looks forward to seeing you again, ladies. Bye for now.

WTA-mailbox- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

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How do you show your love for Wa-Thik-Ane?

Tent Rising Week at Camp Wa-Thik-Ane (May 10-16, 2014) was made possible thanks to the volunteers who spent many hours preparing the sites for the 2014 season. From cleaning marquees to stocking supplies to minor repair jobs and pitching tents – it’s their continued dedication that makes it possible for hundreds of campers to enjoy our beautiful provincial campground year after year!

Provincial Camping Adviser and Guider with the 1st Kirkland Pathfinders Angie Kruller took part with her unit and their families:

We had five Pathfinder families from the 1st Kirkland Pathfinders and two Rangers and their leader, Jutta Bouchard, up at camp to do work on Cree. A lot was accomplished and it was amazing to see everybody work so hard and have fun doing it.

Five new fire pits were poured, platforms were repaired and leveled and the main camp fire now has a beautiful pile of wood, ready to go. There is a platform for the leaders’ tent close to the marquee and the rest of the site is now set up for patrol camping and cooking.

Both Pam and I are thrilled that the plan we had for several years has now come through and we hope that many Pathfinders and Rangers will make use of the site.

Thanks also to Guider Heather Martin for sharing some photos!

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If you are interested in guest blogging or contributing stories and photos, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Camp Wa-Thik-Ane, Camping, Parents, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Rangers, Volunteering, Wa-Thik-Ane | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

And off we go! Exploring and discovering in Quebec City

The following blog was originally posted on Life as a Girl Guide.

After many months of preparation, the 1st Lennoxville Pathfinder Unit and the selected Guides were off to Quebec City for camping, sightseeing and learning a bit about our history. Oh! Did I mention the Beaver Tail eating?

QC aquarium Friday evening saw us grocery shopping and getting ready for the long weekend ahead. We woke up to a very rainy morning, packed up and headed off on a long drive. Our first stop in Quebec City was the aquarium, where Bubbles got a kiss from a friendly walrus… Where we watched a polar bear swim… And where we got to touch starfish, anemone, urchins and sting rays!Setting up camp

Very thankful that the rain stopped at lunchtime, we set up our campsite securely, just in case the rain and wind started up again. And since we still had so much daylight left…

We headed over to the Montmorency Falls, took the cable car up and walked across the suspended bridge!

As you may be able to tell if you have already been there, the water level was unusually high. In fact, it was a new record; no wonder the stairs were closed! So we posed in a tree instead!Chutes de Montmorency

Chutes de Montmorency P5175716And stopped for a little shopping/playing to spend a bit of our pent up energy. The see-saw contraption was a big favourite among the Guides (and their Guider, wink wink), whereas Pathfinders preferred a bit of independent shopping.

QC City

Here we are by the fountain in front of the Parliament building.

We woke up early on Sunday morning, ready for a day of exploration in the Old City. As you can see, our worries about unfavourable weather were completely unnecessary!

Read more about their walking tour and see more photos here.

The rest of our day included a guided tour of the Morin Centre, which is basically the old prison turned into a college, the first to admit women in Quebec, turned into a library. This was followed by a photo scavenger hunt and quiz. Here are a few photos from my team, the Heffalumps. Oops! I mean Snuffleupaguses. P5185754

It’s a good thing that our next stop was the oldest house in the province, that has been turned into Aux Anciens Canadiens, a very fine restaurant. We all got dressed up and enjoyed good meal!

P5185782Though we had already done much that day, it was not over yet: our last activity was a ghost walk through Old Quebec. We heard tales of horror, death and ghosts, as well as some very strange facts that might not be mere coincidence after all…

Oh my! Did we sleep well that night!

We woke up to another beautiful day, our last. Breakfast, break camp, load it all up and off we went! Where to? To that shopping centre, the one with the amusement park inside… Galeries de la Capitale. The roller coaster was brilliant! We finished our visit to Quebec City with one last stop in Old Quebec for some souvenir shopping and refreshment.

And back home we went.

I am very grateful to have been asked to accompany the girls on this fantastic trip; I think I can say that we all had a wonderful time! Of course, we would like to thank everyone who made this trip possible!

P5185789

By Guest Blogger Esther Keller. Esther is a Guider with the 1st Lennoxville Guide Unit. This is an edited version of the blog post on Esther’s own blog where she shares her Guiding experience regularly. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

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Making friends across the border!

International friendship is an important part of being a Girl Guide! These Brownies from Pierrefonds made some new friends south of the border to celebrate World Thinking Day together and share in the sisterhood of Guiding:

The 2nd Northwood Brownies sent letters, drawings, pictures, ‘I LOVE GGC’ tattoos, crests, and two boxes of cookies (chocolatey mint and classic) to the Sterling Daisy Troop in Massachussetts, USA, for their World Thinking Day event. Sara, the Sterling Troop Leader said that her girls were so pleased with the package and had a great time representing Canada at International Night where all Girl Scout troops in their town choose a different country.

In return, the Brownies received a package from the USA including letters, drawings, crests and six boxes of delicious cookies. They enjoyed their gifts during their last Brownie meeting and hope to correspond with other girls around the world when they meet again in the fall.

Thank you to 2nd Northwood Brownie Guider Annie Ajemian for sending us this story and photos. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

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An advancement ceremony Under the Sea!

Guider and District Commissioner Linda Hamelin is proud of her district’s Under the Sea advancement ceremony! How did they do it?

It was a lot of work to fold, paint and fluff 164 pieces of coloured Kleenex and put them onto mermaid necklances. Then I sewed 11 mermaid skirts for the girls advancing. One week the Sparks and Brownies coloured sea creatures and then we glued them onto a plastic table cloth that looked like water. We then had a blue table cloth on the floor with shells and rocks.

These are the words that one of our Spark leaders came up with to say as the Sparks were walking in the water to be greeted by the Brownie leaders, and then Brownies put the mermaid necklaces on them:

As you swim through the pathway of shells and coral that represent the learning and experiences you have done through Sparks, now swim into the deep blue sea of new beginnings and wonder. We wish you all the best with the new friends and have lots of fun in Brownies.

Thank you to Mille Iles District Commissioner and 1st Argenteuil Spark Guider Linda Hamelin for sending us this story. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

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