Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: Time to Say Goodbye to New and Old Friends

 

IMG_1631Our week of fun, adventure, campfires, songs and new memories with old and new friends has come to a close. One of the my most favorite things is to be up early to take in the calm on the lake and the quiet at camp before the day begins.

IMG_1622As the morning began so did the packing up and making of bedroll, a necessary packing skill to have dry sleeping gear — less important on the way home, but useful all the same. It seemed a long morning for some  who were quick to pack up and anxious to see Mom and Dad and go home, but all had smiles. It is always heartwarming to see the open arms and excitement in the parking at pick up.

IMG_1633.JPGTake with you what you have learned campers and stay in touch with the friends you have made. See you next year and have a great rest of your summer.

Super Eagle signing off,

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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: A Final Day on the Peaceful Waters of Camp

 

Friday was  our last full day of camp before the week end. Mic Mac Guides survived their experienced camp. Last night when I stopped by just before central campfire, girls were blowing on their fire trying to get it burn better. They said that cooking meals over the fire was harder than they thought but they learned a lot. Personalities become a big part of working as a team when girls are tired as well, but they persevered — all good life lessons. Well done ladies and leaders Donna and Wendy for your skills and patience with the girls!

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Waterfront was busy as usual with Brownies in the rowboats and the older girls in canoes. Afternoon was scheduled to be a trip to Blueberry Island for the Guides, Pathfinders and a Ranger. However, Mother Nature changed the itinerary with strong winds. They pushed off shore only to paddle and work hard at heading in the right direction but the winds were so strong that they were not moving. I heard the whistle blow twice as Pip, our waterfront director, made the call to cancel the trip to Blueberry. The girls were definitely disappointed but each and every one of them should be proud they made it out to the middle of the lake and back without tipping. Everyone was happy to be able to have some swim time and cool off in the not so peaceful waters of Wa-Thik-Ane today. Especially since swim time ended or started with tuck; their daily two pieces of candy of their choice from the candy table.

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Guides and Pathfinders hope to end their week sleeping under the stars tonight if Mother Nature keeps the rain away.

Super Eagle signing off,

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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: A trip to Blueberry Island

A warm day today meant lots of waterfront time and smiling faces splashing in the
water. The water trampoline went out which brought a new layer of fun to the
waterfront! Brownies enjoyed the rowboats and the wonderful sound of children singing
could be heard coming from the the water. There is nothing like a good song to
keep the pace of rowing.

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The two Guide sites joined together today to take a hike around the camp and learn about the plants and flowers we have. I think there just might be a camp tour challenge crest earned in that hike as I am sure they passed through all the sites at camp. Mic Mac Guides have been busy learning about reading the weather patterns in clouds, different types of outdoor cooking and many other things. They have spent a lot of time preparing for their 24 hour independent camp to earn their experienced camper badge. As I arrived to do garbage detail last night they were enjoying their dinner after a challenging experience cooking  over the fire and tents were up and waiting for the patrols. Tune in tomorrow to see how their camp went!

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Iroquois Guides had a treat this afternoon as they loaded into the canoes to spend the afternoon at Blueberry Island swimming. One of the new lifeguards, Kiley, was invited to join them on the trip. Never having canoed before she was a little nervous but rose to the challenge, especially when she was placed in the back on the return trip to steer the canoe in the right direction. Well done Kiley! This is why I love being here to see young girls and women rise to a new challenge. I think she has the canoeing bug now!

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The evening came to a close with a central campfire. All the sites walked down and the Pathfinders led us in song. Fantastic job at leading the campfire ladies, thank you Pathfinders! Wa-Thik-Ane means peaceful camp by the waters and nowhere do I feel that more as we join in unison to sing taps on the waters edge at the end of another wonderful day.

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Super Eagle signing off,
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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: The Excitement of Regatta and the Short Lake Swim

Wednesday or hump day as some people call it, as it is midway through the week, is a
busy day at Wa-Thik-Ane. As it does every morning, morning dip woke me up and started the day at camp. Then, it was time for breakfast duty. How that works is that a small group goes off to the food building to pick up the cooler and dry goods basket already filled and waiting for them. They load them in the wagon and heave-ho off they go pulling and pushing it along to site. These girls and leaders get a good workout hauling the wagon up and down the hills of Wa-Thik-Ane, and practice their teamwork skills too! Today was Shannon’s birthday and the familiar birthday song could be heard coming from atop the hill, early morning, as they gathered for breakfast. Happy Birthday Shannon!

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At 11 am, the Guides that were interested in doing the short lake swim, were down at waterfront ready to go. Leaders put on life jackets and hopped in the water as waterfront staff readied themselves in boats, in the water and on the paddleboard. Then the swimmers jumped in and accomplished the swim across the short side of the lake and back. Well done girls!

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After lunch we had beautiful sunshine and a busy waterfront as Regatta began at 2 pm. Games included lots of fun in the water and on deck such as filling a bucket with soap bubbles and then having a foam fight to pass the sponge up and over and squeeze the water into another bucket. Thank you leaders for being such a good sport!

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Then off to site for dinner for some hungry campers and a surprise Rice Krispie treat from our wonderful food queen, Jennifer. Thanks Jennifer, your special touch added another smile to everyone’s day.

Super Eagle signing off,
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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: The Beauty of Rising Early

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Tuesday morning brought an early alarm at 3:40 am. I met the Pathfinders at the bottom of the road from their site and we hiked up to the Bluff for some of Mother Nature’s wonder. We were blessed with a clear morning and watched the sun rise from behind the mountain across as we chatted. Even the sun’s reflection on Ranger lake below was part of her beauty. Then it was time to hike back down, write the blog for the day, a quick morning dip at 7 am. with some eager Brownies and Guides and off to Mic Mac for French Toast bake.

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Breakfast at Mic Mac with the Guides brought on one of the day’s challenges: feed breakfast to the camper next to you and they in turn feed you. Of course there is always a way to challenge a challenge and three Guides decided to make it a “feed each other threesome.”

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Later in the morning brought our weekly chance to swim the “Boat Swim Challenge.” It was a little chilly with the wind but 32 campers jumped in to swim out to the rowboat, touch it and swim back — and all were successful.

The afternoon brought boating, more swimming, Brownies on a Scavenger hunt for the colors of Guiding, hat crafts on the Guide site, all with lots of smiles and laughter to go round. Brownies were invited down to the Guide Mic Mac site for a penny fair where they were able to play lots of games and share in the sisterhood of guiding!

Super Eagle signing off,
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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: Learning the rules and fun of Waterfront

Day two of camp began with the opportunity to earn you Morning Dip crest. To do this you need to be at waterfront by 7 a.m. to go in up to your shoulders. I had several Brownies and another Brownie leader waiting with me for the waterfront to open so we could do our dip. Several Guides and some Pathfinders filtered down to join in also. After morning dip everyone returns to their sites to change and help prepare breakfast, which for this wonderful Monday morning was bacon, eggs, toast, fruit with warm and cold beverages. Hot oatmeal makes a great addition to start the day as well.

 

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Brownies were busy after breakfast making an awesome craft a nature tic tac toe game. They are very kind and made one for me which I have the perfect spot for on my coffee table in the living room. Thank you Brownies!

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Pathfinders had their first try at rowboats and found out it is not as easy as one thinks! They used their thinking and knot skills in the morning making travois (a makeshift stretcher out of wood and rope) and having a race to carry their “patient” to safety on them.

Friends

Brownies ended their day with a silent supper and a surprise utensil meal. This means they reached in a bag and blindly picked a utensil to eat their dinner with. Sometimes the leaders have worse luck than the campers — Patricia had to eat with a can opener!

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Camp was quiet by 10 pm. and one leader from each site was in the food service kitchen preparing their French toast bake for breakfast tomorrow morning….yumn!

Patricia can opener

Super Eagle signing off,
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LINK Conference: Guiders of Today

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On the weekend of June 24th, we had the pleasure of joining over 20 Guiders and Rangers from all over Canada at the 1st LINK Conference in Toronto. The goal of the conference was to begin designing a new LINK program for the young women in Canadian Guiding between the ages of 18 and 35.

We began the weekend as part of a Guiding focus group, which provided us an opportunity to discuss our feelings towards Guiding and our participation within the organization over the years. We were only about 8 people in the room at this point, so it was a nice chance to hear about diverse experiences throughout Guiding in different places within Canada.

On Saturday, we were lucky enough to participate in the Annual General meeting. We were actually able to sit with many of the ladies afterwards in a LINK engagement session where we had an exciting opportunity to be able to meet and speak with many of the PCs as well as those who work in the National Office. We asked their opinion on a variety of questions, mainly about how they see the involvement of young women within Guiding. There was a great comfort in knowing that these women continue to be on our side and that they look forward to young women having increasing opportunities within Guiding as much as we do.

Through games, discussion, brainstorming and more, we were able to take our time designing a program that would suit the needs of young women within Guiding. It was so interesting to hear about similar experiences in regards to the challenges everyone was having with LINK groups. How do we make it accessible for all? How do we make a program to fit different experiences and lifestyles? They are difficult questions to answer, but when you put 20 young, intelligent, and motivated Guiding women in a room for a weekend, amazing things will happen. We were given a chance to voice our concerns and give our opinions over many aspects of a possible program. It was such a pleasure meeting all of the wonderful women on this special weekend. We truly left feeling confident that we were able to put the foundations in place for a new program within Canadian Guiding. We look forward to see what it will bring, striving to make the young women in Guiding realize that they are not only the Guiders of tomorrow, but Guiders today.

Sarah and Nikki Di Milo

Quebec LINK Specialists

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