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.



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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This entry was posted in Brownies, Camp Wa-Thik-Ane, Camping, Challenges, Guides, Living Green, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Sparks, Volunteering, Wa-Thik-Ane and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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