Monday, August 18, 2008

Calvin Camping - August 2008

From Friday, August 15 to Sunday the 17th, members of Calvin CRC took a weekend out of their summer to gather together f0r the 5th annual Calvin Camping Weekend. This year six families and Gerry took the plunge and camped in the Gatineau Hills at Lac Philippe. We all had a great time. Below view the pictures with the narrative commentary attached.
The Hosmar's arrived first and got the pick of the campsites. It turned out to be the central meeting place for the group, as the site was large and the camp fires were held there as well.
On a weekend like this one always wonders about the weather, and this year was no exception. Once again we started our weekend with some rain. Thankfully the Admirals and Verwijs' got set up before the rain began. In this picture you see Mrs. Admiral and her son, Thomas, enjoying their first evening meal. They ended up eating at our site as they had no tarp to cover their eating area at their site. We were more than happy to accommodate them. : )
As the rain continued on for about an hour, it got pretty heavy. Here you see us socializing under our camp site shelter. It was a good thing I decided to put that tarp up. It was also a good thing the Admirals brought a tarp for their tent, otherwise they'd be sleeping in a water bed for the night - not something anyone would want to do.
After the rain ceased, the rest of the group arrived and set up. We all had sites close together, except for the Ellen's. They were a 5 minute walk up and down the mountainside. As evening set in, we gathered around the camp fire to socialize and, of course, roast marshmallows. The kids had a blast having the adults make the marshmallows for them. : ) We discovered each child likes their marshmallows a different way. It makes for alot of work being the marshmallow chef.
Thomas gave up on us and decided to give marshmallow roasting a try on his own. He did very well.
After a good night sleep, it was rise and shine. Here William waves hello with his big smile.
As breakfast was being completed, I noticed the Bouma's were working on something that they were attaching to their son. Low and behold, they were stilts. And then. . . .
. . . Tim brought out his juggling items. I was beginning to think that the Bouma's were starting their own circus and going on the road with their acts. : ) Tim was pretty good!
Gerry came Saturday morning. He told me he was going to take some firewood with him to burn, as he wanted to clean out his back yard. When he got here, I was amazed to find his pick up truck cab FULL of wood. Here's the end result. We'd be burning wood for 24 hours at this rate (well, it actually took 7 hours to burn all this). Thanks for the wood Gerry.
Gerry set up camp, and as he was doing that, my daughter called me over and asked, "Dad, what's that green thing?" I couldn't help laughing, as it was Gerry's tent. I've dubbed it the "Wiener Dog Tent"
On these sorts of weekends the hope is that all the kids will be kept busy at the beach, or playing with each other, etc. We also try to take a hike or do something particular to the park we are in. This year, we had two new things to try.
The first were caves to walk through, and the second was a hike in which we were introduce, by the Bouma's, to something called "Geocaching". For those of you who may have never heard of this (like me), here's how it works. You use a GPS, of which you've downloaded co-ordinates before hand from the WEB, and you go and find treasure that others have hidden. Once found, you document your find, take something from the cache, and then replace it with something you have.
There were several places in our park to go and find treasure, so we set off.
I've discovered that the Bouma's are HOOKED on this sort of thing. Tim, sporting two GPS devices, a back pack full of treasure to replace if something was found, and alot of adventure, lead the way for us.
Once the coordinates are found, usually you end up going off the trail to find the cache, as the kids are doing here. They made short work of finding it.
So, once found, they take a picture (so they can put it online to show it was found), document the find, and then replace something in the cache. It is then put back, and we move on to the next coordinates.
Here Celeste was the one who found the cache.
After about an hour of treasure hunting, it was on to the caves. In the Gatineau hills, the operative word is HILL. Up and down, up and down,.... up and, we go up !!
Once at the caves, many people took the time to go in then to explore. Here you see Simon and Miranda walking through them as they pass through an opening.
Here is Celeste and her boys going through.
If you go through the first half of the caves, the water goes only up to your waste. If you go through to the second half, you come out of this small hole, with the water being up to your neck.
After our 6 K hike (even the kids did the hike with pretty much no problems), it was time for a quick lunch and then off to the beach. Here Gerry gives Sonja a hand doing dishes.
Ah, the joys of camping. Simply sitting at the beach and watching the kids play. Can you tell if Chris (on the right) has his eyes open or not? He likes to use a book as a cover for faking reading.
The kids had a blast in the water. It wasn't even too cold, but you did have to watch out for swimmers itch (which my daughters did get).
Pastor Ron even dared to go into the water this time (here's proof Celeste). I couldn't help myself though. I had to be a pest and splash the kids. They had lots of fun getting me back though.
Time to reload on some snack food before going back in the water.
Chris and Saskia relaxing in the sun. I still can't tell if Chris is reading . . . or sleeping.... can you?
After swimming the kids began building a kind of pool. Lots of hard work put in.
Here's the end result.
The Thomson's brought a canoe with them, and here Sandy and Tim are going out across the lake to find another Geocache. Unfortunately, they looked and they looked, but came up empty handed.
Here is Cheryl lugging the canoe up the long hill from the beach back to the campsite. Sandy is behind, very thankful that Cheryl is doing all the work.
Oh, I find myself mistaken. Sandy actually does carry the canoe once in a while too : )
After a long day, we enjoyed another camp fire together. I began burning all that firewood at about 4 pm. Christine wanted to cook her family's supper over the fire. The last log went on the fire at 11 pm. Whew! We all had a good time socializing around the fire once again. Cheryl brought out some glow sticks and the kids played night games near our sites for a long time.
After another camping nights sleep (notice I didn't say "good" night's sleep) we all awoke ready to face the day. Here the Hosmar's enjoy their breakfast time.
Here's a picture of the Bouma's site.
Here you see the Verwijs' camp site and Gerry's Wiener dog tent.
The Admrial's site.
The Ellen's Site.
And the Thomson's site.
After a short morning devotional time, it was time to pack up. You have to be off your site by 11 am at Lac Philippe. Here Cheryl is packing up her tent.
Gerry was being very kind and helping Sonja clean our their tent.
Sandy even knows how to do the dishes. AMAZING !!!
Once we all packed up, it was off to the beach to relax for the afternoon before heading home.
The kids once again got the shovels and pails out and made a mini swimming pool.
A beautiful park, and a beautiful view.
That ends another Calvin Camping Weekend. All in all, it was as great time of fellowship and fun for all. We hope to do it again next year, so if you are part of the Calvin CRC community and want to come out, we'll let you know how you can next year.
TTFN! Pastor Ron.