So, from October 2 - 5, our Early Teen Ministry group, comprised of grade 7 - 9's travelled to Lac Philippe Park and camped out for the weekend together.
Ah, camping. Wikapedia
defines camping as follows:
The participants, known as campers, get away from urban areas, their home region or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or more nights, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all.
Now, I love camping. Just upgraded my tent trailer actually so that our family, and when I go with youth groups, can enjoy camping. Now, camping in October for some may seem to be a stretch. I had a mom ask me, as she dropped off her daughter, "So, why is it that you do this sort of thing anyway? Why camping in OCTOBER and not JULY?"
I know this person likes warm camping days, and quite honestly, most people are already gone for the summer (just try getting a common date to go Calvin Camping in the summer, eh!!). Besides, I'm always up for a challenge, and, providing it's not going to rain, October camping can be LOTS of fun.
And FUN is exactly what we had this past weekend. 19 of us headed out into the cold and enjoyed a great weekend together. Thanks Annette, Cecile, Nancy, Bethany, and Norman for coming along and helping.
Now, continue reading and you'll find a pictoral narrative
of our weekend together. I hope you enjoy it, and no, the names have NOT been changed to protect the guilty. : )
We began our time together as a group unpacking and setting up the site. It was a nice big group camp site with a fire pit away from the tents, which was nice. Here you see Bethany taking the wood provided by Lac Philippe and transforming it into a small fire, which eventually became a big fire. : ) She didn't even use any "fire starter help".
Here you see several of our group trying to huddle around the fire to stay warm. We enjoyed +2 Celsius
for both nights.
What would a campout
be without some good old fashioned junk food. Though I ask them to bring their own, I did provided pop, hot dogs, and then finally smoorz
(Graham crackers with chocolate - or nutella
in our case- and a roasted marshmallow.) Yummy.
Here you see Bethany's friend, Kimberly, trying to prepare a smoorz
with mittens on. Doesn't work to well.
As we settled into the coolness of the evening, with the heat of the fire lapping at our faces, Annette showed off her talent of story telling. I remember this from last year's camping. The stories haven't changed much, and still have the same level of non-truth to them.
By 11 pm, everyone was ready for bed. We all proceeded
to do our unique bed time rituals and then to crawl into our tents and prepare for the cold night ahead. Some brought along toques, and dry socks and warm sleeping bags and stayed rather warm. Others didn't fare so well. I confess that I'm an avid fan of sleeping OFF THE GROUND at all times, so I bring my tent trailer along. Christopher, being my son and all, gets to sleep in it too, along with one friend. Here you can see David and Chris getting cozy together.
After an short sleep (someone kept me awake much of the night with the loudest snoring
I've heard in a long time : ) ) we awoke to a crisp fall day. Just how cold was it you ask? Take a look at Annette. She refused to come out of her hat for several hours. She really liked cooking though, as it kept her hands warm.
Rossy came with us already with a cold. This weekend didn't help that much, eh Rossy? Get well soon.
Megan seems to have an issue with letting shelter poles get in her way.
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of real Bacon and eggs. Here Leah is the master baconator
, everything tastes better when you are camping. Especially the coffee, right Bethany
, Annette, Norman, and Cecile?
It took a while, but eventually Bethany (left) and Kimberly decided to get up.
Oops. I didn't get much sleep last night, as you can tell. I have my ugly on!!
Nancy came along and this was her first camping experience. She came to learn, and learn she did. She had a great time, and I like her fashion choice for camping. Very modern PJ
Here Norman and Nancy are using solar power to warm themselves up as they eat breakfast. When the sun was out, it was VERY nice. When it went away, it was just nice.
Cecile, a friend of Annette's came along with us too. It was very nice to have her along. She worked hard, interacted well with the group and sure LOVED the flavoured coffee that was served. Here she's cleaning my camp stove. Thanks Cecile.
After breakfast, while some cleaned up, others retired to the warm fire to well, warm up. I did notice that everyone here was sucking on a loli
pop, and I DIDN'T GET ONE. : (
Not really sure what's going on here, but FoFo
and her friend Shannon have their eyes closed for a reason. Care to let us all know what you are doing here?????
This gives you a bit of an idea of the nice large site we had.
After breakfast, we drove into the park a bit, parked our vehicles, and prepared for a 3km hike to the caves. Some had placed bathing suits on, in the hopes of going into the caves. As I took this picture, my one thought that couldn't escape me was to say to these guys "Um, that's not the caves eh guys. You'll never fit in there!!" (tee, hee
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's a hiking we did go. The trees were beautiful. Something that was lost on some of the group.
After our 3km hike, we arrived at the cave. It consists of two parts. The first is fairly easy, and you only get your feet wet for the most part. Here you see a hole in the cave where I could get some pics.
Here Hannah (L), Leah (M), and Katherine (R) come out of the first half of the cave. Very proud of themselves. Only somewhat wet here, and yes, the water was COLD!!!!
You need to traverse
some rocks to get to the second half of the cave. That half is much darker, deeper, and wetter, as some discovered.....
This is the hole that you come out of at the end of the cave.
David, like me, didn't go in the caves. BUT, he did want to see them from a different vantage point than I did. Interesting David, very interesting.
After hearing them talk for about 10 minutes IN the cave, and telling of how there extremities
were slowly becoming numb, Christ0pher
finally popped out of the cave. I think his face says it all, really, don't you?
The same goes for Ben here. Brrrrrrr
Megan did the whole cave. I was quite surprised about that. I'm learning more and more about this quiet, shy girl, who's not so quiet and shy any longer.
Leah and Shannon came out looking rather Blue, but satisfied they had conqured their fears.
This is just such a nice picture of Nancy. Hmmm, at times I can take some pretty good pictures, eh John? (I know that will elicite a comment from him somewhere, sometime) : )
FoFo (aka, Fontana) had enough of walking. She rested while the others caved. Most of the group had a GREAT time in the caves. I can't say I'd ever do them, seeing as I don't like cold water, dark caves, oh, and did I mention the COLD WATER part?????????
After the caves it was another 3 Km walk to warm up, and then a hot shower for some to warm up even more. Then a hot lunch of soup.....mmmm good. After lunch we took some time to recreate. Here David and Chris play some horseshoes together as they wait for lunch to be served.
Megan shows off her strength as she carries our water jug. They aren't light you know.
Ah, and then there was Jacob, aka, Harmonica Man! He never went anywhere without it. Pretty good player too. Wouldn't let ANYONE else play it though, eh Annette....and boy, did we try : )
This picture I just had to capture and comment on. My son....doing work.....a site to behold. : )
Katherine and Jacob enjoying a kodak moment.
Now, some would say that leaders are either loved, or they are hated. I like to think that the crowd doesn't always appreciate the stress and strain of being a leader and all the planning and delegating that must go on to be a successful leader. Hmmmm, doesn't look like this group was happy with it's leader about something, and surrounded him....maybe he delegated something just once too often, or maybe he delegate enough....yeah, that must have been it.....
No...that wasn't it. They bonked me, when I suggested that one : )
And then, just as I was about to offer the group an olive branch of reconcilation, .....somoene... I don't know who.....decided it was time to add some more CO2 to the atmosphere. Whew, it was brutal.......
So, after lunch, we recreated. We played soccer. Here Makusi and I guard the net.
Seems like I must have been a pretty good soccer player because Leah couldn't keep up with me unless she was being piggy backed by me. Man is she HEAVY!!!!
Makusi did a great job of defending the net. The boys won (of course).
Bethan is an avid soccer player (yes, Bethany, I admit it, soccer is a real sport!!). Here she tries to take the ball away from me. I held her off for quite a while......
But alas.....she eventually left me to rot on the ground. No mercy.
Looks like Caleb is trying to trip Bethany here. Play fair boys.
Here you can see Hannah is not impressed with the boys, the score, the way we are playing, and she's lecturing the group on proper sportsmanship. Well, that's at least what I HOPE she is doing in this picture. : )
Now, Annette. Don't get on her wrong side in a competitive game of soccer. She's a powerhouse. A pretty good goalie too.
A couple of the group decided soccer just wasn't in the cards for them. They preferred to sit by the fire and poke at it to coax it back to life.
After a brief rest, we played some volleyball. Here Katerine shows us her great serving skills.
Hey, who's that in the tree with his HARMONICA. Made for some nice music to play volleyball by.
Poor Megan. Broke a nail while playing.
More volleyball. Looks like these two are going to high five each other.
During our rest time, Annette decide it was time to pray. Though, I don't know WHAT she was doing using a watch, and doing elbow pushups at the same time. Very hard to concetrate in prayer if you ask me....but maybe you should ask HER : )
David simply had enough. He decided to fall asleep right in the middle of the cold grass.
Now, just in case you think that we were always active and busy, let me show you some pictures that are quite solemn in nature as we gave some down time for the group.
Kimberly warming up.
Jacob wondering where his Harmonica has gone.....
Nancy, well, snooring maybe?
Bethany and Kimberly doing what high school students do best. We must have tired them right out.
For those who wanted to, there were many moments to stop and simply drink in the beauty of the gatineau hills.
I think Chris took this pic. Very nice.
Some of the group decided to "Take a hike" and here are some pics from that little excursion
Jacob found his harmonica back again...in case you were in suspense or anything.
This is just a freaky picture of Bethany walking. How'd you do that Chris???
The group stopping to drink in the beauty of God's creation.
After the hike, it was supper time. Kraft Dinner. Chris' specialty. He became head chef during this meal. Turned out ok once again. Good Job Son.
Mmmmm....enjoying supper. Notice Bethany. sorry about that Bethany. : )
Cecile used any method she could to stay warm. Here the stove heating the coffee water proved just too good to pass up.
As darkness decended upon us once again, and the chill filled the air, we migrated once again to the camp fire. Here we once again got to know each other better through a Q & A time, and then we heard another story from our Jaw Dropper book. Some really neat parables told in modern day stories. They loved them.......well most people did....seems Nancy decided it was time to catch up on her reading.....(just kidding).
Here Bethany and Kimberly are trying to stay warm by capturing the heat of the fire in their sleeping bags and then wrapping it around them really quickly. Did it work?
After another cold night of listening to snooring, and a racoon going through our pots and pans for half the night, it was breakfast time again. Pancakes this time around. Hannah and Leah wanted to help make them. Now, you need to know that Hannah's dad allegedly makes VERY good pancakes. After watching Hannah make hers, I could see that she has had a very good teacher. They were GREAT. However, you do have to work on her flipping technique John. Quite scarry!!!
Leah didn't fair as well. Partly due to the frying pan she used.
After breakfast it was time for a brief church service.......
and then, sadly, already time to clean up again. It seems that some things do get lost even in such a short time as two days. Here Annette wonders out loud who these lovely cardboard socks belong too......nobody claimed them.....interesting.
And alas, it was time to connect the trailers, pack up, and leave.
All in all a wonderful time together. I hope everyone who came had fun, got to know each other better and enjoyed God's wonderful creation. We'll do it again next year.