Each year CIA/ETM begins its ministry season with a camping weekend. This season we gathered together our grade 7 - 12's and travelled to Charleston Lake Provincial Park.
Peter and Annette joined us this year as chaperone's, along with Jeannine, Kevin, Melanie and Ken.
I'm usually the first one to arrive at the church because I don't like to be late, but this time Kevin beat me (and Chris and Sarah) to it.
As usual, I'm taking my tent trailer with me. Some say I'm not "really" camping, and others say we keep going back to the same places because of my tent trailer. You know, I'm ok with that : ). I always say it's not where you go, but who you go with, and if push comes to shove, I think the group would agree with me. We once again had a great weekend together.
Due to our larger numbers, I asked Annette if she'd take my box trailer to hold luggage. It was a good thing I asked her to do that because there was a lot of stuff.
As people arrived and packed their stuff, the socializing began. Lucy, Tobie and Miranda get reacquainted again.
Tori, (a clone of Fontana BTW) is right in the middle of things.
A group shot.
Boy, we have a large group this year.
After the group shot and prayer time it was time to depart. Olivia took her pet rubber chicken along so she wouldn't be afraid at night....I would have thought a teddy bear would have been a better choice, but hey..... : )
We drove for some time and stopped at the 401 service centre. I think I've seen Fontana and Rosy do this before...oh yes, when we went camping in June. Just go back to those entries and you'll see the same sort of thing. Crazy! : )
Look at that large van pulling my small trailer.
Jeannine looking creepy! Must still be remnants of her trying to complete that Rubik's cube. Not a pretty sight.. : )
Seems talking to each other in the van isn't enough to pass the time. Face painting broke out as well. My only question is why isn't Tori painted as well? hmmmmm.
We arrived at the park just as darkness set in. Here I am registering everyone. What you can't hear are all the kids yelling and having fun. Others who were registering too were smiling and wishing me luck for the weekend. They don't know that I actually like this sort of stuff..... : )
Seems some already missed their parents and wanted to call home. How sweet.
Here's Alex helping set up tents. I offered to have my son and Alex and Jacob and Ben sleep in my trailer, but all but Ben wanted to rough it.
Kanata's youth group is joining us this year, and they were already at the site and pretty much set up when we arrived. They set to starting a camp fire, and after we set up camp we all sat around the fire trying to stay warm. The evening's were cool, so the fire was nice.
Leah and Alex enjoying hot dogs. The group polished off a good number of them.
Ben looks shocked as Jeannine seems to be yelling into his ear. What did you do Ben to deserve THAT! : )
Andrea, or someone, brought s moors along. The marshmallows were creepily big, like they had been genetically modified or something. Melted down they are extra gooey, as Andrea discovered.
A crisp, clear morning. The grass hadn't been cut in a while so it was very wet....for a long time.
Peter starting his day with a coffee and music.
Fontana was asked to make the juice for breakfast, with Melanie assisting. Rosy just watched.
Standard fare for the Saturday morning breakfast: Bacon and eggs. Ken did a masterful job on the bacon.
With each camping trip something new and original seems to happen. This cocoon looking thing is holding Kevin. He slept in it. One end is tied to a tree, the other end to his van. Needless to say, we didn't drive his van for the weekend. : )
As Kevin slept, breakfast preparations continued. Once the bacon was done it was time for the eggs. Ken, did you flip them all at once?
Looks like Leah is having a hard time getting her day started. Hot chocolate is a wonderful thing isn't it Leah!
At least Rosy is smiling and happy.
Now, you need to know that Peter is cut from a slightly different cloth than me (and others). Don't get me wrong. I admire this man, but our food choices aren't quite the same. He brought his own food along for the weekend. Instead of our bacon and eggs, he had oatmeal with yogurt and some fruit. An equally enjoyable breakfast, but I think mine tasted better! : )
Chris enjoying his breakfast, and Peter his. I think they engaged in some conversation about chemicals and other things. Hope it didn't spoil your appetite son.
Kevin getting to know some of our newer YP.
With every meal, there are dishes. This group of people had lots of fun socializing while cleaning up.
The leaders relaxing and socializing. I couldn't do these camping weekends without them. Thanks for coming out.
Gaelen, Chris, and Jacob absorbing the warmth of the sun. Seems their legs could use a lot more sun : ).
Oh, the cocoon is stirring. Something is emerging.
Annette was intrigued by Kevin's sleeping arrangement. She just had to check it out. Kevin first had to clean things up. : )
Not a very flattering picture, but I can't think of a flattering way to get into that cocoon....absolutely none! : )
Some of the girls warming their feet.
Once breakfast was done we drove to a trail we had not taken yet.
A 2 km trail that Chris B is studying closely.
As we were walking along, all of a sudden everyone starting pointing and looking up into the trees.
There, sitting perched high above us was a porcupine. I've never seen one in the wild, so this was pretty cool.
We also came across a pile of inukshuk's and Chris B proceeded to make his own. I'm not sure what he ended up telling the world, but he knows. : )
The trail had it's easy parts, and more difficult terrain.
This rock face was amazing.
A bunch went into a cave of sorts.
Adventure around every corner.
Olivia leading some friends down the garden path...be watchful when you are following Olivia.... : )
Hey, what happened to all the colour?
I know the sun was shining that day!
After the hike it was time for some impromptu relaxation. I think Annette is telling another of her tall tails to the group. She's so good at it.
Ben taking some time to contemplate what he experienced on the hike.
Here Hannah and Fontana play a word game with the group. Fill in the blanks and then tell a story with them.
Lunch was next on the agenda. Soup, soup, soup.
Annette and Peter engrossed in some sort of theological conversation.
As others cleaned up the dishes, the rest relaxed in the summer sun (yes, it was still summer when we went camping in September). Tobie is braiding Lucy's hair. Looks painful!
Megan is doing the same thing, but I'm not sure who too. Whoever it is, she looks in pain too. What's so much fun about braiding hair if it's that painful. I'll never know, that's for sure. : )
Fontana and Hannah kill some time doing hand stands.
Who took THIS picture. Yuck!
Oh, a back track picture. Eating lunch together. Cute.
Once dishes were done, some from Kanata taught us a very strange game. You run up to a partner and then you have to connect at spots where the leader tells you too.
Hmmmmm, as some of my youth have been known to say, "Awkward!" : )
That looks a bit better, though I see Chris is trying to lick Jacob's elbow....ewwwww! Definitely my son!
The next game involved trying to slap the other person's hand, and the other person had to avoid the slap. Here Ben gets pretty into the game.
I'm not sure if Gaelen is playing the game or practicing being a rabbit.
Maddii looks like she's going to KILL Ben. I can't look!
Sure makes for great pictures.
It looks like Kevin is giving directions, and Chris' hand looks very weird.
After those games were done, something very interesting happened......again! Almost by instinct, the group began to form a circle and sat down.......
Someone then starting walking outside the circle and tapping heads and saying something like, "Duck, Duck..." I want you to know that I didn't even suggest the game. : ) Get ready folks, for another game of tackle duck duck goose. Play at your own risk!
Fontana takes no prisoners in this game.
Chris B is on the losing end of this scrap with Kevin.
Now, one advantage this year was that the grass was VERY long. It allowed certain people, including me, to collect mounds of it in between being tagged, and then throw it at people. Here you see Fontana talking to me (just outside the picture) telling me in a very stern voice to, "Stop!"
Here are some girls having LOTS of fun with the grass.
Brother picking on sister, legitimately for a change.
There's more of that grass again.
Hannah picking on Miranda.
I don't think Miranda won that round.
Leah trying to escape the wrath of Rosy.
Melanie decided to sit the game out and watch. That position looks comfortable....not!
As if Megan didn't have enough hair.
Fontana picked me, or maybe I picked her, I can remember. What I DO remember is this train coming at me. I wasn't going to back down either.
The collision wasn't pretty, but I won! : )
Kevin, (I think) fighting with Rosy. Neither gave up!
Rosy after the long fight. She lived to tell about it!
After a couple of collisions, a bruised big toe, and a near concussion, it was time to call it quits and head to the beach. Andrea is ready to go with her chair, hat, and personal assistant.
The beach was nice. The sun helped to warm up a cool day, but the water still felt cold. Here are Peter and myself considering our options. I knew I'd have to go in, but was deciding whether to run in, or take it slow.
We're still deciding. : ) Thankfully Kevin wasn't in the water yet, or I'd already be.
Some chose to be spectators for the day.
Once in the water (I decided to run in), the usual game of keep away began. There were others at the beach this time, so we constantly had to rearrange the places we played. Here you see the backside of Gaelen holding the ball. He thoroughly enjoyed this game. : )
Tori, I DON'T have the ball....now get lost would ya!
Someone has the ball, and Kevin is going to make sure he gets it. He usually wins those battles.
Ben has the ball, but not for long.
These girls play for keeps!
Leah fighting to get the ball, and Kevin simply waiting for the chance to pounce!
Each time we play this game I end up getting some sort of injury. This time it was scratches. Some girls don't know how to play fair! I also ended pulling my calf muscle near the end of play. That hurt! I'm getting too old for this sort of stuff, but it's so much fun! : )
It's been interesting to watch our youth grow up. These three used to love playing keep away in the water. Now, it seems it's drawing in the dirt. Ah, the changes that growing up brings. : )
Annette and Andrea deep in conversation. Nice hat Andrea!
Fontana looks so calm after the game.....NOT the case during it.
Melanie, nice hair.
Tori and Fontana. Nice to know that when Fontana leaves our youth group, there will be someone else to carry on her legacy!
I think the game was too much for Peter.
We returned back to camp and it was time for Jacob and Chris to prepare supper. Mac and Cheese and frozen veggies. Needless to say, Peter ate something else. : ) While supper was prepared, some of us went to take showers.
Line up and get your grub!
If I didn't know any better I'd say that Gaelen doesn't like my son's cooking! Hmmmmmm
I think Gaelen wants others to experience Chris' culinary expertise as well. :)
Another scary picture from Jeannine.
What's with the eyes this weekend?
Look at that presentation. Nice work Chris and Jacob.
Chris enjoying the fruit of his labour, along with others in the group.
It was bound to happen eventually. The weird pictures coming out. Hannah starts things off........
What's so funny Fontana! Chris telling a funny joke?
Gaelen what's wrong with your face?
I have no idea what's going on here, and I don't think I want to know.
See, Hannah gets more people involved in the weird picture taking process.
It spreads then to Fontana, and there's no stopping it then.
We can't live without water, and periodically we needed more. It was amazing how many people came back soaking wet.
More dishes to be done....LOTS of dishes to be done! Smile Tobie and Miranda and Olivia. It's not THAT bad.
It seems that Chris B and Simon have a new game. Stick a piece of grass, or something to that effect, up each other's nose and see who flinches first. GROSS, but I like it! : )
Just before camp fire time, there was time to relax. Various games broke out in different places. Here the crazy game of FACEOFF was being played. I LOVE this game.
I joined in eventually. This time I was careful around Leah, as she gave me a BIG bruise the last time.
I lost AGAIN, and Megan and Gaelen seemed to really feel my pain. NOT! Sarah gave me some comfort. Good thing for family ties.
Rosy took some time so sit on the picnic table and eat some sort of cracker....in a very strange way.
An oldie but a goodie...the hand slapping game.
Peter and Annette spent some time in worship.
Ken looks on at Kevin and Andrea doing strange things.
As the moon begins to rise, we begin to settle around the fire.
It seems our camera has this strange setting that makes your face look distorted. I'm not sure I like how it adjusts my facial features, but Megan D sure found it hilarious
I must say that it sure did something to Peter, AND my trailer in the background.
It sure chunks out Kevin....interesting.
So, what/who does this picture remind you of? I'll give you two guesses, using one of the words "Holy," or "Moses." : ) )
This is a cool picture.
Another cool picture.
Roasting some more marshmallows....I think the fire is too hot for it.
Enjoying some fellowship around the fire. I always try to do something that helps us to get to know each other better at the start of each season. I tried a Q & A book, but it didn't have quite the effect I wanted. Kind of hokey questions, actually. So, plan B. "If you could ask God any question you wanted to, what would it be?" For the next hour or so we had a GREAT discussion time.
Chris with all his girl "friends."
Hmmm, Chris. Kevin's "Willy" Hat looks interesting on you...you might want to do something about that eyebrow connector though.
Eventually everyone went to bed. I froze my buns off that night. I didn't bring along my extra sleeping bag. What was I thinking! Ken woke me up with the sound of fresh flavoured coffee brewing. Little gifts.
Bad hair day Fontana?
Peter and Annette clean up the dishes from the night before, as we needed to use them this morning.
Pancakes and oatmeal. Rosy and Megan usually make the pancakes on Sunday morning.
What's the matter Rosy?
It took a while to feed everyone, but Rosy and Megan did another wonderful job.
The patient line awaiting breakfast.
Their patience was rewarded.
Andrea and Megan H enjoying the morning sun.
Fontana needed to bring along her own food too, but that's because of a gluten allergy. Here you see her drinking out of the measuring cup....don't ask me why!
Good to know that Peter is feeling more comfortable with us as each minute passes by.
Megan now enjoys her own pancakes.
As does Rosy.
Annette took over when Rosy and Megan stopped. Thanks Annette.
Maddii looks like she's enjoying doing the many dishes that were available for cleaning.
Once breakfast was completed it was time for church.
Having Peter there allowed us to actually sing some songs. It was nice to have that option.
A reluctant Jonathan took over for a little while as well.
After church it was time to pack up. Jeannine seems to be having LOTS of fun.
It's sad coming to the end of a weekend of camping, but all good things do come to an end.
"How does this come apart again?"
Jacob and Chris cleaning up.
Hmmm, not sure why this picture ended up in here. Maybe because it's just strange. Chris and Gaelen, what ARE you doing?
Time to say good-bye to the Kanata group...bye!
We packed up and left around 1 ish.
Another GREAT weekend of fellowship, games, getting to know each other better - and no rain!
I'm looking forward to a great season of getting to know this group better, as are our youth leaders. Thanks for coming with Peter and Annette, and our great youth leaders.