Wednesday 19 June 2013

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The Lessons of Silver Lake Camp

If you've been following along for any length of time, you know that I love to give out helpful advice on my blog. I mean, in the last year alone I've taught you how to avoid ski trips, how to torture yourself when stuck at home, and how not to act natural at bus stops. It's been a veritable encyclopedia of helpfulness, but today I'm going to add one more very important piece of advice to the knowledge that you've accumulated from reading this blog...Never, ever be married to a staff member at your kids school.

You see, when schools need volunteers, and let's face it schools are always looking for volunteers, most people can just kind of lay low and wait for somebody else to step up and take care of what needs to be done. When you're married to a staff member however, your name gets tossed out very early in the proceedings and since you're not there to object, you find yourself signed up for things that in no shape or form would be considered a good fit for the skill set that you bring to the table. This is how I found myself returning for the second year in a row to Silver Lake, to supervise the annual grade six camping trip.

Peachland YMCA camp

Now last year was my first time at camp, and I found myself overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I learned while there. Now I'm a grizzled veteran of the camp scene so instead of being confused by apparently "normal" camp conversations, this year I was able to take pleasure in watching my daughter learn skills and concepts that I would have never thought to teach her. In fact, camp turned out to be a very educational experience for both of us. It just seems that we learned very different lessons...

canoe peachland camp activity

What my daughter learned: Canoeing is easier if you paddle evenly and use long, steady strokes.

What I learned: If you're in the front of the canoe, look around once in a while and see if your partner is actually helping out with any of the rowing.

Silver Lake Peachland survival skills

What my daughter learned: If you find yourself stranded in the wilderness, building a shelter and starting a fire are your top priorities.

What I learned: Assuming of course that you're stranded in an area with no cell service and there happens to be pre-cut branches, a tarp and rope lying all over the place.

Peachland Silver Lake camp activities

What my daughter learned: Throwing an axe requires dexterity and coordination.

What I learned: Watching my daughter throw an axe requires quick reflexes and a complete suit of protective gear.

Peachland Silver Lake activity camp

What my daughter learned: When using a two person saw, it's important to keep a steady pace and not try to saw too fast.

What I learned: When being a camp counselor it's important to dance in the background of pictures while waving one hand in the air. 

Finally, my daughter learned that sometimes it's nice to just turn off all the electronic devices and really enjoy some time out in nature...

Peachland lake camp

While I learned the one spot in the entire camp where you could get really good wi-fi reception...

Silver Lake Camp

Written by Steve Pratt