August 10, 2013

Brent Bullets are Back!

At 3:56 pm the Brent girls paddled into camp. They completed their heroic journey – 170 km of paddling and portaging to the extreme north end of Algonquin Park – in 34 hours and 15 minutes – one minute over the all-time girls Brent record! The entire camp ran to the canoe trip dock to welcome the girls home. We are SO proud of them. Really I’m most proud of what they did in the lead-up to the Brent trip. The girls and their staff have been training for weeks, getting up every morning at 6 to paddle and portage circuits around camp, running, swimming laps, team-building at high ropes, getting themselves in mental shape to go the distance and be a team. We are SO proud of their dedication and perseverance….

It’s a pretty big day here. 63 young children (most ages 6 and 7) are here for MiniCamp. They’ve been sailing and riding, climbing and canoeing, at archery and Arts & Crafts and nature and on the zipline. At 5 o’clock we’re serving them a BBQ dinner outside by the lake and then having a campfire, before we give them their MiniCamp t-shirts and send them on their way. It’s been a super fun day, full of small people’s big smiles!

One more thing: Last night was the annual Sadie Hawkins night. About 20 staff in hillbilly costumes performed the traditional Dogpatch skit after dinner – the one where L’il Abner evades Evil Eye Fleegel and wins the heart of the winsome Daisy Mae… The staff doing the skit asked me a few days ago if they could write a new one instead. I said sure. Why stand in the way of creativity?  They then came back to me the next day (with the dog-eared script in their hands) and asked: “How long have we been doing this exact skit for, with this script?” I told them that I remember it from when I was a Junior Girl (and I’m 63), so do the math. They were struck by the awesomeness of a tradition that’s lasted +55 years, and couldn’t stand to change it. And so it went.

After dinner we all changed into hillbilly garb. The girls then chased the boys. We all got married multiple times – by the (costumed) rabbi, priest and wizard. Some of us went to the divorce booth too. There were hay rides, a corn roast, pony rides, a raffle, greased pigs (actually humans in costume) to chase, marshmallow roasting, searching for a needle in the haystack…. and the Sole Power dance with DJ, dancers and lights…. Just another fun night at camp.

And then at 11 pm we served Chinese food to 130 staff and the LITs – brought from Taste of China on Spadina in Toronto. Why? Because when we ask as much of our staff as we do, we want to validate and reward them.  They not only nurture every child, but also get up with them all summer at 6 in the morning to train for Brent, to coach them at activities, they create events like Sadie Hawkins, and so much more.

Brent Girls are Back.... and it's Mini Camp!

Leave a Reply