July 20, 2021

Tepee Lake: A place of healing

I awoke this morning at 6:30 to the sound of paddles thwacking on canoe gunwhales, and the happy shouts of kids exhorting each other: “Let’s go. Paddle… We got this!” And they do.

It was the sound of 15-year-old campers and their counsellors training for the marathon Brent and Back canoe trip in mid August. They train every morning: They paddle all along camp in one direction, land at the surf beach, throw the canoes up on their backs and then portage back to the other end of camp – at a jog, Then they do it again. And again. Till breakfast at 8. Some mornings they tie milk crates behind the canoes to create drag in order to make the paddling harder.

This morning it caused me to reflect: After 15 months of COVID, these 15 year old kids are choosing, of their own accord, to train for a physical and psychological challenge. 6 a.m. and they’re up and at it, working together towards a common goal, outside… Kinda different from their COVID experience. This is a challenge they’re choosing. What a (literal!) breath of fresh air for teens stuck inside for too long.

Like yesterday afternoon, when I watched the lake, with every sailboat, kayak, windsurfer and a lot of canoes on the lake. I was especially moved by seeing a bevy of Junior Girls windsurfing all over the lake, independently  gliding in the wind.  8 and 9 year olds!

Such is the healing power of camp.

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