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I love my life! Taking my time, soaking in the sights and always taking the road less traveled.

Camp Shawnigan

CANADA | Friday, 22 June 2012 | Views [1825]

Summer camp is here! Well actually here I am, at Summer Camp!

Since arriving 9 days ago, lots and lots has happened. New surroundings, new people, new dorm room, new food, I love new! 

And that is about it!

Ancient tree, HUGE!

This photo was taken the day before I left for Summer Camp, when I had my bicycle accident, which I am still healing from. Dan and I rode from downtown Victoria all the way to Goldstream Provincial Park. Great ride!

Dan and I on top of Goldstream.

Here is old mate Dan from Ontario. Dan and I rode from downtown Victoria all the way to Goldstream Provincial Park, hiked up the steep mini mountain which probably took about 40 minutes, and then rode back. My ideal day!

Camp Shawnigan


Here I am, after much anticipation, waiting and many, many troubles, I have finally arrived at camp.

The past week and a bit has been nothing short of AWESOME! We drove in and were greeted by Cole, Jim and Darby (technically our bosses, the coordinators) who gave us hugs and inquired about our dietary requirements (full blown vegan for me please!)

Cole, Jim and Darby - my bosses!

I rolled into camp with Katrina and Colleen and we were taken on a tour of the grounds. Admittedly upon arrival, my first thoughts were that this place kind of stunk. I mean the bedroom I am sharing is with two Canadian Germans and a Bangladeshi. The room has no windows. I must say now that the no windows and complete darkness is rather enjoyable to sleep in. HOWEVER, that is counteracted with my room mates. One snores very inconsistently and another talks in his sleep. 

Since the 12th we had a week of orientation. This involved a scavenger hunt in which we got to dress up, lots of group reading of the staff manual which covers an array of topics from what do in a fire drill (and a rehearsal) how to respond to a Multi Coloured Phoenix (missing camper procedure) lots of behaviour support training, lifting and transferring campers and so on. Between much of the work stuff, a lot of time has been spent in Lake Shawnigan. Which is definitely the highlight of this place, in my opinion. 

First swim in the lake for the Summer!

German Michael and I swimming to Goose poop Island.

Black and White sunset of the lake.

There is also a little mountain across the road from the camp. I have attempted to get to the top 3 times so far, all resulting in me becoming lost and distressed. The third time I went up with 3 friends, one of which is my roomie.

Zoe, Chloe and Michael on the mountain in the morning. We got up at 6:30am for it - legends! I am going to get to the top of the mountain this Summer!

Other than all that, it's been an intense week of training. I have loved every minute of it, we sing camp songs, play camp games and hanging out with the same people every day has been fun too. It beats meeting people, moving on and then meeting some more people, moving on again. I must reiterate how fantastic EVERYONE is. My new colleagues are more like a great bunch of goofy friends, who rock!

We finished orientation on the 18th and were granted 3 days rest break. That evening, a fair few of us we went to the pub down the road. It wasn't a rowdy night, but it was good to get out of the camp and relax over a cold beer in a relaxed environment, the orientation week was fun, but it was somewhat intense and there was a lot to take onboard. 

Some of the gang at Black Swan - the local pub.

Celebratory shots!

The following day the majority of staff were leaving site to go home for a day or two, down to Victoria to shop (it's about 45 minutes away) and to just hang out elsewhere. I went down to Victoria with Thalia, Taylor and Erich. We met up with others that evening at a pub, and had a jolly night dancing away. 

Erich, Saeed, Taylor, Thalia, Stacie and I - earlier in the night.

Tonne of fun with new friends.

All in all, we were probably in Victoria for less than 24 hours, the next morning we came back up to camp, and it was equally, if not more exciting to drive into the camp again (we did go shopping and achieve other things in Victoria) but it became apparent that the main reason we had gone down was to part-ay!

It was a beautiful day when we came back to camp (Wednesday the 20th) and I've been wanting to go for a wicked swim in the lake since arriving. Not just a muck around play swim, but swim to the other shore. So I pulled on my super-pink tights if anyone remembers those? I convinced Erich and Jamie to join me (Erich is this years aquatics programmer and Jamie was last years) so I was in good hands. Jamie took the canoe and stuck beside us until we reached the other side, which was a relief. Then Erich hopped in the canoe and Jamie swam back with me. I felt pretty hot to trot afterwards, it was a tough swim but we conquered it! Mind you, it's probably only about 1km there and back. 

Photo from across the lake. There is that darn mountain.

Jamie, our guide across the lake. S-U-P-E-R STAR!


The rest of the day was spent lazying around in the water, pushing people in and having fun in the sun, with sunscreen of course!

Now for yesterday, which was awesome-super-fun! Standard. It was shaping up to be a somewhat warm day so about 7 of us got the canoes out and decided to paddel down to J.J. Coconuts restaurant for lunch. Canoeing is a tonne of fun, and it was enjoyable to sit and have a coffee with the gang. 

Erich and I ready for our canoe.

Lunch time at J.J. Coconuts.

After the canoe right, it was time to hit the water and enjoy the last day before "work" commences. The camp received a steller donation in the form of a large water mat which is MEGA FUN!

Hanging on the water mat!

Something that I believe deserves a mention is that Tony forgot his shirt at the restaurant. To retrieve it we decided to run there and back as fast as we could. Oh gee wiz, I'm getting slack! I'd like to blame it on all the good food I am eating here; the cooks are legendary! My legs don't seem to want to move as fast as they used to.. I think I am getting old.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out in dorms, on the trampoline and mingling with the gang of awesome folk. Love it!

After a BBQ that evening, we played with a frisbee, volleyball and chatted amongst one another. A dance party was thrown in the staff kitchen room where whoever is unfortunate enough to be in the surrounding area gets roped in to shake it to terrible 90s music. Good times.

Finally, here we are. New Camper day. At approximately 4pm today, new campers will begin to arrive for the weekend. It's going to be a big clean up day, but it's also very exciting. Breakfast is in 18 minutes, and I haven't showered yet (after last nights dance party, I'm in dire need of one). 

Au revoir!

Tags: fun! summer, goldstream, lake, shawnigan, summer camp, swim

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