Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Camp 2011

We just got back for our weekend at Winter Camp and it was a blast!  We took over the Cobourg Scout Reserve, a place I've wanted to visit since I was a little kid. It's on old ski resort that was donated to Scouts Canada years ago and converted to a Scout camp.  We used to drive by it on the way to visit my Grandparents, back in the days when I longed to be a Boy Scout. Not only was it a wonderful weekend, but I checked off two things on my Bucket List - camping on my birthday and going there!

The view from "The Pit", a spot about 3/4 of way up the hill, looking down on the Chalet.
Our less adventurous sledders used this as their starting point, but it was still too high for me.

For some families, it was their first "camping " experience so, while our Scouts could choose to sleep in their cabin or in the quinzees they made out of snow, the rest of us slept in a nice warm chalet. We had an old ski hill, a bunch of toboggans, miles of trails, a well-stocked craft bag, as well as lots of stories, games and songs ready to go. Mother Nature was extremely generous so, in the Scouting tradition, we even had a campfire on Saturday night!

The view from the bottom of the hill, looking up to the Scout's cabin.

The secret to our success, in my opinion, was lots of free time for the kids. We made a general schedule, including meals, outside time, inside time, one hike and one group craft. The rest of the time, the kids could do what they wanted, as long as they did it safely, nicely, and within sight of at least two grown-ups. Those toboggans sure got a workout. We had to drag most of the kids off the hill and inside to warm up!

The view from the back of the hiking group. We didn't go as far as we planned
because the snow was too big for some of our little legs.

Dads and sons, fathers and daughters, Nannies and grandkids, sisters and brothers, and moms and sons ... Everyone went home with smiles on their faces and a bunch of fun new memories!
The 9th Pickering Scout Group adventurers, ready to head home after and awesome weekend.

Jonas does a great job of sharing me with the other kids, but I'm always careful to carve out moments just for us to share. I'm still his mom after all, and these trips are more than just Scouting. They're about making family memories and strengthening our bond. Because of my shoulder injury, I couldn't race on the GT Snow Racers with him, but we did take a couple of runs down the bunny hill together in an old wooden toboggan. He told me last night that he loved it and hoped that we could go again soon. That's exactly what I was hoping to hear!

A Beaver Scouts and his mom, heading home with more happy memories.

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