Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Camp!

When we arrived on the Mishkeegogamang Reserve, it was with feelings of anticipation, concerns for the unknown and excitement that a year of planning was coming to fruition.

As the sun rose on our last morning in Mish, the feelings were of sadness that we were saying goodbye to our friends but with the full knowledge that camp went well and the children had a great time.

A day earlier, as the campers were getting on the bus for the last time, there were hugs, tears, waves and ‘please don’t go’ sentiments. Yes the work was hard and last-minute changes in our program plans challenging, but the smiles and hugs made it all worthwhile.

After many hours of swimming lessons, canoeing on Lake St Joseph, sporting events, colourful crafts and water balloon tosses, we knew we had accomplished what we set out to do. We gave the children of Mish a great camp experience, taught them new skills, and had many heartfelt conversations that conveyed a sense of hope that life can be good.

As we gave out the awards for canoeing, swimming and sports, we noticed the children had a sense of pride in what they had achieved.

Thanking Diana, our lunch lady and Tommy our bus driver, we knew we had made new friends and that their lives had been affected as they helped with camp. There was a noticeable impact on the parents as well.

“I didn’t realize what your camp was doing for our children until I saw how they interacted with your staff and responded to the obvious love you have for them. I’ve not seen them react that way in their normal life in this community.” said one mom.

No one knows what the future holds, but it is our hope and prayer that the futures of the children in Mish, will grow in a positive direction. Through the Mish Adventure Camp they discovered what great qualities they have inside themselves and they’ve seen that good relationships create a sense of hope in life.

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