In our Fall Newsletter, we told you about a remarkable young lady named Amy who was heading off for a Summer to Remember at Muskoka Woods summer camp. Well, she’s back now and she’s told us all about her exciting time up north! If you haven’t yet read the first part of her journey, you can find it here, otherwise, read on!
Driving to pick up Amy and the other 20-odd CityYouth who went to Muskoka Woods summer camp, Missy was excited. This was the last camp pick-up run of the season. Bringing these youth home marked the end of another successful Summer to Remember for CityKidz.
She was also excited to hear about how our youth had enjoyed the overnight adventure camp. Amy and many of the other CityYouth had never spent such a long time away from home.
As our driver, Dave, pulled our big red bus into the sports complex parking lot in Vaughan, our kids poured out of the coach busses that had carried them down from cottage country. Many of them were still in pajama pants. All of them looked exhausted.
It was a good sign. After a week of adventure, that kind of exhaustion can only mean one thing: too much fun.
Amy and the other youth dragged their luggage from the coach bus’s undercarriage to the back of our red school bus where Missy loaded them onto our bus’s back seats. She joked at the size of some kids’ suitcases.
“Were you planning on moving up there forever?” laughed Missy as she heaved a suitcase, which could have easily fit the kid who packed it, onto the bus.
Amy’s suitcase was much more practical in size. With Missy’s coaching, Amy had packed just right. Once her suitcase was safely loaded, Amy took a seat towards the back of the bus next to her friend and cabin-mate, Shylar.
As we drove along the 401 back to Hamilton, Amy filled us in about camp.
At Muskoka Woods, the youth got to choose three activities to pursue throughout the week. The camp offered all the classics like canoeing, arts and crafts and archery, but also more niche pursuits like BMX, cake decorating and robotics. Amy chose guitar, badminton and sailing.
“I really liked guitar!” Amy enthused.
The badminton had been fun, if a little tiring for her uninitiated arms and the same went for sailing.
Learning the chords, strumming and picking techniques, and how to read music was challenging, but so rewarding as songs came together throughout her week at Muskoka Woods.
“I’m taking music at school in the fall,” Amy explained.
Amy is one prepared kid. She’s only going into grade 10, but before camp she had spent her holidays getting ahead through summer school. She wanted to play guitar, and camp presented her with an exciting opportunity to get in some practice before classes started up in the fall.
But even with all the excitement of learning a new instrument, Amy’s favourite part of her week at camp was Jail Break. She wasn’t the only one. The entire bus ride home, our youth took turns recounting the excitement of this camp-wide evening activity.
The game involved multiple activity stations across the Muskoka Woods camp ground. Kids worked with their cabin as a team to complete activities like eating a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese without using their hands. Each completed activity earned your cabin team tokens which could then be traded for clues to the password that would break your team out of jail.
“Laundry,” says Amy, shaking her head.
That was the password. Amy’s cabin team had been so close – just a few tokens away from.
Dropping Amy off at her home on the mountain, you could tell that she was ready for a long rest. But the way she talked about her time at Muskoka woods, you could also tell that she was ready for whatever challenge awaited her.
As Missy had said, “this girl, she’s going places.”