Julia (2008)

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Day 1

When we stepped on the bus in Toronto, there were not a lot of us on the bus. I began talking to Sahar about what a great time I would have, despite the fact that I was probably going to be the youngest camper there. We drove onto the highway up to Brampton and one other town, to pick up the other campers. As we pick up people, the noise on the bus grows as people share stories about past years at camp and other stuff. I was nervous because I did not know anyone. So I kept talking to Sahar, Samantha, and Esther. Esther and I talk about high school. We got off the bus at camp after an agonizing 4 hours of driving. Alex joins us since he drove by himself to camp this year. We played some ice breaking games to ease the tension between the new kids and everyone else. Even by the end of the games I still didn’t know everyone’s names! However, I didn’t feel as nervous as I did back in Toronto. We head up to the chapel (up ALL those steps) for evening prayer. After chapel we went back for a delicious first dinner cooked by Nancy. After our first Music class taught by Anna (everyone around me seems impressed by my singing), we all hung out for a little bit and went to Compline, before heading to bed. I was happy that I was getting along well with everyone at camp so far. Even though the beds weren’t the softest, it still felt nice to sleep after that long bus ride.

Day 2

Waking up the next day in a new place seems so unnatural, until I remembered where I was. All the girls in my dorm slowly got up and got ready for the long day ahead of us until we heard the bell ringing and we all slowly walked up the hill again to chapel for Morning Prayer. It wasn’t long before breakfast, and most of us needed it badly. After breakfast, we had to begin our chores. My dorm had to wash dishes, but luckily I was drying them. Samantha and Nicole fought over who got to operate the dishwasher. After chores we went to our first class where Dave talked to us about slavery in the bible. It was a very interesting class, and somehow we end up on the topic of WW2. We found out, shockingly enough, that out of all the campers, only 6 would be deemed “acceptable” by Hitler. Then we take a short break and I played “The Death Game”. It’s a game they have at the camp that involves pool balls. I beat Dana a lot in it, to Dana’s disappointment and my delight. Then we had to go out to Diana’s class, where she taught us about different religions. It was very fascinating to hear everyone’s different opinions. After another short break, we went to Father Geoff’s class, where we began reading the gospel of St. Mark, which we continued to read all week. After lunch, we drove out to the lake, where we could go canoeing or swimming. I watched people capsizing their canoes and swimming in the lake, while I sat on the shore getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. At least I didn’t have it as bad as Father Geoff, who was covered in mosquito bites. After evening prayer, we had a trivia game about the bible. Of course, since Alex and Geoff were on the same team, they won. But that’s not saying that my dorm let them win! We put up a good fight! I found the trivia game fun, especially since Nicole came up with the zaniest answers that made my whole group laugh like crazy people.

Day 3

Waking up again, getting ready and going up to chapel – it already seems so routine after only 3 days! After another delicious meal and our classes, we went out on an excursion to Durham. Esther, Dana and I went in Alex’s car and we met up with Kristine when we arrive. Dana, being the artist she is, had to go to the art store and buy another sketchbook – which was shortly filled with tons of amazingly beautiful drawings. After exploring Durham a bit, we stopped for ice cream and started heading back to the car, stopping at a pharmacy. Dana, Kristine and Alex decided they were going to dye Alex’s hair bright red. We drove back to camp, the speakers blaring music all the way back. We sat in the games room to wait for everyone else to return from Durham. Dana and Kristine attempted to find spare time to dye Alex’s hair and fail. We decided to wait until the next day. After dinner and Evening Prayer we all relaxed and stretched out to watch Mask of Zorro, which was a good movie. Even though my back hurt from lying on the floor, I still enjoyed the movie immensely. It was time for bed after the movie. Unfortunately, someone left the door leading outside open and my dorm was full of mosquitos. Spraying everyone with bugspray, we all jumped into our sleeping bags and under our blankets. We still managed to get bitten.

Day 4

On our fourth day, it was our trip to Sauble beach and Sauble Falls. Of course, after our classes, Morning Prayer and breakfast. We drove out on a long bus ride to Inglis falls, just as a sightseeing stop. Anna took lots of pictures of us running around the rocks and Alex sitting in the holes around the trees that Dana made him go into. Inglis falls was a cool experience, and I wish I had brought my camera. We then went off to Sauble beach, to hang out on the beach and explore the surrounding area. Dana, Kristine, Esther and I walked to Beach Burger so Dana and Kristine could visit their friend who works there, much to his surprise. Then we browsed in stores and did some shopping. Afterwards, we walk back to the beach, where everyone else goes swimming. Of course, I dressed entirely inappropriately for the beach (sweater and jeans) and I watched everyone wade into the cold water. We took a group picture and climbed back on the bus to go to Sauble Falls for a barbecue dinner. Everyone walked out onto the rocks to wade in the cool water. Then we traveled back on the bus on a long bus ride BACK to camp. Several people fell asleep on the bus, which meant Alex had to take pictures of them on his phone, and on Anna’s camera. When we got back, we hung out around camp and a couple of us went and jumped on the trampoline. Dana, Kristine, Alex and I sneak out (not really) to dye people’s hair. Unfortunately, instead of going bright red, Alex’s hair turned orange! We also dyed Jordan, the other Alex, Dana and Kristine’s hair. I played a huge round of “The Death Game” with various people. Alex and I managed to get into a HUGE tie – but I win after many tie games. Then we all gathered in the games room for Family Feud. This time, Diana was sure to split up Geoff and Alex, making them captains of their teams. I laughed silently to myself when Geoff’s team gets the question “What is a descant?” and they all wonder where the musician is. Of course, only Geoff had any remote idea of what it was. My team was happy because they had the musician on their team – me. If I remember correctly, Geoff’s team won, to our dismay. We then went off to bed again, and this time there weren’t as many mosquitoes in my dorm.

Day 5

Everyone was happy, yet sad at the same time because it was our last full day at camp. The boys played a prank on Diana, saying that their dorm was spotless and neat (for once). Diana goes out of the dining hall to inspect the dorm and came back with the funniest expression on her face. We all went to the boy’s dorm to check it out. The guys placed two chickens in their dorm as a prank! We had our classes, Morning Prayer and breakfast as usual. We finished reading the gospel of St. Mark in Father Geoff’s class. Some of us walked down to the lake near the camp, well, I fell down part of the hill going to the lake. Alex was the first to go down the zip line, emitting loud screams as he hit the freezing cold water. Shawna went down next, only making it part of the way. Sahar went after some persuading and makes a few attempts, succeeding on the third. Tammy went down too, and gave me a hug after getting out of the lake. She was freezing cold! Some people went off in canoes, and I watched them from the shoreline, drawing a picture of the lake in Dana’s sketchbook. After a normal afternoon, we started setting up for the big dinner. Shawna sent me and Kristine out to pick wildflowers for the bouquet in the middle of our table. We embarked on a wild journey, armed with a pair of scissors, cutting Queen Anne’s Lace and buttercups among other wild flowers. We managed to put together a very beautiful bouquet and we bring it back to Shawna. Shortly afterwards, we entered the dining room to find it totally transformed. The tables had been put together in one long table, with red and white tablecloths on them and the flowers in the centre. Every place was set with some sort of garlic bread and various salad items. After salad and garlic bread, we ate a hearty meal of turkey and other types of food usually found at Thanksgiving or Christmas. When we finished cleaning up after supper, the first years sat down (that means me included) to watch a pageant put together by all the campers (except us). We sang the hymns and took pictures of our friends dressed up as various people. Afterwards, we hung out for a little while and then went out for a bonfire. Every dorm prepared a skit that we chose and presented it in front of the entire group. The boy’s dorm did a skit with bubblegum and a chair, that had a very weird ending. Sahar’s dorm did a skit about a candy store. My group did a skit called “Johnny Got Hit By A Car” … and of course, I was Johnny. We all sat around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and telling jokes. I Iooked up at the sky and I was astounded. I had never seen that amount of stars in Toronto – EVER! We went off to bed, knowing that it was the last night we would spend here this summer. All the girls came into my dorm and stayed up for a while, talking. Eventually, we all went to sleep.

The Last Day

Everyone was sad. I ran around taking pictures of people and places. We had Morning Prayer and a fabulous breakfast, but for some reason, I wasn’t that hungry that morning. We all hung out together one last time and helped clean up the dorms and do the dishes. Diana announced the winners of the dorm inspections, and which dorm won for the entire week. I think it was Sahar’s dorm. We went to chapel one last time, this time, for Communion! I felt like I was right back at St. Thomas’s. Finally, a service I’m familiar with! After communion, we spent our last couple of hours together, jumping on the trampoline, playing “The Death Game” and taking pictures. Then we cleaned out our dorms and put everything together. Then after we were all packed up, we start loading up the bus. Both Alexes weren’t coming with us, as they were driving back by themselves. So we all said goodbye to the teachers and to the Alexes and jump back on the bus. Another agonizing bus ride goes by, but we finally dropped everyone off and drove back to Toronto, where my Dad was waiting to pick me up. Dana surprised me with a drawing she did of me. I said goodbye to everyone and drove off into the non-existent sunset. Now I can’t wait for the reunion!

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