By Kirsty Gordon, JustKids Coordinator
Summer days, drifting away….
Well, here we are starting our fifth week of the second year of the EFry’s Blue Sky Summer Camp season, and it just keeps getting better!
This year, we have really emphasized learning about the lush, fertile land where the camp is situated in the Fraser Valley. Nestled amongst budding fields of corn, and row upon row of the biggest blueberries you’ve ever seen, the sweet smell of warm raspberries ripening in the sun wafts over the camp in late afternoon, as the hazy, lazy days of summer stretch out before us.
Let’s take a journey through one day at camp…..
We wanted the kids to understand where their food comes from, and what better place to start than picking your own berries? The kids soon become experts, choosing the ripest berries that fall off the bush and into their eager hands at the slightest touch, and in next to no time we have full to bursting buckets of lush blueberries and raspberries to take back to camp. The next day we will have giant pancakes with berries and whipping cream for breakfast, and the kids will learn how to make jam, which they will take home to their families.
Next stop is a real working family-run dairy farm, where the kids are given an informative tour of the cowsheds, milking parlour and fields where they grow the feed. After watching the milking herd for a while, we go into the shed where the calves are kept, and the children are allowed to pet them, and we wonder at how tame most of them are. At the end of the stay, we are treated to homemade ice cream that is made on the farm.
We then meet the rest of the group in Aldergrove Bowl, the beautiful parkland that the camp backs on to, where we have a picnic and group games until it’s time for Group 2 to go to the berry and dairy farms, and our group to begin orienteering. The kids learn to find markers on a course through the forested area using a compass and an orienteering map. They have to punch their cards when they find the marker and eventually they will find their way to the end of the course, where a slice of cold watermelon will be waiting.
It’s then back to camp for a bit of a rest and a recharge of batteries, for the all-camp water fight between the kids and the counselors which ensues for the next half-hour.
Saved by the dinner bell, this is the kids’ favourite dinner at camp, because it’s ‘Make Your Own Pizza Night’!! After creating and eating their own personal pizzas, the kids are ready to sit down and concentrate on the special guests from the Raptor Ranch that have arrived at camp to talk to us about the birds of prey they brought to show us. The kids are enthralled, and they learn all about the jobs they beautiful birds do, as well as how environmental issues can affect them, what they eat, and how we can help them survive in the future.After this amazing day, our little campers are ready to hit the hay, I read them a bedtime story in the Great Hall, which sets the tone and they’re off to bed. Whew!!
So you can see that the days spent at our camp might be hazy, but they’re definitely not lazy!! 🙂