Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mystical Beaches

Last week we piled into the vans and headed west for a three day camping trip at Mystic Beach.  Mystic Beach is a gorgeous strip of waterfront that's a 2 km hike in from the parking lot and only has a handful of small sites where you can put up tents.  Even though we had to get cozy and place twice as many tents as you'd think could fit on each site it was well worth the effort.  Here we enjoyed campfires, hot chocolate made over a camping stove and we even had Kraft Dinner on the first evening!  No campfire is complete without marshmallows roasted on sticks so we enjoyed s'mores as we huddled around the fire for warmth.

The only drawback to camping on BC's west coast in March is that the weather can be unpredictable.  The weather would turn from sunny one moment to overcast and raining to hailing the next.  Looking around at times it appeared to have snowed quite hard but it was only slushy hail collected on our tents and tarps.  Thankfully our students are troopers and had incredible attitudes no matter what the weather had in store for us.

One of my favourite moments was doing leadership games in between bouts of hail and rain.  One student would be in charge of their team and would have to think outside of the box, give clear instructions or plan their group's activity on the spot.  It was a stretching but incredible opportunity for them which was made even more intense by the downpour that would intermittently overtake us.

The weather wasn't all bad though.  The last day we had glorious sunshine and the last evening we had an incredible sunset.  It was a trip where we experienced all different extremes from hail to beautiful sunshine, from huddling under tarps to laying on the beach reading and everything in between.

Back at camp the students are currently learning tons in Cal's Studies in Christian Worldview class and gearing up for this weekend's Juniors Retreat.  Christian Worldview is their last class of the year which means lots of celebrating but having to dig deep and finish the last few assignments.  This retreat is the last and largest retreat our students will be a part of this year.  They will be taking the lead in many ways from some planning roles to helping run games or learning what maintenance does during a retreat.  We're expecting great things from our students this weekend as we welcome more than 100 juniors ages 8 to 11.

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