Yes, this time we were leaving Ontario and hitting up Quebec, with dual language road signs and very pretty houses. Our first stop was a four and a half hour, 350KM drive to Easter Seals Camp Merrywood, a camp for disabled children. We were given a tour by the wonderful international staff we placed there and had our picture taken in sledges used for sledge hockey. It was lovely to see the great job the staff does there and how much fun the campers were having!
Next, we headed to Camp Mishmar, another 280KM, and a four-hour drive away. This 72-year-old camp has some pretty amazing facilities including an ice hockey rink and an indoor swimming pool. We have three international staff there, one of whom was wearing a pair of Lycra Tetris Pants, something I have never seen. Ever. We had a brief tour of the camp, which included their beautiful waterfront and the staff gym, where we pumped some iron for a group shot. We stayed for dinner, eating outside at picnic tables, before heading off to our next camp, B’Nai Brith Montreal.
Camp B’Nai Brith of Montreal is not only a children’s camp but also has a senior’s retreat center, which we stayed in for the night. Though we arrived late, hopes were still high of catching up with some of the international staff that night due to the huge number of staff we placed there. After a brief wander, our prayers were answered when a NYQUEST’er appeared from the trees as if by magic, with a bag of cookies and led us to a group of internationals. Happy days! After a pretty epic group shot the following morning and a tour of this rather large camp (and the Farm, where they have lama’s and much more) we took off, this time heading for Camp Ouareau. Camp Ouareau is located in St-Donat, Quebec and is one of the most beautiful camps I have ever seen. Jacqui and Don Raill own the camp and one of the amazing things about this camp is that Don and his team have built many of the cabins, the climbing wall and the shower houses and washrooms. Amazing! We were given an extensive tour of the camp topped off with one of the most incredible lunches I have ever eaten at a camp. Turkey tacos and a fabulous salad bar ensured that the three of us just rolled out of there.
Tim Hortons Foundation Camp Des Voyageurs was the next camp on the list and was where our very own Rebecca (our Treasure as her camp name) is working this summer, along with Typhoon, an international camp staff. We were there just in time for a very lively dinner, filled with skits and singing. Madness! Following a lovely tour and a lively catch up from Treasure and Typhoon, we headed away to Camp B’Nai Brith of Ottawa where we were staying the night. It just so happened that we arrived on the night one of the campers was having their Bar Mitzvah, so the atmosphere was incredibly festive! The international staff was very easy to round up and off we went for a little walk down to the incredibly beautiful waterfront, before popping into the Bar Mitzvah for a little while – my first! Here is a link to their pretty awesome video: http://youtu.be/_NUuo8N8QwQ
After a lovely breakfast, we headed off to Camp Walden and almost upon arrival we were taken out onto the lake by a veteran NYQUESTer (Simon Crompton)– this was his 7th year! He met his wife at camp and he hopes to get married next summer at camp. It’s so beautiful and incredibly tranquil. We stayed for a highly entertaining lunch of grilled cheese and soup (a camp staple), entertaining because random dance parties break out throughout. Fun! Three of the kitchen staff had been competing in a mustache growing competition, one of whom decided to keep his hilarious mustache even after the competition was over. Class. We had time to briefly attend their Carnival complete with a dunking booth, pie toss, and candy floss before hitting the road for Camp Diamond. Though small, Camp Diamond is beautiful and has a stunning waterfront. We have just one member of staff there who we were able to get a tour of the camp from before heading home to Toronto. We did stop off on the way at The Big Apple, an apple superstore where we each got a big delicious piece of apple pie. Good stuff!