At the beginning of August I (Maike Kats) returned from my summer in the US and I was very excited to start the NYQUEST summer camp visits. JC and I departed for the last camp tour of the summer bright and early in the morning. Our first stop was Camp Hurontario, the first camp that’s on an island that I have ever been to!. We were picked up by the ferry and made it just in time for lunch. Our NYQUEST participant (one of the few girls at this all-boys camp) told us all about her amazing and adventurous summer while giving us a tour of the island. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for too long as we had 3 more camps to visit that day.
When we arrived at Camp George, our NYQUEST support staff and 2 returning counselors gave us a fun but quick tour (due to the rain). We were just about to leave when we saw one of our Australian staff, who had just returned from a canoe trip and of course we had to take a picture with him before leaving. We the drove to beautiful Algonquin Park and had to take another ferry to get to Camp Tamakwa. It was Craig’s birthday, so of course we had to try some of the delicious birthday cake before touring camp with some of our NYQUESTers (about half of our many staff were on their day off). By the time we arrived at Taylor Statten Camp, it was already nighttime. It was quite an adventure to find our cabin in the dark (luckily we ran into the carpenter of camp, who was super-nice and led us to our cabin for the night). The next morning we learned that our staff were on their day off, so we took our time and enjoyed the breakfast in the huge and unique dining hall. Afterwards
The next morning we learned that our staff were on their day off, so we took our time and enjoyed the breakfast in the huge and unique dining hall. Afterwards Jobert took us around the island and we paddled over to Wapameo. Our next drive was very pleasant as we only had to drive down the road to Camp Arowhon. Camp was super-busy, and we had the great opportunity to see some of our staff in action at the horse stables and at the tennis courts. Lunch was a fun experience with lots of songs, skits, cheers and a birthday dance-off for Mara. We were able to quickly catch up with the rest of our staff after lunch, before they had to head back to their activities.
We continued driving to Olympia Sports Camp, where we witnessed our Aussie participants running the ropes course. We then had a long drive ahead of us, all the way up north to Temagami. JC was especially excited for our next stop, as we were heading to wards Canadian Adventure Camp, where he worked for 4 summers. We arrived just after evening activity and had a fun night hanging out with the NYQUEST staff, directors and many of JC’s friends from previous years. The next morning we had just enough time for breakfast and a game of trivia before we had to make our way to Camp Doe Lake, a girl guides camp. Our NYQUESTers were able to take a little time off during their busy day to chat with us.
We took a stroll to their beautiful lake, a must-see, and after taking a group picture it was time for us to leave again, as we were running a bit behind schedule. At Camp Huronda, a camp for kids with diabetes, we were greeted warmly by our staff, who worked in the camp office and the camp director. They helped us find the rest of our internationals and together we checked out the camp, including the brand-new ropes course, which is awesome! Last, but certainly not least, we arrived at Newport Adventure Camp, a Salvation Army Camp. We were super-surprised to see all of our staff in their NYQUEST-Shirts!
On a closer look, we realized that we gained an extra NYQUESTer, as one of their local staff had made his own NYQUEST-Shirt to fit in with the internationals. (Needless to say, we gave him a real NYQUEST T-Shirt for his great efforts). We checked out the tipis, ropes course and lake and our Irish participant entertained us with funny stories from his amazing summer at camp. It was a wonderful and very busy camp-tour and it was crazy to think that the summer was almost over; it just flew by!