Monday, August 2, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Summer 1998 I worked at the Tim Horton Children’s Ranch in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. It was completely magical. Kids would come to the camp from all over Canada to spend ten days hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, white water rafting, bonding together, finding inner strength that they never knew was there, and leave with an absolute love the great outdoors.

My favourite quote of all time was from that summer, - it was the first night of a session and the campers were in their bunk excitedly talking with no signs of stopping as campers on the first night usually did. As I sat on the porch outside the cabin door, I gazed at the perfectly clear star filled mountain sky. I called them all to come outside and see the heavens (they weren’t going to sleep anyway) and then it became instantly clear that this beautiful scene had never been appreciated before.

“HOLY SH*T!!!”, one kid cried out.

That’s it. That’s the quote. To this day I have never heard those words used with such sincerity.

For the counsellors as well as the campers, it was a magic summer. This was a long time ago, so of course we were all younger then, but when I look back at working at the camp it was like going to the camp. We were all kids, big ones and little ones all having fun.

Words are hard to come by to describe the feeling of the experience. It was like a dream, all those nights around the big campfire pit, and those extra special ones where you would catch a glimpse of the northern lights...for sure it was like a dream, - a midsummernight’s dream.