Every day is now Family Day. With families spending much more time together these days due to COVID-19 isolation, we may find ourselves complaining more about our siblings and kids. But we should be thankful for the blessings of family. They are usually our first friends, and may be our last friends. Enjoy this time together because life will move on and we will be apart once again for longer than we are together. As much as we want to be with others, we will miss these days. Play games, make art, create music, read together, go for walks, watch the birds, teach each other, and enjoy each other’s presence. You won’t regret it.
Another trip to Haliburton Scout Reserve (HSR) is in the books. Tents are dry and packed, shelters stored, sleeping bags washed, dishes and pots are clean and have been put away until our next camp. This year we had the privilege of hosting members of the 1st Sittingbourne Salvation Army Scouts from England. It was a camp of many firsts.
Over the seven days, we had rain, thunderstorms, cold nights, bright sunshine, laughs, great times around the campfire, filling meals, good conversations, and many learned new skills that will make us better Scouts moving forward. Getting ready for this camp and cleaning up seemed to take longer than the camp itself, and it probably did. But in the end, the effort was totally worthwhile.
If you’re a Scouter who hasn’t taken your Scouts to HSR or on a camp longer than a weekend, what are you waiting for? It will be a memorable time for everyone.
We all know the song about Mondays and rainy days getting people down. I agree with Mondays and don’t know many people who really like that day. But rainy days don’t really get me down from an emotional standpoint. More like, rainy days slow me down and make me want to take it easy; to sit and watch the rain fall.
Some of my favourite time was spent on the porch of the Lodge at Camp Madawaska, cup of coffee in my hand, watching the rain making uncountable splashes into Lake Victoria. Sometimes it was a gently rain, welcome after a hot day. Sometimes it was sheets of pounding rain that were driven across the lake by hurricane-like gusts.
Rainy days at camp are slow days, reflecting days, peaceful days. Yes, I’ve paddled in the rain, hiked in the rain, slept in the rain. But mostly, I like doing nothing in the rain. On rainy days, I keep the coffee or tea water hot, read a book, play cards, chat with friends, swap favourite camp stories, reflect on life. That’s what rainy days were made for.
They tell us to not drive as fast when it rains, that we need to be more aware of our surroundings. I agree because life is like that too. When it rains, slow down and become more aware of your surroundings, especially the people in your life. Don’t let rainy days get you down. Let them help you remember what’s important.
SCOUTING is alive and well in most communities across Canada. It probably is the first connection that many young people have with the outdoors. Over the course of the last year, our Scouting members in Peterborough (15th Peterborough Salvation Army Scout Group and others) have been involved in several initiatives that have benefited species at risk and the environment in general. There are many negative news reports of youth in our country, but here in The Patch, our youth are making a POSITIVE DIFFERENCE for nature.
For 11 years, members of local Scout groups have taken thousands of pounds of trash and recycling materials out of Little Lake and from around the lake’s shoreline. Scouts have removed larger items such as bikes and construction waste to cigarette butts, food wrappers, and syringes. Other items have included a toaster over and half a guitar! Due to the ongoing efforts (and hopefully the awareness that the programme brings), the amount of garbage and recycling collected has been declining in recent years. The benefit? Cleaner lake for wildlife and a safer and healthier environment for all of us.
Planting Pollinator Species
One of our local Scout groups, the 15th Peterborough Salvation Scout Group, partnered with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) on a project at Langley Park Scout Reserve, one of our local Scout Camps located just outside Peterborough, in Cavan. As funding came through for species at risk we were able to plant 75 pollinator species in two different areas of the camp. These new plants will provide important additional habitat for pollinators next summer and beyond. As these grow, they will be split and new beds will be created. The Scouts will also continue to positively impact pollinator species populations by building pollinator houses.
Small projects like bird houses are easy for youth of all ages. All it takes is some small pieces of wood, a few nails and one meeting night. Houses that were put up in back yards and at a local camp took some time be occupied, but in time, they have provided housing for tree swallows and wood ducks.
Each May, hundreds of local Scouts plant thousands of trees in partnership with ORCA and local landowners. From farms to old landfills, these trees have helped to once again provide nesting habitat and food for birds and other species.
So, the next time you are tempted to reflect negatively on kids, remember these four positive examples of youth doing the right thing.
A few years ago, I decided to begin creating photo cards. Mostly for Christmas, but also others suitable for any occasion. Original photos were taken by me while I was outdoors, doing my outdoors things I love: canoeing, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, spending time with family and friends, or just by myself. Images I chose for the cards or prints were inspired by God’s awesome creation. I came up with the name as a bit of a play on the word canoe and new ideas. I was trying to do something that others were already doing, but I wanted my new venture to represent my ideas. So, CanoeIdeas was born. There are so many people who don’t care to go camping, or spend any time outside. I believe that being “out there” is a gift. As I post some of the images, I hope that you will get a sense of God’s gift of creation and they will inspire you to get outside yourself.
Dear college guys working out at the Peterborough Wellness Centre. Yes, all of us middle-aged guys, soccer moms, and my 13-year old daughter are all really impressed at all those heavy weights you can lift. We think it’s pretty cool how you smash them to the ground while grunting so loudly. Also, you over there….yeah, the one with the The Man (arrow pointing up) & The Legend (arrow pointing down) t-shirt. You will look back and regret that shirt someday. Hopefully that day will be tomorrow. Please throw it away or burn it. No one believes you. Especially me. Grow up and actually be a real man. You’re welcome. It’s what I do.