The Summer of Camps July

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The school year in full swing, it was just after March break and the swim team was back at the pool at 7am.  My eyes were still a little groggy and my body was slow to get moving again.  The orange yellow lights of the pool were bugging my eyes.  Sleepily I walked onto the pool deck.

“Good morning everyone!  Hope the break was good.  Who went swimming over the break?”  Ms. T an Ms. K were smiling at us.  A few of us wearily raised our hands.  “That’s great!  Will come in handy this week as we start the drive towards the finals for the year.

We had a good practice, I was awake by the end.  As I was walking towards the change room I said to my coaches “I got accepted to be at the Olympia Summer Camp in July, I’m going for swimming for a week!  6hrs day of workouts and drills, and exercise.”

“That’s great Aime!  We’ll put together a list of drills and things to do for you to get ready.”  Ms. T smiled at me.  I was excited to be going to camp for the week of July, a little nervous too.  Swimming practice for 6 hours a day!  That’s a lot of swimming!  At least it will be mostly in a lake I though.  And a lake that had swim lanes created.

The rest of the school year flew by.  It was fun being on the swim team and being a part of band.  Going to the festival in Boston was fun!

By the end of June, I was ready for summer.  The first week of July was always Camp Adelaide.  The Area Girl Guide Camp I went to every year.  This year I was going to be a Jr. Leader on a camp site called Sunrise.  I had my duffle bag all packed, bright neon pink.  With the little rolls of clothes in the bag along with jeans, sweatshirts, rain gear and other things I needed.

“Hi Darla!  I’m excited to be here with you!”  I waved at one of the Guiders who I would be with on the site.  Camp Adelaide was my happy place, many tree’s and the lake was awesome.  It was different being a Jr. Leader I got to stay up with the leaders after the girls went to sleep.  Helping the girls in leading camp fire each night was fun too.

One of the nights we had finished playing a game with another site.  We had played a wide game with boundaries and had the girls in pairs working together to solve clues.  Spruce Grove was the site name, it was another group of Girl Guides.   As we did a head count we counted all our girls. 

“Yes, we have everyone!  Thanks for hosting us Spruce Grove!  Have great night!”  Darla waved to the other leaders who were gathering up their girls.  We could tell something was upsetting the other leaders though.

“Aime you and the other leaders take the girls back to Sunrise and get organized for camp fire and snack.”  It was starting to get a little dark, it was approx. 9pm.

“Come on girls.  Let’s go!”  Leading the girls back to camp we thought nothing of what Darla was doing with our other leader at Spruce Grove.

About 20min later Darla came back and looking rather worried.  “We didn’t have any extra girls with us coming back to site, did we?”  Darla asked.

“No, we have our 24 girls all is good, they are getting organized for camp fire.”  One of the other leaders said.

“Oh, this is not good.  Two of the girls from Spruce Glen have not checked in for their head count!”  Darla exclaimed.

A search organization was formed, with the Waterfront staff, other leaders from the rest of the camp, and the local police and search and rescue.  The girls were luckily found in the middle of the night at around 3am.  They were prepared though, had bug spray, long clothes on, and had some snacks with them.  They wanted to go home, and were homesick.

Camp ended with no other concerns, all went well and the girls had fun.  Which was the important part.

When I got home it was a mad dash to do laundry and repack with a bunch of different things like all my bathing suites, and extra towels and a couple extra sweatshirts, and my swim cap and goggles.  The next day I was off to Olympia Sports Camp. 

Olympia was different, a huge lake!  Bigger than Adelaide’s lake.  And there were cabins for all the campers to sleep in, and there was also a big dining cabin for everyone to eat in.  The facilities and grounds were amazing.  Areas for different sports, such as tennis courts, and rugby/soccer fields.  The beach was huge too.  Lots of areas for the different water sports like kayaking, wind surfing, and canoeing, as well as our swimming lanes too.  My cabin had 4 bunk beds in it.  I was the only swimmer in the bunch.  There was a soccer player, a judo competitor, a couple of wind surfers, and a couple other sports represented. 

I do not remember eating as much as I did that week!  I was so hungry each meal!  However, swimming for 2hrs in the morning, and 2 hrs in the afternoon had something to do with that.  Luckily in the evening we did more team building and stroke work so not as much swimming, maybe 30min or 1hr instead of the 2hrs like earlier in the day.  I was in lane 7 group.  I was with younger kids who didn’t have as much experience.  Like me, and I was given the task of being like a leader of the lane.  So that was fun. 

At the end of the week our head coach told us we were doing a ‘lake swim’.  We would be swimming 2kms out to a cliff, turn around and do 2kms back to shore.  I was determined to do it and finish.  My lane coach was in the kayak near me towards the end.  I was one of the last to finish, and I was the only one in our lane to do the entire swim.  I was so proud of myself, and very tired at the end. 

The camp was like a ‘normal’ camp complete with free time activities and other fun things to do.  There was a camp fire each night which was always fun.  I and the soccer player after our practices would not do anything on the free time.  We would sleep a lot.  Her practices were a lot of physical work like mine were. 

The swim coaches were impressed with my dedication and tenacity to keep going during the week. I was given the name ‘fly girl’ as they all said I would become a great butter flyer if I kept up the work during the school season.  Then I was really surprised at the big overall camp closing with all the different sports and activities represented, I was awarded the MIP award for the swim session!  The Most Improved Player of the entire session for swimming.  I was really proud!

Olympia came to and end, and it was time to go home.  My parents picked me up and I told them all about the week, and my accomplishments.  

Resting and being at home for only two weeks though, as Doe Lake was looming for August!

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