Pioneer Camp Blog
Praises for our Seasonal Staff!
By Spencer Kushnir, Staff Registrar & Programming
The summer of 2021 is one that handed us many challenges and gave us many opportunities to turn to God and give praise. We praise Him for all the amazing work that we have been able to do and for providing a team that was passionate to put it into action.
This amazing and out of the ordinary summer programming would not have been possible without our seasonal staff, whose hard work and creativity made this summer the best it could be. These 10 dedicated young people were happy to be working in many capacities: out at camp, in the city, and on the water, and it just would not have been possible without them. Thank you, team!
With the struggles to get out to the island in early May, we got creative in the city by meeting in small groups in person or on Zoom, having virtual scavenger races to build teamwork and to learn how to communicate with each other better with added challenges. This was an uncomfortable time of waiting, as many of the staff had their bags packed and stayed ready to head out to the island, waiting for the word that we could cross the Manitoba-Ontario boarder. After getting the anticipated news and we had a plan to self-isolate for two weeks, we finished packing our bags and loaded up to head out to the island, entering the lake through Clytie Bay.
Very soon after our arrival to the island there became a new fashion statement that was all the rave. The ‘chin mask’ ensured that you didn’t misplace it while working outside, and then you could pull it up before entering the dining hall for meals. Though the masks around our chins was a fashionable choice, our seasonal staff were very happy to hear that through a federal program and then later thanks to a donation, we were able to get rapid tests on the island. After our two weeks of quarantine, these tests gave our small community the opportunity to eat meals and have free time both mask free and in closer proximity. After the rapid tests confirmed our covid freeness, we were able to get started on the training that was needed for the summer ahead of us. Starting off with bronze cross, Emily Welty led our group through the two courses as she certified 6 of our staff to lifeguards. With the challenges of hot weather and cold water, she led the group while helping to improve our awareness of water safety and their swimming abilities. We were also able to certify 7 staff in Wilderness first aid, which they used during the summer at day camps and on canoe trips.
With a shorter (than usual) amount of time on the island before programs started, and with minimal numbers to our group, we were constantly busy working on training, while opening the site, doing dishes, and prepping for program in the city and for LIT. Our focus on training allowed us send out two staff canoe trips despite the smoky conditions. It was important to make space to refresh our canoe tripping skills in both lake and river tripping, which truly prepared our staff for the summer of program ahead. Can’t wait for next season!
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Email Spencer: [email protected]