16. CANADIAN HOLIDAY in May 2008: Ontario Pioneer Camp in Eastern Canada: Post 16

Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to a different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.

If you would also like  to see the post in a larger or smaller size, I suggest you follow this procedure: If you right-handed, with your left hand, press  down continuously  on the Control Function Key  with your left hand and with your right hand, move  the   little  cursor wheel either forwards or backwards to make the text in the post larger or smaller.

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I wish to share a little more on our trip through Eastern Canada to the Ontario Pioneer Camp. We came back from the week long Alaskan part of trip back to Vancouver. We then flew up to Toronto which was a five hour trip. For those who may be reading this travel blog for the first time, I summarise our itinerary:

• On the 8th May we flew from Brisbane down to Sydney which is a one hour flight
• Then we boarded a plane which flew straight to Vancouver in Canada which was a 14 hour flight …. A long trip!! This was a lot simpler than flying to Los Angeles (USA customs etc.) then flying to Vancouver
• We had three days to walk the streets of Vancouver …. taking lots of photos
• On the second day we caught a taxi to the waiting ship for a week long cruise to Alaska and back again. We cruised right up to the Skagway in northern Alaska and back finally to Vancouver
• We then went to Vancouver airport and flew to Toronto …. A five hour trip. One of our old friends, Yolanda actually met us at us at ‘Arrivals’. It was wonderful to see her after 25 years. We were neighbours, living on acreage at Chambers Flat in the mid 1970’s. Yolanda had returned home to Canada in the mid 1980’s. Yolanda acted as our personal assistant from getting possession of our hire car and getting us to our hotel. Then she took us out to dinner. As we said we wanted to see Niagara Falls, Yolanda contacted friends on her mobile phone who lived up there to meet us and ferry us around for the day.
• From Niagara Falls, we drove up back through Toronto 2.50  hours up North to Muskokas (the cottage lake district) to pick up our 28 year old daughter Claire. She is a primary school teacher who had been living and doing volunteer working in Canada from June 2007 till June 2008.
• Claire had initially travelled to Canada to volunteer as a chalet leader for Ontario Pioneer Camp a Christian Summer Camp and Outdoor Education Centre which has over 1200 acres of property, five separate camping sites (three winterised) on two lakefronts. Lake Clearwater is several kilometres across. During the summer the camp operates a Boys Camp, Girls Camp, Adventure Camp (for small children), Leaders in Training (LIT) Program, to name a few. Claire volunteered at Girls Camp for the summer and taught Sailing and Wilderness Survival skills as well as bonding with small groups of girls who came to camp for a one or two week session. (6 weeks- 6 days a week)
• When the summer finished Claire extended her visa and was accepted as an instructor for their Year Round Outdoor Education Program. She received a lot of on the job training and was then able to teach canoeing, kayaking, high ropes, low ropes, wilderness survival, etc during the autumn (fall) and then after the joys of experiencing snow for the first time was taught how to cross country skiing, snowshoe, broomball etc. to the many school and weekend retreat groups that utilised the facility.
See the website for Pioneer Camp.
There is a lot of beauty and joy in life …. I wish share with you a very small portion of this. See the few photos below and see the Blog Site of Photographs of our experience of the Ontario Pioneer Camp over three days we were there.

Our 28 year old daughter Claire at home …. she has become an official Primary School teacher with a one year contract at a local school in 2009 …..

Claire about to stern (steer) a large replica War Canoe across the lake …. in the summer time in Canada 2007 before we arrived in Canada in May 2008. This lake freezes right across it’s surface and it is possible to walk between the different summer camp sites. (not to mention drive a truck across if you so desire!)

Cedarwood ….. one of the buildings where we stayed for three days …

One of the chalets that the campers lived in during the summer (this was Claire’s home for 6 weeks-the bunk on the left) …..

Camp Farewell to Claire who had been a volunteer at the Camp for a whole year ….. she was presented with a cake and a Canadian Flag …..

Winter Time versus Summer time:

We had a funny experience in February 2008. This was four months before we due to go to Canada to see Claire. Harriet and  I were down at  the Gold Coast  (Queensland, Australia) in a park reading under trees with our shoes off in February 2008. I had been writing e-mails to Claire in Canada every week and I copied this photograph into the e-mail to keep her informed of our Australian situation. She wrote back and said how she was amazed to see us with our shoes off. There was five feet of snow outside her front door and they had to keep shovelling the snow to get inside. The difference between summer in Australia and winter time in Canada!!

Whilst we there, we went to have lunch with the Zielonkos  nearby. Claire had got to know this wonderful family with their two wonderful girls.

See the post:  OUR CANADIAN HOLIDAY in May 2008 …. Lunch with the Zielonkos

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I trust you enjoyed looking at these photos of the Ontario Pioneer Camp ….. I trust they are a celebration of beauty and joy in life. Enjoying the impact of one focused detail of life has to be counterbalanced with the big picture of life. Life is a journey and not a destination.
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