Camp Lau-Ren’s 2016 Wish List

Here are 12 things that you might have around the house or that you might pick up while running errands. Please ensure you include your contact information so that we can thank you and/or provide a tax receipt for some items.

THINGS AROUND THE HOUSE

  1. CFL (spiral) light bulbs                                                   Priority – Important

Camp is a pretty bright at night, much to the relief of little campers who need to use the bathroom at night.

  1. Couch for Smyth                                          Priority – Nice to have

Our hard-working counsellors would LOVE a “new” couch from a non-smoking, pet-free house. Delivery to camp can be negotiated if you don’t have a truck.

  1. Patio furniture for the porch on Smyth          Priority – Nice to have

Some slightly used furniture (chairs, love seats, small tables) with outdoor upholstery would be greatly appreciated by our volunteer leaders, directors and staff.

  1. Kayaks, canoes or a paddle board                             Priority – Nice to have

Although we have lots of canoes, we can always use more water toys. This donation needs to be reasonably new (minimum 5 years) and in excellent condition to ensure water safety for our campers and staff.

  1. Riding lawnmower                                                          Priority – Nice to have

Our push mower is working just fine but our caretaker would feel really special if he could take a little break from his busy day and hop on a riding lawnmower. It should be 1-3 years old and freshly tuned.

  1. Musical instruments                                                         Priority – Important

A music stand and/or mic stand would push our talent night into the professional league. We already have a keyboard but percussion instruments such as tambourines, shakers or high-quality djembes would be really fun.

  1. Printer paper                                                                      Priority – Important

Emails from home are a highlight for our campers and we go through a lot of paper. Letter-sized paper in the original packaging (versus recycled) would be appreciated.

If you would like to donate any of the above items, please contact Ron or Joanne Hartnett at Hartnett@sympatico.ca in advance. We would love your donation but we need to ensure we don’t get six couches…

THINGS THAT CAN BE BOUGHT WITH GIFT CARDS

Gift cards can be purchased anytime and mailed to the following address:

Camp Lau-Ren, PO Box 1670, Deep River, ON, K0J 1P0

  1. $20-$50 gift cards from Michael’s or Walmart           Priority – Important

We always stock the Craft Hall with glue sticks, paint, twine/tread, paint, brushes, paper and much more.

  1. $50-$200 gift cards from Canadian Tire            Priority – Very Important

Paddles and life jackets wear out quickly. Gift cards are perfect because staff can purchase according to size. These gift cards can also buy walkie-talkies, sports equipment, tents, kitchen gadgets and maintenance supplies such as lawnmower fuel, extension cords and lumber.

  1. $50-200 gift cards from Loblaws and Giant Tiger    Priority – Very Important

Camp Lau-Ren is known for its exceptional food and we feed a lot of people in the summer! But food is also served at our Open House on Saturday, June 11, 2016 and when we train our new leaders and counsellors on May 28 & 29, 2016.

  1. $250+ gift certificate from Pembroke landscaper      Priority – Important

Gravel, sand, topsoil and mulch are used on the playing field, around the cabins and along the road. If you are interested in this type of donation, please contact Ron Hartnett at hartnett@sympatico.ca so he can recommend a specific supplier.

  1. ONE LAST THING…                                               Priority – Very Important

Camp Lau-Ren always accepts good old cash or cheques.

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20 things we miss about camp

It’s dark and dreary in November so we decided to think about those long, bright summer days at camp. Have you ever seen camp in the winter? It’s a very magical place in the winter – peaceful, snoozing, recuperating. Our resident chipmunks hibernate and our bunny keeps a lookout for predators while munching on twigs and bark.

We were in touch with a few of the camp peeps and then made a list of things we miss from the summer. Feel free to comment back and share your thoughts.

1. Driving down the laneway and seeing the “small rock”. Excited!!!

2.  I LOVE quaffing the fresh, crisp water at the water fountain. It’s the first thing I do when I arrive at camp, and it energizes me all week long.

3.  Since we’re talking about cold and refreshing water, changing out of those cold bathing suits after Polar Bear Swim and putting on our warm and cozy hoodies is pretty awesome too.

4.  It’s amazing how the brain works. Somehow or other we can remember all the words to Waddle-Lee-Ah-Cha, Princess Pat, Boom Chicka Boom and Flea, Fly as soon as we hear the tune.

Oh oh…did that just start a few earworms?

5.  Nowadays, kitchen dishes are often white and totally uniform – clean design lines. But who can resist smiling when we see the yellow, blue and green dishes at camp? They kind of look like old-fashioned Chiclets, no?

6. Mmmmm… camp food. A whole blog dedicated to camp food will be coming soon, but Sunday dinner’s dessert — with the chocolate pudding and Graham Cracker crust — belongs in a 5-star restaurant. Maybe it’s the plate presentation – served on the Chiclet plates – or maybe it’s just the perfect dessert to serve to an excited bunch of youngsters who are about to have the best week of the summer. And who can resist the Rice Crispy squares at snack time? I love the way the cooks load in the butter and marshmallows and then cut them extra big.

7.   Hearing the sound of a screen door slamming off in the distance is a specific little “tink” that can only be heard at camp. Whether it’s a cabin or the washroom screen doors, it’s really only heard it at rest hour, during the night, or perhaps during Monk’s Meal.

8.   Those sunsets during campfire! It’s perfect because the sun starts blazing through the trees and then it casts this stunning glow on the faces of the campers who are in charge of the campfire. It’s kind of like a stage spotlight in a theatre, don’t you think?

9.  Awwww, reconnecting with my camp peeps every summer makes us kinda weepy. Camp Lau-Ren friends are those kinds of buddies where you don’t need to talk to for a whole year, and then you just pick up where you left off. We also have a common language that is only reserved for camp – “I have Smyth Duty”, “Make some room for the Holy Spirit”, “OPA”!

10.  Okay, the mattresses at camp are pretty robust, and they certainly don’t compare to the soft comfy mattress at home. But honestly, some of my best nights of sleep have been at camp because there is nothing better than sleeping on the top bunk, on a hot night, and feeling a breeze coming through the window. Somehow the sand in the sleeping bag and the itchy mosquito bites seem to drift away with a little gust of night air.

11.  How old are those majestic pine trees down in Vespers? They seem to be ageless and some of us have a feeling that they really enjoy our summer Vesper services. Maybe they they gossip about the campers and counsellors in their windy lingo: “I hope they sing Pass it on tonight.” or “Why is Scamper sad today?”

12. Full confession… doing this little indulgence breaks the strictest rule at camp. One of the things some of us love to do — and you can really only do it if you are an adult volunteer like a Camp Director or Leader – is walk down to the very end of the beach and watch the sunrise. The sun rising over the Laurentian Hills is so beautiful because there are thousands of different colours in the sky, on the hills and in the water. LITs often go on a 3-day canoe trip and they can sometimes glimpse the sunrise or sunset while camping on the beach.

13. Free Swim is one of the most popular activities at camp and it usually tops the list of camper favourites. Shedding that sweat on a hot summer day is refreshing for your skin and it also reinvigorates your muscles.

14. Watching kids play Capture the Flag in a summer rain is an awesome experience. No “indoor recesses” for these kids, and many first-time campers are pretty shocked to discover that most camp games continue despite the showers. It’s great to see them come off the field — covered in grass and dirt — with the biggest grin on their faces!

15. Doing dishes during Jumper duty is the most fun when we crank up some disco hits and then bust out some dance moves on the dining hall floor. It’s just never the same when we do that at home….

16. Saying grace at home is important, but it just doesn’t have the same impact as 80+ strong voices singing grace at camp. We think that gives us an extra little edge up in Heaven.

17. The water pranks at campfire are always funny, no matter how old the skit. Who can resist chuckling at “Trip around the World” (Niagara Falls) or “The Size Machine” (spit=water bucket)? Maybe that’s why I don’t like the “JC Penny” skit – it just needs water added into the plot!!!

18. Monk’s Meal is a fascinating event. Encouraging campers to sing and dance (between eating and drinking) at every meal is part of camp culture, but then asking them to be silent for a 45-minute meal is a very jarring experience. Keeping silent KILLS ME, especially when the seasoned counsellors sit at my table and become goofy mimes.

19. Love the Peg Board! You know, sometimes things just WORK and you should never mess with them. The buddy system on the beach is simply the best way to ensure water safety and camp has an EXCELLENT safety record on our beach.

20. How long have those green benches been in the dining hall and the craft hall? I want to meet the carpenter who made them because I think they were there when I was a kid!!! Those benches bring back memories of talent night and even Donkey Riding when we had an indoor campfire.

Please share your memories with us too. Visit our website www.camplau-ren.com, Find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter (@CAMPLau_Ren) and Instagram (CampLau_Ren).

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Camp Lau-Camp Lau-Ren’s – LIT Blog – July 30 – August 8, 2015

Camp Lau-Ren’s LIT (Leader in Training) program works with 15 and 16-year-old teens to provide them with a toolbox of leadership skills as well as prepares them to be potential camp counselors the following summer.

Jenny Lade — aka Alligator — is the Camp Director and her leadership team runs the LIT program alongside another camp (Junior Co-ed A) so that the LITs can apply their skills in a camp setting.

Here is Alligator’s blog….

I am so happy to get an opportunity to tell you about our 10-day adventure with 13 LIT campers and four leaders. It was amazing to see our group bond so quickly through icebreaker games and then watch as everyone started to find their place as they played around with leader roles.

Our Leadership Leader, Jennifer McLaren (Nenners) led the group in Leadership 101 where the campers did everything from workbook activities to fun interactive games. They learned about the qualities of a leader — making observations, communication, emotional intelligence, personality types and listening skills.

Nikki Nel’s (Tigger) Bible study sessions looked at leadership roles within the Bible and turned the lessons into hands-on activities.

Craft Leader, Gord McGill (Pamplemouse) had the teens build a sturdy and long-lasting picnic table. During this activity, campers broke into small groups and built different sections before coming together to assemble all the pieces together. They proudly stamped their names into the wood and then left it at camp for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

The first couple days were also used to prepare for a three-day canoe trip. The campers learned how to safely store food and canoe skills such as paddle strokes and canoe-over-canoe water rescue. One of the challenges we faced was packing a light pack! Everyone was given a dry sac and there was a very animated discussion on what qualified as an essential item.

Brimming with excitement, we departed from the beach at Camp Lau-Ren on Tuesday and paddled 6.5 km on the Ottawa River to Presqu’ile Beach. Thankfully we set up our camp and a cooking shelter in the nick of time and managed to avoid getting our food and supplies drenched in a rain shower. This was the first lesson in how to watch the river and sky, and it helped us decide whether we had time for play before the work.

That night we had an incredible campfire with lots of laughing, singing and camaraderie. It was beautiful setting because trees, star constellations and the sounds of the Ottawa River surrounded us on the beach.

Day 2 wasn’t as exciting and inspiring… It was an emotional and physical challenge for many of the campers because, not only were we were paddling against the current, we also battled strong winds, crazy waves and bouts of belting rain. Although we felt safe on the water with our cache of safety tools and procedures, many of the teens struggled to stay strong and positive. Needless to say, we were VERY RELIEVED when we finally arrived at Fraser’s Landing. It was still very windy but we quickly reestablished our team spirit and motivated each other to set up our tarps for our cooking shelter.

On Day 3 of our canoe adventure, we made our way back to Camp Lau-Ren without any significant weather incidents. Over those three days, the campers got a good sense of wilderness camping and they also continued to build on their leadership skills. Everyone took turns cooking, washing dishes, starting cooking fires, building shelters and tearing down camp. Overall, this canoe trip was an excellent bonding experience for the whole group and it was considered a highlight of the week.

Following the canoe trip, we plunged into camp programming because the Junior Co-Ed A campers had arrived at Camp Lau-Ren. In order to provide hands-on leadership skills, the LIT campers were responsible for organizing some of the games and events for the younger campers. They worked hard to finish the final touches of planning field games for the junior campers to participate in.

The last few days flew by as we crammed in the last of our crafts, Bible study and leadership activities. Overall, the LITs had an amazing time and they were all in tears Friday night when they contemplated leaving. They bonded so strongly and left feeling good about what they had learned, and how they had grown.

In summary, I am really looking forward to seeing many of these LIT campers turn into future counselors, leaders and directors at Camp Lau-Ren!!

All the best, Jenny (Aka Alligator)

Camp Lau-Ren – Senior Co-Ed Blog – Aug 16-22, 2015

Steve McCullock — or Mukluck — is the popular director for Senior Co-Ed.  This camp is always popular with the campers (aged 13-15) and it is usually the first camp to fill up every summer.  Here is Mukluck’s blog…

I am so happy to provide a blog for Camp Lau-Ren and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsoring church, Wesley United Church, for our terrific week at camp.  They are always very generous to Camp Lau-Ren.

Our leadership team included Krutch (health), Spud (crafts), Slick (sports), Tether (Bible/Life Studies) and TuTu.  They all worked really well together and it certainly made my job a lot easier!  Crash was also the busy babysitter for my children, Dill and Royal.

We had 64 campers for the week and they did a variety of exciting activities.  Our theme for the week was “Survivor – can you survive a week at Senior Co-ed” which meant cabins collected points throughout the week by competing in a variety of activities such as clean cabin inspections and camper/counselor challenges.  We also hid “golden keys” around the camp so that campers could rack up 25, 50 or 100 points just for having sharp eyes.  It’s funny because one of the 1000-point keys was NEVER FOUND, so perhaps someone will find it next summer.

The winning cabin with the most points through the week on the girl’s side was Bell (2711 points) and Owl’s Nest was the winning cabin on the boy’s side (2611 points).

One of the highlights of the week was the Senior Co-Ed First Annual Duathlon for campers, volunteers and staff.  Competitors had to run one km around the camp, swim to and around the raft, return to the beach and then run to the finish line.

Ummmmm…. I hate to brag but I BEAT THE TEENAGERS in the Male Solo Category!!!  My final time was 7:10, but I paled in comparison to speedy Jagger (Female Solo Category) who had a final time of 6:48.

Here are some of the other results:

Campers:

Boys Solo: Declan -7:13

Girls Solo:  Sarah J -7:53

Boys Double: Ryan L & Ethan K -6:45

Girls Double: Nadia & Tyleena -7:29

Dependent Double: Dill & Royal -10:00

Teams of 3:

Boys: Rory, Lex & Aiden -6:39

Girls: Maggie, Jillian & Maggie -7:09

Staff:

Male Solo: Mukluck -7:10

Female Solo: Jagger -6:48

Female Double: Mumford & Jagger -8:07

Summer Staff Doubles: Beans & Hollywood -6:46

Other activities that took place during the week included sleeping in tents, canoeing, beach day, fireworks, cabin challenges, awards and a wrap-up dance.  In crafts, the campers went home with tye-dye t-shirts, cord bracelets and wind chimes.

At the end of the week we are pretty happy to see this Facebook quote from camper Jay Stewart:

“BEST WEEK EVER!!!”

We are already planning for 2016 and one of the projects that I want to take one is resurrecting a couple of the amazing trails that were created in the 1980s and 90s.  I’ve had a number of requests from leaders and counselors about a trail called Peg Leg’s Grave so I plan on recruiting some eager volunteers to brush out the trails. They should be ready for next year!

God Bless and see you next summer!

Steve McCulloch (Mukluck), Camp Director – Sr. Co-Ed