Your first Comic Canoe Trip is today and you’re about to trip for the first time. Maybe you’re nervous? Maybe you don’t think you will like it? Maybe you love camp so much you can’t bear the thought of leaving? Or maybe it’s the look on your face as you eat those stale bagels at Snooka! Good news Jacob, the Comic campers in 2017 eat their breakfast in the dining hall before trip (what a serious improvement). Also, you wont realize it then and it wont be for a while but Trip will certainly be your fondest camp memories. This canoe trip was the beginning of a journey and one of the first things that will become very special to you.
On this particular trip, you’re going to play around in the lake, collect lots of wood and create many memories. Your cabin is going to divide in half and make a play. It will seem pointless at the time but 10 years later you and some of your cabin mates (who you are still friends with) will still laugh about the details.
The rest of your canoe trips will fly by and some will be much more eventful than others. On your older zodiac canoe trip, you will try and carry a canoe for the first time – Thanks for the challenge Brandon – You’re only going to make it 10 steps but hey, it’s the first ten steps of what will later become thousands.
In your CIT year, you’re going to ask for the Hardcore trip – oh boy, do you know what you’re signing up for kid? It will be on this trip that your love for trip will be cemented. You’re going to push yourself to complete each portage and you’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. You’re going to cook awesome dinners and have a blast hanging out with the trippers. When you finish the trip through the seemingly never-ending creak on North Depot, you will see Heather and her bus (remember Heather – she’s the best) but you’ll also be certain that there is no other job at camp you want to do.
So your years as a camper come to an end and now you’re a first year tripper. You’ll start to see trip through a new lens as you take on the added responsibility of leadership and guidance. As a 16 year-old, you wont realize how valuable this learning experience is and how much fun you’re having doing what you do.
As a second year; you, Jacqueline and Isla will lead your first trip. You’ll depend on each other and be grateful you’re doing it with friends. As a fourth year, you’ll lead the program. It wont feel like you’re the head of the program because it will be such a good group who you can depend on. That year you guys will do great things. Each trip will go off without a hitch and each tripper will work to make sure each camper loves trip. Its that year you’ll realize you’re apart of something special.
Overall, you’ll make some of the best friends you’ve ever made and experience some of the most amazing scenery Canada has to offer. This job will teach you the importance of the cabin family and you’ll cherish all the bonding moments you have with friends, campers and staff on various canoe trips.
You will look back on the trip program and be immensely proud that you were apart of it. You’ll yearn for the happiness that comes with a warm fresh summer morning in the park or the joy of a majestic sunset after a long day’s work. You’ll plaque-mount your trip pictures and hang them around your room. You’ll mark up your Algonquin, Killarney and Temagami maps with all the different routes you’ve done and you’ll rant about them to anyone who’ll listen.
You’ll remember all the memories from Orry’s Spring Break to the Rock Lake parking lot in ’08. From the CITS of 2016 to the creak with cabin G1 to sinking in the mud with cabin G3 on your first “real trip”. You’ll remember the 5 hours on Evelyn to the (many) crazy storms and to burn Baby burn in 2012. In fact, while you write this letter, Mom is going to ask you why you have a brick with rope around it and if she can throw it out. Don’t worry, I said no.
So, hold on to moments while you can and make the most of the trips while you’ve still got them. Because, when its all over you’re going to be wishing you were back. Also, I hope you’re ready because the next 10 years are going to be really really awesome.
Figure 2: Burn Baby Burn 2k12 and the brick mentioned above
Figure 3: Family Photo
Figure 4: Sunset on Lake Temagami at the end of Cit Trip 2016
Figure 5: Natural Water Slide along the Barron Canyon
Figure 6: Sunset on Proux Lake