Captain’s Blog 29052012

Feels Like Home

Last week the Work Crew staff and I hit the road for a couple of days. Skills Weekend was just over and the dishes from Monday’s lunch were drying in the dish rack when we turned on to Frayn Road and headed out. We were all excited about getting away for a few days. The team had been working very hard since early May and needed a change of pace and scenery. You might wonder if they were sick of listening to me for the past three weeks?…….It’s remotely possible but I don’t really think so!

Our destination was Big Hawk Lake in Haliburton. Our objective was to rendezvous with an old friend and mentor, Skip Harris, at Camp Kawabi. We have been in the habit of visiting Kawabi each spring for the last four years to help with the spring chores and to prepare the site for Family Camp (Kawabi style).

It’s always an exciting journey for me to visit Kawabi. As the gap narrowed between our camps, my mind was humming with verse after verse of “Lu la la, Lu la la, Lu la la la lay……” It happens each time as I anticipate walking those familiar paths I explored as a child, teen and dare I say young adult! When we settled in for the evening I enjoyed a quiet walk around the camp property. I thought to myself….this feels like home!

A continuing project that Skip and his visiting Work Crew staff have been working on has been the dismantling and removal of the retired tent platforms. The focus this year, with great assistance from two hardworking grandchildren, was the girl’s section along the waterfront. When this project started three visits ago it was somewhat disturbing to think we were making this physical “stuff” disappear. Were we peeling away layers of history board by board? Would we be viewed somehow as thieves that had no right to take this away?

It didn’t take too long before I took comfort in knowing that what we were doing was returning the site to its original and beautiful natural appearance. With the girls platforms now all removed the view down the tent line is a beautiful lakeside forest scene complete with those huge beech and sugar maples. There isn’t a remnant milk crate, bug bucket, name-tagged beach towel or polypropylene clothesline left standing.

It’s not to say there is nothing remaining. I could still imagine and somehow sense thousands upon thousands of memories still lingering down that tent line. As Skip and I paused for a minute admiring the massive clean-up, I said to him that I thought Nish would be impressed with the transformation. We nodded in agreement, feeling her presence too.