RACCC Family Camp 2013

RACCC Family Camp  2013 - fun, friends...canoeing, archery, camp fires
Jacob says: 'The best part of our summer' !

RACCC Family Camp August 9-11, 2013     Report 1

I have an 11 year old son and we participated in the RACCC Family Camp weekend in Gracefield Quebec.

Aside from chilly temperatures on Saturday the weather was beautiful and sunny.   Our brave camping group consisted of:   a mother with two daughters, a grandmother with her granddaughter, a couple with two children, a woman who wanted to learn about canoeing, and five fantastic facilitators and helpers (Mark, Karen, Jen, Tyson and James).


We talked about the weekend in the car on the way back to Ottawa and I asked my son what he liked most about the trip.

Firstly he said he enjoyed tipping the canoe.   Part of the experience involved a “canoe over canoe tip and rescue”.  He had no trouble getting into the canoe after we flipped over and fell into the lake. Personally I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it.   But I did, as did everyone else!  Afterwards, we helped rescue other group members. It felt awesome cheering people on when they made it back into the canoe!  It was a challenging, confidence building experience.

Secondly, he mentioned that he just liked meeting other people and being able to sit and talk for a while.  My son is a little more outgoing than I am.   I get anxious and nervous in new environments with new people.  My stomach ties itself into knots under these conditions.   He loved spending time with the other children and although conversation isn’t one of my strengths I just enjoyed being part of the group, listening and learning.

Archery was his next favorite.  Being able to use his compound bow and practice with real paper targets instead of the shredded paper filled burlap sack we sometimes position in our yard.   He hit the bull’s eye in the target several times and was quite pleased with himself.  My arrows didn’t manage to hit the board during our first practice session however they did the second day!!  Practiced by medieval knights and native people alike archery is cool and different and there is a gracious element to the sport as well.

Lastly, and certainly not leastly, we both enjoyed learning and practicing the different paddle strokes out on the water. I canoed once when I was his age and this was his first time in a canoe. Our group leaders were supportive and encouraging seasoned club members with tons of camping and canoeing experience . I think everyone enjoyed being out on the water.   I like flat-water canoeing when the lake is still and calm.  We saw fish and turtles because the water was clean and clear.

Family Camp was a really positive experience and the perfect weekend for both of us.   It felt like an initiation into the club. Everyone learned and grew from this remarkable journey! We both agree that this trip was the best part of our summer and we want to participate again next year. We wrote a ghost story when we returned home and would like to tell it during campfire time at Gracefield Camp next year.

Written By:  Genevieve and Jacob

Report 2

A second report on family camp by Ross Brown can be found here.

Additional photos from family camp by Ross Brown can be found here.

Photography credits:  Ross Brown, Margaret McKay and James Hurd.