May 24 Work Weekend

We would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers who attended the Work Weekend at Camp Ak-O-Mak.  This May “2-4” Weekend saw 24 friends, family and alumni join together to unveil camp and get things opened up for the 2018 season. We may have shared a couple of ugly chores but all of them were made FUN with a group that can both lift and laugh together! 

Spring is a special time of year up north. Everything is pristine and blooming. Nature gently reveals her treasures.  Delicate Trilliums, Ontario’s official flower, were dotted throughout the forest floor taking advantage of the brilliant sunshine before the leafy canopy erupts.  Our group got to witness a young moose enjoying the grass on our soccer field!  By night, we were awed by the most spectacular display of stars imaginable…completely filling the black sky, undiluted by city lights. 

Since Winter overstayed her welcome in Ontario this year, we had lots of work to do to make up for lost time. But, thankfully, many hands DO make light work… especially in lovely weather and a BUG-FREE environment! What a blessing.

Our volunteers came from all over.  The Biggs (Aaron and Joanne) journeyed 5 hours from Tweed with pickup and trailer loaded with machinery, tools, strong hands and helpful ideas.  New recruits, Virginia and Doug, came packing their talent and trowels, making quick work of the gardens before turning steady hands to painting.

And who doesn’t love the “The Puckering Clan?”…2 parents + 3 daughters + 3 boyfriends = the perfect formula for big muscle (for the heavy lifting) and LOTs of laughs for the rest of the day.  Foreman Mike ensured all kept moving and stayed on task while Sheryl made the Main House sparkle.  Young stuff Emma, Matthew, Megan, Nathan, Hannah and Adam donned work gloves and charged into the big jobs making short work of them helped by Rosie, who used the opportunity to train for her next marathon.

Beth, Sarah and Jessica came from Ottawa with a variety of skills to lend to the group…painting, pot-planting (flower pots, that is) and canoe schlepping to name just a few.  Jessica’s comedic contributions brought the house down with a new after-dinner game for our group…We’re still chuckling to ourselves and plan to introduce this game to our campers at Adult Sports Camp in June.

Alexa and her Mom, Carla, win the award for “Furthest Distance Travelled” having driven from Delaware!  Next year we hope to see more of the Murrays, including doggies and brother!

Working outside makes you ravenous and we were well fed by Ak-O-Mak’s Chef-extraordinaire Samson Mudavanhu (of “Cooking With Sam” fame).  The meals were superb thanks to Sam and his sister-sous-chef, Joyce.  Marion made her debut this year at Work Weekend helping dad, Herb, with our big list of open-up items. 

Of course, Camp is never complete without our four-legged friends.  Dory, Buddha, Lady and Buster all kept very busy …swimming, rolling in the potting soil, stealing gloves, shaking wet fur on unsuspecting DRY people and many other antics.

We’re especially excited that, for the first time ever, we had 4 sets of Mother-Daughter teams!  What a fun way to share camp and give back.

 It was a brutal competition this year for the coveted “First One in the Lake”Award as half the group hurled themselves into the water on the first day (and then everday after that.)  Clan Puckering may be made up of a team of Vegan Polar Bears but it was Program Director EMMA who submerged first!!  No one could out-plunge the canine contingent, however, with Buddha and Buster winning for the “Most Swims.”

It is so encouraging to see our “Grand Old Dame” come to life with each passing day thanks to the dedication of our volunteers.   Although an immense amount of work, the burden is lighter with you, our friends and helpers.  When we see the wonderful results of your efforts and hear your laughter in the Main House at the end of the day, it is impossible to sufficiently express our gratitude.

Dianne and Catherine would like to express a  heart felt ‘thank you’ to each of you for your help in opening up Camp Ak-O-Mak.


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