"The May Long Weekend"..."The May 2-4 Weekend"..."The Victoria Day Weekend"...Whatever you call it, it's the time of year when Ontarians traditionally head north for their first trip to open cottages and hook up water systems that have been dormant all winter.
...For us, it's the "Annual Ak-O-Mak Volunteer Work Weekend!" Hooray!
It was road trip #3 for Dianne and Catherineand we were thrilled to be joined this time by a hearty group of volunteers and good friends who all share a fondness for Camp Ak-O-Mak.
Aaron Biggs hauled his tools and ATV all the way from Tweed (a 5 hour drive) and promptly got to work readying the lawn mowers for a summer of mucho grass cutting.
Sandy Tod and Herb Denny beat the highway from Ancaster and put their backs into helping Jim Fraser with the launching ofthe floating docks andsetting up the 25 m pool.
Rosemarie "Rosie" Thomas inspected the pump house in preparation for "shocking"the water system and then tackled the cleaning of all seven cabins. Dusty business!
"Team Puckering" was again well represented this year. Our programme director, Megan, andher beau, Nathan, tag-teamedthe "parental units", Cheryl and Michael,on a variety of jobs.This uber-athletic clan started their day with a 1 hour run and then transitioned to a non-traditional"boot camp training" on the beach: heaving piles of old cribs and logs into the trailer for disposal. It was weight-lifting for sure...But wait!...There is always more!..
Everyone joined forces for the yearly "manual extraction of the canoe fleet" from the Main House. I swear those canoesget heavier with each passing year, forcing this middle-aged work crew towork smarter. Aaron hitched up his ATV to thebig trailer which we loaded with 4 canoesat a time fora smooth delivery to the water's edge. (MUCH easier on old joints I might add!) Before we knew it, it was "presto finito" for one of the heaviest jobs around camp.
We aregrateful that we had Sandy Wilder (aka "Counsellor Wilder") and daughter, Elle, at our Work Weekend. They pitched in with the schlepping of canoes and then jumped right into hauling the adirondack chairs onto the porch....surprise!...more heavy lifting! Then, to maintain that "burn" of the muscles, we hauled the tables and benches down from the library to set up the dining room in time for the arrival of our first guests!
Speaking of Guests...
Although the first session of camp is only a month away, Ak-O-Mak is proud to be hosting the Ontario Paddling Association next weekend for their annual Spring Training Camp. The boys and girls who will be attending this intensive 3 day camp are the paddlers that you see when we compete in regattas at North Bay and Welland. What a sight to see such talented paddlers hone their skills right here on Ahmic Lake!
We (Dianne and Catherine) are so grateful to each of the individuals who participated in the Ak-O-Mak Work Weekend. Life is very busy andwe realize thatyour time is precious. Please know that we appreciate your friendship and your gifts of time and energy to help us get Camp Ak-O-Mak ready for her annual debut!
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