Day 13 – Gala Night

The leaders woke everyone up this morning and ran an activity on Social Media and Instagram. This activity was important to learn about the impact that social media has on our lives, and how things on the internet are not necessarily portraying the truth.

Next up was the talent show, with the staff making an appearance of The Chins and singing one of the camp’s favourite songs, “Country Roads”. The leaders came out with a synchronized swimming performance that was hilarious and then the stage was passed over to the delegates.

After lunch we walked to the centre of town to the grain elevator and the Museum of Wheat. We were able to go inside and learn about the history of Saskatchewan and the role that grain elevators played. There used to be over 3000 elevators in Saskatchewan, but less than 250 remain and they are not really used, and in horrible shape and being demolished all the time. Its sad to see the symbol of the prairies disappear.

After our visit to the grain elevator was time to rest and relax a little and then get ready for Gala Night!

For Gala Night our dining hall was transformed with white tablecloths, centre pieces, and a delightful dessert table. We had spaghetti and meatballs (plus other tasty dishes) and everyone showed up in fancy outfits. We had many different stations available to make the night awesome! All the stations were planned and organized by the delegates. Some of the stations were a photo booth, horse races, fortune teller, slideshow, root beer pong, snack table and a quiet zone. There were some tears, some laughs, and a giant just dance party. It was a great celebration of our camp!

Day 12 – Last full day of educational activities

Team Radish started off the day with a two part activity to help us reflect on our able-bodied privilege and how things might change if we had a disability. In one space groups did an activity similar to telephone, where you had to pass a word on to the next person. In another space, participants wrote out what they did during their morning routine an then they had to imagine how that would be different if they had a disability. Our participants were able to make lots of connections to their real lives, and share some great perspectives on how having a disability changes your life but doesn’t make it impossible to do things.

Next up was Abalom group, everyone was given a passport and went to ancient masters and had to do a task. Depending on which country the passport was from, made the task more difficult or easier. This was an activity that allowed us to learn about immigration and share and reflect about our knowledge and experience with it.

After lunch the Purple Group ran a version of Clue. This was a fun activity that forced everyone to pay attention to small details.

In the evening, we had another fire roast. Hot dogs and smokies were on the menu, followed by more smores, and singing and fun times enjoying the outdoors.

Day 11 – Switzerland National Day

The delegation from Switzerland planned the first activity – a journey through Switzerland. We had to pass through the border checkpoint by sharing facts about Switzerland, make an advertisement for a watch, visit Geneva and learn about the history, taste some cheese and chocolate, and other great adventures.

Next up was the Macheena Takos group, who had planned a version of World Masters where every person in each group had to communicate in a different language. It was interesting to see how each group was able to manage using body language and understand what others were trying to communicate. At each station there was a task to complete, such as build a monster, human pyramid, or the human knot.

In the afternoon the staff planned two activities. The first was the Zipper, a trust activity in which everyone laid on the ground with their hands in the air and we passed participants up the line. It took communication, collaboration, and a lot of trust in each other to complete. Then it was All Aboard, where everyone had to stand on a platform. The first round was easy but the platform got smaller and smaller. Everyone had to work together. It was cool in our group because there was no leader, just everyone sharing ideas and trying to incorporate them in order to find success.

For supper we had fondue!

In the evening the Mosquitoast planned a very thoughtful activity that connected to fake news, governments hiding information, gossip, and much more. Groups of journalists had to look for pieces of information around the campsite and report this information to President Panchuk. The key pieces of information were that a pesticide factory was going to be built on protected land, it would kill many plants/animals/fish, it had exploded 50 years ago killing 8000 people, construction would start in 3 days at 9 pm, and President Panchuk was the only one who could stop the project. Two teams of journalists broke the story at almost the same time. Exciting and educational!

Day 10 – sleep in day

Today everyone slept in because we have been so busy! It makes you tired to make friends and learn about different things that are happening in the world. After breakfast the Canadian Delegation designed a “game of life” where groups of pretended to be a different person and had to try to get a job, find a house, and get food and water. Some groups had a disadvantage, depending on their gender identity.

The next activity focused on the drug trade, in which smugglers (participants) had to hide pieces of paper and run across the field without the cops (adults) catching them. The debrief of this activity had lots of people sharing, because most of the participants have had experience with knowing someone who has tried smoking, drugs, or alcohol. This is an important issue for many at camp, and something that is affecting many young people today.

Sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings, and reflections during our debrief

Our camp chef cooked us another amazing lunch, using the fresh dill from the garden in addition to many other delicious things. She is really treating us well with all the wonderful food we have been eating! (THANK YOU!)

President Panchuk made a return in the afternoon to inform the space travellers that their ship to space can not continue to carry all the things they had wanted to take to their new sustainable society on another planet. Groups had to work together to determine what was a need and want in the group, while solving any conflicts that may arise.

The evening activity was a fun game of Mickey Mouse, in which you try to get your team members in the comfy chair by calling different characters and switching places. It can get pretty funny and you need to have a great memory!

Day 9 – Excursion Day to the Panchuk Family Farm

On Tuesday morning staff woke everyone up, and it was time to take a giant yellow school bus 1.5 hours drive north to the farm where Maxine grew up. On the school bus everyone had a scavenger hunt, looking for things like a beaver house, triangle shaped house, no hunting sign, and maybe a moose. It was a beautiful drive through lots of flat farming and agriculture area, and then the landscape become more forested and hilly (but still lots of farming). Saskatchewan has 40% of Canada’s land that can be used for farming. On the way everyone saw lots of wetlands area that is crucial for the survival of many different types of animals and birds. Canada has 25% of the world’s wetlands, and many wetlands around the world have been destroyed which is a scary thing.

Riding the yellow school bus to the farm

When we got to the farm, we went over to the garden and helped to do some work. Groups helped to weed the beets, cucumber, zucchini, beans, peas, potatoes, dill, and corn. Some groups helped to bury our camp compost that we brought with us, and other spread compost around the plants. Some people harvested some beets and dill (which we will eat later), and others planted some lettuce. Some people even tried to pull out some burdock, a very strong and very invasive weed that is taking over the land.

We had a lunch of Elk chili that was hunted from the area and everyone who wasn’t a vegetarian got to try it. It had different locally grown vegetables in it, just like the other food we have at camp. Can you believe that later in the day we had more chocolate chip cookies for a snack?

After lunch we went to see the sheep, and got to feed them some chop and a few even let us pet some. There were adult sheep, as well as some lambs that were born in April. The sheep are so cute, and so were the cats Fireball and Walter.

After feeding the sheep we went for a nature walk through the farmyard, and into a more wild pasture area. There was so many different wildflowers in bloom and they were so beautiful. The sun was shining and it was a hot day! When we got back to the farm we needed to have a water fight. The farm has a well that gives cold water from the ground, and everyone got splashed and soaking wet an it was a ton of fun!

After drying off a little, we thought a little bit about the importance of farming and how the population is growing and we won’t have enough food for everyone in 2050 unless things change. We also talked about the importance of the wetlands as well.

We started a fire in the middle of the farmyard and roasted some hot dogs and had more smores. Everyone loves smores because they are so tasty! The bus ride back was full of more singing, and the bus driver complimented the group on their beautiful voices.

Day 8 – Teamwork and time flying

The adult group planned a cooperative team building activity for the morning were groups of participants had to use balloons, straws, and popsicle sticks to build the tallest tower. Everyone had very different ideas about how to accomplish the task. Each group took a unique approach to the tower and we were surprised by their creativity!

It was a hot day, and the Macheena Takos group planned some water activities for us to cool off. Delegations had to become a “submarine” – only the person in the back could see with all the others’ eyes closed, and they all held on to each other’s shoulders in a line. The goal was to navigate your submarine, and communicate silently of when the front person should toss their cup of water (ultimately soaking the others)

The Purple Group planned an escape room activity for later in the day. Those trapped in the room had to try to navigate the clues while experiencing different disabilities, such as not being able to see, hear, or perhaps having a body part missing or not able to function as well. Participants were very helpful and caring to each other, and shared their knowledge and experience of different disabilities in a thoughtful debrief afterwards.

In the evening Team Radish planned a version of capture the flag, in which immigrants had to try to retrieve a passport.

Day 7 – learning about big issues and reflecting on them

In the morning the Abalom group planned an excellent activity about ocean pollution. Teams had green bins full of different pollution/garbage that you would find in the ocean, and they had to try to clean it out. It wasn’t easy as some things were very difficult to remove but it taught some very important lessons.

Next was gender inequality football (soccer) planned by the Mosquitoast. This activity emphases how different genders are treated differently in society (as well as paid very differently as well). It was shocking for participants to learn about how the different pay scales for sports players or those who work in the film industry.

After lunch the staff planned a version of the blanket exercise. This activity was designed to emphasize the historical and current situation for Indigenous people in Canada. Participants learned how the land belonging to First Nations got less and less over time, and how policies implemented by the Canadian government were designed to assimilate Indigenous people and take away their culture. We learnt about how the introduction of guns and overhunting led to the drastic decline of the bison population, leading to starvation and difficult situations. We learnt about how diseases such as smallpox wiped out 93% of the indigenous population, and how many people have turned to substance abuse to cope with the trauma of residential schools. Children were taken away from their families, often forced to attend residential schools where they were not allowed to speak their language, practice their culture, or practice their spiritual beliefs. This was a sad activity that allowed everyone to reflect on how colonization has impacted Indigenous people in Canada, but also around the world.

For the evening activity we had some photo fun and walked over to the grain elevator to take a large group photo (and lots of other fun photos as well). All the photos can be found on our dropbox and your child’s leader can share the link with you 🙂

Day 6 – Cultural Activities have begun!

After wake-up, breakfast, and cleaning the Brazil delegation presented their cultural activity. Participants had to find members of the delegation to discover about different problems in the their environment. We had a great conversation afterwards learning about the different issues that exist in each location, as well as some similar problems we all share around the world.

Abalom planning group then ran a food web activity. There were different animals on different levels of the food chain and they had to tag each other as a way of eating the other animals. Things were working out great, until a human hunter was introduced and the population of the animals quickly declined and some went extinct. We had a great reflection about animal rights, as well as how some big companies are taking over smaller run businesses.

Some responses to the Food Chain activity

In the afternoon the USA delegation ran their activity, which was the $100 dollar race. Participants got to experience how different privilege and situations in life could help them to achieve more success, or could make things more difficult for them.

It was Carlos’ birthday today and Brooke made a special confetti cake with pink icing and gummy bears. Everyone sang a big happy birthday to him and made a fancy card for him to take home 🙂

Participants then filled out sticky notes for our tree, in which they identified roots (what they need), trunk (their strengths), and leaves (what they give out to the world). It was nice to come together as a community and see how we work together.

There were more great lullabies in the evening (and of course lots of ping pong throughout the day)

We also kicked off our Monito envelopes – in which everyone gets a monito (a special friend) and they can leave them nice notes or other surprises.

Day Five – Another great day at camp!

Spain is delegation of the day!
The Spanish delegation’s recap of Day 5!

Team Radish planned a fun running activity to start the day. Delegations had to find folks who were hiding, complete a team challenge, and receive letters that could be combined to spell recycling based words. None of the teams received all the letters they needed, so they needed to work together and combine their letters (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Resell, Repurpose, etc)

Just Takis ran a lifeboat activity where each person was assigned a character to pretend to be (who had both good and bad qualities that were slowly revealed over time). Those in the lifeboat had to decide who to ‘throw overboard’ after each round. We had a great debrief and discussion afterwards.

The Spanish delegation’s cultural activity was Cluedo (a murder mystery to find who had killed the future president.) The future president had decided to cancel the Madrid Central, which bans all petrol cars from the centre of Madrid due to the excessive amount of pollution. We had to find different ministers and ask them question and ultimately figure out who it was.

The Spanish Delegation planned a Murder Mystery Activity

In the evening the staff and leaders ran the Beep Bop Boop activity. Anytime participants said anything, the adults said beep. Anytime they touched an adult, they said bop and when they tried to exit the circle from the wrong area the adult said boop. This same activity normally takes around 3 hours, but our delegates were able to communicate with each other and escaped in 10 minutes!