Does it feel like winter has already passed you by? Are you missing (not missing) the feeling of snow in your boot? If so you’re not alone and you’re welcome to reminisce on some cold days of the past. Here’s a quick recap of our 2017 Winter Walk In, hard to believe it was only 2 weeks ago!
Caleb and Euan pretty pleased with the latest technology in downhill sliding!
Foosball + hotdogs thanks to our vintage stove
Evan, Tiegan, Sarah, Charlie and Duncan made the trek, had a time and survived…even in running shoes! Osler with a “not-sure it’s-4WD-vehicle” made it up and over the big hill, shout-out to Don for helping them leave.
Claire and Keltie supported the players of the big boot hockey game, Wyatt Wallace played his first game ever and it was an unparalleled match of several hours, the likes of which haven’t been seen in many moons!
And someone (Nick Smart) forgot his snowpants – but still managed to have an amazing time! A huge thanks and how how to everyone who came out, and a special thanks to Gavin Grant and Dave Leedy for making it such a smooth operation! We’re already looking forward to the Winter Walk-In of 2018.
Thanks to Alec Orvis, Program Director 2016, for hosting an incredible Pizza Party on Saturday November 12th, 2016!
A few east coast Ponackians made the long trip to Kingston – Trevor Boothe, and the Goodman brothers Will and Gardiner. As well it was lovely to see Alumni Tyler Ray, venturing all the way from Toronto and of course Program Director emeritus Andrew Dixon from Montreal.
Thanks to the local Queen’s students for filling up the place with great Ponacka cheer. Looking forward to seeing many of them again in December for the annual Staff Christmas Party at the George’s- December 22nd!
We just got back from Ghana where we had another successful visit. Anne conducted 2 Every Child’s Path sessions attended by approximately 75 teachers. We also visited our original 2 schools where we were greeted surprisingly by dancing, plays and music by all the children welcoming us. We reviewed the status of the construction of our Every Child’s Path School in Accra which has now overcome some of the municipal issues and is back on track. Hopefully if we can raise enough funds, it will be ready in 18 months.
And of course, Ponacka Ghana, which was well attended on our first Sunday where we put together an Olympic afternoon with a torch run and a ceremony together with 4 teams composed of kids ranging from 4-15 years. The kids loved it and it was amazing to see that the varying ages of the kids on the teams was not a problem. In fact they embraced it as the older team members helped the little ones who were equally competitive.
When we arrived on the second Sunday, it was very rainy and we did not expect many kids to turn up. Eventually the sun came out and the kids started trickling in and within an hour there were about 50. Kwame, Helena and the volunteers do such a great job in ensuring every Sunday is a positive experience.
Of course, they were thrilled and very grateful for Ponacka’s contribution which I personally delivered in cash as it is so expensive to send money. Thanks again for all your support.
Anne and Rich Kinch
Dear 7 year-old-me,
You are about to embark on one of the most important journeys of your life. In just a few moments you’ll arrive at the gates of Camp Ponacka. You must be a little nervous but you’re excited. You probably can’t wait to see what this beautiful, sunny place has to offer. Let me give you a little taste of what to expect.
You will get to experience things that you could have never dreamed off – canoeing, kayaking, archery, horse-back riding, waterskiing – the list goes on and on. You will be able to try, learn, fail and grow. Every step of the way, counselors and an exceptionally caring staff will be there to push you and help you succeed. You’ll develop skills, confidence and grit that will accompany you throughout your life.
You will get to see the best that nature has to offer. Whether it’s just sitting and watching the sun set, swimming in the cool waters of lake Baptiste or even warding off mosquitos while exploring the depths of Algonquin park – you’ll develop an appreciation and comfort with nature that is unparalleled.
Trust me, there will be routines and songs that you may find odd at first. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will look forward to the comfort of enjoying these rituals summer after summer.
It will be incredible, just you wait. If there’s anything more beautiful than the camp itself, it’s the people. Your cabin mates will become your brothers. Sure you’ll have your disagreements, as all good brothers do, but these guys you’re about to meet will become some of the best friends in your life. You’ll work together on canoe trips, you’ll work as a team during evening programs and above all- you’ll lift each other up and challenge each other to be the best you can be. Don, Anne, Nick, Laura, the staff and counselors will take exceptionally good care of you. They will make you laugh, keep you safe, encourage you and support you. They will help you become an incredible leader, and a compassionate and thoughtful soul. 8-year-old me, you cannot even begin to fathom how incredibly lucky you are to become a part of the Ponacka community.
Above all, you are going to have the most fun you have ever had in your entire life. You may get homesick, but that will be incomparable to the camp-sickness you’ll feel when you have to leave these sunny shores for the summer.
And so my little friend, cherish every last minute you have with these people and in this place. Be thankful for the incredible opportunity you have been given. It will seem like only an instant before you have grown and you must say goodbye, knowing very well that while you may not be back every summer, the Ponacka Spirit will never be far from your heart.
22 year old me, 15 years later
(By Andrew Dixon)