Monday, August 27, 2012

On The Loose

When I was a teenager I attended YMCA Camp Widjiwagan. Widji is a wilderness adventure camp. I spent many summers on paddling and backpacking trips with Widji, including a 40 day trip in Alaska the summer before I started college. I also spent two summers on staff as a counselor. I have yet to find a place on this planet as fantastic and life changing as Widjiwagan. So, I was really excited to head up there this summer with my mom and three girls!

My second year on staff I lead a canoe trip in the BWCA with a fantastic group of young ladies. One of them, Helena, I have kept in contact with over the years. She continued with Widjiwagan as a camper and did an Arctic canoeing trip several years ago and has been on staff for several years. This summer she led an Arctic canoeing trip and were blessed to attend her banquet at camp.

Before heading to camp near Ely, MN we spent some time in Duluth, MN with my Oma and aunt Cathy. Helena enjoyed relaxing on the deck with my mom. 

Aunt Cathy, Ella, and Hannah demonstrate their mad thumb sucking skills. 

The girls enjoyed swimming in Oma's little pool.

A sleepy Hannah enjoyed snuggles from her Uhr Oma. 

Here I am with Helena (or "Big Girl Helena" according to Ella). She led a stellar crew of young ladies on an amazing adventure this summer! ("Little Helena" slept through most of the banquet. Celebrations are just too much for her.) 

Ella and Helena wanted to take a dip in Burnside Lake. Naturally I forgot to pack their swim suits, so they enjoyed the lake in a more natural state. Ella said it felt good for her skin to "get some air." I tend to agree. 

My girls and I walking along one of the many paths at Widjiwagan. I explored all over these paths as a camper and counselor. My favorite adventures around camp involved playing "Courier." 

My sweet Hannah girl enjoying the sparkling water of Lake Burnside. I took this photo, but it was  edited by the very gifted photographer, Rich, from RaeElle. (If you live in the Charlotte, NC area Rich and Heather should be your go to photographers. They are amazing and we miss them!) 

This is the bag I made for Helena. There is a song we sing at camp with the lyrics, "On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free, on the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be." Helena is off to a remote island for more adventures "On the Loose." I think this bag will serve her well.

I can't wait for my girls to experience their own Widjiwagan aventures! 

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