Blue Jay has been home since March and has had little-to-no formal structure other than spending one day at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for a small day camp.
Select day camps are open this summer with greatly reduced numbers and we managed to secure a week at the YMCA. Well, let me tell you what happens when a child goes from not having any official structure for over four months to all of a sudden needing to participate in a program!
She was fine during the day and had a lot of fun but it all came pouring out in the evenings at home. We are talking temper tantrums and not sleeping well. I can only imagine how it felt to return to a world that was deemed unsafe back in March to it being OK to interact with new kids and camp counsellors. She’s only played with neighborhood kids on our block the past couple of months. Talk about messing with your mind!
The plans for this past weekend started off with an overnight hike to Caribou West on Mantario but that idea became utterly daunting as the week went on. I began looking at Cabin Lake for a shorter overnight jaunt but my heart wasn’t really in it as I started to pack on Thursday night.
I looked at Manitoba camping reservations on Friday morning when I woke up and saw that a basic site at Opapiskaw Campground in the Whiteshell had become available. All the front country sites in the Whiteshell had been booked solid. I quickly scooped it up!
We rolled into the area around 11 AM and went for a quick hike at Jessica Lake. The bugs were atrocious and we did not stick around very long even though I very much wanted to spend more time on the trail. I am thankful I had a bug net for each of us although I didn’t wear mine.
It was my first time camping at Opapiskaw and let me tell you, it is adorable and perfect! The beach was at the end of our bay and only a three minute walk. The swimming section gets deep fairly quickly and is roped off for safety so the swimming area is small. We spent a little bit of time swimming but over a grassy little hump is where boats are tied to the shore and where we spent most of our time fishing.
Blue Jay can fish for hours and something special happens when she picks up a rod. When it comes to attention span, no other activity compares except for maybe video games. I asked her what she likes about fishing and she responded, “I just like waiting…but maybe I wouldn’t have to wait as long if Josh came with us.” Josh is my co-worker.
The mosquitoes and flies continued to be relentless and aggressive as the evening went on and we had no desire to be eaten alive so we crawled into the tent around 8 PM and watched a movie.
I slowly started to pack up after 9 AM and our camping kit for this trip was fairly slimmed down with mostly backpacking gear since that is what I had pulled out on Thursday night. Everything was packed and ready to go in about 15 minutes. We headed off down the road looking for more adventure.
We spent a few hours at a beach fishing, swimming, and playing. The morning was really chill and relaxing. The outdoors, regardless of what we are doing, except for bug infested activities, transports Blue Jay to a super tranquil zone where she is beyond mellow.
All in all, even though we only caught weeds and the bugs were terrible, it was a sweet little weekend and one for the books!