This is Just the Beginning

After one month on location, I would like to introduce you to our lastest adventure, Gracefield Christian Camp and Retreat Centre. I think it would be fair to say that this is the biggest adventure that Brent and I have had this year. Ottawa was fantastic and a great part of our “year of adventure” but we didn’t experience the unknown like we have here at Camp. It has been a whirlwind, nay, a tornato of events and the kids haven’t even arrived yet!

For those who are not aware of our journey to Camp, let me give you some history. Brent worked at Gracefield as a counsellor back in 2008, while we were dating. It was the summer before we got engaged and I had gone to visit him while he was there. It made quite an impact on Brent and we talked about one day going back as a couple. After four years, we found our way back and we are now here as the Program Directors. My camp experience is limited to being a camper at Camp Crossroads and I have never been a staff before. Brent was a counsellor for one summer and that was the full extent of his Summer Camp experience. So we are newbies at this and really feeling it. It is a huge learning curve that seems to be getting steeper and steeper the further we go. It has been crazy.

But our inexperience aside, it has been an incredible adventure so far. We have been spending the past month repainting a 100 year old lodge that hadn’t been painted in the past 25 years, weed-wacking weeds up to our knees, raking endless pine needles, cooking, cleaning, and then the odd programming thing inbetween it all. The first three weeks we were getting ready for a huge wedding that happened at the beginning of June. I could write an entire blog post about this wedding alone, however I think I will save those stories for inperson story-times, in attempt to save the couple from the specific events leading up to their wedding. Let me just say we were so impressed that out of 120 people we didn’t receive a single complaint! It was amazing.

After the wedding we have been hosting group after group during the week-ends. Thankfully we have been able to leave the paintbrushes aside during the week and have been able to focus our energies on Programming, the job we were actually hired for. When a group is here, we play host and kitchen assistant. Brent’s sister Leanne is our head cook and up until this weekend, she was a lone-soldier in the kitchen and so Brent and I would jump in the saddle for the weekend. It has been a great bonding experience for the three of us.

The adventure has just begun and I know I will have many more stories when staff and kids start to arrive (starting June 29). But until then, I will leave you with a walking tour of the property and some other pictures of our adventure.

Our first dip in the lake on the May long weekend. It was bitter cold, but we actually jumped in twice!

Cliff jumping. I stayed below to be the photographer, and also because my bathing suit broke, literally 1 minute away from the cliff resulting in me wearing a sweater for the remainder of the trip.

Cliff jumping!


One of Leanne’s favourite spots.

Our office!

One of my favourite places. So beautiful. So peaceful.

Beaver Lodge

Before: Beaver Lodge is the original homestead of the property. Incredible potential, but it needs a lot of work. Our task was to scrap off the 25 year old paint, and repaint. It needs a lot more work, but with a bit our elbow grease it got a fine makeup job.

After: Viola!

Brent scrapping away in the hall.

The hall after all is said and done!

The “Bridal Suite.” Mom you would die for the bedroom set in here. Bedframe, side table, dresser and vanity. Absolutely gorgeous!

The feeling after a long days work, except usually we don’t have that much energy.

A daily routine off the dock.

Boat House

Our first canoe ride!

Along the lake during our first canoe trip

I attempted to kayak but failed miserably. I blame it on the lack of rutter. Some how Leanne was able to make it work 🙂


13 thoughts on “This is Just the Beginning

  1. What a great post. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics. You have an amazing verocity for life (not sure if that is a word!).

  2. it is such a beautiful place; i love it. yes, i also love, love the bedroom set. how gorgeous! i know the summer holds many more stories but how amazing is this?? i think its so cool that you will have all these stories to share with lee ann.

  3. Pingback: Oh Those Were the Days | Veenstra 'Ventures

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