Severn and I Go to Camp (it was A LOT of work, but SO worth it!)

Every April I attend a weekend at camp with about 80 other women and celebrate our love for nature and the wilderness. This was my 4th year attending! With Severn being only 9.5 months old, I decided to bring her along with me for the weekend because I knew I would have many hands to help with her, plus my husband usually takes this particular weekend to go on the first canoe trip of the year.

My friend Shanna joined us (thank goodness, because she was SO helpful with Severn!) and we left during a rainfall warning in Muskoka (did you hear about the flooding?). The forecast for the weekend at camp wasn’t the greatest, but we’d be staying in a cabin and there was a lot of different places we could go to stay out of the damp cold.

When we arrived, we got a cabin and unpacked. Kind of looked like a bomb went off on my side of the cabin!

Acorn cabin.
Traveling with a baby…

Every year I also bring a giant loom to this women’s weekend. So once it was assembled, it gets placed right beside the wood stove so women – over the course of the weekend – can take in the warmth of the fire while weaving their presence from the weekend into the loom.

My friend Shanna, Severn and the giant loom.
Weaving her presence at the wilderness weekend into the loom.

Interior of the Rotary/Dining Hall.
Pano of the Rotary Hall.
Looking back at the Dining Hall.

I always love the Welcome Circle at 10pm. We all gather in a circle and each go around and introduce ourselves, where we travelled from and what our one word is that will set our intention for the weekend.

Because I had my little babe with me, I went to bed before this happened and missed this most special beginning to the weekend.

The cutest bunkie buddy ever!

The first night sleeping in a different bed whether it’s in the tent, cabin or hotel, I don’t sleep well the first night. That meant that the next morning I needed gallons of the good caffeinated stuff to get me going for the day!

Coffee. The lifeblood of motherhood.

Something magical happens with food for the weekend. We’re all asked to buy groceries and then we have have these women called ‘Kitchen Goddesses’ who separate the food into thematic boxes. They create amazing meals based on the food that everyone brings for the weekend. Fruit, veggies, vegetarian-based proteins, dairy, grains, salad makings, treats, snacks, cereal.

Ta-da!

Fresh baked bread, oh my!

After breakfast we do morning announcements…

Pano of the Dining Hall and morning announcements.

And then women sign up for workshops for the day. The workshops are nature/wilderness themed. For example: wilderness therapy, yoga hiking (Yiking for my friend Rhonda at Stride and Stretch), camp-wide games, tying knots, spiritual art therapy, tying a fly, orienteering, high ropes and so much more!

Severn and I couldn’t participate in any workshops this year because of nap timing, and the demands of having a baby, so went and did our own thing with Shanna.

Going for a hike.

And then back for an afternoon siesta in the cabin.

Lunch and dinner were more of the same. Such amazing and nourishing food! In the evening we have a “coffee house” where women are encouraged to sing, dance, read poetry, act or whatever! It’s a safe and loving space for anyone who wants to perform.

Severn and I stayed up for a bit and then retired to the cabin.

Up the next morning we finished off the beautiful loom piece that women had collaborated on over the weekend. I sell tickets for this so women have the opportunity to win it each year. The proceeds to go to sending one or two girls to wilderness camp each year.

It’s different every year!
Our cabin. Breast milk being kept cool in the window!

It was so much fun! I don’t think I could have done it without Shanna’s help. And everyone else who looked after Severn while I fed myself, went to the washroom or just needed a break.

Thinking about it now, I’m SO excited to do more of these things together! Mother and daughter dates! My heart is full.

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