Thursday, June 18, 2009

Camp Days Part 3 - In the Land of the Midnight Sun....

I grew up in the Yukon. The land of the midnight sun, prospectors and gold. Through the stories of Jack London and the poems of Robert Service, the Yukon has been immortalized as a land of rugged adventure. It was there I went to summer camp.

Camp. The place a child from the city learns to paddle a canoe, swim, hike through the wilderness and tie a really great knot. That is, unless you went to camp in the Yukon.

Most people expect that I have an acute knowledge of hunting, fishing, or perhaps wrestling a bear with my bare hands. Instead, I remember being expected to fall asleep in a hot, old cabin at 9pm, more than two hours before the sun dropped below the horizon for a few hours of twilight. I also remember the morning cabin cleanliness inspections that were used to determine the breakfast line-up order at one camp, and peeling potatoes behind the kitchen building as part of our daily chores at another.

But I do have fond memories of camp. It was there that I got to spend a week with my friends, both new and old, riding horses, playing capture the flag, jumping on trampolines, and in particular, making up songs and skits for nightly gatherings in the main hall.

While I might not have left camp with many - ok, any - wilderness skills, I did leave with lasting friendships and fond memories of summers well spent.

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1 comment:

  1. Lizz,

    The sun will set at 11:36 tonight in Whitehorse, at exactly midnight in Carmacks (close to one of the camps you went to), at 12:51 a.m. in Dawson City, and in Old Crow, not at all until July 6.

    Who do we switch to daylight savings time? I forget.

    The Yukon River Quest race - 750 kilometres of paddling round-the-clock down the Yukon from Whitehorse to Dawson - starts on June 24. The winners make it in as little as 40 hours, not counting a couple of compulsory rest stops. See .

    The midnight sun really is cool!