Ivo's Blog

"It's not the time to look for excuses." – Rafael Nadal

Memories of Tribune Bay


^Camp Beach Fun!^

Hey there, earthlings! 

The school year is coming to an end, and it has been awesome!  One of the reasons for this is the longest field trip I have ever been on – at Tribune Bay, on Hornby Island, so today I will be talking about my experience at Hornby Island from Wednesday, May 30th to Friday, June 1st. 

On Wednesday, I woke up at 6:30, packed up my lunch (which was made the night before), and calmly ate breakfast.  Everything was packed, so I was in no hurry.  My mother drove me to school; I could not bike, because I had quite a bit of luggage.  My teacher, Ms. Smith, wanted us to be at the school at 8:15, twenty minutes early, which explained why there was a crowd of seventy people at the school.  We talked amongst each other, put our luggage in a few cars, and by the time we were done, the bell rang, and we rushed inside.  Our teacher did the attendance, and we left at around 9:00.  Getting into a parent driver’s vehicle, it took 45 minutes to get to the ferry terminal.  We took two ferries, as we had to pass through one island to get to the other.  Each one was about ten minutes long, so that was over in a flash.   

Once we got on Hornby Island, we took a bus to get to Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre, and settled at the fire pit, which has some logs for us to have a seat.  We would meet there after every meal.  We ate our packed lunches, and then dragged our baggage into our accommodations.  There were four different options: a skylight cabin, a cabana, a yurt, or the Crow.  From other students, I heard that the cabins had bunk beds and washrooms and were reserved for the girls.  The cabanas were very small, and they could fit two or three people.  You slept on a mat if you were in one of them.  In the yurts, there were bunk beds with no washrooms, and in the Crow, you felt like you were on a stage; the sleeping area was merely elevated by a stage!  There was also a separate room for the supervising adults to sleep in.  I slept in the Crow dorm, and you will hear about it! 

After we dropped off our stuff in our accommodations, the camp leaders started talking about safety, the activities, and just introducing us to camp overall.  They advised us to regularly wash our hands, but not to waste water, because they get water from wells, so unless it rains, the sink won’t drip.  Their sinks had little buckets that the water fell into, and once you were finished with the sink, you took those buckets out, and placed them into a funnel, which helped power their sprinkler system.  I really liked the thought of recycling the water we used.  I also had a laugh when the explained the bathroom situation.  “Our toilets are so high-tech that you don’t even have to flush them!”, they would say, regarding the outhouses. 

After they talked about the activities for a while, we got together with our group teams and our camp leaders.  Our parent supervisor was Quinn’s father (you can check out Quinn’s blog here).  My team was originally Team 2, but (unfortunately) we decided on “Team Boom Shaka-Laka”.  Our first activity was team building, and one of the games we played was where everybody held hands in a circle, and you had to pass a tied rope around the circle without letting go of each other’s hands.   

After an hour and a half of those activities, we did something much more enjoyable, which was… rappelling!   For those who are thinking, “What the heck is rappelling?”, I shall explain.  Think of rappelling as rock climbing in reverse.  Attached to a belay system, you bounce off of a rock climbing wall.  I wish I had changed my shoes, as the wall was quite slippery, and although I did have hiking shoes, I chose to come to camp in my runners.  I had no idea that we would be bouncing off a wall, but then again, who would (other than a professional rappeller)?

After the rappelling, we went to the high ropes, where I did a course called Burma Bridge.  You climb a tree with the assistance of metal “staples”, go onto a platform, and start walking on a wire like a circus showman.  But unlike the stuntman, you have two wires on the side to hang onto.  Your destination: Doug, the most popular Douglas fir of Hornby Island.  You admire him so deeply, so you must go and give him a high-five!  According to my teammates, I walked the wire very quickly, which I did not even think of at the moment.

The food at Hornby is amazing; at lunch and dinner, you always get Caesar salad, and at breakfast you get fruit.  On Wednesday night, we had a dessert of apple pie, and on Thursday, we had ice cream sandwiches.  On Friday, we all had sandwiches, a juice box, and a small pack of cookies.  Overall, it was quite good!

^Catching my Prey!^

After supper, we were free to play until 6:50, when we would go to the fire pit so that the camp leaders could talk about the game we would play.  On May 30th, we played a game of Gold Rush, which is like Capture the Flag, but you have multiple flags.  On Thursday night, we played Predator & Prey.  You have a punch card, where you punch food and water stamps scattered around the forest.  There are five different destinies for you: a small herbivore (yellow), a large herbivore (green), a small carnivore (red), a large carnivore (blue), and a natural disaster (black).  I will explain this as if I were explaining how “Rock, Paper, Scissors” works.  Here it goes: yellow and green eat food stamps, red eats yellow, blue eats yellow and green, and black eats everything.  If a carnivore or natural disaster tags a herbivore, they give them a life ticket.  If a carnivore is tagged by a natural disaster, they give up their life chip.  If you run out of life tickets or life chips, you go to the “hospital”, where they will give you more.  Herbivores have to collect food and water stamps, carnivores collect life tickets and water stamps, and natural disasters (also called death) needs life tickets and chips.  You need a minimum amount of stamps and life tickets to survive.  For example, if you are a small carnivore (red) like me, you need three water stamps (I had four of the five) and nine life tickets (I had thirteen).

Zzz… that is what was very hard for everybody in the Crow dorm.  Everyone was too hyper; they ate candy right before bedtime, which made it ten times worse.  Quiet time starts at 22:00, but my dorm-mates pushed that to 23:15, which tied for the two most irritating things about my experience in there.  What else?  Well, somebody thought it would be nice to bomb our dorm with the deodorant Axe, and the most-asked question between almost every kid at camp was, “Who Axe-bombed the Crow?”.  (It’s ironic that I am saying this) We had to sleep with the stench of deodorant, which was very annoying.  I even saw someone from our cabin spray the air with the Axe (no names mentioned, _____), but it wasn’t nearly enough to generate such a strong odor.

I have to admit that I was a bit scared on Thursday morning, because I found out that we were going to the Leap of Faith.  Attached to a belay system once again (all activities in the air require the belay), you climb a shaky pole around twelve meters high, but that is not the hard part.  After that, you have to stand up on the top, which is a size equivalent to a dinner plate.  Some people took ten minutes just to stand up, but I convinced myself that time would just change my mind, so I took about one minute.  A regular with heights could get up in merely three seconds.  Once you get up, you have to try and “leap” to catch a trapeze.  If you do not succeed, do not worry!  Just have “faith” that the belay system will catch you.  Oh, and don’t forget to strike a pose on the way down to the ground.  That was my mistake.

^Teamwork on Giant’s Ladder^

To me, the most enjoyable activity was Giant’s Ladder.  There are six planks to climb, and the farther you go, the longer the distance between the two planks.  The longest distance was about two meters.  Instead of swinging one leg over the top of the next plank, I decided to climb using the wire on the side, which was much easier.  You climbed the ladder in groups of two, which is supposed to make you use teamwork, but with my method of climbing, I would end up accidentally kicking them in the head.  That is why I let my teammate go first; so that she could use my knee as a way of lifting herself up.  She got to the fourth, and she could not go on, so our camp leader let me go one plank further, and although I could have made it to the top, the camp leader would not let me, as she said that it was time to leave; we were the last group to go.

We also did a lovely walk that they called a Petroglyph Hike, which was fun, although I thought that there would be more walking on a rougher terrain and in nature.  At the end of the walk, we came out onto a beach, and we saw petroglyphs — the writing of centuries ago, before the alphabet was popularized.  All of the drawings I saw were of fish.

On Friday morning, we had a few activities, including one where you had a partner and imitated scenes or objects.  I think everyone was sad that we had to go, but the sixth graders knew that they would be back next year.

Well, we definitely got a break from our math-crammed days.
Until next time.  (And have a math-crammed day).

Ivo N.

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