It seems that with everyone away at Junior & Senior Youth Camps things would be a bit quieter around here. HA!
But it has been a good kind of “busyness”.
During the first part of the week I was occupied writing a number of prayer
letters and putting together some tiny gifts to pop into each envelope and
during office hours I was slowly working through the compilation of 21 Team
Evaluation packages. Each one included a copy of our 2017 Team Photo, a
composite letter to all the Team Members and then a handwritten individual
evaluation letter, all of which takes quite a long time, as it is important to
pray and ponder over each one.
Monday evening some dear friends, who are
also neighbours, came for dinner and the weather was just right to eat on the
deck! Another friend was supposed to come Tuesday but due to a household
problem we postponed to Wednesday. Meanwhile in every spare moment I was
assembling an ever-growing pile of objects to take on my day trip to the Camps!

After much “to-ing and fro-ing” my ride was
finalized for Thursday so that day I was up super early, scooting through
chores and the Wil Walk in order to be ready for pick-up in the late morning.
We ended up with a full car (excellent
conservation of fossil fuel!!) with Chris (a Youth Pastor going to SYC to lead
a Workshop), his 13 year old Godson, Ezra, who was coming to see what Camp is
all about with the possibility of attending next year, myself, Wil and Sarah
(who had just missed her bus and was going to SYC as nurse for the last few
days of the week). Sarah was able to take the Metro back into NDG from the bus
station so we looped around and picked her up before heading onto the highway
for the 2-hour drive to Camp in the Eastern Townships.
Despite a full car (or maybe because of
it?) the ride was truly pleasant with everyone sharing in the conversation and
with Wil being the perfect gentlemen. He lay in the middle of the back seat with
his snout on the armrest between the two front seats. Apart from Chris occasionally
elbowing Wil’s snout and waking him up, the trip was pretty peaceful and we
arrived at SYC with 10 minutes or so to prepare for our workshops.
The Ninja Stress Balls workshop went really
smoothly. I had such a nice group of 7 Campers none of whom complained when,
upon arriving at the craft hut we found the table covered with the staff
children’s rock painting materials including a HUGE amount of loose
glitter!! They all pitched in and cleaned the table and soon were busy making
stress/juggling balls! They also ALL stayed to clean up afterwards and as I
collected my bags and baskets to hurry over to the Worship Hall for the
Liturgical Dance workshop I left them happily juggling outside by the lakefront
Wil was settled on the blanket I
had brought as 2 Campers and 2 Staff, along with our visitor, Ezra, arrived to
learn the Liturgical Dance. I had chosen to choreograph, this song, which I
wrote about in an earlier post and which I felt fitted very well with the 2017
Camp Theme- “Bigger Than Right”.
Ezra took the role of “sound tech” since he
would not be staying until Saturday’s Closing Service and everyone worked hard
for an hour or so until the piece had come together nicely. Syndi Belle was
entrusted with the dance notation file and agreed to arrange short practice
sessions over the next two days, in readiness for Saturday’s presentation. Last
year Timothy recorded part of the Closing Service Dance, I wonder if he will do
the same today? I do hope so. It is a bit sad to work with the group and then
never see the result but since it is a worship offering it is much more
important that the Lord sees it and that the congregation is able to be part
of the experience. As I write the Service is already over but I was praying
this morning that everything went well.
And so after the dance Wil and I packed up
again and soon were climbing into the Huyer’s van that they had leant to me so
I could drive over and visit JYC.
It was a beautiful late afternoon and the
light on the summer fields and hills was so lovely!! The (shortcut!!) drive on
mostly dirt roads only takes about 20 minutes and I was soon turning in among
the pine trees and slowly driving down the familiar track into Cedar Lodge. I
calculated that I have visited that site almost every year for 37 years!!!!
EEEK. In the early years Cedar Lodge was the location for Focus Weekend held on
Labour Day Weekend, a Retreat for CEGEP and University Students. Focus is no
more but JYC has also used Cedar Lodge for about 20 years, ever
since both Camps relocated from sites we rented in the Laurentian Mountains
North of Montreal.
Wil and I were given a hearty welcome at
JYC with hugs for me and lots of pats for Wil. We headed down to the big boardwalk
by the main lodge, overlooking the lake and I got to visit with several dear
friends on Staff and also with my Godson Tighe and his siblings. Tighe is only
5 years old and thus a Staff child, but his brother and sister are both Campers
this year.
As everyone at JYC was getting ready for
their special “banquet dinner” Wil and I quickly ate the picnic we had brought
and then headed back to SYC. Supper had finished there and an outdoor game was
in progress so we sat on the stairs outside the Staff Lounge and Wil snoozed
while I knitted and enjoyed the lovely cool evening. Janice soon came out too
and it was super to have a little chat with her as next week she heads to
Toronto to begin as an IVCF Staff worker at York University. We will all miss
her very much but Toronto is at least not quite as far away as Regina, where
she interned last year
Once the game was over Chris, Ezra, Wil and
I said our good-byes and hit the highway for home. Chris dropped us off shortly
after 10pm, a long but very special day. I was SO thankful to have had the
opportunity to enjoy time with  two other Ministries of CTM and to spend a long
day welcomed with so much love into their Camp communities.
Sorry this is a very looong Post but so
much goodness has been fitted into the last 7 days that I did so want to share

Yesterday was mostly catch up on Office and
other work with a bit of sewing time as I finished up the Birthday gifts for my
eldest Godson, William, who will turn 8 (EIGHT!!!) next Thursday. The Huyers
will be breaking their journey here tonight as they travel from Camp back to
Ottawa so Victoria will be tucking my gifts into her luggage to give him on
the big day!
Well before I head off to do some baking for
a small tea party happening here tomorrow, I thought I would share the recipe
for the main course I served my friends last Monday Evening.
So here goes….
Soba Noodle Salad

12 oz. Soba Noodles (I used both plain and
Green Tea Noodles)
4 boneless Chicken Thighs
1 cup chicken stock
1 garlic scape (or clove), minced
1 tsp. powdered ginger
2 Tbsps. each Tamari soy sauce& rice
3 Tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. sesame oil
2 medium carrots, julienned
8 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
Place the chicken thighs, stock, garlic and
ginger in a shallow pan, cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10
minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan with a
slotted spoon and set aside to cool, then shred. Reserve the cooking liquid in
a small bowl or measuring cup.
Cook the noodles, adding the carrots and
beans during the last 2 minutes of cooking time, drain well and cool to room
temperature. Place the shredded cabbage in a large salad bowl, add the noodles,
vegetables and chicken and toss gently.

To the reserved cooking liquid add the soya
sauce, oils and rice vinegar. Whisk well and pour over the salad. Toss again and
serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.