By Kimberly Roy Troop Scouter
Ask any 2nd Highland Creek Scout about the highlight of the year, and the response you’re sure to receive is “Haliburton!”
Haliburton is actually the Haliburton Scout Reserve, a 5,000-acre property in the heart of the Canadian Shield. For a magical week each summer we head north to take in all that HSR has to offer: kayaking, sailing, archery and more!
As a brand new Troop Scouter, I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to disconnect from the busyness of city life and embrace the peace and quiet of camp (well, as much peace and quiet as one can expect when surrounded by 15 high-energy, frequently loud Scouts).
From the moment we arrived on Saturday, I knew I was in for an incredible, if not exhausting, time. While a Scout should always “be prepared,” I’d neglected to read the fine print about our upcoming adventures. In fact, I’d glossed over several of the more salient points, including the fact that canoes would be our main mode of transportation as we paddled between our campsite and the many activities on our schedule.
And there were a lot of activities: between paddle boarding, swimming, snorkelling, rappelling, riflery and hiking, everyone was tired (and hungry!) at the end of each day. Thankfully, the Scouts were generally enthusiastic about cooking dinner, as they learned valuable skills related to feeding a ravenous crowd.
The mood generally shifted after dinner as the Scouts pursued quieter activities, including endless rounds of cards and an evening swim. Then we gathered around the campfire to roast marshmallows and reflect on our day before heading back to our tents for a well-earned rest.
By the end of the week, my arms ached and I was sunburnt and covered in mosquito bites. I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to buckle myself into the car before I fell asleep.
It was one of the best weeks of my life and I can’t wait to join the Scouts back at HSR next summer.