Camp Wanakita + trying something new

Monday, February 09, 2015

A few months ago my friend Erin emailed me asking me, along with a few other friends from university, if I wanted to go on a weekend trip to Camp Wanakita. She said it would be a weekend of amazing fun, but that we'd be exhausted because we'd be outside in the cold for hours doing various activities.

Out in the cold for hours? Uh oh. I'm not a big fan of the cold; especially spending hours upon hours outside in it. But I decided to say yes. Here's the thing, I'm trying to say yes to most things people ask me to try these days (I'm sure I'll regret writing that down) even if it's out of my comfort zone. It's been my unofficial new year resolution. 

So I said yes and I asked my best friend Carol to come along. We've been trying to take a trip together for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity to get away. With no kids!

This past weekend, six of us packed into a minivan and drove up to Haliburton to Camp Wanakita. The first night we checked in and hung out in one of the bigger cabins. It was a bit awkward because there were 20+ women who all knew some of each other, but not all, but the activities brought everyone closer together in the end. We had some snacks and a couple drinks, went back to our own cabins and went to bed. 

Breakfast was at 8:30 and then it was time to strap on our snow shoes for a hike along the lake to check out a beaver dam with our weekend guide Caitlyn (she's wearing the orange headband above!). It was so interesting to go for a hike like this: we weren't really on a regular trail; instead we walked around and over trees and branches and over streams... anywhere we wanted to really. It was a beautiful way to walk in the wilderness.

After snow shoeing, we went straight to what they call the Low Ropes which consisted of several obstacles built using ropes that were close to the ground. We had to try to maneuver them on our own or sometimes with the help of others, challenging our stability, balance and perseverance. It was a very fun exercise and made me want to try to the high ropes in the trees some day.

We took off for the toboggan hill next. I'm not a huge fan of tobogganing (I blame my abnormally large tail bone!), but I wanted to try it at least once to say I did it. We went down on tubes and it was a wonderful scene watching grown women squee like children as they shot down the packed snow. 

Lunch was next and I don't think I've ever eaten so much at that time of the day. We were ravenous. Erin warned us we'd be hungry after the morning activities but I didn't expect to eat as much as I did. The food here was fantastic. Fresh salads, soups, and grilled cheese (yum!).

Cross country skiing was after lunch which was another first for me. We were supposed to ski across the lake to take in some frozen waterfalls. A few of us didn't make it that far, but I really enjoyed the trek and can definitely see myself skiing again.

We had a well-deserved rest, then dinner and then got geared up for a crazy game of broom ball. I've never played the sport and I'm sure I could have done better had it been on a court versus ice, but it was pretty fun. I have to admit that by this point I was ready to call it a night. We had been up for 12 hours and I wanted to chill and have some wine so a few of us went back to the cabin for just that.

Sunday we decided to leave early because the weather was threatening snow, so we piled back in the van after another fantastic breakfast and left the camp. 

I learned a few things about myself this weekend one of which is that it's ok to say yes when someone asks you to try something new because you can always stop if it makes you feel uncomfortable. The atmosphere at Camp Wanakita is perfect for that. Right up front Caitlyn told us we didn't have to do everything; that we could just sit and read or rest if we wanted to and that it was our weekend. It helped us to make decisions about what we wanted to do or felt we could do and helped to make the weekend that much more enjoyable. 

I learned that I can enjoy winter activities if I dress properly. The weather on Saturday was pretty mild which helped but I was so comfortable being outside all day that I started to embrace winter and forgot that I usually hate it...

Finally, I learned that it's ok to be away from my kids. I'm going to be completely honest: I was looking forward to my weekend away. Most of the weekend I only thought of what I was doing and not of what was going on back home (that is until Mark would send me super sweet photos of the kids a few times over the weekend). But as long as the kids and hubby were happy and having fun on their own, then it's ok for me to do the same.

It was a truly wonderful weekend and I look forward to more like it!

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