Highlights from the Toronto Reception

Campers pose with their leader at the Toronto reception this past Saturday.

Campers pose with their leader at the Toronto reception this past Saturday.

On Saturday night, we hosted our first reunion of the year in Toronto.  Close to one hundred staff, alumni, campers and their families joined us for a great evening filled with good food, beautiful presentations and lots of fun.  Here are some of the highlights!

That first squeal. The first minutes of the reunion are pretty quiet.  Families trickle in slowly, greeting each other with shy smiles and hellos as they take off their coats.  Then it happens: a friend is spotted at a distance and a squeal of pure joy echoes through the hall.  Campers run to each other, arms outstretched for a hug.  Soon, the whole room is filled with laughter and rapid-fire story exchanges.

Well-traveled guests. We pride ourselves in attracting campers from across the country and the globe.  Still, it never ceases to surprise and delight us when families travel long distances to join us for events.  This year, we had families from across Ontario, Montreal and even Vancouver at the Toronto reunion.  Thanks for making the trip!

Never too close. Tables set for six, now seating ten… a group of fifteen huddled together in the doorway… five friends giggling as they enter the bathroom.  With camp friends, who wants personal space?

Through a VII campers eyes.  Our Voyageur II presentations are always exceptional, but this year was extra special: with her leaders working hard in British Columbia and China and unable to attend, Helen Thomas stepped up to share her group’s trip with our audience.  She did a phenomenal job and it was unique to hear stories from a participant’s perspective.

The chill.  People experience a variety of sensations when they see something truly amazing or moving.  For some, its tears or a skipped heart-beat.  For me, it’s a little shiver.  Watching pictures of all the incredible sights and experiences our campers had this summer almost had me reaching for my sweater!

How can we help? As the final rounds of applause and thank-yous wrapped up the night, someone immediately asked “How can we help?”  Within minutes, our wonderful community had pitched in to tidy and organize the hall.

I want to linger.  With a full summer slideshow and three Voyageur II presentations, we ran over our expected finish time.  Yet, even with the clean-up finished, many stayed behind for one last picture, one last hug.

We get to do it all again soon! Our reception road trips continue with Vancouver on the 9th and Ottawa on the 16th.  If you missed out on Toronto, or just want another chance to do it all again, please join us.  Details can be found on the Events page of our website: http://www.wanapitei.net/events/upcoming/

Erin is the Head Administrator for Wanapitei.  She is eagerly awaiting the next reception.