Westview Grade 9er's....
...Get To Know Each Other At Camp Up North
By: Karissa Hufnagel
On September 13-15, Grade 9 students participated in Westview’s annual Grade 9 Mentorship Camp. The camp has been organized by Westview’s amazing Ms. Langley every year for the time the camp has been running. It is meant to help the Grade 9s with their transition into high school, giving them an opportunity to meet their peers and the older mentors who come along.
Early Friday morning, all the Grade 9s plus Grade 11 and 12 mentors and volunteer teachers piled onto 3 buses and began the hour and a half ride to Camp Couchiching, Orillia. Upon arrival, everyone got settled into their cabins and was given a tour of the camp by Couchiching camp counsellors. But it didn’t take long for the fun to begin. Camp Couchiching offers a variety of adventurous activities that kept all who participated busy for the entire weekend. There were team-building activities, turf (wide games and sports), archery, canoeing, and two high ropes courses.
The team-building activities connected the students and taught them lifelong leadership skills. Many people loved turf, especially when it involved Ultimate Frisbee, as this is one of Westview’s favourite sports. Archery was a learning curve for most students, but there were still several bulls-eyes. Then there was canoeing, which was new for most of the city kids. Canoeing was done on the beautiful Lake Couchiching, where wildlife such fish, herons, ducks, and other birds were seen. High ropes was the most frightening of all the activities for the majority of people, but almost everyone tried it. Many bonds were built as the students had to depend on each other to handle their billets and cheer them on.
Free time at camp was spent swimming, playing sports, and visiting the camp’s tuck shop. Three meals a day were provided by Couchiching’s wonderful cook and they were as good as you can expect camp food to be! Each day was ended with a fun and exciting campfire. The second night was full of performances by the students themselves. There was singing, acting, rapping, spoken word, and just plain silly songs. The campfire was ended with roasted marshmallows over the fire.
The bus ride home on Sunday afternoon was much quieter than the ride there! Everyone loved the weekend. Memories were made, and new friends met. Overall, the camp was a success, and left everyone exhausted.
A huge thank you goes out to Ms. Langley for diligently making this camp happen, and to all the other teachers who sacrificed their weekends to chaperone. Also, thank you to the mentors who volunteered their time to watch over the Grade 9s. And finally, thank you to all the Grade 9s who participated in this year’s camp. You all behaved remarkably well, and were by far the best group of niners Westview has had in a while!