by Brienne Paterson – Camper 2007-2014, Staff 2015, 2016

I’ve attended camp since 2007 – a camper for 8 years and staff for 2 – and it breaks my heart that this will be my first summer not at camp in 10 years, but I have every intention to visit every chance I get ! The story I have chosen fits perfectly with 50 stories in 50 days.

One night this past summer, Lou Petkou asked me if I could help him with a secret project he was thinking of doing – I immediately said count me in ! Earlier in the summer Lou had built a bench on the bridge by Hart Lake, and his idea was to engrave the bridge in front of the bench with the CBC logo and the 50th anniversary dates of Camp Big Canoe at Hart Lake. This was all much easier said than done.

After escaping an intense interrogation from Bill as to why I needed the projector and laptop well after campers have gone to bed, I was on my way to the bridge with our plan still a secret. Now our biggest challenge was how to get the projector in the air, connected to the laptop by the shortest cable known to man, centred on the bridge and not moving. It took close to 2 hours, a lot of brain power and ladders, but Lou and I managed to create a teeter totter of sorts that had the projector screwed in and the laptop bag hanging on it to with the laptop inside so it just reached with the cord. After about another half hour of maneuvering the rig to centre the logo and make sure it was big enough, we traced out the logo and dates onto the bridge.

The next day, Lou secretly carved out the design. Then, Skye Nip and Charlie Birkett joined the secret project team and painted the design that night. After it was done, it was left for people to discover on their own when they had the time to sit down for a minute on the bench and appreciate all that is Hart Lake and Camp Big Canoe. The bridge has become one of my all time favourite spots at camp over the years and I’m so glad I got to be a part of adding something new to camp that people will enjoy for years to come.

You’re always always always looking good out there Camp Big Canoe!

Camp Big Canoe

Camp Big Canoe is a not-for-profit overnight recreational camp for kids ages 6-16 in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada


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