Tag Archives: Beaver Creek Camp


Well Mark brought home his report card and when I joked that he was going to be in grade three again, he wept (and I felt horrible).  So I quickly assured him not only did he pass but he did well.  The truth is that despite having a horrible year at school, his marks were really quite good and I am extremely proud of him.  On top of doing well in school this year, he got his yellow belt in karate last week.  He spent weeks working on his technique and form and I was glad for him that he got it before the summer.  I don’t know if I feel any safer as the father of a yellow belt but the coffee table trembles when he walks by.

The bad part of the day was in talking to the parents of one of Mark’s friends.  They are moving him to Caswell School next year after he was badly beaten (it seemed to fall into the category of an asault) by yet another violent kid that was in Mark’s class.  His dad saw the attack but was too far away to stop it.  Their other children have experienced it as well this year.  I don’t blame them for doing it.  We spent most of the year walking Mark to and from school but then again, so did they and it still happened.

For Mark, he finished the day with his karate summer barbecue.  Everyone chows down quickly on some hot dogs and then they pull out Super Soakers and shoot each other until ocean levels have gone down significantly.  Lee left his ice core Super Soaker at the house when he moved out and so Mark froze it and took it over as a backup weapon.  I could hear them yelling and laughing from a block away tonight.  When he walked in he said, “I need dry gitch” which just about sums up his evening.

His summer is being spent with us at the lake and he is going to Beaver Creek Camp.  Their four day camp is about perfect for heading to camp for the first time, some of his friends are going, and it’s pretty close to the city if it doesn’t work out.  On top of that, I have gotten to know and appreciate the camp directors through work and they will take good care of him.

I have vacation booked for the last week of July which I think is my first full week off work since I went to the Bahamas in 2007.  My boss looked dazed and confused as she signed my vacation request.  We are heading to the lake and then to Mosaic Stadium to watch the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Edmonton Eskimos.  In light traffic we are only an hour away from Mosaic Stadium.

I am going to take a week off in August as well.  I imagine that will be spent out at the lake as well.  Wendy will be working so part of the plan is for me to take Mark and Oliver out to the lake and let her chill out while not working.  Between the three of us, we should manage okay without her but you never know.

Whatever happens, I hope it is a good summer for the family.  It’s been a while since we all unwound together.

Men’s Retreat

This came up in an internal staff discussion a couple of weeks ago that started out on a different topic.  We have a bunch of men who live here at the shelter because they really like it here.  Many have said that our staff treat them better than they have ever been treated in their lives.  They need a little assistance and haven’t done well out of their own before but like the freedom living here brings as well.  Like any community, the longer you live around around each other, the better you get to know each other.

We do have some programming available but after I came back sun burnt from the lake a couple of weeks ago, some guys told me how much they would love to get away to do something like that.  One told me he had never been out of the city.  A light went on in some our heads and we realized that Beaver Creek Camp is just out of town in the middle of a 100 acres of trees (If I had been on my game today, I would have made a clever Hundred Acre Wood joke but I have nothing). 

Our idea is to plan a weekend getaway for some of our long term residents.  Something pretty laid back and features a lot of good food, some movies, a bonfire, and a time for guys to relax and enjoy their own space if they want.  I want to do this a couple of times a year in the future.  No agenda but giving the guys a break and socializing with staff in a different context.  Someone suggested camping but a combination of the age of some of them and the convenience of other places means that we will rough it but with some class.

If you have any ideas for how we can make this a great event for our guys, let me know in the comments or email me at jordon.cooper@salvationarmysaskatoon.org.  Thanks.