Submitted by: Hillary
I grew up going to Camp Kuriakos, on Sylvan lake every summer. As I got older, I worked my way through their program and become an instructor. I started spending more time there in the winter and fall months as well. Camp is where I was first exposed, and fell in love with the wilderness and being outdoors. We would do all kinds of activities. Canoeing, high ropes, wall climbing, archery, fire building, challenge courses, swimming, initiative tasks, you name it we did it. Over the years, I made a lot of dear friends, and we all ended up being staff. To this day we still plan outdoor trips together, including our annual ski trip over the Christmas break.
The camp has a secondary site called the wilderness site, nestled in the trees about half a mile from the main base. It is much simpler, just a cook tent and three sleeping tents. Some of my fondest memories are there, sleeping under the stars beside the fire (occasionally getting eaten alive by mosquitoes).
My birthday is in the summer, and one year it fell in the middle of a trip I was leading at the wilderness site. We slept around the fire, and I awoke in the morning to find a cupcake with a sign sticking out of the top that read: “Happy Birthday Hillary”. One of my good friends had gotten up early and set it out before heading to the main site for a staff meeting. The other counsellor and I got all of the kids up and organized, and cooked everyone breakfast over the fire. We had a lot of canoeing activities planned for that day, so we hurried to get the campsite cleaned up and headed back to the main site.
However, I guess we didn’t clean the campsite well enough, because in the six hours that we were gone, an animal completely shredded the kitchen tent and ate my birthday cupcake. Although it was sad, it was a good lesson in properly cleaning up your campsites. We are all able to look back and laugh about the cupcake thief now!