A Storm to Remember!

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The skies blacked quickly as the winds picked up. There was a storm brewing very quickly, and we needed to take cover, as messages were sent to warn us of up to 90 km winds.

It all started on Friday. Fourteen girls (ages 9 to 12) and 3 Leaders from the 1st Russell Guides arrived at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary (UCMBS) for a weekend of fun; the theme, Spring Camp is for the Birds!

Saturday, we went to the Visitor’s Centre where the UCMBS staff led us through their Bird Watching and Forestry programs. The girls earned their Bird Watching badges, and part of their Forestry badges. After a picnic lunch, the girls worked on crafts. Later, the girls enjoyed tossing wet sponges and squirting each other on the beach.

After snack, Guider Giggles went to her tent. Shortly thereafter, Giggles got the message about the on-coming storm. Simultaneously, Guider Dove and I noticed the sky quickly getting dark. All three of us sprung quickly into action!

Girls were instructed to get their rain gear, and to zip up tents. We loaded every one into vehicles and went to the Visitor’s Centre. Shortly after arriving, the storm hit. We had three consecutive thunderstorms lasting about 1.5 hours. But we were safe.

After the storm, Giggles, Dove, and the park ranger went to check the damage. It was clear to me that there must have been a problem when they brought in sleeping bags and mattresses! Never before was a group allowed to stay in the Visitors’ Centre! We were the first!

A Storm to RememberAfter late-night pizza, we crawled into our sleeping bags. 7:00 a.m. came quickly! We packed up, vacuumed, and cleaned the washrooms; the least we could do for their generosity! We returned to our site. The girls had been warned of the damage, but we were all surprised upon arrival.

A Storm to Remember

Tent poles were broken and some had caved in. Most were soaking wet inside (despite having just been water-proofed). The metal frame of the kitchen tent had been bent in half!

It will take us a couple of years to replace our damaged equipment, but the most important thing is that the girls were safe, and discovered that they have the ability to overcome a bad situation. This is definitely an adventure that we will remember for years to come!

1st Russell Guides

By guest blogger Peggy Vink, aka Guider Harmony!, 1st Russell Guides

This entry was posted in Camping & Outdoors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Storm to Remember!

  1. Janet Allcock says:

    Perhaps next time you should collapse the tents – there might have been less damage.

  2. varyscrappy says:

    This will be one camping trip they will all remember for years to come saying “Remember that time we were at came and had to sleep in the visitor centre because the storm wrecked all our stuff. That was so fun!”

    Kudos to the leaders for their quick thinking!

    From a former leader!

  3. Diamond says:

    Again, Kudos! With the crazy weather our environment keeps throwing at us, we Guiders must BE PREPARED for anything! Sounds like it was a great camp… your cookie selling will have you back camping in no time!!

  4. Meredith says:

    Well done! Being prepared is one of the things that I have always learned in guiding, and that is super important when you’re supervising other people’s girls. With the quick thinking of all of you leaders the girls are safe. It sounds like it was a severe thunderstorm, and you did the right thing, as these type of thunderstorms can end up being catastrophic at times. Kudos goes to all of the leaders who were able to spring into action and get the girls to safety.

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