Today was our second day of training. It was another full day, but at least the weather was much nicer than yesterday!
This morning, we reviewed our Reporting and Admin binders. This was a very helpful session because it gave us a much clearer picture of what we are responsible for and how the logistics of camp work. We also received resource binders that are filled with a lot of great ideas for camp activities that have proven successful in the past.
Our morning training also included a presentation about some traditional First Nations teachings, beliefs, and ceremonies. This is one area that I know very little about and has been responsible for some of the nervousness that has accompanied my decision to head North for the summer, so I am glad that this was covered in some capacity. I know that we only scratched the surface of the topic and that these things will be different from one community to another, but I really appreciated a chance to learn more about traditional First Nations teachings.
In the afternoon, we had a presentation by a representative from Right to Play. There are some communities in which they also run camps for Aboriginal youth and they have partnered with Frontier College to provide combined programming. Unfortunately, Fort Albany is not one of the communities that they are working in this summer, but it was still interesting to hear about how the two programs have worked together in the past.
Our day of training ended with a presentation by the Early Literacy Lead from Mushkegowuk Council about literacy development and camp planning. We were given a chance to work in groups and use backwards design to develop some ideas for activities in different areas that we might want to implement at camp. It was exciting to actually think about different things that we can do with the camp program, especially because we have a lot of freedom to determine how things run throughout the summer. It was also great to hear some of the ideas that other groups came up with… I definitely took a lot of notes!
After dinner, my teammate and I spent some time coming up with camp plans (we were asked to come up with three days worth of planning for homework to be presented tomorrow). We worked really well together and came up with a lot of different ideas. It is hard not to get too carried away with programming for camp before we have a chance to get to know the kids that we are working with. That being said, it is nice to know that we have a good supply of ideas to pull from as we go along.
We also had a chance to chat with the woman from Mushkegowuk Council because she currently lives in Fort Albany. Since we do not have a Northern Counsellor to talk to, she gave us a ton of information about the community and answered a lot of our questions. She will be spending at least one week there during our camp program and promised to spend some time with us at camp. She also offered to bring up snacks or anything else that we might need from Moosonee when she comes – we might just have to take her up on that offer!
Once we finished planning for the evening, I went for a run by myself down to the waterfront. I figured that since I have never been to Thunder Bay before and am not quite sure when I will be here again (Frontier College used to host a debrief session in Thunder Bay at the end of the summer, but it sounds like that is not happening this year), I might as well take some time to explore. It was a gorgeous night, so after I ran down to the waterfront, I stopped for a little while to walk around and take some pictures.
I took my time and ran back to campus by weaving my way through some different side streets to get a feel of what Thunder Bay is like. I made it back to Lakehead just in time to watch the sunset over campus.
When I got back to the residences, a few of the other counsellors were sitting outside and doing some planning, so I sat with them for a while until the bugs finally drove us inside.
Only two more sleeps until we fly out!