What is it? by Kinniq

Posted On: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Kinniq shares some of his "Manna Moments" from the summer.

The final drive down the camp road is, for me, when it all becomes real. Yes, there are certainly reminders that occur leading up to this moment – the cool, crisp undertones of fall in the air, the clothes that have been hastily packed back into Rubbermaid containers, the dwindling number of people on site. However, it never fully hits me that the end of the camping season has come until the short trek down the camp road begins. It is at this moment where a truly impactful experience is left behind – 4 months of challenge, hard work, connection, play, learning and growth. I suppose it is only natural then that an empty, longing feeling begins to co-exist with the full, joyous one that had grown so familiar.

Life outside of camp doesn’t seem to contain the same significance, meaning or love. People ask me “How was your summer” and I try to reply, unable to really articulate the impact that a season at Cairn has on me as a staff member. There’s some kind of magic and mystery surrounding this experience, some kind of extra “what is it” factor that you can’t really put your finger on.

What is it about camp that makes it so special?

We, as a staff, visited this idea this summer as part of our staff theme, “Manna for the Soul” - “manna” translating literally into “what is it”. I’ve reflected this season on the “what is it” and I believe that it all boils down to the little moments, the seemingly insignificant day-to-day things that we sometimes miss or neglect to make time to acknowledge.

So, what is it about camp that makes it so special?

  • Maybe it’s the sunset over the Muskoka landscape as viewed from the Dorset fire tower.
  • Maybe it’s being so tired every night that you fall asleep before your head hits the pillow.
  • Maybe it’s impact and love that Topaz and Zoic have for camp.
  • Maybe it’s the cry of the loons on Echo Lake in the stillness of the night.
  • Maybe it’s watching fellow staff actively take steps to challenge themselves every day.
  • Maybe it’s the dedication and time people give at Work Weekend to set up our site.
  • Maybe it’s forgetting that you get paid at the end of every month.
  • Maybe it’s listening to Xorakk lead duties with students in the breezeway.
  • Maybe it’s watching Little Dipper make our ropes course accessible for everyone.
  • Maybe it’s Quorx gently taking Chase’s hand to move it from the zip pole to the zip lanyard.
  • Maybe it’s the phrase “What can I do and how can I help?”.
  • Maybe it’s the feeling when the toilet finally plunges.
  • Maybe it’s acknowledging the transformation of staff, campers and students.
  • Maybe it’s teaching and learning new skills.
  • Maybe it’s singing the Hi Ho grace 2 and a half times.
  • Maybe it’s having the excitement and buzz of having the entire staff together when the first day of summer is just around the corner.
  • Maybe it’s Fender’s dance moves.
  • Maybe it’s letters, visits, and words of wisdom from alumni.

  • Maybe it’s the raw, rugged beauty of the Moon River.
  • Maybe it’s staff TLC with exceptional chaplains.
  • Maybe it’s the feeling of stillness and anticipation at centre camp before anyone else is up.
  • Maybe it’s watching the LITs sit in cabin for the first time.
  • Maybe it’s the reflection of the stars off of the water.
  • Maybe it’s when Junior campers pray before meals.
  • Maybe it’s the facial expressions of campers when Colour Games breaks.
  • Maybe it’s Chipit singing Soarin’.
  • Maybe it’s the moment when campers figure out how to switch places when climbing on the high ropes course.
  • Maybe it’s any, and all conversations with Mapes.
  • Maybe it’s the power of inclusion.
  • Maybe it’s Praise Band.
  • Maybe it’s connecting with someone new at Adult Social.
  • Maybe it’s the Family Camp band.
  • Maybe it’s the moment when the greasy watermelon goes underwater and no one can find it.
  • Maybe it’s when the lodge is completely electrified by a theme announcement.
  • Maybe it’s the acapella verse of I Love You Lord.
  • Maybe it’s the MADD musical going from concept to reality.
  • Maybe it’s the morning walk from the LIT site to camp.
  • Maybe it’s the pure energy and enthusiasm that is ever present in the ODA campers.
  • Maybe it’s finding peace and refreshment through prayer when the brain is overloaded and busy.

These little highlights from the summer, or “Manna Moments”, are my personal ones. What are yours? I encourage you to make time every day to stop and acknowledge the moments where God has been present, where you’ve found fulfillment, or where you’ve experienced pure joy. They’re ever-present - all you have to do is make the time.

Thanks for the summer, friends.


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