Quality Time, Quality Adventure, Quality People
Twelve young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 – survivors of cancer along with siblings who have also lived through the experience – took part in a sea kayaking adventure on the East Coast. The Camp Quality energy and connections made this so much more than an adventure – it was a life changing experience.
A brief summary of the trip:
Day 1: Arrive at Saint John Airport and pack food and gear. Jump on the ferry from Blacks Harbour to Grand Manan and set up camp at Hole in the Wall Park.
Day 2: Hike to Hole in the Wall, then to Whale Cove – learn some kayak safety and skills and paddle to Eel Brook to set up camp for the night with some amazing ukulele campfire sing-a-longs.
Day 3: Enjoy breakfast in the sunshine while watching whales on the horizon. Paddle to Hole in the Wall for a closer look and realized that the wind was not in our favour – returned to Whale Cove, where we collected beach treasures and wood for a community member. We caught a ride to Anchorage Provincial Park, where we set up camp for the night.
Day 4: Now understand the meaning of “a thick fog” – paddling and barely seeing the tip of the kayak was an eerie feeling. We paddled from Anchorage Provincial Park through Cheney Passage to the beautiful Ross Island, where camp was set up for the next few days.
Day 5: Solo Day! After lunch, we were brought to our private campsites – provided with a tarp, rope, matches, a pot and some fabulous homemade beef jerky and noodles. This was a time for reflection, a time for inner strength to shine though and a time for many goals to be challenged and accomplished.
Day 6: Returned from the Solo experience to a feast on the beach – with freshly made cinnamon buns and fresh mussels (the highlight!). The afternoon was spent on a day paddle to the mainland to fill the water containers. A pre-dinner swim and an evening of games by the fire finished the day.
Day 7: Paddle from Ross Island back to Anchorage Provincial Park – the heavy fog lifted during the last portion of the paddle – pure sunshine welcomed us to our final destination. We finally had the opportunity to clean up and mouthwatering local seafood chowder was made for our final dinner together. The Outward Bound ceremony by candlelight was a very emotional time for all – our personal strengths, personalities and leadership skills were honoured.
Day 8: Ferry back to mainland and travel home.
“There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” Kurt Hahn, Founder Outward Bound
The Experience of a Lifetime
To summarize this trip in words is extremely difficult as the smell of the ocean and weight of the fog need to be experienced and the crackling of the fire and voices singing “Heart of Gold” need to be heard. The laughter, the tears, the accomplishments and the life-changing moments are embedded in the minds of all – this trip was perfect timing for all who participated. All aspects of young adulthood were present – and the Camp Quality connection allowed for everyone to feel safe, accepted, respected and part of something – the CQ family.
The strengths that came through from each individual were observed by the group – we took time to reflect daily and share goals for each day. Among discussions, the topic of cancer would come up from time to time, siblings sharing their experiences; survivors sharing their stories, memories of loved ones were carried in our hearts.
The Breaking Borders trip is unique in that it allows for siblings to be part of the adventure – it has the excitement of a vacation mixed setting goals and breaking personal expectations. Sharing this with a sibling – especially while at this stage in life not only strengthens the sibling bond but creates a relationship even stronger than anyone thought possible.
“Breaking Borders is totally amazing!! It is a sea kayaking trip that teaches you how to be yourself, learn skills to survive in the wilderness and most of all make the most amazing friends ever!!!!” – Participant