June 13-14 2003 - Spackman Ranch
Maple Ridge invited Willow Park to their annual fathers and sons campout. This year it was at the Spackmans ranch, just south of Calgary.
We were nestled into a deep valley tucked into a heavily treed area with a little stream winding though. It provided the water for all the water guns, super soakers and buckets. At the high end of camp there was a nice flat field, perfect for the ultimate frisbee and football games. Lots was going on right from the start. Hardly time to set up a tent.
Some of the Dads pulled out kites and went for the clearing down from the hills to catch the wind. There was quite a variety, with new style box kites, 2 string fighting kites, and some drag kites.
It didn't take long for the hot afternoon sun to get some water action
happening. The trunks opened and quite an arsenal of water squirting , water
spraying, pump action, and water scooping equipment came out. That's our motto,
Body temperatures quickly plummeted, with many a commando style attack on the unsuspecting. But the temperatures came back up when pursuit ensued.
A scrumptious barbeque style dinner soon followed, with great potato salad, hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, all the needed food groups.
A nature hike started after dinner and winded through the dense bush and then forced everyone to balance across a log to get over the stream. Only 1 booter out of the lot, not bad. After that it was switchback time. The heavy breathing kicked in for the rest of the 200 yards up to the top. The view was quite spectacular from the top. The party decided to head west to some other hills. It wasn't long and we came across a bald eagle. It looked like it wanted us to walk else where. We watched it fly around us and finally it flew off. We commenced the hike again running up and down huge hills with lots of cow pies in them. We were nimble though, no off colour aromas for us around the campfire. We tried hard not to get lost and had to get to the tops of the hills to get the bearing again. We finally circled around and came to where we drove in.
The smores came out around a roaring campfire and we all had more desert and drinks. Water fights were still going on is small groups, some had frisbees and footballs out.
Eventually an Ultimate frisbee game was launched with teams of 5 each. As the Dads tried to prove they still had what it takes, more joined the fun and challenge. It's amazing how much one could perspire playing a game like this. Curtis really shone though, while the rest of us muttered out the excuses.
Things started to get dark, and some took up spooky stories around the fire. Others decided a hike in the dark would be cool too. A few more booters this time, and after peering out the trial with a flashlight the group made it to the top again. Stars were out and the boys could find the big dipper, and the north star. Things did seem a bit spooky out here this time, and so a decision was made to quickly return to our campfire.
Back at the campfire everyone was getting ready to bed down for the night. Nothing like a 4 inch (dense) foamy and your -40 sleeping bag with your favourite pillow to get you sawing logs in a hurry. And you better hurry or that log sawing stuff from everyone else will keep you up.
Another sunny day greeted us for breakfast. We were all loading up the carbs for the big hammer throw. So after breakfast the group march up to the top of a clear hill and marked off the launching zone. We went youngest to oldest. The hammer had a 5 foot handle with a 20 lb head. A definite challenge to even list for some of our contenders. The older group sat back and did the watch & learn thing from the younger ones. There were obviously some techniques the worked better. Then Curtis Weight comes up and does a total Olympic style hammer throw. Not only does it clear the hill were on, but its 20 feet onto the field. Needless to say the high water mark was not reset after that.
Target practice came up after the hammer throw. We had 3 pop cans set up on a bush and the boys each got turns and every time the hit they took a step back (previously marked) until they missed. Troy seemed a clear winner in this feat among the scouts.
We had lunch and more games ensured, water fights were still ongoing with little guys sneaking through the grass and bushes around you. Frisbees and kites were out again. Thing started slowing down and one by one the dads and sons left, happy to have had the fun time together.
Thanks to all those who planned this wonderful outing and offered us this beautiful location, and we sure are grateful for the blessing of such nice weather.
|Norm Nelson - Camp Co-ordinators|
|Bishop Lowe, Nick Mihaljevich, Curtis Weight, Erik Gregson, Wayne Johnson, George Peterson, Julio Fernandez, Karl Burndorfer, David Crane, Kelly Sweird, Bob Gardner, Ben Vance, Norm Nelson - Fathers|
|Norm Nelson, Jordan Crane, Logan McNaughton, Jordan Johnson, Tyler Vance, Jordan Johnson, Jeremy Fernandez, Matt Sweird, Darren Gardner, Robbie Cocker, Michael x, Troy Gregson, Grayden x, - Sons (Scouts)|
|Benjamin Burndorfer, Aaron Carrier, Zachary Peterson, Nathan Johnson - Sons (Cubs)|
|Conner Johnson, Mitch Crane|