The Experience of a Lifetime
Sacred Heart School of Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia

By Amanda (grade 8)

The small country town of Thorburn is situated just outside New Glasgow, about a two hour drive from Halifax. Within this town lies Big Cove YMCA Camp in a secluded but bright area. Each summer the camp runs for two months with four two week sessions. Both boys and girls attend the camp. Cabins are divided up by gender and age, with approximately eight campers per cabin including two counsellors. For two weeks children of all ages and abilities enjoy swimming, hiking, canoeing and much more.

What would be a basic day at camp? Well, each cabin would be awoken by the cabin group of the day at about eight o'clock AM. The campers would then proceed to morning circle where a thought for the day would be given. Then, there would be breakfast at eight thirty, followed by interest groups. Each morning from ten until twelve there would be two interest groups, each one lasting for an hour. In these, campers could participate in things such as archery, drama, swimming, arts and crafts and much more. After these would be lunch, followed by a quiet time called Z.A.P. or zero action program. During Z.A.P. campers may write home, read, listen to music or simply talk to their cabin mates. This would last until two o'clock, at which time the separate cabins would do things such as high or low ropes, candle making, canoeing or kayaking. This is called cabin program. From four o'clock until four thirty there would be free swim and then dinner at five. After dinner would come more free time and then either a game, camp fire, or more cabin programs. After this at about nine o'clock campers would be served a bedtime snack and then bedtime would be around ten.

In addition to regular day activities, each separate cabin at Big Cove YMCA Camp goes on two out trips, one hiking and one canoeing. The distance travelled and the period of time away from camp depends on the age group. Some of the older cabins travel all the way to Cape Breton. Then at the end of two weeks many tired, dirty campers are sent home sad to leave their friends and camp life. As you can see Big Cove YMCA Camp truly is "the experience of a lifetime."

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