I spent my Sunday at Sproat Lake Provincial Park campground, helping to lead a day camp for my Girl Guide unit and a group of Brownies. The weather cooperated, only giving us a warning sprinkling, and otherwise allowing us to have a fun day learning some new skills and playing outdoors.
It was also a great reminder to watch the kids experience new things, enjoy the familiar (hotdogs roasting on a stick over a campfire, anyone?) and experience one of the best things the Alberni Valley has to offer: its natural environment.
My heart was full seeing the girls’ smiles, and hearing them tell each other stories about camping at Sproat Lake with their families and friends. It’s something I admit I have never done: Sunday was the first time I had spent time at the lower campground, although I have driven through it to take a look.
It felt good to spend the day breathing fresh air, instead of the stuffy office air I am used to. I’m one of those people who enjoys being outdoors, but unfortunately has to be reminded of that fact.
Sometimes I think adults need to set aside everything in their own worlds and experience life on a child’s level. They are way more adept at experiencing things at face value, and weeding through all the unnecessary stuff.
One of the girls found a couple of clamshells in some brush where a group was building a shelter using a piece of rope, a plastic garbage bag and whatever natural things they could find that were on the ground and not attached to anything.
The clamshells were likely tossed into the bush by a parent who had given their shell-collecting child a limit as to what could go home, but that didn’t matter to this particular girl. She was so excited, you would have thought she had found a pot of gold.
For me, it was a golden moment that she chose to share her excitement with me.
Susan Quinn is the Alberni Valley News editor.