In just over a week, about twenty-five of us Dale folks will be up at Camp Koinonia, up near Parry Sound!
We missed our camping trip last year, for a variety of reasons, and the community felt it. Consequently, we’ve been fielding questions about camp since the middle of last winter! For many of our folks, this trip (which is sometimes a summer trip and sometimes a fall retreat) is the only time they get to leave the city, so they are understandably itching to hit the road next Friday.
One of my favourite things about these trips is seeing the stress melt away from the faces of my friends as we exit Toronto. Don’t get me wrong… I adore Toronto, and am so glad to call it home. But we all know that life in the city can be loud and busy, and many of our friends in Parkdale are facing the added stress of living on a low income in the midst of a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood.
But next weekend we will be leaving the noise of the city behind, along with the advertisements for unaffordable goods and the worry about where to find the next meal. We will sing songs around the fireplace, play lots of board games, go on hikes, do some canoeing, hopefully see some stars, and breathe lots of fresh air.
Of course, things aren’t always as idyllic as all of that. Conflicts sometimes arise, people sometimes forget their meds, accidents have been known to occur. So if you think of it, please send off some prayers or good thoughts, that next weekend will be a deeply good one.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
The gang from 2 years ago!