Lorimer Lake, ON - Rhonda Joyce
My Watermark is Lorimer Lake, Ontario.
Lorimer Lake is just outside of Parry Sound, to the north-west. That is where I was a camp counsellor for five years.
I started when I was 14 years old, as a junior councillor, and had my very first boyfriend while I was up there.
I was in charge of teaching the kids how to swim and sail, believe it or not. We also tried to teach them to canoe, and water-ski. Towards the end I was the waterfront director, so I spent every summer on the water. Taking the kids camping, and on canoe trips on the lake.
They were all under- privileged kids from the Tim Hortons memorial camp. They were kids from flown from all across Canada. Many of the kids never got to experience anything like this on the water. A lot of them are city kids. They don’t get experienced boating, sailing or any of those things. It was a really amazing opportunity to showcase or introduce fun on the waters to children. Sometimes the kids lips would be all purple, and standing there shivering, so you try to get them to come out of the water but they just don’t want to.
I could remember trying to teach the kids to canoe. It can get really windy, and the boat started to get pretty spread out, and they start crying. I was in the one canoe, and we start getting more and more spread out, so I had to paddle over and get one of the biggest kids, so I could be fasted and try to get all the canoes back together because kids don’t really understand forward and backward sometimes.
It was a little heroing at times but it is a small, calm, lake, and it wasn't busy so that was good. Half the time I would just jump out and pull them in.
On days off, the counsellors would all go water-skiing and the idea was to take the corners pretty strong and get the most spectacular wipe out. There were lots of times when people couldn’t walk very well the next day.