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Nine Decades of Summer Fun With Friends, Family and Pets

Updated on August 30, 2017

Summer Fun Way Up North

Nine Decades of Summer Fun with Friends, Family and Pets. For over nine decades our family has spent the summer in Northern Ontario at our summer camp on Pine Island for summer fun. It is located east of the Canadian Sault on a small island on the St. Mary's River. Originally, built and owned by my husband maternal grandparent, who started the tradition by pitching a few tents and enjoying summer fun and relaxation.

Over the years the old camp has taken on more modern conveniences, such and cabins, plumbing, and most recently a flush toilet and shower. Prior to these new innovations, bathing was done by plunging into the river for a community bath and personal matters were taken care of in vintage outhouse. We never really minded since it was part of the charm of our summer vacation.

The care and modernizations has been passed to each generation, who add, subtract and renovate as time and money permits. The best part of the summer is that now the camp is owned by members of the entire family. We share good times with spouses, children, cousins and friends who stay for the summer or visit throughout the season. Each day brings chores that need to be completed. There is taking the trash to the dump, shopping for food, fishing for fish fries, and of course preparing to entertain large groups of people every day, We share meals which can range from 8 or more for supper every evening which can be planned in advance or happen spontaneously.

Water Activities for Everyone

Playing on the Water - An special activity of everyone


Water activities fit into everyone's agenda. One of the big activities is going out into the channel or drifting around the many island of the St. Mary's River and spending the day fishing. Somedays we caravan all the boats to a place called Whisky Bay, moor our boats and spend the day swimming and cliff diving in the bay. Afterward we motor over to St. Joe's Island, for dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants. Fill the tank back up and head back to camp.

Other days we stay close to camp and play in the water swimming, fishing off the dock, floating around on our water loungers. Young and old participate in these activities and this is what is so special about spending time at camp. Not only do we get to visit with people from near and far, but we spend quality time with each other and play as if we were kids.

Across the river is a ridge of rock which protrudes out of the water. On exceptionally warm days we either swim or paddle the canoe over to it to swim. We call this place "swimming rock", it is a term that has been used since the early days when the camp was first established. Kids and adults enjoy the steep incline of the little island by performing the daring task of "sludge sliding", which is done by sliding down the algae covered rock. Every day brings a new activity and year after year we enjoy the company of our family, friends and pets.

Grandpa Training Ruthie to Pilot the Boat

Grandpa Training Ruthie to Pilot the Boat
Grandpa Training Ruthie to Pilot the Boat

Floating on the River in the Afternoon

Floating on the River in the Afternoon
Floating on the River in the Afternoon

Getting fish ready for dinner

Getting fish ready for dinner
Getting fish ready for dinner

Our Daily Sunset Cruise

Our Daily Sunset Cruise
Our Daily Sunset Cruise

Busy Days and Quiet Night

You Never Know Until It Happens - Pine Island Style

Each day on Pine Island is unique and unpredictable. A typical day can start with a plan and then a better one comes along. Unexpected visitor and over night guest are always a welcome sight. Old friends drop by, sibling reunite and cousins just can't get enough of one another. There is something and someone for every generation to enjoy.

Parties are planned often like this photo of our last Canada Day Celebration that includes pot-luck, fireworks, a campfire and chumming with good friends. Sometimes parties come unplanned, you may be sitting and enjoying the peaceful scenery with a cousin and someone stops by and let the party begin. Someone runs back to their camp and bring some snacks, drinks are served leading the way to barbecue supper. Everyone makes a contribution and just as if we had planned it, without a hitch we have a party of 20 or people.

Childhood Friends Stop by for a Visit

Childhood Friends Stop by for a Visit
Childhood Friends Stop by for a Visit

Sibling Reunite

Sibling Reunite
Sibling Reunite

Cousins from the East and West Get Reconnected

Cousins from the East and West Get Reconnected
Cousins from the East and West Get Reconnected

Corn Hole a Great Game for Everyone - Let the games begin

Corn hole is a game that is traditionally played in southern states of the U.S., since we live in the deep south we brought the tradition to our northern friends, We pass a good time playing corn hole and the competition can get going. It is a wonderful game for all ages. It is played by throwing corn filled bags into the hole of the playing board. We love so will you.

Many Traditions

Some old and new ones invented each year



Each July bring the warm weather to Pine Island and permits many activities to be done outdoors, such as eating. Celebrations begin with Canada Day which is on July 1st starting the month off, followed by the 4th of July. It's a week of food, and campfires. While the kids roast wieners on a stick followed by marshmallows and s'mores.

Flowers are planted in old Canadian tradition, in pots, barrels and anything else that can be recycled. New traditions like water balloon battles that began when our children were small are carried on by 7 grandchildren and their cousins battling the adults. By the end of each day everyone is well exercised and ready for an old fashion rest. Windows open and fresh cool Canadian air helps to induce a peaceful sleep.

Directing the Canada Day FUN! July 1st

Directing the Canada Day FUN! July 1st
Directing the Canada Day FUN! July 1st

Flowers Gardens are a Canadian Tradition

Flowers Gardens are a Canadian Tradition
Flowers Gardens are a Canadian Tradition

Check Out Canada

Canadian camping put it on your agenda today!

How do you prefer to vacation? - Hotel or Camp

Do you enjoy camping vacations?

It's a dogs world on Pine Island

It's a dogs world on Pine Island
It's a dogs world on Pine Island

What are your favorite summer activities?

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    • techygran profile image


      4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Sounds like a lot of fun and wonderful opportunities to stay connected with everyone important in your life!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Hiking and watching birds and animals.

    • Meganhere profile image


      5 years ago

      Having seafood on the beach and barbecues in our garden.

    • CaztyBon profile image


      5 years ago

      I grew up camping and loved it. I really loved to go to my cousins cottage where they spent the summer like you weekends meant a lot of family and friends visiting them great times had by all. I really enjoyed your family summer time fun. Thanks for bringing back some great memories for me.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      That looks idyllic, what a great store of multi-generational family memories

    • Rangoon House profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      What a privilege to have such a long family tradition in property ownership as well as the opportunity for all branches of the family to reunite so regularly.

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 

      5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Wow....nine generations, that's just too impressive for words! How wonderful that you all could share so many good times for so many years.

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 

      5 years ago

      Everything that is fun and being outdoors as much as possible. Thanks for sharing your experiences as they look like fun too. Have a Great Day!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Favorites are hiking and taking pictures

    • katiecolette profile image


      5 years ago

      Love the photo of Ruthie learning to pilot the boat. I remember doing that as a kid - so much fun!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      This is amazing, I am sure you have incredible family fun and make lots of memories.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We gather at the cottage in the summer and catch up with family and friends.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We stay

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      explore places we have never been in south india. especially hill stations. thanks for your interesting lens.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for sharing your summer fun! SquidAngel blessed! ;-)

    • junkcat profile image


      5 years ago

      Love camping always have always will


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