Nine Decades of Summer Fun With Friends, Family and Pets
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
Floating on the River in the Afternoon
Getting fish ready for dinner
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
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.
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
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?