Week three at TREK has come and gone. This time round I was working in the kitchen, and although it can be exhausting, I had a fantastic week. I was working with my sister and two of my cousins, as well as a few others I knew from TREK previously, which made for a really fun and laughter-filled week.

As kitchen staff, we are in charge of bringing our own tents or sleeping quarters. We decided to hammock for the week, so four of us stacked our hammocks and slept under the stars. It was perfectly clear every night and did not rain once, so there was no need for us to put up a tarp, which was nice.

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At TREK, there are usually around 10 people working in the kitchen each week (serving food for about 150 people). Start time is usually 7am, with a small mid-morning break for devotions and a larger break (2-3 hours, depending if you’re on snack duty) in the afternoon. Snack is actually quite fun to prepare. Plus, you have access to all the cookies you like (in moderation, of course 🙂 ). If you control the cookies, you control TREK, basically.

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We try to have dinner cleaned up by 7:30 so that those who want to can make it to hoedown, and then a few people return in the evening to make hot chocolate for the counsellor meeting at 9:30. If you go to counsellor meetings every night (like I like to do), it can be a long day! But super fun. You can have some good conversations while chopping veggies or washing roasters. And there is always lots of laughter in the kitchen! I got to serve with some pretty amazing people that week and they are all hilarious and such fun to be around.

I think the TREK kitchen is just the coolest. Its rugged look can fit any TREK theme and it has been around as long as I can remember, but it’s still completely functional.

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The outside of the tent decorated to fit the Fur Trade theme

Wednesday is a very special day here at TREK, because that means rollkuchen and watermelon!! If you’ve never had rollkuchen, it’s basically a delicious deep-fried dough served with syrup and often eaten with watermelon. Volunteers come in specially for that day to roll out and fold all the dough. They came at 10am and we were frying until almost 1pm! So much rollkuchen! It was amazing. And, we always have leftover taco meat from Tuesday, which means tasty empanadas too!

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In the hot afternoons, we usually walked down the river a bit to “mermaid lagoon” where there was a nice area to swim in or just splash about and cool off. One of the days we also tried out the archery just for fun 🙂

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As I talked about in my last TREK post, the theme this year was Fur Traders. To help with the theme, SALT (Service And Leadership Training) leader Dave had a little cabin built, with an attached pen for a couple of his rabbits.

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I don’t have a picture of it, but there was a bear skin hanging down as the door to the entrance!

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During one of the wide games, some campers came across three startled baby rabbits. Dave took the kits under his care, and we were able to hold them. They were like living balls of fluff; so tiny and weightless. But oh were they adorable!

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Speaking of little fuzzy creatures, one morning we came across this little creature in a bucket near the kitchen! He became our kitchen mascot for the day.

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Everything ran pretty much the same as it did on weeks one and two, since the storyline is always the same with minor adjustments to fit each age group. And just like the previous weeks, we had a talent show held on Friday night. This is an evening filled with laughter and awe as we watch hilarious acts or are amazed by some truly talented individuals. Since there are usually a lot of Heydes up at TREK, we always do something for the talent show. This year, we sang “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers. It is such a beautiful song and it fit right in with the theme, so we just had to do it. The talent show is always such a fun night!

This year it really struck me how much the TREK community is a family. The way we love, the way we look out for one another, the way we are willing to be vulnerable and share our needs. Everyone at TREK has the same desire to show God’s love to others and grow closer to Him, and having that common desire draws us closer to one another. Family is emulated in the way everyone cheers loudly after every talent show performance (even if the person messed up and it didn’t go as planned); it is emulated when we share our struggles at counsellor meeting and we all support and encourage one another; it is emulated when we sing at the top of our lungs at hoedown, not caring about how we sound; it is emulated when we laugh and joke with people we have never talked with before while we serve them food; it is emulated in the every day interactions between staff and campers, because there is an expectation of love, and you know that when you come to TREK you have a family that you can count on who cares for you.

We’re all a little weird here at TREK, but that is what makes this place so welcoming. There is freedom to be yourself because God made each of us with unique talents and gifts that are all meant to be used for the glory of His Kingdom, and I see that done so beautifully at TREK every year.

TREK is definitely different, and not the norm for a kids camp, but oh how glad I am it is.

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