The Arrival of the Camp Quality Kids
Once again 11 teenaged cancer sufferers and survivors came to Beaver Island for a long weekend to forget their cares and enjoy life, and had a wonderful time. Their expedition left little to be desired, even including a tour of the Acacia before they boarded the Emerald Isle, where Captain Kevin let them onto the bridge and explained how he handles the large ship. When they passed the Beaver Islander they blew the whistle in greeting, and were tooted back.
Once they were here they piled into two Suburbans donated by Gordy Heika, which they nicknamed Big Blue and the Brown Bomber, and headed for the Beaver Head Lighthouse School, their base camp. The next day they stopped at the airport, where Paul Welke and Keith Pintler each took half for a tour and then switched. They were flown over Beaver and the other islands as well, and driven around the back roads in high style. At a stop in the Transfer Station Doug and John were asked what a glass bottle sounds like when crushed. Not knowing, they decided to find out. Puh-duh-ding!!
They took sandwiches donated by Dalwhinnie to CMU for an indoor picnic. Jim Gillingham was his typical electrifying self, first putting on a slide show and then taking them on a tour of the animals boarding there, including an iguana, a boa constrictor, and an alligator. They even got to feed their leftovers to the baby pigs. After a journey to Mt. Pisgah the Youth Consortium treated them to a spaghetti dinner at the Peaine Township Hall. They were exhausted by the time they made it back to their camp.
In the morning they stopped at the Print Shop and Marine Museum to learn a little bit about history, and then were given a tour of Protar's Home. They stopped at the Engineer's Grave, and took the steps down the hill from Zembla, pausing to meditate at the bottom. But in the mist they steps were too slippery to climb, so they came back on the road. After lunch at the Shamrock (paid for by the Charlevoix State Bank), they rented bikes and roade to Kayak Ken's. Five kids opted for a lesson; the rest biked to the Brothers' Place and then to Gull Harbor, where they waved to their friends paddling along the lake. They stopped at the Toy Museum for Harry Potter glasses, and then were given Beaver Island mousepads by Rich Gillespie downtown. Back at their camp they ate lasagne and sat around a campfire, recalling their myriad experiences.
The next day they stopped at the Big Birch, where Larry Dawson took them for a walk to the Big Rock and Fox Lake. He talked about fishing, which is now on the agenda for next year. In town Debra Harwood gave them each a lunch to take on board the ferry, where Sherri Timsak and Tammy LaFreniere had sneaked a birthday cake; it was for one of the kids, but it was so large there was plenty for all.
The Real Beacon:
Search the Beaver Beacon Web Site & Archive: