Spring at Camp: A Time of Transformation

 In Ontario Christian Camps

The best thing about being at Countryside Camp on retreat in the spring of the year is observing and listening to the ways in which God reveals his glory through nature.

We are blessed with over 50 acres of marsh as you enter our property which serves as a natural indicator of the health of our watershed and ground water. It is just amazing; going on a morning walk down the lane way and crossing over the culvert in the center of the marsh hearing the red winged blackbirds sounding their territory then seeing their beautiful red and orange yellow colouring across their wings like chevrons of a officer. Turning your gaze upward you will certainly see the Canada Goose flying over sounding alarm to all in the area reminding the female to stay still on their nest. If you look closely to the Southwest from the culvert you may even see her motionless on the nesting pad they have built in the same location year after year.

Let’s walk a little farther towards the entrance of the camp. Listen closely and move slowly and you may even see and hear the Wood Ducks on the right, quickly, ah, there they go making their signature week/week/week /week call as they maneuver like fighter jets through the tree canopy. They are cavity nesters and make their nests in the hollow trees near the entrance. We also have nesting boxes throughout the marsh to enable the population to grow.

Turn around and head back towards the culvert again; hear them, I know you sometime can’t hear above them, the spring peepers, little tree frogs. They just started calling this week and if you look closely into the more stagnant areas of the marsh you may see the beginning of the cycle of birth for these little amphibians; egg masses. Hold it a minute, stop, off to your left on the north side of the culvert, yes, on the log, you see it; a painted turtle finally awaken from hibernation and starting to find that warm spot of the log to sun herself. The lane way you are walking down is a raised bed of gravel and fill and serves well as nesting sites for these turtles as they often dig their holes and lay their eggs on the sides of the banks next to the waters edge.

This walk from the center of camp to the entrance is just about 2 kms round trip; I find it a perfect length when praying through my list or just seeking and listening for that still small voice I recognize.

Spring at camp is the time of new birth, new beginning, and fresh new starts. Just the same as our walk with God. Lives are transformed on retreats, just like a tadpole in the spring, and experiencing God’s presence in his creation serves to compliment any words we can use. Remember to take time outside on retreat this spring at camp!

If you are looking for a great location for your group this spring, we still have a few weekends available: contact Kim to set up a tour.

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