For the second year in a row, the Toronto Estonian Scouts and Guides organized a joint winter camp at their wilderness retreat, Kotkajärve (KJ). This year the camp’s co-leaders were Raja Raudsepp and Eerik Randsalu.
These two energetic, capable leaders had marshaled an equally energetic and motivated team to help them plan and carry out the weekend camp, appropriately named “Snow Sparkle”. Despite countless naysayers who had forecast a mild and snow-free winter, the leadership team delivered on their promise of a snowbound KJ. Close to half a metre of fresh powder garnished the trees and landscape.
The very proficient supporting cast consisted of chef Silvia Birk-Terts, technical specialist Pearu Tamm, sauna chief Toomas Marley, camp doctor Leili Pede, camp song lyricist Evald Oder, ski-doo team Arvo Rannala, Mikk Jõgi, Robert Kivi, Peter Jeeger, Martin Pede, bus supervisor Ingrid Kütt, camp crest design and administration Toomas Kütti. Thanks also to all of the moms and dads who pitched in everywhere, as required.
The program was intended to offer choice and to highlight a range of winter activities — building snow huts or quinzies, building a campfire in the snow, cross-country ski trekking, crafts and indoor activities. But tobogganing down the hill at the camp’s amphitheatre proved to be most popular.
A sauna to warm up and wash up was followed by a hearty dinner. The campfire, which due to technical difficulties was replaced by an understudy, the oil-lamp, was nevertheless well directed by the duo of Eva Kütti and Paul Lillakas. As the brownies and cubs headed off to bed following the campfire, the scouts and guides prepared for an evening game of capture the flag.
Ski races followed on Sunday morning. Ski champs for 2007, in their respective age groups are: Nicole Pede, Triina Voitk, Robi Cyrwus, Eedu Otsa, Teija Jõgi, Katrin Tamm, Rain Tae, Aleks Jõgi and Lauri Raudsepp.
This camp ran smoothly, largely because of its accomplished and motivated team of leaders. In particular, a sincere thanks to: Karin Pärna, Eva Kütti, Ingrid Kütt, Kristina Kald, Taimi Marley, Tiiu Nõmmik, Eric Sehr, Peter Jeeger, Karl Otsa, Markus Põldma, Veiko Parming, Paul Lillakas and Robert Kivi.
Although this year’s winter camp is in the history books, on the 2 km ski-out to the cars and bus, several people could be heard discussing how to make next year’s camp even more amazing!
Sparkling snow lures Toronto Guides and Scouts to Kotkajärve