Blog Archives

Another youth lost to suicide…

How many of our youth need to die before enough people take notice and make change happen?  This weekend another young person took their own life after experiencing all the homophobic bullying they could handle.  Tonight we had our wrap-up meeting for Camp fYrefly 2011…  and all I can think is that if this young man had the kind of community we’ve built here, perhaps things never would have gone that far.

Tomorrow, please wear purple.  It’s a small thing we can do.  October 20th is wear purple day.  Wear purple in a show of solidarity against homophobia.  Wear purple for equality.  Wear purple to let our youth know that there are options.  We can make things better RIGHT NOW.  We don’t have to wait.

Don’t wait.

Someone in this young mans life may have been waiting for the right time to talk to him….  for the right time to tell him that he wasn’t alone.

Don’t wait.

Make it better.

———-

read more about Jamie Hubley at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/10/19/ottawa-suicide-gay-teen-folo.html

To my fYreflies!

To all of my fYreflies, the alumflies of 2011 (both Saskatoon and Edmonton):

Be strong, be brave, be safe! …and know that wherever you may go, you go surrounded by love!

Home from Camp fYrefly

Well…  I got home last night around 7:00.  And crashed at the same time I put my daughter to sleep (I usually stay up for another four hours afterwards).  Then today?  Today I slept.  All day.  I’m sick.  So it’s not just that I was being lazy or that I was feeling depressed.  I’m sick, and my body needs to begin repairs….  so I slept.  A lot.  And I’m super grateful to my husband who took the girlie to the zoo, and then out again shortly after supper so that I could have the multiple power naps I needed.  And yes, I’m now preparing to sleep again.

What a crazy week, and even crazier weekend.  I really do need time to just process everything.  But, I can say two things for certain:  Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan freakin’ rocks!  and I miss my campers and my leadership team.  You guys are freakin’ amazing!!!!  Love you all!

Now, off to bed.

CAMP FYREFLY IS TOMORROW!

Just got home about an hour ago now, put the girlie to sleep, and am now starting to crash myself.  It was a super long day starting at 5:30 this morning and doing some mega intensive training and bonding with the pod leaders, pod volunteers, and live-in adult volunteers.  After I hit “publish” I’m going to sleep.  It’s another super early morning (though I may try to aim for a 6 am wake-up over the 5:30).  But then it’s here!  Camp fYrefly!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!

TWO DAYS LEFT!!!!

Two days left, two days left, two days left…  that’s it.  Only two days left!  ACK!

Okay… breathing.

I’ve been going over my list every day for the last few days.  I’ve got this covered.

Monday – preparing for Camp fYrefly.

Tuesday – doctors appointment (nothings wrong, just a check up) and preparing for Camp fYrefly.

Wednesday – training Youth Leaders and Adult Pod Volunteers for Camp fYrefly.

Thursday – CAMP freakin’ FYREFLY!

 

Oh, and on a completely unrelated note…  I still have no idea how to actually style my hair.  LMAO  Working on it though.  Hopefully will look less “Buckwheat-ish” by Thursday.  LOL  There’s a sharp learning curve when you’ve NEVER had super short hair before.  😉

Busy, busy, busy… Camp fYrefly SK update!

With little more than a week to go before Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan starts seeing campers and volunteers arriving in the city, I’m finding my schedule jam packed with all sorts of details that need attention.  It’s super exciting knowing how close we are getting – but also a little nerve racking too.  Months and months of work about to culminate in one absolutely fantabulous event.  🙂  I’m sooo excited, but I’m also stressed.

Want a little honesty?  I know that even if something goes wrong, even if something ends up forgotten, even if some strange thing pops up at the last moment?  I know that it will all be just fine.  We’ll handle it.  And everything will still be amazing.

Now…  to those campers who have neglected getting their acceptance packages in by the deadline?  Yes YOU.  Get your butts in gear.  I know where you live!  LMAO  Don’t make me come knock on your door.  If I have to wear my mean face, well gol’darn it, I’ll pull up my big girl panties and put on my mean face.  But I won’t like it – and you’ll have to pay if you make me do it.  😉  So get your paperwork in!!!!  Like, now!  😛

Spencer Harrison – Artist in Residence and True Friend

I intended today to write about Spencer Harrison, the artist in residence for both Camp fYrefly retreats.  But I find myself at a loss for where to begin.  As soon as I met Spencer I felt a connection with him, and we spent quite a bit of time together during Edmonton’s Camp fYrefly.  I attended each of his three workshops, we shared many meals and conversations, sometimes all it took was a glance and a grin in passing…  but I always found a reliable, comforting, spirit that in many ways mimicked my own (or perhaps it was my spirit who mimicked his).

Spencer is close to defending his PhD dissertation, the culmination of a lifetime of work.  And his dissertation is as unique and splendid as he is.  A circus tent, painted inside and out, a coming out story of freak show proportions.  A literal freak show, painted and detailed on every panel…  the exterior dedicated to the visible and well known people of the traveling circus shows we all know, and the interior to the inner freak show that was a young boy growing and coming out in Ontario, the boy who spent seven hours stuffed in a locker while everyone else left at the end of the school day.

Open, warm, and willing to share, Spencer is encouraging and giving.  Saying good bye at the end of Camp fYrefly Alberta was easy, knowing I would again be in his presence at Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan.  I have to admit, it will be a far more difficult thing on the 21st when we’ll have to say goodbye for a much longer time.

I truly feel blessed to know Spencer Harrison, in a way I haven’t felt blessed to know someone in a very long while.  The memories I have of him are ones that I will treasure, and carry with me for a lifetime.  He gave me some pretty incredible gifts.

Want to know a little more about our Artist in Residence?  Check him out at:

http://www.spencerjharrison.com/

http://www.ocad.ca/faculty/profile_articles/20100210_spencer_harrison.htm

If I build up the courage, I might just share an art piece done up under his watchful eye during the last of his sessions.  IF I build up the courage.  😉

Post-CFAB11

Well, I’m home and have had a day to process the whole experience.  And really?  The best way I can sum up Camp fYrefly Alberta 2011 is WOW.  Yep.  Just wow.

To use some WAY overused analogies?  The whole six days was just a whirl wind, an absolutely emotional roller coaster ride.  Overused?  You bet.  Accurate?  Hokey Dinah.  😉

I met some really amazing youth, who I know will go on to do some incredible things.  Artists, future politicians, humanitarians, writers, musicians…  Mad skillz folks.  Seriously mad skillz.

And me?  Well…  I cried.  A lot.  LMAO  And I laughed.  A lot.  If I wasn’t laughing I was crying (or close to it).  It was absolutely crazy.

I learned a lot, and had both positive and negative examples which I will be able to apply making Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan 2011 all the better.  I spent almost all of my time, fully engaged with the campers.  Listening to their stories, sharing mine, finding out what mattered to them…  and I’m so grateful that they all welcomed me so openly, with no reservations.  It really was an amazing experience, and I know I’ve made a few friends who will be there throughout my lifetime too.

I will try to share certain individual memories and experiences over the next few days, leading up to our Camp.  I had hoped to do so while I was at the Alberta Camp… but alas, the unexpected lack of wifi kinda put a crimp in that plan.  For now though, I just wanted to share a photo I took of my daughter today.  I had cut her hair the day I left for Edmonton, and didn’t have any pictures of her short do to share with everyone there.  So here she is, happy to have her mommy back (happy as I am to have her back):

Mommy's Little Treehugger!

An update FROM Camp fYrefly AB!

Hey folks!

I am actually writing this post while in Edmonton.  Camp fYrefly AB has been wonderful so far.  The campers are amazing, and the team behind the camp as well as the adult volunteers are absolutely fantastic!  It truly is an honor to be surrounded by such incredible people.

Anyway…  I had hoped to be keeping in touch better during my time away, but wifi has been difficult to come by.  I am currently typing while sitting at a volunteer’s home.  I am doing my best to work on a number of things during any down time that I have, but any non-Camp fYrefly email has gone unaddressed, and I do apologize for that.  I will get back on things as soon as I’m back home.  I so appreciate your patience.

Well, I better run.  It’s about time I headed back to camp.  Take care all.  Be safe, and be good to one another!

Some days are just too full.

Today, while mostly awesome, was just too full.  And I honestly wish I could have taken today away from work of any kind.  But we are now down to crunch time with Camp fYrefly and I had to work on sending out acceptance packages.  There are still a lot more to go out – but I got a good start on them… and will keep working on them tomorrow.

Why did I want today off?  Well, the wee girlie only turns four once.  And today was the day.

When she woke up (extra early, after a restless night, of course) I checked her over thoroughly.  Inspected each and every inch, looking to see if there were possibly any three year old parts left.  She giggled like mad as I peered at her armpits, checked between each toe, pinched her cheeks, wiggled her nose, and peeked into her belly button.  But no.  It appears that every single part is now a four year old part.  There are no three year old parts left.

Before afternoon had a chance to commence, we hit the mall.  Now… this particular mall is one we usually avoid.  It’s just too crowded, too teen frenzy, and just too full of memories for me (not bad memories, just lots of them, around every corner).  But on special occasions, we venture through the underground parking and emerge into it’s well lit crazitude (as I’ve mentioned before, making up words has a long, grand, history behind it… all the brightest, most awesome writers do it).  Today was one of those special occasions.

While the wee girlie was turning four, her hot pink stuffed flamingo, most appropriately named Mingo, was turning one.  So it was off to Build-a-Bear we went.  Mingo needed a new birthday outfit, and the wee girlie had $21 worth of coupons to spend.

After our mall trip, it was off to my parent’s place.  Where I sat at the kitchen table, Macbook Pro, iPad, and external hard drive all connected with various wires, and all connected to me – via the keyboard and trackpad.  Thus the acceptance packages began to roll out.

Once Mom needed the table, I moved into the sewing room to begin working on the girlie’s costume pieces for her party on Saturday.  This year she requested a Jungle party.  A surprisingly easy thing to deliver.

Normally I spend a week (or even two) frantically preparing for the girlie’s birthdays.  I don’t do this because I have to, but because I love doing it.  I harvest berries, bake, cook, sew, craft…  Work like mad.  And then sit back and take in the joy of Strawberry Day (as her birthday has become known as).  This year, I knew that was not happening.  And I’ll admit, this particular Strawberry Day kinda feels like cheating.

We are going to The Fun Factory.  That’s right.  We’re heading somewhere, where I don’t have to do a darn thing but sit back and enjoy the air conditioning as the kids run around and play.  Then, for 45 minutes, we’ll head into their jungle themed room (one of four party rooms) for cake and presents before heading back out to the general play area.

I am not making a cake.  We’ve ordered a Monkey Jungle cake from Co-op.  I am not baking, cooking, or crafting.  I did minimal sewing today (about 1.5 hours worth) to create a Monkey costume for the girlie, as it’s a costume party.  And that’s it.  Come Saturday we’ll pick up the cake, and head on over to party with anyone who shows up.  LMAO  Yep.  Feels like cheating.  No cleaning, no mess.  Show up, party, leave.  LOL

In honor of this very different type of party, we are calling it Jungleberry Day.  Because, well…  it’s not really a Strawberry day if I’m not preparing a whack load of strawberries and strawberry dishes for my little Strawberry, now is it?  😉

So, after a bit of sewing, it was time for supper (and I so appreciate Mom providing the meal for us, I felt bad not pitching in at all, but I so desperately needed that time – so THANKS MOM!).  Mom made up salad and pizza.  Then, it was onto cake and presents.

The wee girlie was so wound up and exhausted by the time we were done, that she took a few laps around the yard with her new rockets/arrows (they are these air propelled nerf-like rocket/arrow things that you can shoot at each other) and it was time to come home and hit the hay.  BTW, thanks for those Mom and Dad.  When I first saw them I was thinking “Are you nuts?!?!?” but you can get out a lot of frustrations shooting (safely) at your kid.  LMAO

Now we are home and in bed.  The girlie, fast asleep.  She’s four.  Just like that.

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