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The Best Week of Your Life

"The Best Week of Your Life."  It's the tag line for Young Life camp, and it truly is not an exaggeration.  Last year was my first time at RockRidge Canyon (the camp in Princeton, BC where we take our group of teens every summer), and it far exceeded my expectations.  Everyone can tell you that RRC is the best place on earth and that camp is the best week of your life, but it's a completely different thing to experience it first hand.  My first time at camp I remember as a total whirlwind of activity and adventure.  It was a week long party and I loved every second of it.  I was excited to go and excited to be there and somehow my excitement/energy level remained at 110% all week.

This year though, was a bit of a different story.  Being on a Summer Grant with Young Life this year, I was working on a lot more of the behind the scenes projects, and saw how much work truly goes into a week at camp (as well as the other duties of running the ministry at home and prepar…
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Storm Chasers

Another non-fiction writing course composition. This project was a revision of the manifesto we did a while back. (http://shaneenstravels.blogspot.ca/2016/01/new-year-new-adventures.html)

This is based on a true story - one of the greatest nights I've spent with some of my best friends. The night we chased the storm.


The Greatest Adventure Story The night was enticing and full of potential. A storm raged outside, a call to the heart of an adventurer.  However, the young band of heroes curled up safe and dry in their lair, where the sounds of the wind and rain could not reach them.  The adventurers were taking a night off of their usual daring deeds, choosing instead to idly watch the night pass them by.             The hero of a great adventure story must be more interested in experiencing life than they are in merely passing the time.  Excitement comes far more easily and frequently to the active adventurer than the apathetic procrastinator. The adventurers were settled comfortably,…

Ode to Kado

One of our recent assignments was to write a short composition about dogs, so of course I had to write about one of the most important woofers in my life.  So, Kado, here's to you, you little sassypants.

*photo credit to Travis T.  And also Kado, for being such a darn cute model.

                I lie down, but I am still wide awake.  I keep my eyes locked on the door and my head tilted, listening for any sound.  They’ve been gone for, I don’t know, at least twelve days if I had to take a guess.  I’ve been trapped here since they left, and I’m nearly out of food and water.  There’s no end in sight, and I’m beginning to lose hope.                 To pass the time I think back on the good ol’ days.  It seems like just yesterday we were passing the ball around, going for walks, cuddling on the couch, eating together, laughing together...just enjoying each other’s company.  What I wouldn’t give to be back in those times.  I sigh heavily.                 Life is tough for a beagle.  I…

Pens and Ink

(Another marvel written for school.)              
  The scratching of the pen contrasts with the smoothness of the ink gliding over the page.  The strokes, both dramatic and detailed, slowly grow fainter as the end of the line is reached.  The pen is dipped into the inkwell, renewing its supply for the next line.                 In their original context of the Victorian Era, being wielded by a dapper gentleman in a tailored suit to write letters of great import in a grand and tastefully decorated study, dip pens seem elegant and dignified.  Their continued use in this modern age, though, seems old fashioned and perhaps even a bit pretentious.  To me, however, dip pens represent so much more what a writing instrument is meant to be than a fountain pen or (the horror!) a ballpoint pen.  A writing instrument is the extension of the writer that makes their internal state visible.                 A dip pen can be used with several different kinds of ink – waterproof ink, pigmented ink, …

The Magic of HoCho

(Just a fun little writing project from my class to keep you warm on this wintry day.)

Winter can be a tough time for everyone.  Days are shorter and often darker, bringing about seasonal doldrums.  The annual battle against the elements is a struggle felt by everyone, whether working out in the blizzards, driving on the icy roads, or hauling a toboggan up the slippery hill.  When the frosty grasp of winter works its way past toques and scarves and settles into the bones, the cold can seem impossible to escape.  

But fear not!  There is yet a beacon of light and warmth in the vast wintry plains, a small comfort, bringing hope to even the most frozen of winter sufferers.  It is hot chocolate!  That glorious miracle of a delicious hot beverage, come to restore feeling to the extremities and joy to the heart.  

In the beginning days of hot chocolate, Mayans and Aztecs believed the drink to have medicinal properties, probably due to that wonderful hit of caffeine it provided.  Aztec warrior…

New Year, New Adventures

My last writing assignment of last semester was to write a manifesto.  The topic could be as broad or specific as we wanted - topics chosen by my classmates ranged from general advice on how to live a good life to enjoying rain to internet trolling...quite the range of characters we have in that little class.

Honestly, this assignment was giving me a lot of issues, and I still am not happy with the way it turned out.  There's maybe two lines in this whole composition that I'm mildly proud of.  However, the message behind it, I am entirely supportive of (obviously, or I wouldn't have made it into a manifesto).  So, here it is, my manifesto for adventure.

Manifesto for Adventure                 Nowadays, people are focussed on all the wrong things: money, status, acquiring material possessions.  People are surviving and thriving, but no one is really LIVING.  As residents of this beautiful and diverse planet full of opportunity, there is no excuse not to live life to the fu…

Meeting Clara

The last assignment in my writing course was a memoir/narrative.  I honestly had such a difficult time choosing an event in my life to write about.  There was so much to choose from, but at the same time I couldn't think of anything worth putting into a story that people would want to read.  So I picked the most recent, emotionally charged event in my life.  In September I went to Edmonton Expo with a few of my very best friends. And this is the tale of what happened (cut down to approximately 800 words...it started out at 1300, and that still didn't include all the details...).  (Shout out to Alex for his pro editing skills - you da bomb diggity.)
Meeting Clara                 This was it - I was going down.  My body was swaying and my vision was going dark.  It had gotten to be too much and I was seriously going to pass out.                 Anticipation for this moment had been building for weeks and now it was finally here.  I was not going to miss it for anything, especially …