During the summer of 1979 I was involved in an environmental program for youth called the “Junior Conversationists Award Program”. I was sponsored to participate by my local Conservation Authority (the Grand River Conservation Authority). The ideal was to get teens between the ages of 16 and 21 to work on nature conservancy projects that really mattered. It was a great program for me: our group designed a self-guided nature trail at Hersey Lake in Timmins. I learned an incredible amount about conservation, writing, being part of a team and about myself. All while having a great time. Just the kind of program you want for youth.
During the initial 1 week introductory session at the Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre (closed during Government cost cutting in 2004: it’s now a summer camp for kids) a funny thing happened to me. I was receiving weekly allergy injections at that time and I had brought the allergy serum with me. One of the counsellors drove me to a Doctor in Dorset who gave me the injection. However, they did it wrong and the serum was injected too shallow so I had a large bump on my arm for over a day. Somehow this made me very, very high for a few hours. I was driven back to the centre and instead of climbing the two sets of stairs to the 3rd floor I made it to ‘my’ room on the 2nd floor (which was, of course, the girl’s floor). I just sat on my bed completely out of my tree holding a towel I’d found on it and muttering to myself (I found that out later). The real occupant came into the room and asked what I thought I was doing. I stared at her and must have only partially realized what was going on since I stood up, handed her the towel, explaining “This isn’t my towel” and walked out. Somehow I made to my real room and slept for a couple of hours.
A bizarre occurence in a really great 7-week summer program, that is sadly no longer with us.
If wishes were horses
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