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Summer Happenin`s
By: Jim Alseth

  • Great Camping Spots was proud to co-sponsor the annual camping trip for West End Vineyard Church in our city. Held late in June at the Pembina River Campground west of Edmonton, the fun-filled weekend included field sports, group games, water fights, riverside walks, campfire worship, prize draws and even a fireworks display. The highlight in my mind was the old-time baptism in the Pembina River. About a dozen people of all ages were baptized, including my own 11 year old daughter, Kari.

    It`s a beautiful thing to see both young children and retirees alike submerse themselves in the chilly waters of a mountain river to declare their allegiance to the King of Kings. For my wife Darlene it was especially moving to witness the event. "I was baptized myself in this same river when I was sixteen years old," she recalled with emotion. I couldn`t help rejoicing with ones like Adele, her piercing blue eyes now radiating with hope and life where once they were clouded by a life of despair and addiction. She is proof that the love of God can reach any of us no matter how desperate our situation may be.

    The finale to the busy Saturday was the 11 p.m. fireworks display which elicited a chorus of oohs and aahs. Pastor Gord Hancock, who takes particular delight in providing this display every year, was about to end the event by lighting the biggest element when we were suddenly curtailed by a parks officer. To our surprise we were informed that it is illegal to set off fireworks on public park grounds in Alberta. It was the only glitch in an otherwise rewarding and touching weekend.

    We`d like to acknowledge the co-sponsorship of west end businesses who donated prizes for our prize draw. Our thanks go to Wal-Mart, London Drugs, Camper`s Village, Insight Medical Imaging, Toys R Us and Marty & Terri Wagner (Gregg Distributors) for their participation in this event.

  • Rising gas prices have certainly been an issue this year. We`d like to hear from our readers just how they have affected your camping and rving plans. Have they caused the elimination of trips altogether or simply altered the mode or extent of your outdoor traveling? Let us know by using our Contact Us form.

  • The early summer camping season has been punctuated in the western part of the country by a number of bear attacks resulting in two deaths from separate incidents and injuries in others. As tragic as these incidents are, our hope is that this "media effect" won`t quell enjoyment of the outdoors. I read recently there are more deaths from moose maulings (not vehicle-moose collisions) than all other animal incidents combined. True or not, the point is to not let a distorted picture of the danger needlessly effect our outdoor adventure plans. Simply know the risks, be wise, prepared, and enjoy.

    We just returned from a family camping trip in bear country in which we saw abundant wildlife--birds, coyotes, deer and bears on two different occasions just outside our campground. We were careful with our food and cooking, and the bears paid none of the campers any attention. Park officers were also diligent to keep us updated and practicing bear safety throughout the week.

  • Not up on your "bear sense"? Go to our articles section to read Bear Safety.

  • Published: 7/13/2005
    Source: Great Camping Spots

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