Another summer has come and gone, and for many of us, the Haliburton Scout Reserve Staff Alumni reunion weekend is always a highlight. For two days each year, we can return to the place that we would not have left had we been given the choice, and pretend that normal life hadn’t come along to ruin every summer since.
Although the places and faces are always familiar, each edition of the Alumni Weekend brings something a little different to the experience. For example: babies. If one had stumbled through the Guest Sites on Saturday, one may have noticed a veritable plague of the things. Good on the parents for wanting to share HSR with the youngsters as soon as possible. In a few short years, you may even meet some of them on the KYBO run.
Saturday offered many options to those in attendance. Some rediscovered the trails to favourite out-of-the-way places like Hurst Lake while others went for a “bake” on the H-Dock. Some stuck around the home base to sit by the fire and knock back a couple of wieners.
After the traditional staff-alumni steak banquet, the HSRSAA Bursary Award was presented (see separate entry for more), and Alumni and their families were invited to jump on a barge for an evening lake run. The sunset provided a spectacular backdrop, bringing back fond memories of the most magical summer evenings of our youth (without the horseplay, shenanigans, tomfoolery and resulting injuries).
This brace of fresh air prepared us for an evening in the Hub and Cub Pub, where traditional pub fare was served up along with the sweet sounds of the open mic. Hosted as always by the multi-talented Warner Clarke, Alumni and Staff both provided and enjoyed a range of musical styles, running from folk to hip-hop to atonal experimental improvisations and back.
Sunday was a typical one for the Alumni Weekend: Sugar-fuelled dreams about a French woodsman/sorcerer, the Annual General Meeting, yet another Cricket victory, customary torrential downpour, high tea and a long drive home from the place we never would have left had we been given the choice.