Friday, 25 February 2011

Ode to Winter Camp



This is a poem I wrote years ago in honour of our winter camp at PWK High School in Fort Smith, NWT. Every February, my thoughts inevitably turn back to the happy days spent in the bush. And so for a little fun, here is my Ode to Winter Camp.


It's winter at PWK
And every student knows
The boldest campers will set forth
To brave the ice and snow

In the light of February's dawn
Their silhouettes appear
Framed with furry parkas
And ski-doos piled high with gear

We are the winter campers
Winter campers ho!
We will brave the northern bush
At twenty-two below!


Doucette and Ransom, fearless leaders
Forge the trail ahead
We follow in their snowshoe prints
To Louie's trapper shed

We make our beds on boughs of spruce
We shiver through the night
We chop down trees at midnight's stroke
To keep the fire bright

We are the winter campers
Winter campers ho!
We survive the northern bush
At thirty-two below!


We set our nets beneath the ice
To catch our fill of fish
We trap and snare for furry beasts
To fill our supper dish

We skin the bloated caribou
On Piers Lake's floor of ice
We revel in the blood and guts
And my those steaks taste nice!

We are the winter campers
Winter campers ho!
We will thrive in northern bush
At forty-two below!


We cut a path through barren lands
Our topo maps to guide
We sweat and toil to find our way
With compass at our side

We do not fear the howling wolves
Nor trees lit from a spark
We do not shrink from frozen toes
Nor outhouse in the dark

We are the winter campers
Winter campers ho!
We have conquered northern bush
At fifty-two below!


We have danced with northern lights
Around the campfire's glow
We know the secrets of the bush
And how to pee in snow

We are a strong but stinky crew
Adventurers at heart
We love to tell our stories
And embellish every part

We are the winter campers
Winter campers ho!
We will camp in northern bush
When none else dare to go!



~lg

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