Belarussian children enjoy visit to Sunny Cove

The visiting children from Belarus began their fourth week in Rainy River District at something many of them were not familiar with–summer camp.
Joining the United Church Intergenerational Camp at Sunny Cove, the Belarussian youngsters quickly got into the swing of things Saturday, participating in activities and making new friends.
The children stayed in the cabins at Sunny Cove while eating and doing large group activities, including attending chapel, at Russell Hall. Camp director Tricia Allan said it was during the group activities that the Belarussian children were able to really communicate with the others.
“Here at the camp, we have a lost-and-found policy where you have to sing in front of everyone if you lose something,” she noted. “So they’ve been singing some Russian songs.”
“The kids are loving the Belarus children,” agreed Debbie Deschamps, one of the camp counsellors, during an arts and crafts session.
Brianne Hebert, 10, said she was enjoying attending camp with kids who are a little different.
“You can’t really understand them but you wish you could,” she remarked. “They’re fun to have around.”
Veronica Tademkova, 10, was thrilled to be at the camp.
“I like swimming in lake, and like music here,” she said, adding that she considered the other children her friends despite the language barrier.
Translator Tatima Demendrouk was happy to see the children having so much fun.
“They try to participate in the activities they can. The boys play a lot of football [soccer],” she said. “They are only a little homesick.”
The counsellors provided many activities for the kids to do, including canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts, a “Camp Olympics” competition, and fun around the campfire.
The children were divided into three groups, rotating between three different activities each day.
Yesterday, the children celebrated “Christmas in July” to show the visitors how it is celebrated in Canada. Activities included making decorations and putting up a tree.
But, of course, the highlight of the day was a visit from Santa Claus himself, who handed out candy to everybody.
“We even got candy canes, which weren’t easy to find in July,” noted Allan.
The children left Sunny Cove this morning, and were scheduled to take motorcycle rides this afternoon. The event was organized by Paul Bradley, who got together some fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.
They will ride from Pither’s Point, over the Noden Causeway, and back, with an OPP escort as an added safety measure.
Before heading out to Sunny Cove, the children visited the Fort Frances Dental Centre last week for check-ups and any necessary work.
“It went well . . . they had a lot of work done,” said Susan Affleck, who is staying with them at the camp. “We’re really grateful to all the [dental centre] staff.”
Affleck also noted two of the children got glasses after their June 29 trip to the office of Drs. Lidkea, Elliott and Lidkea here.