Written on May 16, 2014 at 8:30 am, by Scott
JANET BRENCHLEY-KRUG summer of 1982
Janet was 21-years-old when she worked at the Lodge for four months in 1982. Following in her footsteps, her brother, Derrick Brenchley, came to work for the Lodge two years later.
I was an instructor/leader with school groups in May and June. During the summer, I led Adventure Camps, kayaking and canoeing courses, was a personal guide for families exploring the area, plus I did everything and anything that needed to be done. One of my favourite jobs was bat patrol up in the annex when we would go up with old tennis racquets to decrease the bat population. Lots of time was spent in the kitchen helping make Nancy’s wonderful scones and other breads. Making pancakes for 200 was a ￼regular early morning task. I remember starting the day with espresso coffee and Grand Marnier. (Note from Myrna: ‘This is news to me’). Heart palpitations to say the least.
After leaving Strathcona, my next jobs were working for Black Feather/Trailhead also leading trips and selling outdoor equipment. I became a high school physical education teacher and loved to lead canoe trips and coach skiing. It has always been a dream to run a camp or Centre. I am currently teaching Mind Body classes at the Y and am a certified Pilates instructor.
My husband and I have fun get-togethers with Elizabeth Boulding , her husband Toby Hay, and their daughter Emma. Toby has been a godsend when completing woodworking projects and home renovations for my family. Toby has built and donated furniture every year for many years to raise money for two Wyndham House youth homes in Guelph.
Visions of a Cougar
During the summer of 1982, it only rained a half dozen times during the four months I spent working as a skills instructor at the Lodge. I had arrived from the East with four sets of raingear, prepared to face the torrential downpours in the rain forests of the west coast. However in August, because of the poor visibility due to the smoke from the forest fire, we worked at perfecting the skill of taking a compass bearing across Upper Campbell Lake.
In July, I was having a lovely time leading an Adventure Camp of 8-10 year olds on an overnight hike along the Elk River trail. The external frame back packs were too big for these little tykes and bumped them in the back of the knees. I would have liked to cover a bit more distance but this crew would stop every ten metres to gape in awe at the big fat green and black slugs on the trail. Little people have a way of teaching us to appreciate the wonder of our surroundings. I was alone as the leader and struggled to keep this motley crew together. I had returned to hustle a straggler along and glanced over my shoulder along the trail in the direction we had come, and saw what I think was the back end of a cougar silently disappearing down the trail. It was a flash and I spent the next few minutes with my heart pounding wondering if I really had seen a cougar and feeling very vulnerable with six kids to look after. Needless to say, I kept my little band on a bit shorter tether and in my sights if possible. I replayed the vision over and over in my head of the hind quarters of that cat. We only went a few kilometres that summer day. I never mentioned the cougar to my campers and let them continue to happily gawk at the slugs and munch on salmon berries.
A New Flower Planter for the Deck
Jim Boulding was larger than life, an inspiring but intimidating boss to work for. On my first day off at the Lodge, a group of us paddled the Campbell River. My partner and I managed to wrap an abs plastic canoe around an iron bridge girder. The canoe had to be sawed in half to release it from being pinned in the current. I was sure that my employment at the lodge was going to be short lived. At supper that night, Jim got up to speak to the staff. Feeling ashamed and embarrassed, sick to my stomach and ready to pack my bags, I remember and will always appreciate his words in saying that the Lodge had needed a new flower planter for the deck. This was what my sawed off canoe became that day. I hope that I have learned from my mistakes and will extend his generosity of spirit and sense of humour to others.