Summer 2011: A Review

Okay, so I know summer isn’t really over yet, technically. But to me, it seems like it is since I have no more plans or days off until school starts. Not to mention, its been getting cold at night, I even had to scrape the frost off my car’s window this morning on my way to work AND  Also, when I was driving home after work, I noticed that some of the trees have been

Autumn in British Columbia

starting to yellow/brown/redden already.

Don’t get me wrong neither, I like fall. It’s a pleasant season, not too hot or too cold and British Columbia is absolutely beautiful with it’s magnificent autumn colours.

J’aime le Canada! Vive le Canada!

Oh, and don’t forget! My birthday is in the fall too! October 25th! I actually know a lot of people with birthdays around then. Even just at work, there are two people born on October 26th, and another born on the 24th.

Anyways! Back to my summer review.

It wasn’t my most adventurous summer I’ve had, just one vacation that would probably be the highlight of the entire summer, even though it was just at the beginning. That would have been my two week roadtrip across my wonderful province and country with my Cali G.

Some other highlights would include yesterday with the whitewater rafting and jumping off that cliff; Going to Vancouver to visit with one of my best camp friends; Catching another amazing Bon Jovi concert; The purchase of VIP Ke$ha tickets feat. LMFAO; Camping out at my nieces 13th birthday party; Getting a nice raise at work; Hiking to Moul Falls and the Trophy Mountain Meadows at Wells Grey Park and; lots of awesome summer movies.

I’m sure I’m missing something in there too, that I’ll probably think of later and kick myself for not adding.

A Shot Of Me This Summer, I'm One Scary Dude!

In the whole though, it was pretty enjoyable of a summer, with lots of smiles and I got to make a tonne of other people smile as well. With that said, I am actually looking forward to starting classes on Wednesday, September 7th. I have some really interesting classes and it should be fun learning about the subjects.

As for next summer, I’m not sure what the plans are yet, but I started saving and preparing already. It’s going to be an amazing one and I’m going to make sure to have some very adventurous plans and see lots of new things. Today I even got out of the house with my sister and we went to all the schools around town with the dog collecting all the pop cans and beer bottles. Heck, we even got our inner bum on and looked in the garbage cans. Going to cash them in tomorrow!

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Tyson Trepidations.

Plotting, Plotting and Plotting. Creativity!

I feel so lazy this summer.

I haven’t really done much at all during time off school. I did my roadtrip right at the start of the summer, so that’s my travel portion out of the way. In a way though, I kinda wish I saved it for closer to the middle of the summer so that it would be something to look forward to and also make me feel not so lazy and unproductive.

As a result though, I have been plotting things to do and ways to make up for it during the school year and next summer. There are some things that I have always been interested in, but never had the chance to tackle yet in my life. Mostly, its because I lived in a very small town that didn’t have many things to offer anyone growing up. But now that I’m an adult (at least age-wise), and can get myself around with my own car and means; that makes me able to do some of those things I never had the chance to as a kid. Also, since I’ve been doing nothing but working, especially with the cold, rainy and dark weather this summer has offered so far, I have been wanting to get a little more creative.

Ahhh creativity!

I think that I’m a pretty creative person. I always come up with some outrageous stories, songs and jokes. Not to mention I like to write, play guitar, and use my imagination whenever I can.

Actually, as a kid, my best friend and I had all kinds of different personalities we made up, along with different types of creatures and adventures we invented. In fact, for a lot of that stuff we did, we were probably a lot older than someone would expect to be doing that. But we had fun, and that’s really all that matters.

Actually, I think I’ll make a post about that sometime later too…

Anyways, back on topic!

Like I was saying, I’ve been feeling pretty creative sitting at home, not really doing anything but working and seeing the occasional movie. So I’m going to push myself to explore my creativity. Not just for the rest of the summer, but during the school year as well.

First, I want to take up tap dance lessons. I’ve always had an interest in that type of dance for a long time and as a result, always dreamed about learning it. So I looked up the Kamloops Dance Academy here and inquired about adult tap lessons for beginners. They have one class a week for ten months that I can register for, running every Thursday night from September until June. I think that would be a great opportunity for me, especially considering I need to be a little more physical and active these days. I even checked into the cost, which isn’t too bad, being about $44 a month, making it about as much as I pay for one University course.

The other thing I would like to do is get serious about writing a novel I’ve been planning for a while. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never really dove right into. Over the last while, I have been building a plot and planning characters, give them certain dynamics within the story.

Writing a book is something I’ve also dreamed about doing, but I know its a lot of work, especially with the genre I’d be writing into. I know its not really a subject written about too often, so I’d be entering some virtually unexplored waters. But also with that said, its better that way to bring something new onto the table. I know its quite a big endeavor as well. Most people give up somewhere in the middle because things start to get stale for them. There are the stages where at the start its always exciting, and writing is the easiest, but then in the middle there’s that hump in the road which claims a lot of victims! If I can get over that hump, the home stretch will be the easiest part for me. I’m pretty determined of a person and I think its something I can do if I plan everything properly. So needless to say, I’m pretty excited to get going with this project and see where it ends up.

Other than that, there are my many plans for next summer, and I’m going to go for every single one of them. Whichever one I end up getting, I suppose I will go with… Hoping I get one in the first place that is. They are just things I want to do, to try and make the summer a lot better and worthwhile than the ones I’ve had in the last couple of years. Some of those things include getting a job with Parks Canada/BC, get accepted to the Youth Mobility Scheme in the UK for a working permit, or travel to Malaysia and Singapore.

So I have a few things I want to get done, the most difficult will be writing my book though. I hope all goes well and you will definitely hear about each of these endeavours as they are undertaken.

“Polygamy: An endeavour to get more out of life than there is in it” – Albert Hubbard

Tyson Trepidations.

Stranded at The Drive-In, Branded a Fool.

Whenever I go to the drive-in, that song from Grease always strikes into my head:

Stranded at the drive-in,
Branded a fool.
What will they say,
Monday at school

As shocking as it is, I actually had a day off yesterday! So rather than wasting it, I decided to take my family to the Drive-In movie theatre. The closest Drive-in to us is the Starlight Drive-In located in Enderby, British Columbia, making it about 3 hours from where I live currently. The Enderby Drive-In actually has the largest screen in North America and featurees pretty good prices, playing two movies for $10 ($6 for children).

I really enjoy going to the Drive-In, its a different experience where your sitting in your car rather than in a crowded theatre. But it doesn’t just limit you to your car though, a lot of people bring chairs or blankets to lay out instead.

The sound comes through your own sound system on an FM frequency, therefore also giving you the ability to control the volume of the movies. I always love going when they have movies that interest me and the popcorn is quite amazing as well. I think if anyone ever has a chance to attend a Drive-in movie or need a good date idea, they should most definitely take the opportunity.

They do a great job at making a very relaxed and fun and old-time atmosphere at the Starlight Drive-In by playing old music from the 50’s and 60’s and having an olden times concession (with real and amazing popcorn too at a great price!). Usually the movies the pretty new, only a few weeks out of the theatres before they get reels and are presented in high quality projection. Before the movie starts, they run two previews of movies that are coming to the Starlight during the summer and play very old, black and white commercials for the concession. Plus can’t forget the old-style countdown for the movies to start.

The Starlight Drive-In is located right off the Vernon-Sicamous highway (97A) and just on the outskirts of Enderby (on the Vernon side of town). It usually opens up in mid-spring (once its warm enough) and only stays open for the weekends. Once June comes though, they stay open every day and are usually quite full, especially on the weekends. The staff all around is extremely friendly and help out to make sure the viewing experience goes great.

The only thing that is a tad bothersome though is there are a couple people that turn on their pesky headlights once in a while. It doesn’t interfere with the movie or anything, it can just be a tad annoying is all.

The two movies that were playing for us last night were Kung Fu Panda 2 and Super 8. I was pretty excited to see both after loving the first Kung Fu Panda plus JJ Abrams always seems to make crazy and intriguing movies that I can’t keep away from.

I Found Myself A Girlfriend At The Drive-In

I gotta say though, I was a little disappointed from Kung Fu Panda 2, it has its funny moments and was pretty cute as well, but I felt that the story wasn’t all too strong and that at some parts they may have tried a little too hard to get a laugh (especially with the fat panda jokes). Then after that, Super 8 was quite amazing. I enjoyed that movie a tonne. It was very interesting, action packed and had quite a good story intertwined within it as well. I was worried it was going to be like Cloverfield (also by JJ Abrams) since it was presented in the same manner with a mysterious creature. But it was far better filmed and blew away all my expectations. Again, its something that I would recommend everyone to see if they got the chance.

I think Drive-ins are a wonderful and “far out” experience though. If anyone gets a chance or has a hot date coming up, they should look to see if a Drive-In theatre is close enough to where they live and give it a try. Most people that do are usually quite impressed. For me, even though its 3 hours away and made me get home sometime close to 4 AM this morning, it’s always worth it.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – NLP Adage

Tyson Trepidations.

Sending Kids To Summer Camp

During my childhood and part of my teenage years, I was fortunate enough to attend a summer camp five times. Every one that I went to is infused in my brain forever and stand out as some of the most fun and memorable moments of my life. So I think if a parent gets a chance or wonders if they should send their kid to summer camp, they should most definitely research one close by (or not necessarily close) and send their kid without hesitation. The skills, memories and friends they come home with, stay with them forever. Childhood memories are something I would never want to lose or replace with anything.

The first time I went to a summer camp was when I was about 10. I went to Sunnybrae Bible Camp, located along the incredible shores of Shuswap lake and at the base of the pristine Mount Bastion. It was a beautiful camp with really expert staff, and perfectly executed activities and plans. They definitely had the experience and the resources necessary to give kids the best of time while there.

At Sunnybrae, they have tonnes of activities to choose from to make for a new experience all the time, such things ranging from archery, to swimming, to learning a little more about the bible and religion. All of their camps for kids are a week long and cost $235 + British Columbia’s HST tax. But it isn’t just limited to kids, they have teen and family packs as well. Also, even if your kid isn’t raised with a religion (much like myself), I think its still a great opportunity in their development. At Bible camp, they don’t push religion onto anyone. I just think its just a great way to introduce the Bible to kids and a little of the western religious history. It’s an important part of the worlds development and culture, so I think its a little incompetent to not be at least be a little familiar with the Bible and religion.

The other four years that I went to a summer camp, were spend at the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Center (VACSTC). I was in cadets for seven years, from the time I was 12 until I aged out at 19.

When I was 14, I went to VACSTC for the first time doing a Cadet Leader course that lasted six weeks, then the year after that I did a Cadet Leader Instructor summer camp course in one of the prestigious Drill and Ceremonial platoons for another six weeks. During both of those years I had an amazing time, learned tonnes of new skills and made plenty new friends that I’m still friends with today.

While attending VACSTC there are a number of different camps to attend that are specialized for different purposes like music, drill, shooting, and athletics. With those camps come a series of lessons as well, based on the different types of camp you choose to go to. Besides the lesson, there are a tonne of fun activities included in each; things like absailing, beach days, water slides, sports nights and even looking at some of the local tourist attractions in and around Vernon, British Columbia. This camp is free, paid for by the Department of National Defence. But your kid actually gets a bonus for going, not much though, just $60 per week spent at camp and you have to be in cadets to be able to attend. But the memories and bonds that you make at Cadet camp are those in which you keep forever.

Myself and Two Other Staff Serving As Flag Party

Lastly, I also spent another 2 consecutive years at VACSTC. I had such an amazing time every time I went, that I wanted to return, but this time as staff. For the first year I was the high ranked warrant officer for the Rifle Coach platoon, specializing in familiarization with several different rifles. The next year I was again a Warrant officer, but this time for a platoon in Drill and Ceremonial. As a leader and staff, I was in charge of about 30 kids with one or two other platoon warrants at my side. We were in charge of their safety, supervision, fun and we were the ones that passed on the commands to them.

Since I was staff, it was a paid position (quite generously, I might add) under a seven week contract. The first week there is spent meeting the other staff and getting a rundown of what we would be doing with the kids for the last six weeks and going over the rules.

Even to this day I still make time to go and visit some of my friends from camp, as well as visit some of the kids that I taught while staffing there. Just before my roadtrip I went and visit with one of the kids I taught that lives in Vancouver, but in August I’m also going to visit some friends I staffed with in the place where it started, Vernon, BC. I honestly can’t wait to see them and I think if any parent gets the chance, they should send their kid to summer camp. It gets them out of the way for a little so the parent can relax for a bit of the summer themselves, but it also lets their kid explore different aspects of the world, learn tonnes of new skills, and come home with a million new friends. All-in-all, summer camp is amazing.

“To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee” – Emily Dickinson

Tyson Trepidations.