Week 1 is spent on the campus of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and is centred around an intensive schedule of Bible teaching seminars. The seminar leaders are excellent, experienced teachers and the ministry is focused on topics that are particularly helpful and appropriate for a younger demographic. As well there is a How to Study the Bible Course that is interactive and hands on.
As well as the teaching, there are a number of fellowship activities each afternoon/evening that give attendees an opportunity to make new friendships and enhance existing ones. Some of the activities include: mini golf, river tubing, a “Sunday School Picnic” afternoon, sports and games. As well there are also evening chapel times, campfires and lots of singing.
Attendees are billeted with two person rooms containing two single beds. If you have a friend that you cannot bear to be parted from, please let us know and we will try and billet you together – stuffed animals do not count. The university provides bedding and towels, although their towels lack that certain luxuriousness you may be used to, so you might want to bring your own – for those going to Week Two in Algonquin Park, you’ll need your own towel anyway.
The dress code for the first week is informal. The rooms where sessions are held are air-conditioned and some have found sweaters useful in the past. Sadly the residence is not air‐conditioned and generally the weather is quite warm, so clothing suitable for warm temperatures usually is needful – perhaps even a fan for your room at night.
A number of sporting activities are held during the week and the university’s athletic complex is available for use, so suitable clothing and gear is necessary. There is a pool at WLU so if you wish to swim, make sure you bring a bathing costume. Finally, we have a closing program on our last night, Friday after the camping trip, and some people dress up for that. Again, it is up to you.
You’ll of course need your Bible and a notebook is recommended. A binder will be provided with all of the speakers’ outlines.
The second week of Upward Bound is a 5-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park. Algonquin Park is a stunningly beautiful place and has over 2,200 km of canoe routes. We travel to an island deep in the interior of this Provincial Park and get an opportunity to enjoy the wonders of this amazing part of God’s creation. There are Bible teaching sessions along the way, campfires, times for reflection and also the chance to get to know your fellow travellers better. It is an experience that you will never forget.
All the necessary camping gear is provided except for sleeping bags and personal items. However, if you have some good gear, bring it along and it may be able to be used. Light packing is essential so you will not need to bring something for every social occasion that occurs on the trip.
Here are the suggested items and their number:
A few special notes. Jeans are not recommended for the trip as they take a long time to dry out and believe it or not, there is a good chance you may get wet at some point – sweat pants work best. Wool socks are excellent for warmth. The things you bring will take a beating so it is best to leave anything you may not be able to use again – forever – behind. Remember that we will be dealing with temperature and weather extremes. It is often quite hot during the day but can cool considerably at night and we almost always experience some rain. Discretionary items include – cameras, sunhats, sunblock, sunglasses, bug spray (not as bad as you might think but there are still a few around) and also a toque for sleeping at night (helps keep your head warm).
For those who have been there for Week One, any clothes and personal effects you do not take along will be left behind in a safe place for the week and will be picked up when we return.