Black's Bay Lodge ("BBay")
What does BBay offer for different kinds of families ?
|Singles||Group of Young People||Young Couples|
|Parents with Young Children||Families with Teenagers||Mature Couples & "Empty Nesters"|
|Seniors & Retirees||Professionals||Special Families|
Why do people come to BBay ?
|Remove Distractions||Build Relationships||Share Problems & Solutions|
|Create Fun Together|| Understand by Listening;
Carefully & Fully
|Practice Caring, More & More|
|Build More Hope for the Future|
There are many definitions of family; one of which includes you and yours.
As different as all families are, there are some common elements. This section will try to explain what those essential and common elements are (in my opinion). A few examples are given to demonstrate how BBay helped, coached, and encouraged other families. I believe BBay can also be a powerful tool for your family.
However, BBay is not a panacea ("cure-all"). If you are doing most other things right with your family, BBay can help reinforce all that is good. If you are unwilling or unable to do right by your family in some other areas, perhaps BBay can give you a bright spot during vacation time; facilitating family members to continue hoping and caring about themselves and each other.
I believe when hope and caring disappear, families start to break down and disintegrate.
I believe a family vacation at BBay can help reinforce and build the hope and caring within a family.
Take a look at some of the pictures on this
web site. Think about the fun, shared experiences, and warmth your family
can have doing the same or similar.
Why do people come
to Black's Bay Lodge ?
At Black's Bay Lodge ("BBay"), you will be alone, and left alone. You have 113 acres of wilderness to insulate you from the crazy world. Your nearest neighbor is rarely home, and is over 0.5 km away from you. You can be as noisy (or as quiet) as you wish. You will be protected from everyone else's noise.
At BBay, there is no TV, VCR, video games, nor DVD (unless you bring them with you). You can hear yourself think. You have time to think. The wildlife wants to be left alone, just as you do.
You have time to share. You can recharge your spirit. Time and opportunities are available. You are free to choose a slower pace. You have a "take it as it comes" agenda.
Discover (or re-discover) your family's own agenda. It has probably
changed significantly since the last time you looked and truly listened.
from now you will be more disappointed by:
the things that you didn't do,
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Relationships build slowly, and need the time together to develop. It cannot be done to a busy schedule, nor put on an agenda.
When it comes to people, there is no such thing as "efficiency". There is only "effectiveness".
The big, outdoors at BBay allow people to feel free. Can you achieve this in a campground or trailer park when the neighbors are 10 ft. away? Possibly, but with difficulty.
This freedom and distance at BBay allows people to get close.
Take the time to rebuild and strengthen your relationships with all your
which are urgent
are not important, and
most things which are important
are not urgent."
President Dwight Eisenhower
Getting water from the lake, getting firewood, lighting the fire when you only have 2 matches left, heating water in the solar collector for the shower, boiling water for the percolator coffee pot, and navigating the rocks so we can go swimming are all small problems that don't occur in our regular life. We can talk about options and plans, and find the small things that everyone does that can be recognized as significant accomplishments.
There are a number of camp craft books in the library to challenge everyone
if you run out of naturally occurring problems.
I find some of the best laughs come from the respectful interactions I have with other people. When we try new things, there is bound to be learning, mis-understandings, and inflexibility with our strange tasks and attempts.
The best skill we can teach ourselves and others is to always retain a sense of humour. A smile still comes over my face when I remember building the spiral staircase for the main lodge. It took me 4 attempts to assemble the dozens of pieces for the second-hand spiral staircase into the lodge; each time a critical error stopped its erection and required dis-assembly and re-planning. After the 3rd attempt, I was more than willing to read any instruction manual, if I had the blessing to have received one.
At the time, I became more and more upset at the wasted time & effort. I had plans & a schedule. Thinks weren't going according to plan. Frustration becomes humour over time and perspective.
There are other things that are fun at the time, and retain their enjoyment over time. I have very fond memories of watching my kids play together, find a frog, build a toy canoe from birch bark, and interact with each other without the need for TV.
The island is full of interesting things to see and do that are very different from most people's daily lives. After 22 years of spending every summer on Manitoulin, it is only now that I'm starting to re-do some things that I have done in the past.
Experience them together. Talk about your experiences together. Create and share the fun together.
If you are alone on the porch, you can listen to yourself. Where have you been? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? Why do you want this more than anything else?
If you are fortunate to have someone sit beside you, you can share the view and the small sounds in the woods. They fill the silence while you think about what they just said. What did they say? Why did they feel a need to say that? What were they feeling to prompt them to speak those words? How can I relate their thoughts to my life, and my feelings?
Extra time is afforded us by the tranquil surroundings at BBay. We are not expected to respond so quickly. Our impatience is controlled by the forest around us. There is time to listen and to be understood. Before, we listened for many different reasons. Today is when we listen to understand.
At first, others may become anxious when they suddenly realize that you were truly listening. This may be different from the normal they experience with most people.
At first, they may not be able to take prolonged exposure of careful listening. They become uncomfortable and leave for other places. But they take with them a sense of warmth. They have been listened to, unlike other times and places, so many times before. While it was a strange feeling, it was a good feeling. As they do other things, they notice the slow loss of that warmth. They will soon want more.
Slowly, over time and events, you notice they stay longer. When they leave, they come back sooner.
They learn, slowly at first, that this is a good place to be. They are safe here, with you. Here, they become warm inside.
You may have started it, but soon others will join you in this different method of interacting. When anyone else is here, it becomes a draw; like gravity. Soon, you don't have to be the single centre around which others collect. They do so on their own. With or without you, they have learned the value of listening to understand. Somehow, you have learned; simultaneously teaching yourself and others. Is this what "listening to understand" is all about?
More & More What is caring? How
do we learn that someone cares about us?
Once upon a time, a young man developed a plan for his life. He decided to focus his life on work, and developing significant wealth. He had no time for other people. This young person grew old as his wealth grew bigger. Soon, this dedicated, tireless man had "single-handedly" reached his goal. No one knew this rich man, but they knew of his wealth. Having reached his life's goal, this rich, old man could finally stop work. He moved on to the second part of his plan: share his wealth with those who needed it most. However, he had no family. The elders had died long ago. The cousins were truly strangers. Most had no time for an old man they didn't know. Those who did cared more about the money than the man. The old man quickly sensed this, and wanted nothing to do with them. He did not know his neighbors. When he tried to talk to other people, he had little to say. He had paid attention to only 1 thing all his life. They had little interest in his expertise. He was unable to understand nor inquire about their lives. The people who most desperately wanted his money were the ones he felt least inclined to give it to. No one understood him and his plan. They didn't listen when he explained his isolation for so many decades. They didn't care that he had their best interest in mind while he ignored them for so long. Soon after, he died. The government inherited everything.
Another young man made a different plan for his life. He also wanted to do well for other, but decided on a different approach. He remembered being a small child when he was given a shiny penny. It may not have been important nor missed by the adult who gifted it to him, but he was rich! He never forgot that feeling.
On work days, he only saw his children for an hour in the
morning and for 2 to 4 hours each night. On the weekends, he had tasks
to do around the house, but always tried to work the children into those
activities in some small way. He was therefore able to spend 10 to 12
hours each day with them on weekends. Remembering the shiny penny, he
decided to "give a penny" every minute to each of his children. He
watched them work and play. When they noticed him watching and returned
the glance, he flashed a loving smile at them. He laughed with them.
He let them know he cared, one penny at a time.
When his oldest child turned 21 years old, he shared his secret and philosophy with them. On a weekday, there were only 2 to 4 hours of togetherness, 180 minutes on average. On the weekends, there was a total of 1,320 minutes. Each of these minutes gave the child a penny's worth of love. By the time the child had reached 21, each child had accumulated a principal of $24,242.00 dollars; a penny at a time. With the magic of compound interest at 10% per yr., each child has $81,788.00 It was amazing that a penny at a time could add up to almost $100,000
Everyone who knew the children felt the solid gold in their character. This was where the true value lay; totally beyond the reach of all thieves, swindlers, and economic depressions.
When you come to Black's Bay, bring a roll of pennies for each person. As you feel inclined, give someone a smile of love and acceptance, then hand them a penny. See which person in your group can get rid of all their pennies the soonest.
Can you guess what happens as you play
this simple game?
What does BBay offer for different kinds of families ?
"Only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out
how far one can go."
T. S. Elliot
Perhaps what Black's Bay is offering is "a bridge
too far" at this time in your life. Perhaps "later" will be a more perfect
time. There is only one way to know for sure. You have to risk.
You need to try before it's too late. Perhaps you will be disappointed you
waited so long before you tried it the first time. Perhaps many
other people will thank you for passing the excellent experience and advice to
try Manitoulin Island on to them. Now's the time.
Original Version: Sept. 7, 2003