Ahhh, it’s almost time for our Promised Land Camp vacation! I began planning and dreaming of this 2018 vacation the day we left last year!
My family's history with Nipissing began in the early 1940s when my great great Aunt bought a camp on the South River for my great Grandparents to run. My dad grew up spending summers at (then) Camp Ohio, which is now the South River Resort. As he got older, my Dad wanted to be on the lake so he began coming to Promised Land Camp, (then) owned and run by Keith and Elaine Moore. My story with PLC, began when I was a small girl of around 5-6 years old in the early 1960s. My family went up from Ohio every year. Now, at almost 60, I’m continuing the tradition by bringing the grandson I am raising, Louie. Louie's PLC story will begin at the age of 2 in 2017
One of my very first memories was learning to swim in Lake Nipissing. The water was (and still is today) so crystal clear, that we could see all the way to the bottom. That year I also remember spending my very own Canadian coins at the “little yellow store”, which sadly is no longer there. Also as a very small child I recall being out on the “big lake” in one of the camp’s cedar strip boats for a day of fishing. I remember seeing a big storm coming, and Dad tucking my brother and I safely under the bow of the boat. The storm hit and the boat rocked and came up over the waves with a hard crash when it came down. Michael and I were tossed around pretty good, but I was never afraid because my Dad was not just my Dad, he was my hero, and I knew we were safe! Trying to get back to camp as fast as we could through the storm was not easy as Dad could barely see through the rain. At one point, he ran us up onto rock and the motor actually came off the boat with Dad catching it while it was still running!!
Mom managed to turn off the motor and Dad safely secured it back onto the boat. As the storm moved away, we puttered back into the bay and back to camp, only to see every guest at PLC along with the entire Moore family out on the dock waiting for the Sayer family to return.
I can’t tell you how warm and cared for we all felt that year! But that sense of caring and belonging never left me.
Memories of my summer vacations spent at Promised Land are the sweetest, not just of my childhood, but of my life. As a small child it was the excitement and adventure of being there in such an unspoiled "wild" place. As a teen it was the inspiration and oneness with nature that left me sitting on a warm rock, spending afternoons playing my guitar. My first teenage crush happened at PLC which included a cruise on the Chief Commanda! Years later I brought my husband and first child up to begin the generational tradition, and now raising my grandson, the tradition continues! Louie loves coming from Ohio up to Promised Land. He especially remembers Henning raking the beach early every morning.
When I was small, we entertained ourselves by crawling around the rocks like little mountain goats and explored the woods and played with Jackie Moore who was my age. Now there is a great playground area and plenty of toys on a beautifully cared for beach. The boats are wonderfully improved (although I miss the smell of the cedar strip boats). Where we shared many happy fish stories in the fish house, now stands Linda and Henning’s lovely home. The cottages are where they always stood, but are updated and beautiful. There is even a laundry facility, so no more trips into town to use the laundromat. Many thanks to Linda and Henning who run the camp fabulously (I especially love "bannock night") and make each guest feel special while respecting our wants and needs to make our visit what ever it is we desire.
As Louie grows to love this land that has a hold on my heart, I know he will gain many happy memories to share as well. I have a feeling that perhaps in 20+ more years, Little Louie will be bringing HIS children and then HIS grandchildren to love Promised Land Camp as much as I do!
One more week and we will be on our way!! PROMISED LAND VACATION 2018
Hugs! Mickey and Louie Sayer