Monday, September 2, 2013

Picnic 2013 (Ex-cadets of Canada)

 After last year’s eventful picnic there was a certain amount of expectation about the proposed yearly picnic in 2013. One problem that popped up right away was the fact that Ramadan was taking place from second week of July to second week of August limiting the available time frame for the picnic. After some contemplation the volunteers had setup August 24th as the day. Venue was Darlington Provincial Park in Durham region near Oshawa. We were slightly undecided until two days before the picnic due to various personal reasons. However, finally we three friends decided to participate in the picnic with our families.


The day was a sunny, warm day perfect for a outdoor picnic. The plan was to have some games on the spot and then hit the beach. When we arrived there it was already past noon. Many picnickers had already arrived with their families. An open sky drawing competition was in progress where our kids quickly joined.  
The sheltered picnic spot was very specious, surrounded by spectacular set of trees of various kinds and had the kind of privacy that any large group would usually prefer. I was instantly in love with the place. A perfect place for a picnic. I had been Darlington Provincial Park before but primarily spent time in the beach area. I had no idea they had such beautiful coves for group events. The shelter itself was pretty big, could easily sit few hundred guests, at least that’s what seemed to me.

The organizers had collected a nominal fee from the participants but made no reservation in their attempt to make everything appropriately enjoyable. A late breakfast with desi style Singara and plenty of donuts, muffins and other food were offered. The singaras (fried treats made of flour with fillings of mixed vegetable or meat inside) were just so delicious that I had consumed four or five of them even before I realized. Interestingly my son who is twelve and quite skinny had gobbled up twenty. I had hard time believing.  
Several games were arranged for the ladies with points awarded after each one. A good participation from the ladies (bhabis and ex-cadets) made these series of events truly interesting.


A kid’s lozenge run was organized where several dozens of kids of varying ages and sizes dashed madly to catch hanging lozenges on thread with their mouth, snap the thread and run back to the starting line. This turned out to be a very interesting and enjoyable event with some kids struggling to reach the lozenges as two volunteers kept on waving them up and down making it quite difficult. At the end three of the kids were adjusted winners and rest of kids got something they all liked – lozenges, of course.

Next a cock fight for men took place. With relaxed rules and sporting manners this also turned out to be a very enjoyable event.

A view of the park near the picnic spot, a short walk down a trail.

Next lunch was served. The food was delicious and filling though some had found it slightly cold.
The men’s volleyball with 8 or more players a side became the main attraction of the afternoon. After three close matches one team emerged as winner.

Participants of the volleyball games posing for a snap shot after the game.

Some of the kids were really looking forward to go to the beach but time flew by so quickly between the events that it was already too late to hit the water. However, the next event had the attention of the kids, which was the much awaited raffle draws. We all gathered around the shelter as the draws took place. Also prizes were awarded to the competitive events. In between other events a cultural program was also arranged with several accomplished singers offering songs.

Finally everybody gave the volunteers a hand to pick up all the trash scattered all around the place. Within a short time the spot looked neatly cleaned. It was our time to say bye. It was a very enjoyable day, a true family oriented picnic and would definitely be alive in our memories until the next one take place a year later. Many of us would definitely look forward to that. 



A few of the volunteers who made this program a success: Hyder, Rimon, Ataullah, Anwar, Mobin and Kishore.

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