Starting in the summer of 1973, my husband Jeff served on work crew and summer staff at Young Life’s Malibu Club in Canada. I went as a camper then a counselor for many years. So last week was a reunion up at the Club for anyone who has been on summer staff or work crew and I got to go along! It was so much fun to reunite with old friends, share memories (LOTS of stories) and get caught up on what everyone is doing now. What a testimony of God’s work in our lives.
Getting to Malibu is an adventure in itself. We drove north from Portland, stopped in Tacoma to pick up our friends Brian and Karen, then on up across the US/Canada border, further north to Langdale, a 45 minute ferry crossing to Horseshoe Bay, and about 90 minutes more to the little town of Pender Harbor on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. I’d never been to this part of B.C. – it’s lovely!
Todd Silver, who Jeff cooked with at Malibu, organized a great overnight and barbeque dinner. He got reservations for over 50 of us to stay in this little resort town – some in motels, some in cabins and a few of us lucky ones in yurts.
The yurts were located in a crowded little campground next to a beautiful harbor. I had a vague idea of what a yurt looked like but I was picturing a round canvas hut, fairly primitive with a fire in the center for cooking and heat. And perhaps a yak tied up outside for transportation. Boy was I wrong.
Our yurt had hardwood floors, a really comfy queen-sized bed and mission-style furnishings. Wow.
When we opened our eyes in the morning, this was our view:
I had thrown in some St*rb*cks Via at the last minute and I was glad I did because there wasn’t any coffee – only a hotpot. Whew - that was a close one.
We did blow a fuse using the hotpot and the space heater at the same time. And to get to our private bathroom we had to go outside and then into a little room with shower, sink and toilet. But how often do you get to view a million stars when you get up to go to the bathroom?
Can you tell I’m no longer a camper-type? This yurt thing is pretty plush and may be a good way to go glamping.
We loaded our stuff into the car and headed just a few miles north to Egmont, where the Malibu Princess is docked. (The Princess used to sail from Vancouver BC and took 8 hours to arrive at Malibu. Now it leaves from Egmont and takes only 3 hours.)
Just before arriving at the dock, there is a place to pull over and park so you can walk into the woods and find the most delightful bakery, The Green Rosette.
You walk down a little winding gravel road…
and pretty soon you see this treehouse in the woods. It’s like something in a fairytale!
As we got closer we heard some familiar laughter and looked up to see some friends who had beat us there, already sipping coffee and eating some amazing pastries at the ‘bar’ along the railing.
Jeff and I were so surprised to find they served Ethiopian coffee! It was delicious!
Here I am at the counter ordering our breakfast – including a giant blackberry-chocolate muffin made fresh that morning.
Next up was to board the Princess and enjoy the lovely ride up to Malibu.
A group of US military families had been at camp the week before and were lined up along the boardwalk to greet us. Someone had the foresight to bring flags for each branch of the military and wave them as we pulled up to the outer dock to show our thanks and support. It was pretty great.
Malibu is one of the most beautiful places on earth and the memories we have – mostly of dear friends and really significant times in our relationships with Christ – only add to how unique and special this place is to us.
Because we are now old, a LOT has been added to the camp since we were campers, including an incredible gym and several new places to stay. Our home for the week was Kanata, a beautiful lodge built for staff families who serve at Malibu for many weeks at a time. We were totally spoiled to get to stay here.
I could post a million photos here – because Jeff took that many – but here are just a few of some of the folks we got to spend the week with…
We're feeling blessed indeed.