Maple Syrup Season
admin | February 23, 2017
One of the most unique times of the year at Covenant Harbor is our maple syrup season. Our very own Mike Kim, an intern this year, is one of the staff involved in the maple syrup season. He took some time to reflect on the maple syrup production process (and share some great photos, too!).
“As we come out of our winter season here at Covenant Harbor, we begin our maple syrup season. This is my first year as an intern for Covenant Harbor and it is also my first time ‘maple-ing!’ There has been a lot to learn and a lot to do, but it has all been a ton of fun and worthwhile.
One of the things I kept hearing at the beginning of the process, was that it takes a lot of work for a small result. We do all this work stretching out lines, tapping trees, collecting sap, cooking the sap, and bottling syrup. Stretching out the maple lines and tapping trees all over camp took 3 of us interns 2 weeks to complete. Cooking the sap into maple syrup takes a full 24 hours and involves a lot of patience and different steps demanding attention. In the end, the amount of syrup we get pales in comparison to the amount of sap we collect – it takes roughly 40 gallons of maple sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup.
This may discourage some people and bring up a simple question. Why? Why do all this if you’re just going to get a small amount of syrup? Why take the time to work so hard when the result is so meager?
I reflected on these questions and formulated my own answers. It’s fitting that we do maple syrup production at Covenant Harbor. Our camp is a ministry and our ministry is not something that shows results quickly or in the moment. We seek to take the time to work in the lives of others and cultivate those we encounter. It’s not an easy job by any means and it takes a lot of work for a result you may never see. But when you get to see the results, it only makes the process that much more meaningful.
Maple syrup production may take a lot of time and work, but just like camp ministry, the end result is what makes it all worth it.”