Aikens Lake News

The Clements… Three-generations and a shared experience to last a lifetime

Date
Jan. 25, 2021

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“It has a beach, just like the one we brought the family to in Costa Rica a few years ago!”  That was the first thought in both minds, as brothers Patrick (aka Punch) and Chuck Clement started planning their next 3-generational family trip.  It had been a few years since that last big family adventure… their parents, their spouses and children, and their younger brother all partaking in an exquisite Costa Rican adventure. 

That trip was still much talked about, so many memories shared, and they yearned to find a place to do it all again while the kids were still old enough to enjoy it but not too old that they couldn’t still feel like kids. 

So, it was decided… time to bring the whole family for a trip to Aikens Lake. 
  
 

Grandparents Gerry & Hélène and Chuck & Kim, and their daughters. 

 

Punch & Janelle and their daughters and younger brother Andy.

It’s funny – sometimes it is easy to associate fly-in fishing lodges with groups of men staying in bunkbed shacks, smoking cigars and drinking beers, and spending every moment of daylight on the water looking for that lunker.  But while Aikens started off that way back in the 40’s and 50’s, the constant evolution and renovations at the lodge have transformed everything to a resort-like atmosphere for the modern traveller. 

 

Luxury cabins, king beds for couples, gourmet meals, guides you want to hide in a suitcase and bring home with you, and an incredible customer service experience are all par for the course these days. Punch and Janelle had already been to Aikens Lake before.

“When we decided to go to Aikens as a family, one of my thoughts was... will my 8-, 7-, and 5-year-old daughters (who had never fished) enjoy this trip or is it more for the adults of the family? Well...I was concerned for nothing!” said Janelle.  Kim relayed similar thoughts “Needless to say, our teenaged daughters were initially less than thrilled with the idea of travelling as a family to a remote fishing lodge.  When you think about fishing experience, nobody really had it… but that was part of the adventure!”

 

Before the trip, a few of the girls had announced that while others could go fishing, they were just as happy reading books on the dock or hanging out on the beach and enjoying the sunshine.  And that was how it started. 

But after meeting up with the group for the first shorelunch, and then spending some time in the boat that afternoon, they did not read another page!  Chuck said that his family fell in love right away: “Their tune quickly changed with the exhilarating flight and arrival at the lodge followed by the memorable fishing excursions, incredible feasts, and the amazing beach and scenery!”


The three-generational trip was on the move right from the first steps on the dock, starting with the traditional greeting from the entire Aikens staff.  Led by grandparents Gerry and Hélène, the group weaved from activity to activity seamlessly.  The four days flew by!  "Our typical day was to fish in the morning, followed by a fantastic shore lunch to eat our morning catch” explains Punch.  “We then spent the afternoons on the main beach enjoying the hottest part of the day and/or catching a short nap. After a delicious supper, we would head out again for some evening fishing or go for a hike.”

And what about those guides?  The group was unsure at first about whether to include guides in a package or not, given the young age of the girls and the fact they did not know if they would enjoy that part of the experience.  Punch reflected on this decision: “I must add that having fishing guides was an important factor to our family enjoyment… To see my girls bring in as many fish as they did was simply amazing.”  He continued: “The guides are top notch and they allowed mom and dad to keep an eye on their own fishing rods and try to keep up with their kids' daily haul of fish. Haha!”

The family enjoyed fishing time together, beach time together, some family walks on our three kilometers of walking paths, some amazing meals as a family, campfires, and some jamming in Big Molly’s Bar when the sun went down!  One of the highlights, and a memory that will live on forever over the mantle, is a recreation of a beautiful family picture on the beach at sunset.  Now, the kids were older and bigger than they were in the original photo, but they still fit in mom and dad’s arms long enough to snap this pic!


Grandparents Gerry and Hélène sum it up this way: “We often hear the expression…Memories are made of “this”.  After spending an incredible week together, the Clement family can attest that “this” is what awaits you at Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge. “This” is the warm and smiling reception on the dock as you arrive. “This” is the 5-star accommodations with that make yourself at home feeling.  “This” is the smiles and excitement on your granddaughters’ faces as they reel up their first fish.  “This” is everyone sharing an early morning breakfast fit for royalty with lots of chatter about who will catch the biggest, the longest, the most. “This” is about the amazing shore lunches prepared by the friendliest of guides followed by an afternoon on the private beach swimming in pristine waters.  Yes, our memories were made of “this” and we will cherish them and the vivid pictures for years to come.”  


There are many reasons to book a trip to Aikens with the family.  You want to get away and escape with the fam-jam to a place that is unique, you want to get off-the-grid, you want to introduce the kids to the great outdoors and some new experiences, you want to create some special memories with grandkids and grandparents together.  But the reason that strikes most with our families that visit?  At Aikens there are no distractions, no cell phones.  And being able to move as a three-generational family pod throughout nature and introduce the young ones to so many different experiences, to capture the spirit of the moment for everyone in these specific stages in lives, is a bond that will live forever within that family. A shared experience to cherish for grandparents, parents, and grandchildren alike.

Now that this trip is in the books, how do they look back on their experiences? “Aikens Lake Lodge is a wilderness paradise where families can get away from the hustle and the bustle of the city to reconnect with nature, and more importantly with each other” exclaimed Chuck and Kim.  “Our girls can’t wait for our next trip to Aikens.”  Punch and Janelle agree: “We are very happy to add fishing as a new activity we can do together… although we set the bar really high by doing it at Aikens. It certainly was a family trip to cherish for all three of our generations present. We hope to visit again as a family in the future.”

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