Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Camp Stories #1: Izzy's 'Thing'

We've challenged our Staff to tell us their favorite Summer Camp stories. Enjoy!

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At one point or another in their camp career, every kid finds their ‘thing’ at camp.

Their ‘thing’ is what they’re excited to brag about to friends and counsellors at bedtime after a long day, what they’re excited to write their parents about, and it is the thing that they challenge themselves with day to day, keeping them constantly stimulated. Some campers’ ‘thing’ is arts and crafts, some is sports, and some canoeing. My ‘thing’ has always been water skiing.

For my past 10 summers at Wahanowin, I ate, slept, and breathed water skiing. The musky smell of the wooden ski dock and the lake, the sound of the motorboat engine revving, and the music blaring from the ski shed are vivid in my mind, and take me back to my happiest place.

 Every morning at breakfast I would anxiously wait for my counsellor hand out our cabin’s activity schedule to see if we had ski on our schedule that day – if we did, I knew it would be a good day and my smile grew so wide it became contagious.

Through my many summers of waterskiing religiously, I slowly but surely worked my way up the ladder of tricks. From lifting a ski, to going in and out of the wake, even to dropping one ski. Finally mastering all of these smaller tricks (with the help of the ski staff) my twelve year old self had decided that the summer of 2012 would be the summer I would get up on one ski and learn how to slalom – the ultimate goal I and every other avid skier at camp was striving towards. At the beginning of the summer I eagerly informed all of the ski staff that I was simply not leaving camp until my goal had been achieved.

I will never forget the very first time I got up on one ski that summer. It was a scorching hot day at the end of July. The lake, dazzling as the sunlight hit it, was a sheet of glass. It was the picture perfect day for my goal to finally become a reality. As I laced up the slalom ski on my left foot, I told the Head of Ski that I could feel it, today was the day. He said to me, “Izzy, I believe in you. Today is your day. We are not getting out of the water until I get you up on this ski.” With the total confidence and encouragement of the Head of Ski, of my cabin mates, and of my counsellors, I mustered up all the determination I had and sank into the chilling water with the tip of my ski pointing upwards.

It took only fifteen tries and before I knew it, I was propped upright and my ski was gliding through the water. I had finally done it! No feeling of triumph had ever felt so good. As I caught my balance and slid my right foot into the back pocket of the ski, I looked out onto the horizon of the lake and took it all in, truly in awe of the moment. A moment I had created for myself. I am not usually one for clich├ęs, but I swear that time truly stood still. After a small circle around the bay of the lake, I skied back to the dock and arrived to massive applause and cheers. All of my friends had seen my success and were incredibly happy for me.

 In this moment I realized that camp is the best place to achieve a goal because you are surrounded by so many people that share your happiness and want nothing but for you to succeed.
Izzy Stern, 2018

Friday, 15 December 2017

Last Minute Holiday Panic

The holiday season has crept up and pounced! All of a sudden it’s cold, crowded and jingle bells plays incessantly, everywhere. The stress of it all can be overwhelming, especially when you have loved ones to buy for, and not a single clue about what to get them. Sure you can buy those impersonal gift cards, or even pick a fight with them on purpose - simply to avoid buying them anything at all. But before you give up on your list, start fistfights fights and begin drinking eggnog heavily, here are some of our Camp Connection staff's suggestions for that perfect stocking stuffer: 

Warm, Inexpensive Hiking socks.
J.B Fields Socks 

Socks in your socks! It’s Meta. Also, probably the most appreciated stocking stuffer of all. Socks are always in demand, and these cozy, warm socks by J.B fields are no exception. With X-Hi Terry Cushion for added warmth and support, you won't go wrong if you include these beauties. 
Thermal Underwear Top


Often being too cold comes from not properly layering up. Hot Chillys thermals moves moisture away from your body, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable throughout any indoor or outdoor activity. A game-changer for someone who has not treated themselves to strong base layer before.
Tilley Hat

Tilley Hat

These beautiful light weight, breathable hats make a great gift for anyone who loves travel, or hats, or both!  With its lifelong guarantee and stylish appeal, finding one of these in your stocking on Christmas morning is a wonderful surprise. And by wonderful surprise, we mean 'Amazing' surprise!

Herschel Backpack
Herschel PackableBackpacks

This practical pack-able (Say that 10X fast) makes a perfect gift for the traveler or that on-the-go personality in your family. Herschel's ultra-lightweight backpack is made from resilient ripstop material that collapses into its own internal pocket for convenient storage...which helps when you’re trying to avoid those extra luggage fees!

Duct TapeDuct Tape 

One of our favorite stocking stuffers at Camp Connection is Duct tape. Whether it's given out of necessity, or given to a family member to send a message, duct tape is one item, that is always appreciated by the fixer upper in the house. 'If they don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!"

And as a final note - chances are if you're reading this it's too late to order on-line - we can only ship so fast! You'll have to drop into the store and say hello!

Have a wonderful holiday season, no matter the flavor you celebrate!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Camp Connection Winter Essentials

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful! And if you've no place to go, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Winter has finally arrived and here at Camp Connection we could not be happier. Sure it's not officially winter until December 21st, but, the thermometer keeps dipping lower and it clearly doesn't care about the calendar. 

Of course, not everyone is excited about things like, snow, ice and windchill, we understand that, and that's why the staff at Camp Connection have put together a list of essential items, you'll need to not only survive the winter, but, we've put together a list, that just might make you...LOVE THE WINTER! 

Kombi Mitt Clips

Mitt Clips

These Kombi winter essentials are a must have for the 'forgetful' little ones (or not-so-little-ones) in the family. Avoid losing your brand new gloves or mitts this winter with a pair of handy Mitt Clips. Easy to use, easy to wear. You can't go wrong with these little life savers!

Snow PantsSnow Pants

Every year, kids go out and play. And every year, they come home early, complaining how cold they are. A solid pair of snow pants will make all the difference. Not only will they be warm, but, playing outside will become enjoyable again. With a good pair of snow pants, you can yell "Go jump in a snow bank" and not even feel guilty.

Winter, Ski and Hike socksa


Cold feet are often the first sign that winter is winning! Avoid frostbite and a bitter feelings towards winter by getting yourself some quality winter socks. Wigwam, Kombi, Fox River and J.B. Fields all have excellent warm and cozy options, and these breathable, lightweight and warm additions can make all the difference; Especially during the brutal winter months of January, February and March.

Stone Peak Flannel Pants


As the nights get colder and Sunday afternoons start feeling longer, you’re looking for the coziest of cozy wear. Flannel pants make an excellent addition to your lounging routine, and there are no better, brighter flannels than our Stone Peak flannel pants! With these comfy pants, keeping warm around the house is much easier.

Kombi Hand WarmersHand/Toe warmers

Whether it's a long hike in the woods, waiting for the bus, or playing in the playground. Hand and toe warmers are an excellent addition to any glove or boot. With these inserts, not only will you be warmer than most, you'll be warmer than most for up to 10 hours at a time! How can you say no to that?

Columbia Winter Jackets

Winter Jacket 

OK, so this one’s kind of obvious, but it is also important. Getting yourself or the kids a legit winter jacket will not only change the way you think of winter, it will have you looking forward to getting outside and enjoying some fresh air, no matter what the weather is doing!

So there you have it! Our short list of winter essentials. There ae many more ways to keep warm and cozy, but these are our favorite. Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Happy Winter!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Beat the September Blues

It's that time of year! We know, we're not ready for all the back to school signs, early mornings, and underwhelming lunches to eat. You cover your eyes, deny that it's all happening, but, when they open, there's no denying, it's September, and you're late for school. NOOOOOOO!

Although not this horrific to everyone, the new school year can be daunting to many...and no, we're not talking about the first homework assignment. As the days become shorter, and the nights longer, summer vacation will fade to become all but a distant memory, replaced by field trips, and math problems you wish you could google the answers to. 

Ugh. Arithmetic

But, look on the upside! There are some benefits to heading back to school. The fresh school year can be fun and exciting! You'll reunite with all your friends, and make some new ones! And, unlike last year, you'll have another chance to impress your classmates with all new stuff, and maybe an all-new you!

That's stuff is key for finding the silver lining of a new school year! There is no denying the feelings that 'new' things bring. Whether it's a new sweater, hat, or socks. ‘New’ can put the hop into your step, or at the very least, help get you get out of bed on an early school morning.
Let Camp Connection help you with all of that!

We have Herschel and Osprey Backpacks, Nalgene Water Bottles and Heritage Hoodies. Whether you’re in your final years of high school or heading off to university and need to stock your dorm room, we've got you covered.

Have a great school year, and remember...there is only 320 days until the next summer break!

(But I’m not counting, that would be to much like arithmetic. Ugh.)