Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Camp Stories #3: Don't go in Jake's Canoe.

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

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I attended Camp New Moon for a number of years. There are so many great memories I have from

there, but one that stands out above the rest is also a great example of why I don’t like canoe trips.  

To give you all a little backstory, there is a place that was about a three hour paddle away from camp and it was called “Two Foot Falls.” It was a small set of rapids that younger kids would go to paddle down before they were allowed on trip.  My friends and I were notorious throughout the camp for disliking canoe trips, so we were sent to Two Foot Falls as older campers instead of making us go on a big canoe trip.  My cabin and the girls cabin my age (the camp was smaller so there was only one cabin per age in every unit) stayed overnight in tents.

On our way back the next day the first half of the paddle was pretty uninteresting, just your basic miserable canoeing campers who did not like to canoe. At the halfway point there was a small - probably 100 meter - portage. All of the canoes arrived at the portage at roughly the same time. The sky got a lot darker and it started to lightly rain, making the miserable even more miserable.

My canoe (my close friend, another cabin mate, the Councillor In Training and myself) finished the portage first.  We did not think a little rain was such a big issue so we started to leave before the rest of the canoes were fully done with the portage. We wanted to get the trip done and over with. Since we left early, the CIT who was steering my canoe was unable to hear the Head Tripper’s emergency whistle.

The Head Tripper was blowing the whistle to try and get us to stop and turn back. The reason was because the weather had suddenly picked up, and we had just paddled into a full-on thunderstorm in the middle of the lake.

I can still remember the kid behind me getting really nervous – he thought we were going to get tipped over from the weather. He started freaking out a little bit. I started laughing hysterically at the situation, and pretty much gave up on actually paddling. My friend followed suit, leaving one nervous camper and one inexperienced CIT to paddle all four of us back to camp through the wind, waves, lightning and thunder.

I really hate canoe trips.  But I do miss my days at camp. 

Jacob Gottlieb, 2018

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Camp Stories #2: Rachel's G-5athon

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

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 My favourite camp memory was when I was 14 years old. It was my 7th summer at camp and my final summer being a camper before I became a C.I.T (counsellor in training).

My counsellor and my cabin decided that we were going to make our own event called a G-5athon (cabin G-5 mixed with marathon). The goal was for us to stay up the entire night. Of course, you had the option to opt out. But we all committed to staying awake throughout the night. We dressed up in costumes, with coloured war paint under our eyes. The official start was set for 9pm.

Every hour there was a different activity, limbo at 1am, dancing at 2am, star gazing at 3am… By 5 in the morning, we were lying in a circle on the basketball courts and no one could stop laughing. We tried to sing to keep ourselves awake. Right at 6am we went to the swim docks and huddled together with blankets wrapped around us, staring at the mist covering the water and the trees surrounding the lake.

Together we sat bundled, cold, tired but happy as we watched a colourful sunrise. We finished our marathon off by delivering muffins from the camp kitchen to every cabin for a breakfast in bed. By morning, we went back to our cabin and fell asleep in our bunks instantly. When we woke up (in the afternoon!), we all stayed in our beds and retold all the moments from the night before that made us laugh.

This is a story that could only happen at camp and it is something that my friends and I will never forget.
Rachel Rothstein, 2018

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