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

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