September 5, 2014

Thanks For An Amazing Summer

Thank you for your contribution to an amazing summer. The great times of Summer 2014 just don’t happen by change, we are all connected and the success of the summer is intricately woven by each of our contributions. At Camp Kawartha, we foster positive stewardship whether that’s expressed through attitude, role modeling, feedback, programming, mentoring, teaching or counseling. We believe the summer has brought out the best in each of us and the lesson learned both actively and passively guide us towards future opportunities. We hope the memories and fun times will sustain you throughout the year and have you looking forward to Summer 2015. Our team at Camp Kawartha is already thinking ahead and has begun the planning stages for next summer. Your feedback and contribution is always appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you whether it’s by survey, e-mail or phone call to help make your family’s experience the best it can be for the summer ahead. Have a great fall and if you are from Ontario enjoy the warm weather (better late than never ).

On behalf of the staff of 2014,

Adam Strasberg
Summer Camp Director

August 21, 2014

Wrapping up Session E/F/G

The last two week session of the summer has been nothing short of amazing.  The summer camp staff have risen to the occasion in spite of the rain and colder weather, providing creative and fun programming for all campers right up to the final day of the session.

Hufflepuff competing in the relay race
Pickle Stills
During the first week, session E and F campers participated in an all-day, Harry Potter themed program. Each camper was sorted into either Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Ravenclaw, and competed with their team throughout the morning and afternoon in various activities and races to win House Points.  That evening, Lord Voldemort kidnapped Dumbledore, and campers had to fight to retrieve him by playing a variation on the camp's classic evening program, "Zing Tong". Over the weekend, camp played host to three Pickle Princesses.  A Pickle Party was thrown in their honour, and included activities such as bobbing for pickles, drawing pickle stills, pickle poetry and pin the tail on the pickle.  The winners of the pickle poetry contest got to read their work on the evening radio show!

Pin the tail on the pickle
This week, campers and staff have been making the most of the nice weather by going swimming, kayaking or windsurfing during the General Boat and Swim period. Court of Dreams, the camp's basketball tournament, has also been running successfully.  Highlights and stats from the previous night's game are broadcast on the radio at rest hour.

Our Leaders in Training (LITs) have been shadowing cabins over the past two weeks, learning how to be a counselor and developing their leadership skills.  They've been helping out in classes, leading nightly check-ins and creating programs for the entire camp. On Tuesday, they ran a camp-wide game of BINGO with characters from Alice in Wonderland!

Though we will be sad to say goodbye to our Session E and G campers on Friday, our memories of camp will carry us through the year until we meet again next summer. We have all had such a wonderful session together, and on behalf of all the summer camp staff, we hope to see you next year!

The King and Queen of Hearts

August 19, 2014

Camp Kawartha Joins FrogWatch Ontario

Hey there, it’s Khaleesi! As Camp Kawartha’s Environmental Coordinator, I try to get our campers excited about the environment and its wonders. With the help of Ren and Swiper, I ran an interest choice on Tuesday to participate in FrogWatch Ontario. This project is possible through collaboration between Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland conservation Programme, Environment Canada’s NatureWatch program, and the Ontario Government’s Natural Heritage Information Centre.

The purpose of FrogWatch Ontario is to figure out which species of frogs and toads are thriving in Ontario’s wetlands. With amphibian populations declining due to habitat loss and climate change, it is important that we all watch out for these special creatures.

For our interest choice, we took a group of eager campers out to the largest wetland on the Range. Decked out in rubber boots, the young explorers enjoyed the 25 minute long hike to the boardwalks. During our hike, we spotted four American toads, and could hear their chorus as we walked along.

The FrogWatch was very successful: we spotted eight leopard frogs, a green frog, and heard a gray tree frog hiding amongst the reeds. The campers loved the wonders of the wetland, and did an excellent job finding our amphibious friends.

With the recorded observations from our adventure, I will be submitting our sightings to FrogWatch Ontario, helping scientists and conservationists get a better idea of what frog species are thriving in the Kawarthas.

To learn more about how you can help frogs and get involved with FrogWatch in your community, visit: Frogs are crucial to maintain a healthy environment, and it’s up to us to ensure they stay protected!

August 17, 2014

Ringwald's Garden World - Part 2

Hello everyone! Here’s a sample of what’s been happening around the garden today!

This is a Golden Zucchini. Zucchinis come in more colours then just green! All Zucchinis grow after a flower blooms on the plant, and so when harvested, they usually still have that flower on the end of them!
 Harvesting the first Golden Zucchini= Victory!

 Garden Nasturtium plants are useful and beautiful; adding lots of colour to a garden, with orange, yellow, speckled, pink and red flowers. They are delicious, you can eat the flowers and leaves. As well, the smell of Nasturtiums deters pests such as squash bugs, cucumber beetles and caterpillars from entering the garden. Nasturtiums flowers add a spicy flavour and a splash of colour and beauty to salads and entrees. Imagine the taste of radish and arugula combined- that’s the taste of a Nasturtium flower. The whole flower can be eaten and grows back soon after it is harvested. The leaves of the plant are also very delicious but come with a warning- they are VERY spicy.

Aurora of the WCSDs sampling a Nasturtium flower while holding a Golden Zucchini

Liam of the WCSDs harvesting Nasturtium flowers
Chioggia Beets

Spinach and Lettuces

Showing the WCSDs around the Range Garden, which has been planted mostly by campers

Turnips and beets at the Range Garden
We all sampled the ripe cherry tomatoes

 Bruiser approves!
Baby Chamomile plants

Peppers at the Range garden

Thanks for reading and tune in next time!

August 14, 2014

Day Camp at the Wetlands

Beyond the blue trail and off the white, somewhere hidden in Camp Kawartha’s 182 acres of land lies the Medium Wetlands.  Inhabitants include the mysterious stick bug, sneaky leaches, water boatman, and the ever-changing tadpoles.  However, through the tall grass you can hear the distant giggles, the swiping of nets, and the trudging of boots from Camp Kawartha’s most curious species. They’re hard to catch but if you’re lucky, you’ll see the day camper in their natural habitat.  This wetland is one of three wetland sites located on “The Range”, a forest beyond the road dedicated to environmental programming.

Off with a mission to understand where, why, and how this eco system thrives and survives, the day camper’s head out once a week, net in hand.  Through direct interaction, the wetlands encourage an appreciation for the environment.  This experience plants the seed for a lifetime of environmental stewardship.  After all, before we want to protect something, we need to love it.

Day Campers explore The Range
“We don’t inherit this land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb 

August 11, 2014

Making Waves at the Waterfront

Campers can use our windsurf simulator before they get out on the water
Hello everyone! My name is Poe, and I am the Waterfront Activity Director at Camp Kawartha this summer! I am so lucky to have a job that allows me to be down by the gorgeous water of Clear Lake every single day. I think that one of the best resources for fun, challenge and learning we have here at camp is our waterfront. One of the most magical things about all our activities at the water is that they are all environmentally friendly; we use the wind or the power of our arms and paddles to move around. The natural beauty of the lake combined with its versatility in providing constant excitement and activity is what makes each day down at the water unique, and helps add an important spark of discovery, environmental awareness and accomplishment to a camper’s experience. 

Rush tries out one of our largest windsurf sails
Every day, classes in kayaking, sailing, canoeing and windsurfing are taught in our boating area, and campers get the opportunity to learn new skills, often in activities they may have never done before. In our two-week sessions, campers repeat a series of both land and water classes every other day, allowing them to hone their skills and come home with a sense of accomplishment. Our one-week campers are given the opportunity to try a class in each activity at camp, giving them a snap shot of each while still allowing them to experiment and learn basic skills. As a previous camper here, and now fifth year staff member, I have been able to see an

d feel first-hand what it is like to finally stern a canoe, skipper a sailboat, achieve a duffek stroke in a kayak and feel the wind on my face while speeding along the water on a windsurfer. There’s no feeling quite like accomplishing these new skills, wtih the help and support of peers and counsellors.

Paddling around at GBS
Every single day, we also have an hour and fifteen minute period called GBS (General Boat and Swim) when both the swimming area and boating areas are open to campers for free time. As a staff, we have each area fully life guarded, and are always down by the lake to help campers get a boat into the water, or to take them out on a boat or windsurf board. Many of us living in cities do not get the chance to be in the water throughout the rest of the year, so making the waterfront as accessible to campers as possible is a top priority for our staff. Our goal is to provide a safe and fun time during which campers can immerse themselves in the activity of their choice; whether it be to work on their skills, try something completely new, or just hang out in the water. 

Campers show off their kayaking strokes
Learning to windsurf
As a staff we strive to help each camper achieve their goals in learning something new, working as a team or overcoming a personal challenge down at the water. I strongly believe that the waterfront is among one of the camp’s most valuable resources for challenge by choice, learning and environmental awareness for campers. It is our hope that campers who may have once seen the water as a source of anxiety or fear, or perhaps just something they have never experienced, learn to see it as a place of fun, a source of personal confidence, and a positive memory from their days at Camp Kawartha. 

Out for a sail on a bright, sunny day!

August 7, 2014

We're on the air!

Camp Kawartha is now the proud owner of a short range radio station! If you’re within a 1 km radius of the camp, tune in to 107.3, our new broadcasting frequency! The radio was purchased using some of the funds generously donated to the camp last year by an anonymous donor. This money has also been used to buy new canoes, kayaks and basketball nets.

Cabins can listen with their radios during pre-scheduled times to hear a wide variety of programs. Programs thus far have included: story time with our summer camp director, sports shows which recap basketball games played the day before, morning news, life chats, 100 ways to save the world and much more. This is a very exciting time for us as we brainstorm new and exciting ways to utilize this equipment! Lost and found, quiz shows, camper radio and evening programs which will require the radio are among some of the ideas for next session. Tune in this Sunday, August 10th on arrival day for our pre-camp show!

Pak and Wham DJ'ing during Rest Hour!

August 6, 2014

Ringwald's Garden World

Hello everyone! My name is Ringwald and I am the Gardener and Garden Educator here at Camp Kawartha. I thought you might like to take a peek at what’s going on in the garden today!

Abby’s Garden! This is a very special garden that has been at camp Kawartha for many years, and will be here for many more.

Kinder Camp had fun in Abby’s Garden today- looking at all the different plants and trying to identify which colours exist in the garden! For purple, they found Cosmic Purple Carrots, for Red, they found Swiss Chard, for Yellow, they found Cucumber flowers and for Orange, they found Nasteriums and for Green, well, they found that everywhere!

This year a new garden has been started in addition to Abby’s- the Range garden! It includes a big circular bed, several raised bed planters and a shade tent for campers and staff to escape the hot sun.
Right now the range garden is growing a lot of cherry tomatoes and peppers.

What's growing in the garden?

We are growing heritage cherry tomatoes, including; Yellow Pear, Green Zebra, Sweet Angora, Black Cherry and German Red Strawberry (you won’t find these in your grocery store!). We are also growing cherry tomatoes because they are delicious! Who could argue with that?

Jalapenos and Sweet Peppers

The first ripe tomato - yes!

Black Cherry Tomatoes, German Chamomile and Bloomsdale Spinach at Abby’s Garden.

Most of the big circular bed has been planted by Campers who take Eco Skills classes!

 Here is today’s harvest: Chioggia Beets, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Lettuce Mix, German Giant Radishes, Chives, Cilantro and Genovese Basil.

All of our produce goes directly to the kitchen and into the nutritious meals that are prepared for campers and staff everyday by the lovely kitchen staff. 

Keep checking into this blog to see how the gardens are doing and to see the campers having garden fun!