July 23, 2014

Session C

All smiles at Campfire!
On Sunday, we welcomed campers for our second one-week session of the summer. Campers had a great first day at camp, topped off with a twist on an old favourite evening program, Zing Tong. Session C Zing Tong saw broken and unwanted toys kidnapping the toy maker to repair them. In the end, the toy maker was returned to safety by the campers.  Our traditional campfire, packed with plenty of songs and skits, was Monday evening.  Some crowd favourites were Maple Jack's performance of their hit "First Kiss", Gainey's mashup song and Huron's skit about Polar Dip.

Throughout the week, campers get the chance to try a bit of every activity offered at camp.  In the morning, cabins rotate through activities such as archery, windsurfing, arts and crafts, canoeing and Eco Skills. At the beginning of the session, campers signed up for an activity of their choice to do every day after lunch.  These activities include boating, exploring "The Range", high ropes and initiatives, drama and arts and crafts. By the end of the session, each camper will have learned a valuable skill, gained new knowledge about the natural world or developed a presentation for the entire camp to watch.
Swimming at GBS

The food this session has been excellent.  On Monday, the camp was treated to Greek souvlaki chicken, and on Tuesday the kitchen made delicious homemade chicken pot pies and roasted red pepper soup.

We can't wait to see what the rest of Session C brings, and we look forward to welcoming our CK101 campers tomorrow!

July 20, 2014

Wrapping Up Session B

The Pokemon face off 
Our first two week session of the summer has been a huge success! Over the course of the session, campers have honed their skills in archery, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and many more activities. Each cabin has also had the opportunity to go on either a one or two night canoe trip in the Kawartha Highlands, learning how to set up a campsite, paddle a canoe and even portage.

Helping the Queen of Hearts make new friends
Some of the biggest highlights from Session B were the creative evening programs run every day after dinner.  From the classic "Zing Tong", to new camper favourites such as Pokemon and CK Golf and Country Club, evening programs this session were jam packed with energy, creativity and fun.

During this session, campers also participated in Camp Kawartha's first ever musical, a production of The Lion King! Working with the Drama Specialist, Peatri, and several other staff, campers practiced regularly throughout the two weeks in preparation for their performance on the last day of camp.

Session B's winner of the Golden Broom for the tidiest cabin was Algonquin with Dyson and Pablo, and the Silver Broom was won by Siniwick with Vego and Totem.  The Cabin Cup was awarded to Oak, with Hype, Lohan and Rush.  Oak had a record high of 4000 cabin points!

We will miss all the campers going home today after two amazing weeks, and we hope to see all of you next summer!

July 12, 2014

Trips at Camp Kawartha

            In early June, over a dozen staff members collected at Camp Kawartha to take part in a four day course in wilderness first aid offered by Wilderness Medical Associates. For some staff, these four days concluded in a Wilderness Advanced First Aid qualification. Those who already held this qualification were upgraded to Wilderness First Responder. In addition to these qualifications, all trippers are experienced canoers and hold at least NLS level lifeguarding qualifications.

            All campers at Camp Kawartha who spend two or more weeks at the camp go on trip. For the youngest campers, this may mean a hiking trip over to the range where campers and staff cook their own dinner, dessert, and breakfast the following morning. They also sleep in tents at night, under the stars, either in the encampment (surrounded by traditional aboriginal shelters) or at the creek where the calm flowing water and soft moss provides an ambiance that cannot be found in the city. For older campers (usually 11+), the cabin goes on a canoe trip where campers can earn valuable hard skills such as proper paddling technique, steering, portaging, and tent set-up while immersed in nature. The goal is to push campers out of their comfort zone while still providing a safe environment in which they can learn about nature as well as themselves. Most two-week campers will take part in either a 1 or 2 night canoe trip in the Kawartha Highlands. The most common trips are: Bottle to Sucker, Wolf to Crab, and any combination of Long, Coon, and Anstruther Lake. PLCs (pre-leadership campers aged 13-14), who spend 3 weeks at camp, often take their 2 night trip in the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails.

Paddling on trip
            For breakfast, trips may cook eggs and bacon, oatmeal, cinnamon buns, bagels (with “soynut” butter, jam, and/or cream cheese) and even a Camp Kawartha favourite known as “no bake”. This is a meal usually consisting of oats, apple slices, raisins, dried cranberries, and some cinnamon and brown sugar for flavour. Lunch tends to be the simplest meal of the day since it is usually eaten in between campsites. Wraps with salami, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, hummus, and Baba Ghanouj are a popular choice as well as grilled cheese. Dinner is the most creative meal of the day. From chick’n (vegetarian) burgers to TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) Burritos and from pesto, tomato, and even alfredo pasta to pita pizzas, dinner is always an exciting time on trip. Snacks are also packed on trip so that cabins can take breaks out on the water, raft up their canoes, drink some water, and eat dry fruit, pepperettes (cured meat sticks), arrow root cookies, pretzels, and apples. Finally, dessert ranges from classic S’mores to orange brownies (brownies cooked inside orange peels to give them a tangy orange taste). It’s fun to get creative with meals out on trip and every year more meals are added to our menu simply from cabins experimenting. 
Campers can learn to stern a canoe on trip

July 11, 2014

Session B

Campfire at the Campitheatre!
Session B is off to a roaring start, with campers and staff diving into our first two week session of the summer. The rain we've had at camp over the past few days has not slowed us down.  Every morning, campers head to their scheduled classes, which may include sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, drama, archery or arts and crafts. Campers who participate in the Eco Skills class have the opportunity to explore "The Range", our 185-acre natural space across the road from the main site.  Eco Skills classes often visit the wetlands on The Range to observe and learn more about the natural wildlife, or spend the class in the Tepee to practice traditional fire making skills.

The kitchen staff have been working very hard to offer campers and staff tasty and healthy food.  Highlights from early on in the session include pizza subs, baked pasta, and falafel. The kitchen also offers snacks in between classes, which range from sliced fruit to baked goods such as homemade granola bars.

On Sunday night, the entire camp gathered for a traditional campfire at the newly upgraded "Campitheatre" to perform skits and songs. Maple Jack, a band made up of CK's very own Keanu and Squeeze, performed their new song "Babies", followed by "Soy Nut Butter", a longstanding camp favourite. The camp dance was held Monday night. In keeping with the evening's "dancing through the decades" theme, campers grooved to disco beats, jazzy tunes and 90s pop. Other programs this session have included a casino night, a camp-wide game of "Settlers of Catan" and "Bamboozled", a large game of stones with a few zany twists.

We can't wait to see what the rest of Session B brings!

The sun is back at CK!

July 2, 2014


Ahoy campers! Our sailors are ready for summer
Every summer, the staff at Camp Kawartha strive to give campers an engaging, educational and safe camp experience.  Staff training during “pre-camp” plays a huge role in ensuring that counsellors have the requisite skills to plan fun and creative programs, teach classes and attend to each camper’s individual needs. 

Over the past week and a half, the summer camp staff have been busy preparing the waterfront for campers, and brushing up on their sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking skills.  The staff have also been trained in leading archery, eco-skills, guitar, drama, dance and landsports.

A large component of pre-camp is emergency response training. Each summer camp staff member holds a valid Standard First Aid certification, and re-certifies their training in CPR-C during pre-camp. Many staff also have their NLS and Wilderness Advanced First Aid or Wilderness First Responder. Staff members are trained to respond to emergencies during mock first aid situations organized by the camp’s Health Care Coordinator, and life-guarding situations run by the Waterfront Director.  Search procedure is another important component of the staff's emergency response training. During pre-camp, the staff learn how to run a preliminary search for a camper, and how to search both the water and main site in the event of a missing camper.
Senior Tripper "Jaws" practices epinephrine injections 

Staff  hone their counselling skills throughout the week by reviewing strategies to deal with bullying, picky eaters, homesickness and many more camper issues. Throughout the summer, staff members will draw on pre-camp training and work closely with the Head Counsellors to ensure that all campers receive the care and support they need.

Session A has now begun, and the camp is bustling with energy and activity.  Staff and campers alike are settling into the daily routine of morning classes, rest hour, afternoon activities and evening program. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Summer Camp Staff 2014