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