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!