Camp Arowhon

Outdoor Education

August 26, 2013

CBC Radio interviews Arowhon director Joanne Kates

CBC Radio did a show yesterday on the impacts of summer camp, and they interviewed me about how our campers are changed by camp. We talked about how people turn into their best selves at camp – hear the interview at  www.cbc.ca/freshair But what we didn’t talk about was the sheer fun of it all. The ear-splitting yelling and cheering, […]

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August 21, 2013

Camp is silent…. almost

They say the two happiest days of a camp director’s year are the day camp starts and the day it ends. My deepest happiness yesterday – as every year on that day – is from the simple fact of sending everyone home in one piece. That they grew and learned and had a ton of […]

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August 19, 2013

A bittersweet day

Lots going on today: Bronze Medallion and Cross exams, most everyone passed…. tonight was the staff show, with every section plus the instructors singing in homage to their campers…. and then the whole camp walked together to the Main Lodge, where two campers sang a song they wrote about the campfire embers under the moon… […]

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August 18, 2013

What is the true meaning of summer camp?

Just before 7 this morning I was on a swim dock to test a small group of style swimmers for their Arowhon A. How important is the Arowhon A at camp? Here’s one way to know: I have my Arowhon A framed on my office wall – in Toronto. My daughter has hers on her […]

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Chicago! Brent! Whitney!

Just came from a theatrical triumph. Chicago! Superlative staging, great costumes, fabulous singing, vamping and dancing… and terrific comedic acting….  Earlier today the boys Whitney trip came back… And right after dinner tonight the girls Brent trip got back… At dinner there were several moving speeches about incredibly dedicated campers who have achieved high awards… […]

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August 17, 2013

It’s not over till the fat lady sings

My father, Eugene Kates, who ran Arowhon throughout my childhood, used always to say that at the end of camp we have to “wind up, not wind down.” We’re winding way up! A group is leaving this afternoon for a special “survival skills” overnight with one of our trippers who has strong outdoor survival skills… […]

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August 16, 2013

Another exciting day at camp

SO much going on! Whitney girls (a marathon sprint by of paddling and portaging) got back as lunch began, to massive cheering by the whole camp… This morning at 7 I tested a Senior Boy for the jumping portion of his 1st class award in riding. He jumped a flawless course of 3 foot jumps […]

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August 14, 2013

Colour War Day Two

This morning was my favourite game: The Land and Sea Game. This is the 2nd biggest event of Colour War….. The goal is simple: Each team must find (hidden on land) wooden blocks in their team’s colour. To get points, those blocks need to get to the Voyageur canoe. Sounds simple. But the Voyageur canoe […]

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August 13, 2013

Colour War!

Last night’s evening activity was our weekly campwide campfire… We were led by torches to the Junior Boys campsite deep in the forest… there were songs and skits, stories and 10 year jacket ceremonies, and then we were all led by torchlight to the front of the Main Lodge for: The Colour War Break Skit! […]

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August 11, 2013

All the Inter Boys are back from trip

All the Inter Boys are back from trip. Some went on canoe trips and some on hiking trips, and a great time was had by all. We’re glad they’re back because the dining hall seemed kind of …. quiet without their wonderful loud boy energy and cheers. Today all the Juniors left on their canoe […]

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