July 2, 2019

Rising from the Ashes

We have a special visitor with us for the first couple weeks of this summer – Vanessa, who was our Office Manager in 1989 and 1990, Joanne’s first 2 summers as camp director. Since then she has survived cancer and through that journey discovered herself as an artist and pottery enthusiast. We reconnected this year when she volunteered to come up to camp and share her love of creating things out of clay with Arowhon campers. We’re never sure when alumni come back after that long how they and our evolved community will take to each other, but Vanessa has blended into the new Arowhon fabric like she’d never left. She’s been taking 8 campers each period for pottery lessons and today she did something truly special: she talked to the kids about how humans discovered clay as a building material in the first place… likely by noticing the hardening of earth around fire pits, and decided to do an experiment. They built a fire and let it burn down to the ashes and then literally fired their pottery pieces in the smouldering embers. Looking into this fire and seeing the forms the campers had created rising from the ashes was a chill-inducing experience. Camp often reminds us of where we come from and connects us to our roots in ways that we’re cut off from in the modern world and today was a perfect example of that. Watching kids connecting to the earth through the clay and the fire felt profound and we’re honoured to be a part of this magic called CAMP.

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