July 1, 2019

Sunshine on Tepee!

The summer weather finally decided to show up in Algonquin Park! Day 3 of the session saw campers really getting into the groove at activities and watching them find their confidence was truly inspirational. I took advantage of the perfect conditions and spent 4th period on a windsurfer getting tips from Senior Boys, and as much as I learned about windsurfing I learned far more about kids and their aptitude for learning. The feedback they were giving me sounded like they had spend 2 weeks in pre-camp sessions learning how to boost my confidence and  provide me with constructive coaching. Joanne always says “they know what we show” and today really drove the truth of that home. All over camp I see examples of kids taking on and stewarding our pillars of caring, respect, and learning. At Arts and Crafts today an Inter Girl made a sign saying “love yourself” decorated with the pride rainbow. At sailing seniors were volunteering to take out juniors to show them the ropes. At climbing I saw Senior Boys cheering on their friends and I wondered where else in the world you could hear a 15 year old boy telling a peer “you got this bro”.

In other news, the campers were thrilled to get their first round of mail today and even more thrilled that dessert was ice cream sandwiches! Evening activity was 5th period so the lake was abuzz this evening with crafts of all kind getting into shenanigans like gunnel-walking in canoes, piano keys on kayaks, and chicken boarding at windsurfing. Later on the Senior Boys participated in a poignant ceremony created by their Section Head and Head Counsellor where they wrote on birch bark about the parts of themselves they’d like to let go of and shared them before putting them in the fire. This led to a wonderful discussion about what it means to be a “man” both at Arowhon and in the rest of the world, and what kind of role models they want to be for the younger boys at camp.  The staff reported to me that they were blown away by the boys’ maturity and self-awareness, at which I was not surprised because of the role models they have in our staff – I guess they really do know what we show.

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