Blog

0

You know you’re obsessed with camp life when…

We’re now in the very last session of our summer camp this year and even though we’re extremely sad that it’s almost over, we’re looking back over the summer with big smiles and a whole lot of love. Every year we feel the same bittersweet feelings as camp comes to a close but so many of us are already looking forward to next year and the return to Canadian Adventure Camp. Those of us obsessed with camp are always longing for the return. But have you ever stopped to consider what makes you the camp addict you are? There are many symptoms of a camp obsessive. So, how do you know when you’re obsessed with camp life?

Fun in The Sun

Well, first of all – summer is your favourite time of year and your favourite season EVER because you get to come back to Adventure Island. And even though you love autumn, spring and winter too, none of them quite match up to the fun and laughter summer brings when you arrive at CAC.

Camp needs to see what I can do

When you learn a new trick back home, whether it be in gymnastics, silks, water-ski or anything else, you cannot wait to get back to camp to show it off. Learning skills in something you love is always amazing, but camp obsessives always feel ridiculously excited to demonstrate, at camp, how much they’ve improved since last summer.

More camp food

Being home is great and cooking for yourself is always nice but you know you’re obsessed with camp life when you try to re-create camp food. As established in our last blog, camp food is incredible. But there are those of us who, even at home, try to recreate the cakes, pastas, soups, salads and much more from the CAC kitchen, just because we love it so much.

Camp life is better than real life

Camp obsessives also find themselves comparing their day-to-day lives the rest of the year, to life at camp. (We know we do!) And when things at school or work are not going the way you wanted it to, you just find yourself thinking ‘well, it’s not like this at camp’. But, let’s be honest, what is?

We <3 the lake

Our favourite view in the world, is the view from Adventure Island out to Lake Temagami. Whatever the time of day, bathed in sunlight, aglow from a burned orange sunset or filled with silver stars, it always takes our breath away. That view will always be the best view in the world, according to us anyway. And you just know you’re obsessed with camp when you feel the same.

Tears, tears and more tears

Some people will never understand the tears you shed when you leave camp. But that’s simply because they’re not a camp addict. And when you cry tears of sadness (that you’re leaving) mingled with tears of joy (that you came at all), you know you’ve got the camp bug. And who wouldn’t cry when they’re about to leave the best place in the world? And the best friends for that matter!

Summer is never enough

And finally, the most important ways to distinguish whether or not you’re a camp obsessive is when one session, two sessions and even three or four sessions are just not enough. You’re always hungry for more camp life and would love to stay there all year around.

If you’re obsessed with camp life, don’t forget to comment on our website or Facebook page and tell us all about it!

Tags: Adventure Island, Camp Life, Campfire, Canada Summer Camp, Canadian Adventure Camp, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Summer Camp, Summer Camp Life, Trampoline, Wakeboarding, Water-Skiing

Comments: No comments yet

0

The Best Summery Food for Summer Camp

We’re now in the final month of our summer camp on Adventure Island, which means we’re savouring every moment. And this session we’re thinking about savouring the delicious food we have here and debating which ones are the most perfect for the summer season.

We love all the foods and dishes at Canadian Adventure Camp, of course, but there are a select few that are our favourites and that we relish on a hot day.

And the first food we mention should definitely be popsicles. Other than a delicious dip in the lake, nothing quite cools you down like a sweet and ice-cold popsicle. In all of their fabulous, fruity flavours we never get bored of this sugary snack.

Another food that is simply exquisite on a summer’s day is … wait for it … pizza! Pizza is one of the tastiest treat foods ever. And after a day of activities in the sun, a treat is certainly in order. With deliciously gooey cheese – or without – and whatever topping you like (from veggies to pepperoni) there’s pizza here tailored to everyone. And, let’s face it, everyone deserves a treat sometimes.

Moving onto a healthier option (but still equally yummy) we adore rainbow salad. The bright and colourful mix of leaves and crunchy vegetables matches our lively mood and tastes amazing – despite being so healthy. On a hot and humid day, this is the perfect accompaniment to any meal and the vibrant colours always adds fun to dinnertime.

Sticking with foods that are good for you, the sun always makes us crave fruit. And the fruit at Canadian Adventure Camp is just delicious. From juicy peaches and pears to crunchy apples, zesty oranges, smooth bananas and refreshing melons and watermelons – we’ve got the best mix of everything fruit-wise. As part of breakfast, as a snack or for dessert, fruit is always a good choice here.

Still fruit-related but slightly naughtier, one of our favourite foods ever to have at our fabulous Canadian Summer Camp is banana cake. Our banana cake is absolutely divine, the perfect texture and a flawless blend of banana and sponge, with a sweet buttercream topping. It’s so good, we want the recipe for winter.

So, what else makes our taste buds sing throughout the summer? Well, we love picnic-style food and the BLT’s are a wonderful lunch here on Adventure Island. With freshly baked bread, crispy bacon and crisp lettuce and tomato, these sandwiches are super tasty.

And which other sandwiches are our favourites, you ask? Ice-cream sandwiches, of course. A yummy dessert and a fabulous way to cool down, ice-cream sandwiches definitely make our list of best summer foods for summer camp.

Arguably our favourite food ever to eat on a hot summer’s day is barbeque. Eating outside, in sun or shade, is always lovely on a warm day and our barbequed sausages and burgers (meat or veggie) are delicious. With salads, vegetables and chips too – I’m sure you can tell why we adore barbeque days.

But, obviously, not everyday at camp is brilliantly sunny – although the weather has been awesome so far this year. And therefore, we have many delicious dishes suited to rainy days too. From grilled cheese to Chinese, breakfast burritos to pasta and garlic bread, our summer camp has food worthy of all the little princes and princesses that come here, whatever the weather.

We love the food here and even though these are our favourites, we simply can’t think of a dish we don’t like at Canadian Adventure Camp. So, let’s celebrate the deliciousness and dig in.

If you have a favourite meal on Adventure Island, feel free to comment on our website or Facebook page!

Categories: Campers

Tags: Adventure Island, Camp Life, Campfire, Canada Summer Camp, Canadian Adventure Camp, Canadian Summer Camp, Food, Summer Food, Summery Food, Popsicles, Pizza, Rainbow Salad, Salad, Fruit, Banana Cake, BBQ, Barbeque, Sandwiches, BLT, Ice-cream, Ice-cream Sandwiches, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Summer Camp, Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

0

Activities For All

With our second session already well on its way, we’ve been thinking about the incredible variety of activities here on Adventure Island. Our camp is renowned for its awesome programmes and the plethora of different activities we have to offer. But many people seem to wonder which ones, exactly, are the best?

Well, water-skiing is one of our most popular programmes and it’s not hard to see why. With a boom for beginners and some amazing tricks for the more advanced skiers, it’s always exhilarating for anyone of any level. And this session is no exception.

In addition to water-skiing we also offer wakeboarding which is equally enjoyable and exciting.

And if you fancy some speed and huge amounts of laughter without actually doing (much) work yourself – how about tubing? Tubing is an absolute hoot and all you have to do is hold on while the boat does all the work. It’s kind of a dream come true.

We also have a riot out on the water trampoline and water floats. We’ve had so much fun on them recently that hanging out at swim bay is a fabulous activity in itself.

Those who prefer calmer activities may be thinking that they won’t be able to spend much time out on the lake. But worry not, there are a great number of things for you to do. Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding are all great fun and have a cool, laidback atmosphere. Whether you want to become a pro rower, catch some sun out on the lake or just take in the beautiful surroundings from many different angles, going out in one of those is the perfect way to do it.

Moving off the lake and onto the shore, we have tonnes of activities in the gym that could also be considered our best activities.

Trampoline is an incredibly popular activity, of course. I mean, who doesn’t love springing and leaping into the air? Our trampoline staff teach beginners, advanced and everything in between. You’ll be learning awesome new tricks in no time.

As well as tramp, our gym offers a fantastic variety of other things to do. Silks and aerial hoop (a special addition for session 2) are super cool and a great way to build strength. You’ll be ready to join the circus when you realise how amazing it feels to achieve aerial tricks. So roll up, roll up and feel the magic up close.

If you’re not too keen on being up high then we do offer gymnastics which is the perfect way to keep fit and have a blast, without having to propel yourself too high off the ground.

In addition to all of this, whether you’re a team player or more of a solo gamer, there are many things for you to get involved in. With soccer and basketball for the sporty types, all the way through to board games and card games for those who prefer quiet, thinking games. And even drama games for those who prefer performing and fancy themselves onstage one day. There’s something for everyone at Canadian Adventure Camp.

And last, but certainly not least, we have the gyro. A kind of ride you get strapped into and spun and whirled around in all different directions. It’s great fun and gives you amazing butterflies.

So, which one of these fabulous activities is the best EVER?

We’ve pondered and deliberated and we’re sorry to disappoint but we honestly don’t think there is one. With all of our activities at Canadian Adventure Camp being so diverse and so amazing, we think all of our summer camp activities are the best. Some of you may indeed have favourites but, over here on Adventure Island, we simply can’t choose.

If you disagree, then feel free to comment below and on our Facebook page to let us know which of our activities you think is the best ever. Or if you, like us, think they’re all incredible then we’d love to hear your thoughts too. Summer camp on Adventure Island is a topic we never get tired of – we daydream about it all year long.

Categories: Campers

Tags: Adventure Island, Camp Life, Campfire, Canada Summer Camp, Canadian Adventure Camp, Canadian Summer Camp, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Summer Camp, Summer Camp Life, Trampoline, Wakeboarding, Water-Skiing

Comments: No comments yet

0

Our Camp Top 10

Summer camp. The best part of summer vacation. The thing we spend all year looking forward to.

There are so many amazing things about camp, especially Canadian Adventure Camp. And, of course, we love every second, minute and hour of the day here. But, just for our fantastic campers and past campers, we put our heads together and chose our top 10 favourite things.

10. The lake

How could we not include the serene and beautiful location in which our camp lies? Lake Temagami is stunning. An incredible view to look out at each day and what’s more – it gives us a ton of exhilarating water activities to get involved with.

From canoeing to water-skiing, kayaking to tubing, paddle boarding to wakeboarding or just swimming and jumping with joy on the water trampoline – there’s something for everyone. Even if you simply want to admire the crystal clear water from the dryness of the shore.

9. No Technology

The lack of technology on Adventure Island may seem like a con rather than a pro, but it is very much the opposite. The lack of internet, phone service and all other technologies here, allows us to feel a deeper connection to nature, to each other and to our own minds. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to switch off all the outside buzzing and enjoy the bliss of just being you in your wonderful surroundings.

8. The Gym

The gym is one of our favourite places to be here on Adventure Island (and you don’t hear that sentence everyday)! Whether it’s gymnastics, trampoline, ropes, silks or even aerial hoop that you fancy, we’ve got you covered. Working out and getting fit has never been so much fun.

7. Games

Games are always super fun. But camp games are, of course, the best kind of games! From dinner table singing and clapping games to dominos and board games. We also play a lot of soccer, basketball and various other sports. Playing (competitively or just for fun) is a great way to spend the afternoon, and games are always crazy fun on Adventure Island.

6. Whatever the weather

Camp goes on no matter what the sky has to offer. The afternoon can be perfect whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring. With many indoor activities and a good raincoat, the drizzle never stops us having the best time. And in the scorching hot sunshine, the lake never looked so tempting – for water activities, swimming, sitting on the edge with your toes in or even plunging straight in for that quick cool down.

5. Food Glorious Food

The food here certainly is glorious, all campers and staff will vouch for that. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore, the meals served up will be so delicious you’ll be running back for seconds … and thirds.

And if you’re more of a sweet tooth, the desserts will send you to heaven. The banana cakes, chocolate chip cookies, cherry pies, fudge brownies and many other sweet treats will get your mouth watering. (Ours already are)!

4. Cabin Life

Living in a cabin is one of the main aspects of camp, and it’s also one of the best. Being in a wooden cabin beside a lake and amongst the trees is like something out of a fairy-tale. Surrounded by wooden walls and all of your friends, cabin life is super cozy and it really is a wonderful way of living.

3. Campfires

Campfires are an important part of camp, especially here at Canadian Adventure Camp, and they’re a lovely evening for absolutely everyone involved. Sitting beneath the silver stars, with orange flames flickering up to the sky is just magic. And everyone has so much fun singing, rhyming, chanting and watching others perform by the firelight.

2. Friends for life

Camp is a wonderful experience for so many reasons but one of the main things is the friends you make here. Many of our campers return year after year, and make friends with many different people from all over the world who they will remain friends with for life. Long-lasting friendships are formed at camp because there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.

1. Memories

And (drum roll please) our number 1 all-time favourite thing about camp is the memories we make and take with us when we leave. The sparkle of camp stays in our minds and hearts forever. Even when we move on, there’s a piece of us that will always stay on Adventure Island because being here is truly magical.

So, that’s that – our top 10 favourite things about camp. It was difficult to narrow down because we love EVERYTHING about it here. But now it’s over to you – share your best memories and favourite things about camp in a comment or on our Facebook page – we can’t wait to see what you think!

Categories: Campers

Tags: Adventure Island, Camp Life, Camp Top 10, Camp Top Ten, Campfire, Canada Summer Camp, Canadian Adventure Camp, Canadian Summer Camp, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Lake Temagami, Ontario, Summer Camp, Summer Camp Life, Top 10, Top Ten, Trampoline, Wakeboarding, Water-Skiing

Comments: No comments yet

0

The Advantages of Healthy Risk Taking

Summer Camp Grows Confident, Capable Children

The Advantages of Healthy Risk Taking

As a teacher, summer camp professional and parent, I am always on the look out for interesting topics regarding the healthy development of children.   A topic that has recently grabbed my attention is the concept of the “risk-takers advantage”; the idea that allowing children and teens to take appropriate risks is important to their development.  It is a subject currently being explored by the TV series Bubble Wrap Kids, and was also examined by one of the keynote speakers at the recent Ontario Camps Association Conference.  Dr. Michael Ungar , a professor at the School of Social Work at Dalhousie University, argues that the right amount of risk and responsibility helps children and teenagers to thrive, and that so-called bubble-wrapping children denies them important opportunities to develop belonging, trust, responsibility, and confidence in their capabilities. 

The world is a safer place for children and teens in Canada than it has ever been, yet the media often seems to portray the world as a minefield with dangers at every turn for our children.  This has left a misleading impression of the actual dangers facing children now.  As parents, keeping our children safe is extremely important, but I wonder if there is such a thing as keeping children too safe and I worry about what children may be missing out on in an attempt to eliminate all risk. 

Camp is an ideal place to foster the healthy risk taking that helps build belonging, trust, responsibility and feeling capable – all of which are extremely important to a child’s biopsychosocial development.  I believe that camp is such a great place because I know that the safety of the campers is of utmost importance to everyone working at camp, yet there is still space for risk-taking.  Just going to overnight camp and spending time away from parents and friends is a healthy risk.  It may be daunting for your child to go somewhere by themselves, but luckily at camp they will be surrounded by staff who are trained to help children successfully build friendships and learn to live with other people.  Camp, particularly overnight camp, certainly develops a sense of belonging and the friendships that are established help children gain confidence in their ability to enter a situation without knowing anyone and come away with friends. 

I believe that the Panasmugglican Games, the day of team activities that take place in the middle of the session, is a brilliant opportunity for risk taking at C.A.C.  The older campers have an opportunity to be team captains which gives them a sense of responsibility, and following the day a sense of achievement that they were able to successfully lead a team, whether they won or not.  The vast majority of the ‘games’ are team challenges, such as getting everyone over the challenge wall, which builds trust and helps team members get to know each other by working together.  Sometimes the activities push campers out of their comfort zone, but with the encouragement of staff and their peers, it is amazing what children can accomplish.  Teaching children that taking informed risks can enable them to achieve something they did not think was possible is a very valuable lesson for their education and future success.  Always ‘playing it safe’ can stifle creativity and the realization of potential.

This is definitely a topic I will continue to explore so I am able to provide beneficial opportunities for risk-taking at summer camp for our campers, in my classroom for my students and at home for my daughter.  I’ll keep you posted!

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

0

Advantages of Longer Camp Stays

Thinking of Staying Longer?

The Advantages of a Longer Camp Stay

At Canadian Adventure Camp, we like to keep up-to-date with summer camp discourse – it keeps us sharp!  A recent article in Camping Magazine about the advantages of a full-season camp stay got us talking.  We have campers who make C.A.C. their home for the full 8 weeks every summer; however, this is not as common as it once was.  Interestingly, the Camping Magazine article highlighted the increasingly positive feedback from prospective camp families regarding extended camp stays for their children after developing an understanding of the advantages a longer camp stay can have. 

Building Relationships at Camp

I am always amazed by the friendships that can develop over a two week session at Canadian Adventure Camp due to the friendly, welcoming atmosphere cultivated by the adult counsellors who live in the cabins with the children.  I have always believed that smaller, overnight camps have a huge advantage when it comes to enabling children to bond with their peers.  As great as two weeks are to begin building friendships, it always takes a while to settle into camp whether it is your first time at camp or your tenth.  Longer camp stays allow time for friendships to develop at their own pace, and relationships built over longer periods tend to be more enduring and based on who people genuinely are, rather than the image they may initially project.  Children and teens are under increasing pressure to be viewed in a certain way by their peers, and for this reason I believe that the authentic relationships that can develop at camp are incredibly valuable.  I believe that becoming comfortable and confident with who you are is one of the most important things a child can learn at camp. 

Skill Development

Skill acquisition is (or should be) a critical part of any camp stay, whether the skills in question are learning to stern a canoe or learning to solve a minor conflict.  Longer camp stays certainly have an advantage when it comes to giving campers a chance to build their skills.  Two weeks goes surprisingly quickly, especially with the number of different activities offered at Canadian Adventure Camp.  A longer camp stay enables campers to try lots of different activities, but also find activities they particularly enjoy and have time to work on their skill set.  A longer camp stay also give staffs members a better chance to get to know individual campers, and work with them towards their goals using approaches that best match their abilities and learning style.  This principle also applies to working with children to develop their social skills or leadership skills, and gives time to try various approaches to help children determine what works best for them in various situations.

I hope that this article has given you some food for thought and may become a topic of discussion as it did for us.

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

0

Homesickness: Prevention is Better than a Cure

There is a lot of information out there about homesickness and how it relates to the summer camp experience.  I’ve spent some time researching what the experts, such as Dr. Chris Thurber whose research focuses on homesickness at camp and how to prevent it, have to say on the subject.  I have summarised his wisdom in the following article (in addition to adding some tips of my own!) for your convenience.

First off, homesickness is defined as distress or impairment caused by actual or anticipated separation from home.  It is characterised by acute longing and preoccupying thoughts of home and other beloved objects.  Now, before you start to worry, here are some important points to bear in mind concerning homesickness:

  •  Mild homesickness is normal and many children have some homesickness feelings during their time away from home.
  • It is very rare for children to feel severely homesick.
  • Talking about homesickness will not cause homesickness, nor will it make it worse.
  • There are many things that you can do before your child leaves for camp to lessen their feelings of homesickness, and to help your child feel more prepared to deal with homesickness if it happens.
  • Remember that homesickness, and getting over it, is a normal and important process that helps children to develop independence and self-confidence.

Our staff at Canadian Adventure Camp are well trained to recognise and deal with the signs of homesickness, but it is much better to prevent your child feeling homesick, or at least help them feel more prepared to deal with it.  Here are some hints and tips:

  •  Educate your child – help them understand that homesickness is normal and there are many things that they can do to feel better. 
  • Practice some coping strategies such as writing a letter home, talking to their counsellor or sibling or friend, reminding themselves of all the exciting things they were looking forward to doing at camp, etc.
  • Practice being away from home (such as staying overnight at a friend or relative’s house) and discuss with your child how it went for them and things they need help working on.
  • Don’t make a pick-up plan – it undermines a child’s confidence in their ability to cope and enjoy their camp experience.
  • Discuss with your child what camp will be like before hand – consider role-playing such as using a flashlight to get ready for bed, and what living in a cabin might be like. 
  • Send a letter to camp ahead of time so that your child will receive it at the start of their stay.  Make sure it is positive and full of encouragement.
  • If your child becomes anxious leading up to their camp stay, talk about it and help them put their anxiety in perspective – everyone gets nervous when they go to camp for the first time.  Talk about their specific concerns – once you know what exactly they are nervous about you can help them come up with strategies to deal with it.
  • Encourage them to talk to friends who have been at camp – hearing encouragement and having questions answered by a peer may help them feel more at ease.
  • Help your child put the amount of time they will be spending at camp into perspective by making a camp calendar with them.

Being concerned about how your child will deal with being away from home is natural, but it is important to make sure that they don’t take on these anxieties as well.  Here are some tips to help:

  • Don’t express concerns to your child – “I hope you will be OK…” or “What will I do without you?” can make your child feel guilty about being away from home or could undermine their confidence that they will be OK during their time at camp.  Better things to say may include, “I know that you’ll love camp.  I’m so excited to hear about your big adventure!” or “I loved going to camp when I was your age.  I missed home a bit, but that is normal.”.
  • Share your feelings about missing your child with another adult – never with your child.  Many parents will be dealing with similar feelings and speaking about it may help you feel better.

 I know that this is a lot of information to absorb!  I hope that you feel better equipped to help your child deal with any feelings of homesickness they may have, and get the most out of their camp experience. 

Our staff have a very important role in preventing homesickness at camp and all receive training and support to enable them to fill this role successfully.  Here are some of the things that our counsellors, coaches, senior staff and directors do to prevent homesickness at camp:

  •  Know and use campers names from the moment that they arrive on the island.
  • Go on a camp tour as a cabin group so that children know where everything is and can see the activity areas and gymnasium.
  • Play games to fill any down-time on arrival day with fun, to make sure that everyone in the cabin knows each others names, and to help campers develop relationships with each other.
  • Work on cabin rules as a group so that everyone is aware of expectations.
  • Help children to unpack and organise themselves.
  • Get to know individual children’s interests, talents, goals and personality so that they can be celebrated and encouraged.
  • Make sure that children know what to expect during their camp stay – activities, special days, how scheduling works, when they will be going on their overnight...  A schedule will be posted in their cabin so that they can check it whenever they want.
  • Address any fears that they may have such as darkness, meeting new people, sleeping in a new place…
  • Help children set goals for their stay at camp.

I hope that this article has made you feel more informed about homesickness.  I hope you feel secure in the knowledge that our staff at camp are trained to prevent and deal with homesickness, and that there are many things that you can do prior to your child’s summer adventure that will help them feel more prepared.  Summer camp has so much to offer children and our goal is to make sure that they make the most of it.

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

6

Biodegradable Toiletries for Camp

Safeguard Our Environment

Personal care products that are natural, organic and biodegradable are becoming much more commonly used and thus easier to find as people are becoming more knowledgeable about the damage that chemical laden toiletries can have on the environment, and on our bodies. 

Well-formulated natural products can actually be more effective than the alternatives that are full of potentially harmful chemicals. 

Plant extracts have amazing qualities that help us look and smell great!  

Using natural ingredients instead of cheaper synthetic ingredients eliminates the release of hazardous bi-products by laboratories and factories around the globe. By buying environmentally friendly products, you are not only looking after our Lake Temagami, but also the global environment.

Environmentally Safe Products for Summer Camp

I’ve done some of the research for you and listed the environmentally safe products I came across. They are available in most stores that stock fairly large selections of personal care products, or you could try organic/environmentally friendly shops such as “Planet Organic Market”.  Mountain Equipment Cooperative (MEC) has a small selection of biodegradable products (which can be ordered online). You also can order a wide range of products online from www.kissmyface.com .

Shower Gels and Body Washes:

  • Kiss My Face Shower Gel and Sudz Foaming Soap
  • Live Clean Body Wash
  • Down Under Naturals Body Washes
  • Alba Botanica French Lavender Shower Gel
  • Sierra Dawn CampSuds
  • Druide Citronella Soap (will also help keep the bugs away!)

Shampoos and Conditioners

Environmentally friendly Shampoos and Conditioners are available for many different hair types (including 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for the efficient washers!!) and can actually leave your hair in better condition than the chemical-ridden alternatives. Making environmentally friendly decisions need not be a beauty sacrifice!! Here are some examples of companies that make 100% biodegradable shampoos and conditioners:

  • Live Clean
  • Kiss My Face
  • Aussie
  • Down Under Naturals

Shaving Foam

Shaving Foam is a bit more difficult to track down, but definitely worth the extra effort – residual shaving foam in the lake is not pleasant for anyone! Here is what I found:

  • Kiss My Face Moisture Shave (for men and women in many different scents).
  • I’ve heard that conditioner (biodegradable of course!) can also be a good alternative to shaving foam.

Natural Bug Repellent

For those of you who want to steer clear of DEET, but still wish to deter bugs, I also came across a natural Bug Repellent:

  • Natrapel – citronella repellent

At Canadian Adventure Camp we ask that campers and staff bring only biodegradable toiletries with them. 

We are lucky enough to be situated on beautiful, clean, unpolluted Lake Temagami and I believe that we have a responsibility to keep it that way. I hope that this article will provide some interesting information about environmentally friendly personal care products, and will make your camp-shopping a breeze!! !

If you have any suggestions of products that I may have missed out, or good places to find them, please send a comment…

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: 6 Comments

0

The Contents of Your Duffel Bag...

As a first time camper (and sometimes as a weathered veteran) it is sometimes difficult to decide what you should pack in your camp duffel bag and what you should put aside until you get home.  Here are some hints and tips that will hopefully help you solve any packing dilemmas you are facing!

 Great Items to Bring to Camp:

  • Full rain gear – remember that the fun at camp doesn’t stop if some rain comes our way (or liquid sunshine as we like to refer to it!).
  • A cheap and cheerful “camp” watch – having a watch is the best way to make sure that you are on time for activities and mealtimes.
  • Mini games and activities are fun to play with your cabin group – a book and a teddy are also nice for bedtime.

 Items to Leave at Home:

  • Leave portable music players and games at home – camp is all about building relationships with others and living communally. Not only are electronic devices not suited to the outdoor living style of camp, but, more importantly, these devices isolate campers and take away from the full camp experience.
  •  Leave make-up and perfume at home.  Mosquitoes love the smell and you definitely don’t want to be attracting them!  Furthermore, we have way more fun and important things to be doing at camp than worrying about make-up.
  • Forget the bag of candy and junk food – we have plenty of food at camp and you don’t want squirrels searching through your stuff to find the food, take my word for it!
  • Remember that camp is not a fashion show – it is a place to have fun and get dirty, so leave those designer clothes at home.

Finally, remember to label all of your clothes.  Things invariably get left around camp and the cabin, but having you name on them helps them find their way back to you – with help from the lost and found show of course!

A more detailed packing list can be found on the website so check that out too.  I hope these hints and tips have been useful, and have helped you understand why some items are just better left at home!

Categories: Campers

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

0

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Summer Camp

The Ontario Camps Association (OCA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation of camp professionals which is at the forefront of the province’s camping community.  Founded in 1932, the OCA is made up of like-minded individuals and organisations who are dedicated to ensuring that the camp environment is as safe and enriching as possible.  In order to accomplish this, the OCA facilitates the sharing of information and ideas, and sets standards that all OCA accredited camps must meet.  The OCA is also dedicated to informing the public about the benefits of the camp experience, and helping families to choose the best camp for their children.  In the OCA Summer Camps Guide 2009, the OCA recommends questions that parents should ask to help them choose the right summer camp.  This article answers those questions regarding Canadian Adventure Camp.  If you would like to discuss anything further, or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call Justin at (905) 886-1406 or email him at Enable JavaScript to view protected content. He would love to hear from you!      

Is the camp I am choosing OCA accredited?

Yes, Canadian Adventure Camp has been OCA accredited for over 30 years.  This means that the operation of Canadian Adventure Camp follows over 400 standards that are constantly being redefined to ensure that campers are provided with a safe and enriching environment.  If you are interested in finding out more about the standards, or the OCA, you can find this information on their website at www.ontariocamps.ca  

What is the camp’s staff-to-camper ratio?

Canadian Adventure Camp’s staff-to-camper ratio is better than three to one.   This is a good indication of the excellent level of supervision we pride ourselves on at CAC.

What measures does the camp take to ensure the safety of the campers?

The safety of our campers, both physical and emotional, is of utmost importance.   It is for this reason that we only hire mature, well-qualified staff.  Our staff must be at least 19 years old, but the vast majority of our staff are well into their twenties.  Our staff must have a minimum of Bronze Cross lifesaving certification, but most of our staff have their NLS Life Guarding qualification and Standard First Aid.  Campers are always supervised by a qualified lifeguard whenever they are participating in a water-based activity, and we use a buddy system with larger swimming groups as an added safety measure.  The daily structure of camp including activity periods, mealtimes, and cabin time ensures that individual campers are always accounted for.  All of our counsellors live and sleep in the cabin with their cabin group, so campers are cared for and supervised around the clock.  We believe that by providing this level of supervision we can ensure camper safety by recognising and resolving situations that have the potential to become risky before they reach that stage.  We also believe that having counsellors living in the cabins with the campers provides a safe, nurturing environment where campers can be guided towards developing important life skills through everyday experiences.  During our extended staff training, our staff members are taught to work with the guidelines and policies we have in place to protect campers, and to pass on an understanding of these expectations to the campers.  In this way our staff are consistent enforcers of policies, and our campers are active participants in making healthy, safe decisions.        

What programs does the camp offer?

Canadian Adventure Camp offers a choice of general camping, or one of three speciality programs: gymnastics, trampoline or water-skiing.  The camper’s schedule is determined by their choice of program, with the speciality program choice taking up a part of every day.  Campers have a choice of over 40 activities to fill their day, including old favourites and new additions being added all the time!  Highlights include our exciting waterslides, our great climbing wall, our fun water-trampoline and our European-style  sauna.  During their stay at CAC, every camper will also have the opportunity to go tubing with their cabin group, and try water-skiing, gymnastics and trampoline, even if it is not their chosen specialty.  In addition, every cabin goes on an overnight canoe trip which is a fantastic cabin-bonding experience, a great chance to see some more of beautiful Lake Temagami, and a brilliant opportunity to learn some basic outdoor skills.  Our themed lunches, day of camp-wide games (the Panasmugglican Games) and fun evening programs also bring variety and excitement to their camp stay. 

How do the campers choose their programs at camp?

Speciality programs have to be registered for in advance, and places fill up quickly so be sure to register early!  Once at camp, campers choose and sign up for their activities in “sign-up” books that are passed in rotation from table to table during meals.  In this way campers have a choice about what they would like to do while at camp, and also make friends from out with their cabin group.  Some activities such as cabin tubing and water-skiing are organised ahead of time to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.  The younger campers are given a bit more guidance and structure when choosing their activities to ensure that they try a wide variety of activities while at camp, and also so that they receive instruction at the correct level.        

What does the Camp Director/staff want the campers to take away with them at the end of their camping experience?

Our goal is to help young people grow into responsible, well-rounded citizens by expanding their skills and knowledge within the fun and friendship of a warm camp atmosphere.  At the end of their camp experience we want campers to leave with fond memories and friends, but also a variety of life skills that will help them succeed in life.  We want children to leave with an increased sense of confidence and a ‘can-do’ attitude, improved social skills and the ability to live successfully with others, the capacity to set and work towards personal goals, and a greater appreciation for the wonder of nature, to name a few!

How does the camp and staff deal with issues like homesickness, bullying, and campers with special needs?

An important part of our staff training and professional development throughout the summer is focused on making sure that our staff are well prepared to effectively deal with the multitude of issues that arise at camp.  At Canadian Adventure Camp we have a number of strategies in place to make children feel comfortable and at home as soon as they arrive at camp, which significantly reduces the likelihood of children becoming homesick.  You can read more about this in the article entitled, “Homesickness: Prevention is Better than a Cure”.  It is a reality that some children will feel a little homesick from time to time, so we make sure that our staff are able to recognise the diverse signs of homesickness and help the child to successfully overcome it.  Bullying has no place at summer camp.  The existence of bullying has the potential to destroy the safe, nurturing community that we work so hard to create.  At CAC we are quick to respond to any signs of bullying – being disrespectful to another camper is absolutely unacceptable.  The level of supervision made possible by having counsellors living in the cabins with the children means that even very subtle “hidden” bullying can be detected and dealt with.  We recognise that all children have individual needs, and we always strive to identify and meet those needs.  Through working with parents we are able to cater to the needs of children with mild learning, behavioural or physical needs.  Our camp environment is not set up to meet the specialised needs of children who face large challenges in their everyday lives, so if your child requires one-on-one attention there are other camps that may be better suited to meet their needs.

What is the Camp Director’s background and what are his/her qualifications?

Justin Gerson, the Director, has been involved in camp since he was a child.  It was his background in gymnastics that originally brought him to CAC as a camper and then as a coach.  Alongside his university degree, Justin enjoyed running a program for under-privileged youth in New Mexico; his first taste at running a camp!  After years of working as Head Gymnastics Coach at Canadian Adventure Camp, Justin began to work full-time for the camp in 2005 and has since worked his way up to become the Director.  He leads by example and fosters mutual respect which results in a motivated and engaged staff team.  His love for working with children drew him into the camping industry, and the children remain his first priority.  He remains committed to building a relationship with each camper despite being pulled in a million directions during the course of a summer!

Skip Connett, the Senior Director, is the founder of Canadian Adventure Camp and started building the camp from the ground back in 1972.  Skip’s involvement in the Boy Scout Association originally brought him into camping.  Alongside creating and developing Canadian Adventure Camp, Skip became increasingly involved in the Ontario Camps Association and is now an Honorary Life Member.  Skip is committed to playing a part in the constant improvement of the camp experience for children and the camp industry as a whole.  He is continually involved in various projects and schemes to meet this commitment.   

What kind of health care facility/staff is available to the campers?

At Canadian Adventure Camp we have a fully equipped medical facility with a doctor and nurse always on site.  The medical staff store children’s meds for them and ensure that they take them at the appropriate time.  Having a facility and medical staff on site enables us to respond quickly and decisively to emergency situations as well as issues relating to everyday wellness. 

Does the camp have a system to transport campers to and from the camp?

Yes, we provide transportation to Canadian Adventure Camp from Toronto with additional pick-ups in Gravenhurst, Orillia and Barrie.  Our camp bus is great fun – we watch movies, stop for lunch and the journey is a brilliant opportunity to start making friends!  For our campers arriving from further away we can also organise a meeting service at Toronto International (Pearson) Airport including fully-supervised overnights at either end of a camper’s stay as needed.  The bus transports the campers to the access dock to Adventure Island where they are met by Canadian Adventure Camp water-taxis – what an exciting way to arrive at camp! 

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet

0

Summer Camp Provides the Building Blocks for Life!

Giving your child the opportunity to attend summer camp is one of the best things you can do for their future.  Parents report, and research confirms, that children return from camp with more confidence and improved life skills.  The benefits of the camp experience include the development of social skills (leadership, friendship, independence, communication and participation), self-respect and character building (responsibility, resilience and resourcefulness) and community living skills (caring, fairness, citizenship and trustworthiness).  Research has shown that camp offers a place of experiential and contextual learning where children develop skills and gain knowledge that can help them in the classroom when the summer comes to an end.  The fantastic part is that, in a camp setting, this process is fun!

The goals of summer camp are to:

  • Have fun!
  • Improve athletic, artistic and intellectual skills
  • Develop important life skills
  • Make new friends and develop social skills
  • Nurture independence and self-confidence
  • Learn the value of teamwork and cooperation
  • Experience living in a new environment
  • Develop greater respect for nature
  • Learn from a positive adult role model
  • Improve communication skills
  • Awaken children to their abilities, talents, strengths, weaknesses and potential.

 Our counsellors are trained to take every opportunity to work on life skills with your child, even when they don’t know it!  For example; a kayak lesson is a chance for your child to develop their self-confidence in the water, learn to work well with their peers, and if walking over the bow of their friends’ kayaks while they hold them together isn’t a lesson in teamwork and trust, then I don’t know what is!  Even a cabin conflict is an opportunity – what better way to learn how to resolve conflicts and live together happily as a group than being guided by your counsellor to this final result.

The personal objective of our staff members is to work with children to help them gain the important skills that will carry them successfully through life, and we know that camp is a great place for this process to occur.

Categories: Parents

Tags: Summer Camp Life

Comments: No comments yet