I’m heading out of Toronto to visit staff and their camps. I LOVE this job! We were out visiting a number of camps on this trip. All of these camps are truly astoundingly beautiful and it was wonderful how welcoming every camp was and how excited everyone was to see us!
Camp Manitou, our first stop, is as stunning as it is vast and has a lovely big dining hall, tuck shops and beautiful cabins dotted around the main field. The campers and staff were all very excitable and it was interesting (and hilarious) to watch post dinner announcements around the flagpole. The staff really know how to work the campers up! At URJ Camp George we were given an amazing tour of the whole camp, which has some pretty incredible views across the lake and some great facilities. As a lover of country music, I was well impressed to see a hoedown going on as we arrived, complete with line dancing, cowboy boots, and plaid shirts. Took me right back to my time in Texas! They have a place called The Field of Dreams, which is truly a wonderful place where the campers and staff are taken on meditation walks. Beautiful. We stayed the night at URJ Camp George and had a delightful breakfast there before heading back out on the road. It really was so lovely to have a catch up with the staff and great to hear how well they are doing this summer so far.
Having spent two summers at Girl Guides Camps in Pennsylvania, I was interested to see whether there were any differences between there are Girl Guides Camps in Canada. Doe Lake certainly had the same nurturing feel and the staff was very much like those I had worked with in Pennsylvania. It was quite strange in some ways to be at a different camp but feel I had been there before! This was a very brief visit before we moved on to Salvation Army Camp Newport, where we were given a tour before having lunch. They have teepees that the campers sleep in! After lunch, the staff took us down to the beach where we took some fun pictures – a human pyramid amongst them – before moving on again. It was impressive to see the wooden cabin/shed that one of our staff had built down on the beach!
Our next stop was Camp Tamarack, where we were given an in-depth tour of the camp by golf cart (THE best way to get around camp) and took part in a spot of wild goose chasing (literally). The facilities at Camp Tamarack were pretty amazing – they have everything a camper could ever wish to do! Our last stop was Camp New Moon, a beautiful camp just five minutes down the road. This camp’s facilities are wonderfully compact and they also have a wide range of activities, which I was well impressed with. They also have two tier cabins, which are amazing – all the campers have bunks on the ground floor and all the staff are up on the second floor, accessed by a wooden ladder.
Disregarding facilities and size, a valuable asset that all of these camps have in common is their amazing international staff, bringing in their cultures and strange new accents. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity for the staff to work here in Canada (home to the most beautiful outdoor camps in the world) but for the campers too. Next week we are Algonquin Park bound!