I found this old postcard on the weekend. It's a souvenir from the camp I used to attend each summer, Mint Brook Camp. This was an Anglican Church camp in central Newfoundland, and I looked forward every year to my week-long stay. We had 10 cabins, housing 10 girls each. The counsellors slept in their own, much larger cabin across the field. At age 16 I graduated to that special place and was given responsibility for a cabin full of girls of my own.
I was so proud! Each of us had a cabin to look after, plus an activity that we led each day. My specialty was boating, and I taught girls to row in two sessions each morning. In the afternoon I led canoeing and taught the finer points of paddling on the river. As I've said before, I love being on the water! Mint Brook Camp provided me with awesome experiences, friendships, and memories. From age 11-17, I really grew up there.
This picture is from my time as a camper. There was a clearing back in the woods we would often visit, and in it was a perfectly round patch of some kind of low-lying evergreen. There were many legends and ghost stories centred on our camp, of course, and this was the basis of one of them. We were told this was a Fairy Ring, and the fairies who lived in there could sometimes be seen dancing around it on a clear, moonlit night. Pretty cool, hey? Little girls eat this stuff up! Well, this picture I took one year was hailed as clear evidence of the existence of the fairies. Those two little flashes of white on the left? Fairies, right?! Ha! There wasn't anything there on the ground when I snapped it, so it's probably a weird reflection or something that happened during developing. But it was pretty important evidence of the existence of fairies for a bunch of tween girls!
Do your kids attend summer camp? The Teen did for quite a few years, and Little Boo I think will be ready next summer. I can't wait for him to experience the camaraderie and outdoor fun of sleep-away camp!
A really popular and well-established camp in Ontario is Muskoka Woods. They've been welcoming kids to summer camp since 1979, and currently run over 50 programs and activities serving over 5000 campers aged 7-17 each year. With 1100 acres of camp and 2800 feet of lakefront, there's lots of space for all these activities. They have the canoeing I loved so much, but also sailing. There are 12 tennis courts, climbing walls, beach volleyball, horseback riding, archery, digital photography, dance, golf, and so much more.
Campers stay in fully-enclosed cabins, with bunkbeds. Each cabin sleeps 12, however, unlike in my experience, counsellors sleep in the cabins with their kids. Great for safety and discipline. For the 7-12 year-olds, each cabin has 10 campers and 2 counsellors, while the 13-17 year-olds are 11:1. And the meals are served buffet-style, so there are lots of options for pickier eaters. I remember at some camp meals I ate only bread and butter because I didn't like that day's single menu item. (I was a crazily picky eater as a kid.) So, I'm a supporter of this arrangement. There are always vegetarian options available and special dietary requirements can be accommodated.
Muskoka Woods has put together this short video highlighting the experiences of some campers and alumni. This gives a good idea of what you can expect to find with them. Summer Camp Is Awesome.
Summer Camp is Awesome from Muskoka Woods on Vimeo.
Registration for Summer 2013 is available now. Head on over to find out more about the specific options available for your child's age group, and sign them up for their own awesome camp experience!
Disclosure – I am participating in the Muskoka Woods Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.