Bringing up the Camp Ax

by Daniela Gassi – Former Camper & Staff

It is so hard to decide on just one because as anyone who has attended CBC knows – THERE ARE JUST SO MANY!!!

But if I had to decide, me being me, my most cherished stories are surrounding Campfire.

I went to CBC as a camper for 6 years and worked on staff for 6. It was not until my first year on staff, second session, that Leigh Anna Sangster pretty much FORCED me to bring my violin to camp, once she found out I could play.

So I brought it up 3rd session with NO idea of how I would play. I was classically trained and had no idea how to play with people who played everything by ear.

Steve Salt was one of the first people to ask me to JAM. This was DEFINITELY out of my comfort zone but I tried anyway in Aquarium during rest hour. Steve, Chris T, Alex T, Mitch, Chris L, Flo, and more…they were all so supportive while I played whole notes. Then someone had the idea to play Hurricane for Cheeshouse. Playing that and experiencing the energy form everyone that night, seeing Alex’s fingers bleed as we kept playing, that is one of my most memorable experiences as a musician to this day.

Ever since that day I never went to camp without my AX. 🎻🎶. It wasn’t so much about the performance, it was more about bonding with friends, giving enjoyment to the other campers and staff, and gaining confidence.

But there is one more campfire story that stands out!

One night John Dinner went to Toronto for a Dave Matthews Band concert. But SOMEHOW, he went on the wrong night! (Remember these were the days before cell phones!)

When we heard about this, a group of us decided to make it an epic night anyway. When he got back it HAPPENED to be campfire. We had secretly planned to play Dave Matthews’s song #41 for John – as a surprise – from the ROOF of the craft cabin!!!!

Author Bio

Camp Big Canoe is a not-for-profit overnight recreational camp for kids ages 6-16 in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

1 Comment

  1. Mike Smith - June 15, 2017

    I definitely remember that legendary roof performance!

    Loved campfire as well! Any sort of acoustic or campfire type skills I have are al because of CBC.

    Love that place!

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