by Tara Wannamaker – Staff 1998 – 2000 and 2002
Camp Big Canoe wasn’t my first camp experience. As a camper I’d been to three or four different camps and I’d been a staff member at three camps before CBC. By the time I arrived at Camp Big Canoe in the late spring of 1998 I was already a 22 year old camp lifer. I felt like I knew all about camp life and although I was looking forward to my new job as Outdoor Skills Director, I was pretty sure I’d seen it all before.
Many of my fellow staff members had been at Camp Big Canoe for years and they spoke of their memories with that kind of fondness that comes from your first experience with something. Camp Big Canoe wasn’t part of my childhood but slowly the spirit of Camp Big Canoe did begin to infect me. I always loved driving up the camp road and feeling like I was entering a different world. A world where fun and friendship is a priority and there isn’t anything that can’t be made into a game or a song and where natural beauty is abundant. The beauty of the place and the feeling of isolation from the outside world was and is magical.
I remember one particular day in post-camp when everyone had gone into town to go bowling and I stayed behind alone because I had a phone-in job interview. After I finished my phone call I walked down to the beach and just sat looking out across Hart Lake. I remember thinking how privileged I was to be able to be in such a majestic setting and that there really was something very special about Camp Big Canoe.