This post dives a little deeper into our previous post about the benefits of camp, as we reveal just a little further about what we believe makes Camp Big Canoe unique. If you didn’t read the first post, those five things to us are gaining a greater appreciation for nature, increased confidence, the development of leadership, learning how to play, and enthusiasm for new experiences.
For many people, one of the biggest changes in life is leaving the house for an extended period time the very first time. This is true at any point of life, but especially true for youngsters headed off to camp. Camp Big Canoe recognizes this and aims to create an atmosphere that embraces the challenge of such a new experience, for parents and campers alike. We offer Pee Wee Camp where young campers aged 6-9 can spend a weekend at camp, giving them a brief taste of the camp experience. It can also be an opportunity for parents to volunteer, returning to camp once again, or experiencing it for the first time themselves to gain a greater appreciation for what it means to send your child (or children) to Camp Big Canoe.
From there we offer four different 6-day sessions throughout the month of August for our regular campers, aged 8 and up. This allows campers to experience a condensed regular camp session, that includes as least two camp fires and daily outdoor experiences.
Camp Big Canoe of course welcomes the first time camper to any of our regular camp sessions, offering first time camp discounts and opportunities to win the summer fees for those bringing their friends for the first time.
Each camp session begins with a welcome camp fire where the past is celebrated and present brought into focus. Everyone is welcomed for the first time as the Spirit of Camp Big Canoe is unique in each and every moment of the camp experience, but especially in each new session. This welcoming is led by our esteemed Director, Bill Stevens, and our camp leadership team of counsellors. Regardless of whether their camp experience was at Camp Big Canoe or somewhere else, each member of this leadership team was at one time a first time camper. This collective intelligence is used to help welcome all personalities and their hopes. To encourage them to get the full experience of what Camp Big Canoe has to offer.
Whether it is swimming, canoeing, or taking on a challenge on our low ropes course, the emphasis is always on how to best work together, learning to appreciate and respect what each camper brings to the experience, including their own. With a remarkable setting of 350 acres completely surrounding Hart Lake;
this philosophy is extended to the environment. Whether it is a walk to Lucy, a trip to Lost Lake, or a canoe along one of the many rivers and lakes a short drive away, the relationship with the environment is central to the experience.
For older campers that have truly enjoyed their camp experience, or are hoping to to make it part of their experience for the first time, participate in our two month-long outdoor leadership programs that can even earn them Ontario High School Physical Education credits. These programs continue to build the community of Camp Big Canoe but participants begin to take on a larger roll as leaders within the camp. The Outdoor Skills program prepares campers for extended canoe trips, culminating in an 8-day trip for themselves. The Leaders-in-Training, is just that, dedicated outdoor education leadership training. Both programs aim to arm campers with all the tools necessary to fully enjoy life at all times in the year. The confidence gained in these programs gives and the skills learned prepare them for whatever lays ahead.
Whether it is a greater appreciation of nature, better social skills, more confidence, leadership opportunities, or a new experience that will lead to more new experiences (or all of the above), Camp Big Canoe aims to be all that – and a place for Candy Princesses!