by Madeline Clark – former Staff

It’s that view… you know the one…sitting on a weathered log looking out over the lake from the campfire at Turtle’s Nest. It’s the moment you take to think about all the people who looked out on this very spot before you and all the people who are yet to come. It’s when you realize that this place is so much more than your single experience but is the sum of the collective that ignites its magic.

I came to Big Canoe as a staff member, never having been a camper, thinking an aquarium was made out of glass, not knowing what an elephant was, and unsure of how to find my place in such a tight-knit community. How do you fit into community that has been built upon summer after summer, one campfire at a time? Little did I know, I didn’t have to try, I already was. Big Canoe is a community unlike any other; the norms that are defined on the other side of Sherwood Forest cease to exist on the inside. Got a ridiculous idea? Perfect. Want to try that thing you never could do? Me too. Not sure how it will look? Try the craft cabin out for size. From my first trip down that dirt road, I was met with unbridled positivity, friendships and the assurance of possibility.

For me, its the invitation to collective ridiculousness that resonates. It’s the candlelit wishes at dusk, the Special Days that are born out of absurdity and carried out with precision. It’s bonding over late night talks, early morning swims and hikes to Lost Lake. It’s knowing that sitting on that log, looking out over the lake you are a part of that community and there’s always room for one more.

Camp Big Canoe

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


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