by Steve Salt – Camper 1993-1995, Staff 1996-2003

Camp is home. Even so many years later, driving up the camp road simply feels like returning. I’ve spent a lot of the last few years in various places around the world, but my camp memories are so abundant that I don’t have to look far to be vividly reminded of a precious moment spent growing up beside Hart Lake.

I love to play guitar and sing for people now; every time I do, I remember my cousin Ian playing and singing for us around the fire and knowing I wanted to do the same. I remember playing with some of the best people I know around the fire years later.

I love to find quiet spots on rivers and lakes with good jumping rocks when I travel; every time I do, I remember out-tripping and counting down from 19 before jumping in the water with special friends. I remember walking to Lost Lake after dark, star spinning in the darkness.

I love to dance now, though I try to pretend no one is watching; I remember late nights with staff in the Aquarium where a spontaneous dance party would break out for no (and every) good reason.

I love to find secluded spots to sit and reflect; I remember sitting on a bench by the beaver dam and taking in the view of Hart Lake that was as unique as a snowflake each minute. I remember taking a hearty portion of food on trip on the French River and sitting down by the water to eat.

I love stars, and I only ever see one or two from where I live now; I remember counting shooting stars, making out shapes and letters in the sky, and I remember breathtaking nights where the northern lights decided to play.

I make mistakes now; I remember trying some things and failing at camp, only to be encouraged to aim for the sky (if I really wanted to fly).

I love Bill now; I remember that I used to then as well, but I still do now. He’s awesome.

I am a teacher now, and I love to make things as fun as I can for my students when I teach and playing games; I remember crawling around on the forest floor playing S.N.E.R.T. and playing roofball (which I still think could become a professional sport, though I would never want it to).

I love the Spirit of Big Canoe; I remember being immersed in it and every time I go back I am buoyed by the fact that it is still there. Everything is still there, and it will always be there, and so many countless people are able to enjoy it the way that I did. In their own special ways too.

I love Cornelius.

Camp Big Canoe

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


Wendy · June 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I still have that soundtrack of the the summer of ’98. Spontaneous Good Times. Absolutely they were.

    Mike Smith · June 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I miss your treehouse!

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