11 October, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

One of the greatest things about living on the 45th parallel is watching the changing of the seasons and Camp Ak-O-Mak has to be one of the most beautiful places to witness this spectacle of nature! 

Typically by October, Ontario is under the raw chill of fall with blustering winds and sideways rains, the kind that cruelly strip the colour from the trees and the "magic" from the forests.  This year, however, we have been basking in the warmth of a true "Indian summer".  Warm, sunny days have allowed us to defer the inevitable donning of hats and coats for a while longer.  Vibrant blue skies have provided a striking contrast to the explosion of yellows, oranges and crimson which have made the views everywhere at this time of year breathtaking!...the perfect backdrop as Canadians prepare to celebrate THANKSGIVING this long weekend.

Although we (Dianne and Catherine) will be missing Camp Ak-O-Mak this weekend, we are grateful for the memories of "Thanksgivings Past"...Thanksgiving dinners hosted by Buck and Rosemary in the Main House.  (Rosemary cooked the turkey in the big oven and we did the dishes!)...Hikes through camp trails, forests aglow with colour, painted by the Master's autumnal brush!  Olfactory memories of dried leaves, spruce trees, loamy earth and hardwood fires.

Once again, most of us will be irresistibly drawn to the outdoors to walk, play or work this weekend, wherever we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.   There is something about mindfully experiencing nature, even for a moment, that can prompt gratitude in one's heart.  Isn't that precisely how we feel when we instinctively raise our faces heavenward to bask in the sun's warmth and deeply inhale the fresh scent of flora?

Over the years, Thanksgiving has become one of our favourite holidays.  It is not so commercialized and there are no presents to distract us from that which we are most grateful...the unwavering support of our families in the daily travails of running camp, truly wonderful friends, good health, a full pantry...in other words "life abundant".

We also remain thankful for Camp Ak-O-Mak and, like the other things in life, have learned not to take her for granted.

It is a place that continues to inspire and challenge throughout the stages of one's life.  We are grateful for Ak-O-Mak's friends, new and old, who are drawn back to her like a touchstone and graciously give back with their energies and resources to help keep this grand dame alive!

To quote George Elliot, "We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it".

The same can be said for Camp Ak-O-Mak.

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dianne and Catherine

21 September, 2015

How Did YOU Spend Your Summer?

How Did YOU Spend Your Summer?

It is the question asked first and foremost as everyone returns to school in September.  Crisp, new binders and books will be "cracked" this week and, for most, the initial writing assignment will be a description of the way in the student passed the dog days of summer. 

Ak-O-Mak Girls will certainly have a LOT to write about!

I imagine that many will suppress a giggle or two before tackling their assignment as they remember the hilarious stories during the paddle home from the 'Mag Swim', or the antics between Chikopi and Ak-O-Mak after the soccer game.  Remember when your bunk mate cracked everyone up right before 'lights out'?  Every girl has her stories and it is these shared tales of hilarity, challenge and success that make the ever-lasting memories of camp!  

It has been 4 weeks since the buses and the last car departed under the Ak-O-Mak gate.  An unnatural quiet fell upon camp.  Strangely, it is this silence rather than the calendar or the season that signals the end of camp.  No more cabin doors with that "squeeaak-SLAM" so characteristic of camp and cottage life.  The waterfront is silent save for the soft clucking of the dozen or so Merganser ducks as they scout the shoreline for minnows.  Although we are awed by the natural beauty of Ahmic Lake we realize that we miss you!  We miss the peels of laughter emanating from across the bay as you swam off the water polo dock at night.  We miss the riotous singing in the Main House and your beautiful faces in avatar blue and bubblegum pink after the colour runs.

We hope that each and every one of our Ak-O-Mak girls had a summer to remember.  We have done our job if you have something special to write about on YOUR first day o
f school!

27 August, 2015

August 27th, 2015

August 27th, 2015

Sitting in my cabin I can hear the team comp teams attempting to decipher camp clues that seem to look like hieroglyphics. "Is it glasses because Jessica can't see?", "Is it a scull and crossbones?", "Is it golf shirts because Dianne has so many golf shirts?". As the clue finally makes sense the campers are running to the next location to lead them to their next clue. This afternoon has been the finale to a two-week camp-wide competition. The final competition is the ever-popular, Treasure Hunt! Teams, run, swim, and bike all around camp from one clue to another. Teams work quickly together to try and locate as many clues as possible before time runs out. It's getting close to the finish and teams are working hurriedly to finish the very last clue.

This morning we had a whole camp swim practice and choice class periods so that campers could try out something new before the last days of camp or have one more chance to participate in an activity that they really enjoyed. The campers had the options to play volleyball, Quiddich, archery, self defense with Rosie, or go out in a war canoe. The girls that went sailing were out for two periods and had the perfect amount of wind to head out on a real adventure. With only a couple more days left of camp everyone is trying to squeeze in a few more minutes of all of the activities that they enjoy.

26 August, 2015

August 26th, 2015

August 26th

Today we had a great day, packed full of activities!

As the session approaches the end inspection has become a highly competitive morning activity and cabins have gone above and beyond to keep their cabins and the rest of camp clean.

This morning we squeezed in every awesome activity that we possibly could. Cabins had rugby, sailing, tennis, war canoe, basketball, and SWIMMING! Cabin one also had a leadership workshop so that they could work toward becoming CIT's in the future. After the workshop the girls were extremely excited about the possibility of becoming part of the staff team in the next couple of summers. After a very active morning it was time for a tasty lunch, and a trip to the candy store.

The afternoon, the 11 -13 age bracket competed in the tennis tournament, and then cabin one lead the rest of camp in two zany periods of activities - kick ball, capture the flag, "frat boy frisbee", and zumba karaoke. At the end of the afternoon the campers who had made it to the tennis finals competed for the Ak-O-Mak cup. At the end, special guest Serena MacWilliams came dressed in her garbage bag tennis shirt, grasping her racquet with her electrical tape-manicured finger nails all the way from Long Island to compete against the winner.

Then it was time for a Who-Mak feast! Every one at camp came dressed in a Who-costume and got a mystery Who-tensil to eat with for the feast. It turned out we were dining on a dandelion with Horton and during the Who-Mak feast team comp teams re-wrote songs from the camp songbook to sing so that Horton could hear us. After supper was a game of Barbaloot-arians (or Barbarians) and a bath in the lake to get all of the sand out from everywhere.

25 August, 2015

Wondering about calling your daughter

 Wondering about calling your daughter?

Phone calling starts on August 25th 2015

Just a few reminders:

Each camper is only permitted one telephone call, if you would like to have further contact sign up for BunkNotes or send some snail-mail. Remember, if you send them 3 pieces of mail they get to sing a song in front of the Main House and 5 pieces of mail meeeaaaans….IN THE LAKE!

Phone calls are limited to 5 minutes. We have lots of campers who are anxiously waiting to hear from their loved ones as well, so in order to give everyone a chance at the telephone we ask that phone calls are kept to 5 minutes.

Calls are only taken during meal-times:

Breakfast: 8:30 am – 9:05 am

Lunch: 1:00 pm – 1:40 pm

Dinner: 6:00 pm – 6:40 pm

If we do not answer the telephone it is because we are out of camp for that meal, try again the following meal. On Sunday evenings we are not in the Main House for dinner because we have a barbeque on Sandy Beach.

We are also not in the Main House for special events like events with Chikopi.

 

The Camper telephone line is 705-387-1919

 

This is the only line that you will be able to reach your camper on so please do not call our business line.
If no one answers that is because there is currently a camper on the line, please be patient and call back again. We are in the woods with old phone lines so the phone may ring on your end even if a camper is on the line, please keep trying.

 

25 August, 2015

August 25th, 2015

August 25th 2015

Today was another exciting day at camp! After a long inspection the weather couldn't quite decide what it wanted to do, and then, just before morning classes were about to start it started to rain cats and dogs, so we migrated to the Main House for an active stretching workshop hosted by our very of Jocelyn Saunders. She demonstrated active stretches that every athlete can practice to help improve flexibility and overall health and wellness. Then the campers and counselors practiced in pairs. Once everyone was all stretched out the whole camp headed down to the lake for a swim practice all together!

After Rest Hour the rain still poured so it was into the Main House again for a highly competitive Team Comp event. Then the skies cleared and we rushed outside for some soccer, archery, kickball, ultimate frisbee, croquet, zumba, and the oldest campers competed in their tennis tournament.

After dinner Evening Activity was the camp tradition of "Counselor Fashion Show" where campers "makeover" their counselors in things that they find around camp. Some campers made their counselors look like they were ready for an elegant ball, others made it look as they had grown some fancy moustaches. The campers presented their new made over counselors and then the Main House erupted into an impromptu dance party! With the whole Main House singing along the girls danced and sang until it was time to go to bed.

24 August, 2015

Ahmic Harbour Swim

AHMIC HARBOUR SWIM – MONDAY 24TH AUGUST

 

GIRLS 10 AND UNDER

 

Bailey O                1st           1:10:43

Devon B               2nd          1:23:36

Ella M                    3rd           1:41:52

Abigail                   4th           2:03:05

 

GIRLS 11-12

Alana O                     1st           1:03:55

Elke O                        2nd          1:06:05

Yayla                          3rd           1:08:32

Kali M                          4th           1:09:12

Lola C                         5th           1:09:24

Chelsea M                   6th           1:12:03

Jenna W                      7th           1:24:32

Clarke M                       8th           1:53:50

 

GIRLS 13-14

Haley S                         1st           56:44

Kathryn A                      2nd          56:48

Emma S                         3rd           56:50

Sara A                            4th           59:17

Anna D                            5th           1:01:46

Olivia L                            6th           1:02:15

Marni G                           7th           1:03:41

Elana G                           8th           1:04:00

Hailey C                           9th           1:04:19

Nakita S                           10th         1:05:27

Jordan S                          11th         1:06:00

Emma W                          12th         1:06:09

Caroline M                        13th         1:06:19

Alicia C                               14th         1:06:20

Mattie W                             15th         1:08:24

 

GIRLS 15-17

Jessica C                             1st           56:47

Lauren S                               2nd          56:48

Olivia O                                 3rd           56:49

Hailey N                                4th           58:34

Ashlynn M                              5th           59:18

Annie R                                  6th           1:03:58

Lianna G                               7th           1:04:27

Jodie M                                 8th           1:20:23

 

23 August, 2015

August 23rd, 2015

August 23rd

Wow! What a busy two days we have had here at camp!

Yesterday we awoke to the sun greeting us with a breath-taking sunrise. Many of the girls stopped to take in the beauty of it before heading to the Main House for a quick and delicious breakfast. Once bellies were filled it was time to get on the bus and head into Parry Sound to compete in the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Triathlon.

Nearly all of the campers and counselors competed in the tri. Everyone cheered each other on between transitions and at the finish line. Ak-O-Mak's presence couldn't be missed. With cowbells in tow and cheers to last for hours the campers supported one and other for what, for many was their very first triathlon ever!

The campers lifted the spirits of many competitors by making up songs and cheers about them as they swim, cycled, or ran. Once every one had completed their race it was time to travel back to camp. But not before a stop for ice cream!

With bellies full of ice cream we arrived back at camp for a well-deserved Rest Hour. After Rest Hour there was just enough time to fit in one period of choice activities. The girls headed out for kayaking, basketball, archery, or small boats.

22 August, 2015

August 22nd, 2015

August 22nd, 2015

Here at Ak-O-Mak, every day's a great day! And today was no exception!

Today's morning classes included; baseball, road cycling,  fencing, triathlon transitions, and fencing!

The campers and counselors also all had a special self-defense course with another black belt and member of Rosie's martial arts school - Ashlynn. The girls were taught very quick and practical methods for defending and standing up for themselves. They were taught to be assertive, and that they shouldn't be afraid to say, "NO". They also watched a demonstration between 4th degree black belt, Rosie, and second degree black belt, Ashlynn. It was very impressive and certainly made a mark on the girls - both campers and counselors.

And of course they had swimming! Yay!

This afternoon we had a mountain biking race at camp on the aptly named, Fun Cross! Every camper participated riding up and down hills, zig zagging through the woods and back onto camp where the rest of camp was waiting, ringing cowbells ringing and cheering loudly. When all of the heats had completed the race everyone went down to the bike shed to inspect their bike for tomorrows triathlon. They made sure their tires were pumped and their seats were just right, and most importantly they put their name on it and packed it into the truck. After dinner was open waterfront. A refreshing cool down before an early bedtime.

 

21 August, 2015

August 21st, 2015

August 21st,

Today's Early Bird was...a sleep in! All of the campers and counselors had a few extra minutes of sleep and then came into the Main House for some yummy, pre-race blueberry pancakes.

After breakfast it was time to get ready to make our way over to Camp Chikopi to beat the boys in the Knoepfli 1 mile swim. Nothing quite compares to the cheers of campers and staff before a big race. "A-K, A-K, A-K-O-M, O-M, O-M, O-M-A-K, Ak-O-Mak, Ak-O-Mak WHOOO!" I'm sure our cheering could be heard all across Ahmic Lake.

Then the Ak-O-Mak and Chikopi campers all got into the water at the starting line, eyeing down the fastest route through the channel to Knoepfli. Some campers like to aim for a specific cottage, while others swear that if you stay in the middle of the channel it's the fastest route. Either way, "BANG" and they were off toward the finish line 1 mile away.

Counsellors at both camps paddled along side the campers, cheering them on and directing them toward the fastest route. It was a great race! The girls swam hard and some really challenged themselves by striving for new personal bests or swimming the Knoepfli Mile for the very first time.

Once campers finished the race they all headed back to Chikopi for some lunch and the afternoons events - Field Day.

All of the campers from both camps were divided into teams and competed against each other in various competitions and relays. At the end it was the annual Tug-of-war competition between Camp Chikopi and Camp Ak-O-Mak. This year we were surprised with a fun twist of it being only staff vs. staff. The counselors grabbed the rope for the first tug of war and on the horn dug their heels into the ground and heaved and hoed as hard as they possibly could. After what seemed like minutes the rope started to inch in the direction of the boys camp and the first victory went to the boys. Campers on both sides demanded a rematch and Dianne, Catherine, Jocelyn, Rosie and Hayley joined in to support the counselors. The Chikopi counselors pulled in some reinforcements of their own and this time it was winner take all (pride that is).

The horn sounded and Camp Ak-O-Mak stood their ground firm, slowly trying to gain the momentum to creep our way backwards and pull the boys over the line. Another "HEAVE" and we didn't seem to budge, "HEAVE" again and suddenly we're able to take 1/2 a step backwards...then we're tugged forward by the Chikopi counselors. 1, 2, 3 "PULL" and slowly but surely we're pulling the boys over our direction. The Ak-O-Mak staff wins the tug-of war and the camp erupts with cheers and screams! It was then time to head back to camp for a bit of a rest, some open waterfront, and dinner. It's been another packed day here at Ak-O-Mak and the girls have gone to bed ready to take on their next adventures.

KNOEPHFLI MILE SWIM

FRIDAY 21ST AUGUST 2015

GIRLS 10 AND UNDER

Bailey O’                              1st place                                32:13

Devon B                               2nd place                               35:39

Ella M                                  3rd place                               38:28

Abigail O                              4th place                               44:16

Madison Mc                        5th place                               44:41

Mikayla Mc                        6th place                               1:03:11

 

GIRLS 11-12

 

Elke O                                            1st place                                26:38

Kali M                                            2nd place                               27:52

Alana O                                         3rd place                               28:55

Yayla D                                         4th place                               29:47

Lola C                                           5th place                               30:49

Chelsea M                                    6th place                               32:36

Sarah W                                        7th place                               33:26

Jenna W                                        8th place                               35:45

Rachel T                                        9th place                               38:26

 

GIRLS 13-15

 

Haley S                                           1st place                                24:41

Emma S                                         2nd place                               25:19

Sara A                                            3rd place                               26:05

Kathryn A                                       4th place                               26:18

Olivia L                                           5th place                               26:25

Elana G                                          6th place                               26:35

Anna D                                          7th place                               27:02

Marni G                                          8th place                               27:22

Jordan S                                        9th place                               28:47

Hailey C                                       10th place                             29:57

Nikita S                                         11th place                             30:07

Mattie W                                       12th place                             30:12

Caroline M                                    13th place                             30:13

Emma W                                      14th place                             30:14

Alicia C                                        15th place                             30:21

 

GIRLS  15 +

 

Jessica C                                          1st place                                24:32

Olivia O                                            2nd place                               25:17

Lauren S                                          3rd place                               25:15

Hailey N                                           4th place                               26:07

Annie R                                            5th place                               27:31

Ashlynn M                                       6th place                               27:59

Lianna G                                         7th place                               29:48

Jodie Mc                                         8th place                               1:03:12

 

TOP TEN OVERALL

 

Sabastian P                                     1st place                                20:32

Brett S                                             2nd place                               22:44

Tyler S                                            3rd place                               24:04

Marius C                                         4th place                               24:05

Pablo C                                           5th place                               24:07

Jarod S                                           6th place                               24:18

Rowan H                                        7th place                               24:24

Jessica C                                        8th place                               24:32

Haley S                                          9th place                               24:41

Lauren S                                       10th place                             25:15

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