09 August, 2014

Balmy Beach Regatta 2014

Balmy Beach Regatta 2014 

July 19, 2014

With camp being so busy it is often hard to put "pen to paper" in a timely fashion after an event.  The story of this race, however, was so inspiring that it needs to be shared.

"The Sweetest Revenge is Massive Success"

The next race was the 15 and Under Mixed War Canoe.  Fourteen paddlers and one cox in each boat.  While the kayak heats were finishing, the six competing war boats made their way up the sides of the Pan Am Flatwater Paddling course in Welland.  The paddlers were warming up muscles stiffened by the raw chill of rain that had been falling non-stop all day.  Experienced coxes  navigated their cumbersome crafts against wind and waves to their designated lanes.  Ironically, they would work very hard at a near standstill to "hold the boats" in anticipation of the start of this gruelling 500 meter race.

There would be two Ak-O-Mak War Canoes in this race and neither was expected to do well given the "high performance" designation of the regatta.  Their all-girl crews ranged in age from 10-15 and they could not have been more different from their competition!  The sunny-orange, over-sized singlets, bouncy pony tails and tanned, lithe arms paddling in unison were in direct contrast to the bulging biceped, black-shirted "man-boys" flanking them.  Their recipe for "mixed crew" was  12 parts "beef" and only 2 parts "sugar and spice"!

The war canoes worked their way into position, inching up to the starting line under the military commands of their seasoned coxes.  The goal:  to get off the line fast and get out in front to avoid the potentially perilous wash of the lead canoes.   

The energy approaching the start became more intense with every passing second.

"Six and Seven, back us down!...Rights, pull us over!  Draw one, two!", called Jocelyn, Ak-O-Mak's cox...."Eyes forward!  Listen to my voice only!...

 The words were no sooner said when the war boat of "man-boys" took their position in the next lane just a few feet away.  They were as experienced in their jeering as they were in their paddling.  "Yah, there's Ak-O-Mak....they just cheer loud, but no threat to us!"...

Jocelyn:  "One and two bring us up one!...Hold the boat!... Sit up!..."

"Paddles Up!!"....

WAHHHH!...The loud air horn blasted, signalling the start which was ferocious!  Water churned around the paddles like a shark feeding-frenzy. The rapid cadence of the powerful blades thundered through the water, causing the lead boats to leap out of the start. The inevitable wake created by the first three boats, all powered by man-boys, hit portside of the Ak-O-Mak war canoe causing it to list right then left then right again.  Jocelyn and her crew rode the waves, their bodies undulating with the large swells like a rodeo cowboy on a bucking bronco.  Surprisingly, everyone remained in stroke!

  Once the high-performance, lead canoe pulled out of the pack, it became obvious that it would be a tight race for second, third and fourth with the two remaining boats pulling up the rear.  The second Ak-O-Mak war canoe, coxed by Lilly, remained competitive and in-stroke, duking it out for 500 meters for fifth place.

Everyone on shore suddenly forgot about the cold, sideways rain, mesmerized by the race unfolding before them.  They were on their feet screaming and cheering, WILLING their energy to their sisters in orange who were paddling for their lives!  Could it be??...Jocelyn's war canoe was gaining on the boys-in-black, inching closer and closer with every stroke. 

Anyone who has competed in war canoe never forgets the feeling at the 200 meter mark:  muscles hardening with the strain of pulling so much water so fast and chests on fire in an attempt to suck more air.  A mind focused on the cox's commands and the stroke rate,  channelling their hunger to win into raw power!  We knew how our sisters in orange were feeling and worried about them. We knew that giving in to fatigue could lead to a missed stroke or a disastrous fall out of the boat!

The three boats were perilously close as they raced towards the finish line, the Ak-O-Mak orange the only ray of sunshine in a field otherwise "dark horses".  The girls were giving everything they had, but Jocelyn knew they needed more.  She could see that the bronze medal might just be within their reach...

"Give me 20!!...POWERRRR!!...ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR...LET'S GET THIRD!!...GET THIRD!  THIRD!  THIRD!  THIRD!  Jocelyn yelled.  Natasha, the stroke of the boat, picked up the cadence as fast as she could paddle, trusting her crew to follow in perfect time.

At the 100 meter mark Jocelyn screamed, "FINISH!!!....and with that somehow pulled her paddlers souls forth and into theirTHIRD!  THIRD!  THIRD!"

As the war canoes flew across the finish line, not even the athletes were sure of the placing.  With their pulses thundering in their ears the only sounds they heard were the gasps and wheezes of their spent team mates, slumped over paddles and gunnels, muscles trembling from the herculean effort. 

Then, as though from the heavens, the the booming voice on the loudspeaker announced, "...And in third place it is Camp Ak-O-Mak by half a stroke!  What an exciting race!"

With that, the entire Ak-O-Mak cheering squad of campers and parents lining the shore errupted in surprised joy...jumping up and down, screaming, hugging each other, double high five-ing everywhere.   "I can't believe it!  Holy Cow!!"...

At the finish, Jocelyn and her crew took a  moment to catch their breath and then it was back to business.

"Ok, way to go Ak-O-Mak.  Now, SIT UP!...PADDLES UP!...TAKE IT AWAY!...One, two, three..."

They paddled proudly together in a cadence of recovery.

And as that boat of fourteen girls in orange shirts and bouncy pony tails came alongside the now somber man-boys, they demonstrated the spirit that truly makes them beautiful.

"Good race, Richmond Hill".

08 August, 2014

Ak-O-Mak Mountain Bike Race

AK-O-MAK Mountain biking race - Friday 8th August


1st place              Alina A                  5:18

2nd place             Elaina H                7:52

3rd place              Luisa V                  8:14



1st place              Trinity Z                5:34

2nd place             Amrita K               6:04

3rd place              Frankie D             6:05

4th place              Robin C                6:20

5th place              Diana P                7:02

6th place              Angelica G           7:39



1st place              Elisha P                 5:10

2nd place             Maya G                 5:15

3rd place              Siena G                5:16

4th place              Mackenzie O         5:20

5th place              Ana Sofia D           5:34

6th place              Alicia E                  5:43

7th place              Amelia C               5:46

8th place              Samuelle F          5:57

9th place              Sarah S                6:00

10th place           Jessica R              6:30

11th place           Arianne C            6:40

12th place           Isabella C             6:46

13th place           Neve V                 6:52

14th place           Mackenna A         7:16

15th place           Abby S                  7:24

16th place           Sophie W             7:32

17th place           Marianna V           7:57

18th place           Abby H                 8:35



1st place              Vanessa G           5:01

2nd place             Ashley S               5:11

3rd place              Jessica W             5:12

4th place              Grace P               5:17

5th place              Elizabeth W        5:29

6th place              Abby H                 5:45

7th place              Hannah P             6:04

8th place              Natasha L            6:38

9th place              Erin M                   6:58

08 August, 2014

August 8th

August 8th

Today was a very active day for us!  We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and flat lake by doing the Monster Rock one-mile swim this morning.  After all of the campers had swam the campers got into canoes and paddled for the counsellors while they swam. 

We then had a delicious lunch of chicken sandwiches and salad before rest hour and candy store.  After rest hour everyone headed down to the bike shed for our annual mountain bike race led by our coach Blair!  Everyone enjoyed the afternoon riding the one-mile course at Ak-O-Mak on our new fun cross trail system.

After dinner all of the girls went down to the U-Haul to load their bikes for the Barrie triathlon before spending the rest of the night jumping off the tower and bathing in the lake.  We are all very excited to head to Barrie tomorrow for the Barrie triathlon!


Monster Rock Swim


Alicia E.                       21:26

Vanessa G.                  21:50

Arianne C.                   21:52

Sarah S.                       21:53

Jess R.                          21:54

Robin C.                       23:24

Elizabeth W.                23:32

Trinity Z.                      23:34

Abby H.                        23:57

Abby S.                        24:16

Abby Hunt                   24:17

Ashley Stewart            24:56

Diana P.                       25:17

Isabella C.                   25:20

Neve V.                        25:21

Maya G.                      25:22

Samuelle F.                 25:25

Angelica G.                  26:27

Frankie D.                    26:28

Alina A.                        26:30

Grace P.                      26:35

Jessie W.                     26:34

Gracey S.                     26:25

Mackenna A.               26:23

Natasha L.                   26:25

Hannah P.                    28:37

Mackenzie O.              29:25

Siena G.                       29:26

Calla T.                        30:00

Amrita K.                     31:02

Emily M.                      32:30

Hailey L.                      32:31

Elisha P.                       33:00

Ana Sofia D.                34:34

Elyse T.                        34:45

Mariana V.                  36:39

Sophie W.                    37:45

Erin M.                          39:16

Amelia C.                    44:34



Karolyn M.                  22:29

Denise H.                     23:15

Alexa M.                      24:18

Molly L.                       25:32

Blair S.                         25:54

Riley W.                       26:23

Sarabeth H.                 27:34

Kiran P.                        31:10

Larissa D.                    31:30

Lily E.                           31:32

Monica D.                   33:50

Emily C.                       38:40

Erin A.                         39:01

07 August, 2014

August 7th

August 7th

This morning we awoke to great conditions for early bird, and many of the girls got best times both in the water and on the trails.  After a breakfast of crepes, fresh berries, and oatmeal everyone headed down to their cabins for inspection.  The girls then spent the rest of the morning swimming, playing tennis and water polo, doing some Zumba dancing, and practicing their transitions for the Barrie triathlon.

In the afternoon the girls all met at sandy beach for a beach adventure.  All of the cabins competed against each other in sand castle building, limbo, paddleboard races, and a few relay races in the water.  In the end it was cabin one that was victorious with cabin three not far behind.  It was an awesome afternoon in the sun!

We then had a delicious dinner of stir-fry, spring rolls, and salad.  After dinner the girls played a game of sardines and then scuttle-bugs before bed.  A group of campers also spent the evening at the biking time trial in Perry Sound.  We are all looking forward to the mountain bike race tomorrow that Blair is putting on for us! 

06 August, 2014

August 6th

August 6th

Sadly today we said goodbye to our two week campers, but those here for our three week and seven week sessions still managed to have an awesome day.  After early bird and breakfast the remaining campers all piled into canoes to paddle over to Ahmic Lake Lodge for the day. 

Once at the lodge the campers enjoyed a fun swim practice and even got to use the lodge’s water trampoline and slide!  The girls also went on a short hike on the trails around the lodge before we ate the delicious wraps and cookies that the kitchen packed us.  After our lunch everyone got a chance to get some ice cream from the store before paddling back to camp.

Back at camp everyone enjoyed a rest hour.  After which a thunderstorm rolled in so each of the cabins created a skit that they presented after dinner.  All of the skits were quite hilarious and after they were presented we all had the privilege of learning some self-defense moves from Olympic wrestler Pete M.  What an awesome day here, we are all looking forward to tomorrow!


05 August, 2014

August 5th

August 5th

It was another gorgeous day for us here at camp and we took advantage of it this morning by spending time in the sun doing classes of swimming, kayaking, self-defense, lacrosse, bootcamp, and hiking. 

We then all had a delicious lunch of Caesar salad and homemade pizza and before going down to the cabins for rest hour.  After rest hour everyone gathered in their team competition teams for an afternoon of searching for clues and solving puzzles to reveal the next task for the team to complete.  The Peeps won today’s competition followed closely by Oompa-Loompa’s Candy Confectionary Agents.

After dinner all of the teams met up to practice the skits and cheers that they came up with this afternoon and then presented them to the rest of the camp.  It was a great end to a perfect day here at Ak-O-Mak!  

03 August, 2014

Kempenfest Bay Swim Results

Kempenfest Bay Swim results

Saturday 2nd August 2014

10 and under

1st          Alina A                                 31:24

2nd        Gabby C                              39:08

3rd         Ashleigh M                         39:52

4th         Catrice B                             43:06



1st          Trinity Z                            30:14

2nd        Charlotte B                        30:22

3rd         Robin C                               30:23

4th         Jacqueline S                       30:23

5th         Diana P                               31:21

6th         Kadia  B                               31:31

7th         Gracey S                             31:40

8th         Angelica G                          32:20

9th         Erin K                                   33:49

10th       Kelly Marie                         33:59

11th       Ashleigh J                           36:25

12th       Amrita K                              36:58

13th       Ayden R                              37:03

14th       Amanda M                         37:22



1st place              Alicia E                                26:29

2nd place             Marion D                            27:42

3rd place             Sarah S                                27:49

4th place             Jessica R                             27:50

5th place             Arianne C                            27:51

6th place             Kendra L                             28:27

7th place             Isabella C                            30:32

8th place             Lauren A                             30:34

9th place             Neve V                                30:58

10th place           Maya G                               31:20

11th place           Abby S                                 31:20

12th place           Natalie K                             31:29

13th place           Mackenna A                       31:29

14th place           Jillian S                                31:31

15th place           Siena G                                31:51

16th place           Samuelle F                          32:50

17th place           Paola M                              33:40

18th place           Abby H                                35:35

19th place           Calla T                                 36:53

20th place           Mackenzie O                      36:56

21st place            Elisha P                               41:15

22nd place          Marianna V                        44:25

23rd place           Ana Sofia D                        44:26

24th place           Sophie W                            45:58

25th place           Sahar J                                46:08



1st place              Vanessa G                          24:46

2nd place             Lauren S                              26:47

3rd place             Elizabeth W                        27:03

4th place             Abby H                                29:54

5th place             Alexa M                              30:05

6th place             Ashley S                              31:01

7th place             Grace P                               33:10

8th place             Natasha L                           33:14

9th place             Hannah P                            33:14

10th place           Hailey L                               33:50

11th place           Megan G                             35:10

12th place           Larissa d                             35:25

13th place           Emily M                              36:40

14th place           Ursula M                             36:41

15th place           Monica D                            38:53

16th place           Monica C                            40:44

17th place           Martha d                            41:21


18 +

1st place              Brooke S                             25:57

2nd place             Heather M                          27:40

3rd place             Denise H                             28:36

4th place             Molly L                                28:36

5th place             Jocelyn S                             28:54

6th place             Riley W                               31:11

7th place             Kiran P                                 36:09

8th place             Blair S                                  36:09

9th place             Lilly E                                   37:58

10th place           Erin A                                   47:50

03 August, 2014

August 3rd

August 3rd

It was a picture perfect day here at camp; the weather was gorgeous with nothing but blue skies and sun all day.  We started our day off with an early bird of running, swimming, mountain biking, and road biking.  Many girls pushed themselves to run or swim further than they had before and many others went best times.

After early bird and a delicious breakfast everyone cleaned their cabins before spending the morning in classes such as swimming, sailing, waterpolo, tennis, softball, and self defense. 

It was then time for lunch and after lunch everyone had a short rest hour.  After rest hour we all met down by the canoe docks for an afternoon paddle to Ahmic Lake Lodge to get some ice cream and swim in the rapids.  It was an awesome afternoon in the sun. 

Once we got back to camp everyone put on comfy clothes and headed down to the fire pit for a cookout dinner of hamburgers, hotdogs, salad, and brownies for dessert.  The girls then enjoyed roasting marshmallows and singing some of our favourite camp songs by the fireside.   


02 August, 2014

Ahmic Harbour Swim



10 and under

1st place              Alina A              1:14:51



1st place              Trinity Z                 1:07:00

2nd place             Robin          1:08:12

3rd place              Abby S                  1:11:30

4th place              Diana P                1:13:05

5th place              Kadia                 1:14:14

6th place              Charlotte B              1:14:45

7th place              Kelly Marie B         1:17:35

8th place              Frankie D             1:18:18

9th place              Angelica G              1:18:35

10th place           Amanda M              1:24:34

11th place           Erin K                    1:24:45

12th place           Amrita K                  1:30:07

13th place           Lauren C                1:33:33

14th place           Darya L                     1:41:58



1st place              Alicia E                      56:23

2nd place             Marion D                  1:00:27

3rd place              Arianne C                      1:00:28

4th place              Jessica R                     1:00:40

5th place              Sarah S                    1:02:25

6th place              Lauren A               1:04:25

7th place              Abby  H                        1:07:41

8th place              Isabella C           1:08:05

9th place              Samuelle J      1:08:18

10th place           Maya G                      1:08:20

11th place           Neve V                1:11:46

12th place           Mackenna A           1:13:01

13th place           Sloane C                   1:14:30

14th place           Jillian S                1:14:32

15th place           Paola M                  1:14:34

16th place           Olivia D                   1:14:50

17th place           Mackenzie O              1:17:47

18th place           Casuarina F           1:24:46

19th place           Natalie K                1:25:07

20th place           Ana Sofia D           1:36:27

21st place            Mariana V                  1:40:19



1st place              Vanessa G                    54:35

2nd place             Lauren S                 57:40

3rd place              Elizabeth W              58:16

4th place              Abby H                     1:04:00

5th place              Ashley S                 1:06:39

6th place              Natasha L                   1:14:23

7th place              Hannah P           1:16:09

8th place              Grace P               1:16:17

9th place              Hailey L                   1:16:33

10th place           Ursula M               1:22:14

11th place           Megan G               1:25:06

12th place           Monica C               1:33:33

13th place           Erin M                    1:39:21

02 August, 2014

August 2nd

August 2nd

It was an early morning for us here at camp with a 6am breakfast before loading the buses to head to Barrie for the Kempenfest 2km open water swim.  Thankfully most of the girls used the two-hour bus ride to catch up on any missed sleep.

Once we arrived in Barrie all of the swimmers grabbed their caps and timing chips and headed to the water for the swim while those of us not swimming went to cheer our team on.  It was a great race for everyone who competed and Ak-O-Mak had a great showing with over 70 campers and staff completing the swim!

After the swimmers were all in and the awards ceremony wrapped up the girls headed off with their counsellors to grab some lunch and walk around the festival.  Once everyone had their fill of ice cream and Tim Hortons we all loaded the buses to head back to camp for dinner.


We had a delicious dinner of mashed potatoes, vegetables, meatloaf, and fresh rolls.  After dinner everyone went down to the waterfront to gunnel bob on the canoes, paddle around in kayaks, and jump off the tower.  Then it was off to bed for everyone after a very tiring but fun day!  


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Camp AkOMak
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