24 December, 2013

Holiday Wishes

It’s the night before Christmas

Make a wish

Close your eyes

Dream again of sparkling Ahmic

Under sunny, summer skies

Remember laughter in the Cabin line

Fireside singing late at night

Mirror-like water at Early Bird

The silent heron taking flight

“I wish I may, I wish I might

I wish upon this star tonight…”

To return again to Ak-O-Mak’s shore

And find myself, my friends once more

To hear the Main House thunder in song

With beautiful voices

One Hundred Girls Strong!

 

Camp Ak-O-Mak wishes you and your family all the joy and peace of the holiday season.

Dianne & Catherine

 

12 October, 2013

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. 

This weekend Canadians celebrated their Thanksgiving holiday we would like to wish all our Canadian alumni and family's a Happy Thanksgiving

07 October, 2013

Camp is Short

"Camp is Short So Make Every Day Count!"

 

 This is an important saying we have around Camp Ak-O-Mak.  With so much to experience in such a short time, we encourage our campers to "make the most of every day" because, before you know it, it's time to head home.  

This is also very true for those of us who work at Ak-O-Mak all summer. 

It seems like yesterday that we were filled with that PRE-season energy and excitement..."We can hardly wait to see our campers again!".  Grateful for the longer days, the chore list ran til dark as we rushed to make everything "just right" for our girls.  Here we are twelve SHORT weeks later, PACKING UP the 'accoutrements' of a summer of adventure, laughter and play! The days are now shorter and the nights are much cooler.  The thermometer has frosted over a few times, silencing the symphony of crickets so characteristic of late summer. 

Living on the 45th parallel has given me a perpetual longing for the glory days of summer.   Nevertheless, I remain awed by Mother Nature's  "art show" every September, her dramatic kohl skies, fire-y sunsets and, of course, the autumn colours around the lake.   I wish that you, our wonderful campers, could see how beautiful Ak-O-Mak looks in her finale of colour...  her last "hurrah" before a long winter's rest.

My gaze drifts from the forest to the soccer field where dozens of Canada geese have assembled.  Their low, muffled honks belie the victorious cacophony that eruptedone special night in July.  Do those geese not know they are standing on sacred ground?  I find myself smiling as I remember the screams of pure joy and excitement, the embraces shared by the entire camp when the Ak-O-Mak girls' soccer team BEAT THE BOYS.  Their victory warms me in spite of the cold rain that has begun to fall.

To me, summer is really over when the canoes are finally placed in the Main House for safe-keeping, nestled against each other as though cozying up for a long nap.  The water pipes are drained, cabins and HOPs, cleaned.  The docks have been pulled into shore for protection from the miles of unforgiving lake ice yet to form.  The kitchen that so fragrantly hustled and bustled all summer to produce delicious meals is now silent, cold and hollow...like the pots on the shelves.

Although the "stuff" of camp is packed up and stowed way for another season, the wonderful memories we made this summer remain instantly accessible, keeping us  close though separated by miles and oceans.

...Until we meet again...next summer!

Catherine & Dianne

 

20 September, 2013

Western Mustangs and Silver Otters

Western Mustangs and Silver Otters

Dianne and Catherine had no sooner said "goodbye" to our final session of campers when it was time to welcome the University of Western Ontario Kinesiology students to Camp Ak-O-Mak.  This group of Co-Eds attended camp for a week of intensive canoe instruction earning a partial credit along the way.  Now that is our kind of classroom!

 

 Sunny days prevailed so the lake remained unseasonably warm, a welcomed bonus to the brave Early Bird swimmers who ventured to Orange Rock each morning.  Two of those Early Birders included Sydney H. an Ak-O-Mak alumna now attending Western and Catherine's 11 year old daughter, Marion.  It is always wonderful to see how the bonds made at camp extend beyond age as these gals buddied up each morning to swim triangles side by side.

 

As everyone knows, one week at camp seems to fly by and before we knew it all 50 of us started the process of pulling in the heavy docks on Western's last day.  We are very grateful for the annual participation of our strong Kinesiology students!  It is literally "all hands on deck!"...and with a "one, two, three, LIFT!"  we are able to raise and stack even the heaviest canoe docks.  Thank you once again to our friends in purple and white!

 

As Western pulled away from camp in their enormous Mustangs Team coach, preparations were well under way to receive our last visitors of the season, the ever-hardy Silver Otter Swim Club (of William Ross MacDonald Swimming).  Coached by Mike Finch and supported by a fun-loving parent group, this troupe of boys and girls ranging in age from 8-20 filled the Main House with laughter and song for one last weekend!  It was wonderful to see not only the team spirit of this group, but genuine caring and mentoring of the young ones by their older peers.  Well done, Otters!

13 September, 2013

Jocelyn at Worlds In London

Jocelyn at Worlds in London

I finished 5th in my age group and 1st American at Sprint Worlds today. I swam well coming out of the water with the 2012 American National Sprint Champion, then held a good position on the bike in spite of my dreadfully slow corners due to the most people crashing that I have ever seen, some right in front or behind me, once I skidded across the toad avoiding another competitor going down. I came in to transition with all the top contenders and had a great run missing 1st by less than a minute, that was Brigite McMahon the former Olympic gold medalist and I was 9 seconds from 3rd. A sprint finish with 4th ended in her beating me by 4 seconds. It was a rainy, dangerous course and so much fun!

02 September, 2013

September 1st

Western University Arrives

Our camper have all left for another season, we miss all the singing in the main house..... but camp is still active. Western University arrived on Sunday for a week for an intense paddling program.

02 September, 2013

Diana Nyad

Congratulation DIANA NYAD

Ak-O-Mak Alum, Diana Nyad, conquers Cuba to Florida Swim!

"Put on your loud loud loud bang bang paddles!!  Make a lot of noise!!..."

On behalf of all Camp Ak-O-Makkers, 7-100, we congratulate 64 year old DIANA NYAD on completing her awe-inspiring swim from Cuba to Florida!  Diana, you are the epitome of perseverance and courage.  We have been following all of your swims and cheering for you from the shores of Camp Ak-O-Mak!  Thank you for inspiring us all to dream BIG!  Well done!

02 September, 2013

Good Bye Camper

Good Bye Campers

Saturday was a morning of tearful good byes among friends and happy reunions with families.  It was the end of the final camp session.  Trunks stuffed-to-bursting with dirty laundry and wet towels...(I mean, who packs neatly to go home?!) everyone piled their luggage at the back porch of the Main House to await their parents' arrival.

These last  two weeks of August were wonderfully hot and sunny which kept the lake temperatures perfect for early bird swims, lots of "open waterfront" and of course, swim practise.  Yeah!  We enjoyed a "cracker" of a thunderstorm Monday night, the kind that thunders throughout the bay and rattles the windows and walls of the Main House.  When the power suddenly went off during the Lip-Sync skits, dozens of flashlights and headlamps held by the audience clicked on to illuminate the "stage" and the show carried on!  It was a great night and will be one of my favourite memories of camp.

It is always a little sad to see our camp friends leave for the season.  It is never more apparent than in the stillness of the bay and the quiet of the Main House once everyone is gone.  The Main House seems to "sleep", its soul or personality hollow without the girls' lively laughter and chatter that brought it to life for the summer.

 Sunday morning Dianne and I enjoyed a quiet coffee together on the dock.  It was the first morning without the Early Bird bell and no one stirred on camp.  The new found calm at the waterfront had attracted a solitary loon near the 50 yard pool and its soulful call echoed throughout the bay.  Was she, too, lamenting the departure of her "mermaid" friends??..."Where did they all go?...Will they be back?"...

Thank you, Girls of Ak-O-Mak, for the summer-time memories you have given us, Dianne and Catherine.  Thank you for inspiring us with your determination and for making us laugh with your never-ending antics!

 It is in your joy that we find our purpose and see that Buck and Rosemary's legacy, indeed, continues.

28 August, 2013

August 28th

August 28th

This morning the fog was rolling off the water, making the small island across the lake look like a pirate ship looming in the distance. Luckily, it was clear enough that the girls could still do their usual swim to Rocky Reef. There were many best times announced at breakfast afterwards, some dropping more than three minutes on their one mile! Other highlights included one of our youngest, Gracey, who swam her first two mile this morning in just 50 minutes! It’s always great to see our girls out there challenging themselves and improving every day.

This morning the girls had their I.M. meet followed by their choice of canoeing, diving, sailing, small boats or aerobics and yoga. After lunch the girls will head down to their cabins to pack their towels, bathing suits and sunscreen for a fun filled afternoon of playing in the rapids and ice cream at Ahmic Lake Lodge. Another great day of fun in the sun here on Ahmic Lake!

27 August, 2013

Ahmic Harbour Swim

Ahmic Harbour Swim

Although the weather was cloudy and rainy , it didn’t dampen our spirits for Water Day and the Ahmic Harbour Swim. With a quick flip in the schedule everything still ran smooth with Water Day in the morning and the swim in the afternoon. The girls and boys were split up into teams and competed in matches of balloon volleyball in the Mainhouse, various relays, water balloon tosses and team skits. After awards and a delicious lunch, everyone headed down to the main dock for the start of the race, as the sun began to break through the clouds overhead. It turned into a perfect day for the swim—the air was warm and the water was like glass. In under an hour and placing in the top ten overall were Alexis B., Vanessa G., Keira M. and Kate A. in 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th.  Ak-O-Mak was well represented in the top ten campers as well with the addition of Gillian T. and Anna D.—way to beat those boys! Fantastic job to all of our swimmers, we are so proud of you!

 

 

 

10 AND UNDER GIRLS

1ST     DIANA PASCUITA                              1:15:32

 

11-13 GIRLS

1ST     ANNA DAHLGREN                            59:20

2ND    EMMA SEAWRIGHT                          1:06:24

3RD     MARION DENNY                                1:08:34

4TH     JILLIAN ARMSTRONG                       1:09:56

5TH     JORDAN STORM                                1:10:23

6TH     KATHRYN ATKINSON                       1:14:06

7TH     CAROLINE MARTIN                          1:14:16

8TH     MARNI GRAY                                     1:14:50

9TH     ERICA LEIGHTON                              1:15:23

10TH    NATALIE METZING                                    1:20:34

11TH  EMILY WINSLOW                              1:20:38

12TH  EMMA LAZENBY                               1:21:13

13TH  ALICIA CORBIERE                             1:25:32

14TH  ELLA STOYAN                                   1:25:37

15TH  LEANDRA BUDAU                             1:26:45

16TH  REAGHAN GEIMER                           1:37:22

17TH  KATE CROSBY                                   1:38:58

18TH  SIDNEY MUSSICO                              1:40:47

19TH  JANE MACDONALD                           1:40:50

 

13-14 GIRLS

 

1ST     KATE ARMSTRONG                          58:42

2ND    KEELY O'BRIEN                                 1:01:06

3RD     HAILEY NORRIS                                1:04:13

4TH     MARY-KATE JORY                             1:04:41

5TH     JESSICA CODE                                    1:06:21

6TH     OLIVIA OLSON                                   1:06:23

7TH     ASHLYNN MILLER                            1:08:37

8TH     LIANNA GRACE                                 1:09:45

9th      ANNIE RUTHERFORD                       1:16:24

10TH  JODIE MCKIRDY                                1:17:38

11TH  ELISE LEGAULT-WARREN               1:20:17

12TH  ELLA GIACOMELLI                            1:38:38

13TH  KYRA WELLS                                     1:48:23

 

15-17 GIRLS

1ST     ALEXIS BRAGMAN                            54:48

2ND    VANESSA GOLD                                 54:57

3RD     KIERA MICHAILLOFF RUSSELL       56:02

4TH     GILLIAN TATE                                   59:03

5th      REBECCA NIEDBALA                                    1:00:46

6TH     ALLISON MARTIN                             1:01:00

7TH     LEE ANNE LIBERTA                         1:02:35

8TH     ERIN LEE                                            1:02:57

9TH     YVONNE KANG                                  1:14:06

10TH  MEAGAN ADAMS                              1:14:11

11TH  DANA SHERRARD                             1:14:20

12TH  ALEXANDRA WINSLOW                   1:14:23

13TH  SARAH LYCHY                                   1:15:06

14TH  ERINN THEODOSSIOU                      1:15:09

15TH  SAMANTHA WESSON                       1:20:28

16TH  CEEJAY MAERTEN                            1:37:25

 

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