Week 5 in Review

Dear Tamarack Families,

What a week! The great weather and good times continued with an amazing mix of programs, smiles and fun.

Sunday’s intercamp with Wahanowin was definitely a highlight. Waha brought basketball, baseball and soccer teams to compete with our own Tamarack squads. Our campers played hard and demonstrated both sportsmanship and respect for the opposing teams. There were some exciting finishes and the day was a big success!

Monday was Tamarack’s annual carnival. Massive inflatable games covered the soccer field and the festivities included a dunk tank, cotton candy, snow cones, a slip & slide, marriage booth and more. A new highlight this year was delicious corn off the BBQ. Superfly Entertainment helped host the day and blasted music throughout the camp. Its dancers got everyone moving and grooving and the campers truly had an awesome time. There was other action on Monday as well. At lunch, each cabin was asked to dress up as a unified group. Cabin EG2 decided to impersonate their unit head, Jason Stern! At night, Tamarack hosted its first ever staff intercamp program. Elders were given permission to stay up late to watch their staff role models compete under the lights. They were even given staff snack, which they greatly appreciated.

Tuesday was a particularly special day for the Elders. The unit engaged in the first ever ‘Elder Dragon’s Den’ competition. Campers were divided into groups of 7 or 8. They had the day to gather research and prepare a presentation on ‘An Idea to Further Enhance Camp’. Groups came up with detailed surveys and put a lot of thought into their concepts. In the end, there were some very creative ideas presented, including an expanded tuck shop, in-depth music program, and new camper sports leagues! With a little further development, some of these ideas might actually be implemented.

Later on Tuesday, Tamarack took several campers to a famous ski/wake Show in Bala. The individuals that went were those who consistently are involved in water-skiing and/or wakeboarding for choice. At the event, campers got to see professionals perform incredible tricks. Our campers came back inspired to continue improving their own skills. Tuesday night was also a Magen Boys social. This dance party was different than the others as it featured lots of hit classics from the 1990s. The Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and even N’Sync got more air time than they have received in years. The theme was ‘White Party’ and campers were encouraged to attend the party decked out in white clothing/accessories. As usual, a lot of t-shirts were given out, which generated mega-smiles.

Wednesday, our Elders excitedly departed on their annual rafting trip. With their bags packed, they loaded onto buses bound for the Ottawa River. The 3-day, 2-night trip is always a highlight for our pre-cits and cits. Like every year, the trip involved great bonding as our campers paddled together down the river and fended off fun-filled, exhilarating rapids. Back on the home front, Wednesday included an “Inside-Outside’ dinner where all campers and staff came dressed wearing their clothes inside-out. Wednesday evening, our Hawthorn campers enjoyed their second month unit trip in town. The group was thrilled at the opportunity to enjoy McDonald’s and watch ‘Ice Age 3’ up on the big screen. Meanwhile, the Junipers had their unit Kool-Aid, which is an annual camp lip-synching competition. Each cabin skit was amazing and all Juniper groups have been asked to perform in our Kool-Aid camp-wide program tonight!

Thursday was a packed day of activities topped off by the Hawthorn play. The show was ‘Broadway Bound’. It incorporated Mickey & Minnie, Snow White, Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins. The talent was tremendous and the cast received amazing ovations. It was the perfect send off for some of our Acorn 2 campers that left on Friday morning.

On Friday, as one group left, a new one came in: our final mini-acorn weekenders! Mini-acorn campers enjoyed a delicious outdoor lunch and, along with our Hawthorn and Juniper campers, had fun with some water games. This week, Friday’s after-dinner service was put on by the Junipers and was on the topic of ‘What Camp Has Taught Me’. Later in the evening, the Junipers enjoyed their much anticipated I.C.E. (Individual Cabin Experience) night. All of the counselors planned an extra special program for their campers and it finished with a great snack for all.

Saturday was a particularly busy day for our Sequoia unit. The afternoon consisted of a Sequoia half-day Olympiad. The unit was split into two teams: Red/Black and Green/White. The teams faced off in challenges on land and in the water. In the end, Red/Black came out victorious although everyone had an absolute blast. Later in the night, the Sequoias enjoyed their special I.C.E. night and the counselors really pulled out all the stops. Saturday night, the mini-Acorns, Hawthorns and Junipers had an evening luau party down at the beach. Face painting, relays, water programs, and special snacks were all part of the memorable experience.

Sunday was a classic Super Sunday at Tamarack, which began with a sleep-in and buffet breakfast. Open activities enabled campers to enjoy their camp favourites. Evening programs from Sunday included: ‘How Well Do You Know Your Counsellor’ and more unit Kool-Aids!

This morning we greeted an incredible group of Acorn 3 campers. It was so nice to see how warm and welcoming everyone was in making the new campers feel at home. These campers have already unpacked their bags and are being integrated into their groups through mixer games and other awesome activities.

Remember, you can check out lots of the camp action by watching our online videos on the Tamarack website (www.camptamarack.info) or at http://vimeo.com/camptamarack. In case you missed the awesome Week 4 In Review video, it can be seen at: http://vimeo.com/46728310.

The growth of our campers over the summer has been amazing to see. We’ve had people perform on stage for the first time. We’ve seen campers take responsibility for their cabin environment and develop their independence. We’ve watched cabin-mates bond while working and playing together at activities and evening programs.

We can’t wait for this growth to continue over the coming week. More programs, more skills, more memories, and, of course, lots more fun.

Until next time,

Rick, Ellen, Marc, Josh & Wendy

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