Co-founded in 1936 by celebrated Canadian canoeist, Omer Stringer, Tamakwa has carried on his legacy in its program of style paddling to the presentday. Canoeing is arguably Tamakwa’s core activity, filled with much history and tradition. The activity takes place along our shoreline in a safe, calm part of our lake appropriately named “Canoe Bay”.
Beginner canoeists learn the parts of the canoe and paddle as well as the basic strokes for tandem paddling. Campers also learn the proper technique of canoe trip paddling during a session before their cabin’s canoe trip. Then, as campers progress, they are taught basic paddling skills as solo style canoeists sitting in the middle of the canoe. Skilled instructors, typically Tamakwa veterans, impart years of knowledge and practice in teaching the finer canoe strokes.
Advanced Tamakwa canoeists become part of the summer’s “Voyageur Class” and practice together throughout the summer in camp and on early morning cookouts preparing to demonstrate their incredible skills at the end of season “Voyageur Test” in front of a panel of judges of “Voyageur Canoeists”. Top level canoeists are awarded their “Voyageur Canoeist”, a designation that earns a great deal of respect from fellow campers and is sought after by many eager young enthusiasts.
The canoeing program also helps to prepare campers and staff for Tamakwa’s traditional triathlon events throughout the summer. The Tamakwa triathlon includes swimming, canoeing, and running, and it dates back to the 1980’s. Campers enjoy this triathlon as a personal challenge and often make an attempt each year to improve upon their previous personal best times. Our Junior Tamakwans (grades 1-3) enjoy participating in their own JT Triathlon which includes swimming, kayaking, and running.
There are also numerous safe and fun games to be played in canoe bay and various canoe regattas and special cookouts are also planned.