Jan 21, 2015

Confidence at Camp

Being at camp can be exhausting. In just one day, a camper can experience sailing, archery, kayaking, soccer and ropes… all before dinner! Not to mention the action packed meals, sing songs and evening activities! Sometimes it is hard to keep track of the days and time.

On Fridays however, we like to slow things down. Every Friday night, the entire Tamakwa family gathers on the slope (our wooden amphitheatre overlooking South Tea Lake) for evening program. Each week a different cabin group is chosen to lead a presentation. Campers, along side their counselors, work together to select a topic to present to camp and each camper has the opportunity to speak to the entire camp community.

This long-standing tradition is not only an opportunity for us all to slow down and reflect on the previous week, but it’s also another incredible skill campers learn at camp. On the slope, campers as young as 7 years old gain the courage and confidence to speak in front of the whole camp. The maturity and confidence they display would make any parent or camp director proud.

We have said it before and will say it again, camp is so much more than a summer long slumber party. It’s a place where campers learn to work together and speak to hundreds of people. They leave more confident, more mature and more independent. Where else do young people get this opportunity?

Beyond their impressive public speaking skills, the words spoken by our campers can be incredibly moving. Topics range from favourite memories, the value of canoe trips or sometimes just a thought to share from the heart. Below you will find a poem, written and read by three of our Tamakwa campers.


Kindness is hip, kindness is fun
In your priorities, make it number one.

If you’re unkind, you won’t succeed.
You’ll be in the back, not in the lead.

Kindness is something you shouldn’t lack.
When you are kind, you’ll get it all back.

Being unkind is very rude.
Try to be kind with a good attitude.

Have an open heart and an open mind.
And always remember to remain kind.

Being kind can get you far.
That’s the way to be no matter who you are.

Be kind at Tamakwa, be kind at home.
Thanks for listening and Shabbat Shalom.

– A group of 13 year old girls