Directing a camp involves that most delicate field of human effort -- the relations between human beings; and it involves, further, the development and growth of that which man counts most precious -- his children.
-”Unca” Lou Handler, Co-Founder, 1909-1974
Yes, this is about cleaning up your cookout site. Yes, this is about making sure that the next group to navigate that unmaintained portage has an easier time than you did. Yes, this is about picking up that random tuck wrapper on your way back to your cabin. But it’s also (obviously) a metaphor for making the world a better place and “giving back.”
We can only live our values and accomplish great things if we do it together. While we are all individuals, we are also members of various communities. We are a part of a cabin group, a section, and a camp. But we are also a part of our communities back at home. At Tamakwa, we value working as one for the betterment of our communities. Canoe trips, color war programs, and even our day-to-day activities rely on campers and staff coming together to overcome challenges and achieve success. We’re a team. And we’re family.
We believe, as Lou and Omer did, that getting away from the stresses and commitments of life in the city and immersing oneself in nature is rejuvenating. It’s energizing. It’s fuel for the mind, body, and soul. Being outdoors is great. Being out in nature is better. Being in Algonquin Park is the absolute best. To us, appreciating our surroundings means more than just enjoying them. It means that we actively learn about and develop a relationship with the land. This provides a strong sense of place and the foundation for our stewardship of the land on which we are privileged to spend our summers.
We know that this environment is enjoyed best when we eliminate cell phones and other technologies from day-to-day life at camp and connect with one another. At Tamakwa, we are 100% Social. 0% Media. While we’re strict about our no cell phone/no screens policy, most people actually love it, claiming that unplugging is one of the most liberating and refreshing feelings ever. It encourages all of us to truly be together, celebrating our achievements and working through challenges face-to-face, in real time, as a community.
At Tamakwa, we will:
Model our core values each and every day.
Challenge ourselves and each other to be better every day.
Recognize and support the strengths and challenges of each Tamakwan.
Guide our campers to help them grow.
Reflect on our past; both to honor it and to improve upon it.
Dream about making Tamakwa and the world a better place.
Listen to anyone who wants to be heard.
Learn from our mistakes. We will learn from one another.
Strive to be compassionate and understanding.
Work to hire and train the best staff.
Love your children as if they were our own.
And we will do all of this while providing the most fun environment in the most beautiful place in the world!