Camp Tamakwa Blog

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Camp News

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70th Birthday Canoe Trip Reunion

In the spring of 2017, the Camp Tamakwa office was contacted by alumni Richard Kohn. Richard, who was a Tamakwa camper in the 1950s, met some of his best friends at camp, and they remain best friends all these years later.

Advice for First-Time Parents and Campers

Help! We’ve Got Kids is a Canadian online directory for parents and caregivers offering a one-stop shop for activities, events and products for kids and families. For a recent article, they reached out to Camp Directors from across Canada for advice on getting ready for camp.

Safe Risks and Why They are Important

Risk is defined in the dictionary as “the exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.” But is there such thing as a safe risk? And why do we encourage campers to take them?

Get out of the Office! Get into the Woods!

We know there is a lot of pressure on today’s youth to get “real jobs” rather than working at summer camp.

Breaking News!

Below is the exciting news we shared with all Tamakwans on Saturday, January 7, 2017: Dear Tamakwa Family, Earlier today in Los Angeles, at the annual West Coast reunion of current and former Tamakwans, we announced an exciting new development…

The Fight for Nature

December 6th, 2016 inShare We all know I am a Camp Director, a mom, a health food advocate, a Tamakwa alumni and obviously a huge advocate for summer camp living.

Being a Model Camper Abroad

August 21, 2016 Dear Vic, Craig and Margot, After missing out on what I heard was another amazing summer on the sunny shores, I wanted to share a bit of what I learned this summer with all of you

Tamakwa Travels

We love to see Tamakwa Spirit around the world! From the tops of snowy mountains to tropical beaches to dry deserts and to the heart of the rainforest… Tamakwans travel the globe with their #TamakwaClothing and we love it!

Tamakwa to Roots to Order of Canada

We always take great pleasure and pride in hearing about the achievements of current and former Tamakwans. It’s amazing what they’ve collectively contributed to this world in every field of endeavour over the past 80 years.

Golden Day on Golden Ave!

It’s a always a Golden Day on Golden Ave in the West End of Toronto. If you find yourself near Roncesvalles and Dundas, be sure to wander over to Golden Avenue.

It’s Almost #TamakwaShirtDay

Hurray! It’s almost time for #TamakwaShirtDay! Yay! On May 29th Tamakwans from around the world will be celebrating the 1 month countdown until SUMMER!

50 DAYS!!

#Tamakwa2016 is just 50 days away!!! 50 DAYS!! Can you believe it??

Colour / Color War

While the spelling of Colour/ Color will always be a point of contention with our mix of Canadian and American Tamakwans, there is no question that the fun and excitement surrounding the last few days of camp is worth the wait!

Live Everyday like Earth Day

riday April 22 was Earth Day! As Unca Lou always used to say ” Leave your Campsite better than you found it…”

Happy Earth Day

Canoe Heads 2016

If you follow our blog, you probably understand the value of summer camp for children.

CIT Banquet

The end of summer CIT Banquet is an exciting event for all Tamakwans. Activity awards are presented, speeches are made and fun is had by all!

Girls Camp On Trip

We are overwhelmed by the excitement around our second annual “SOLD OUT” Girls Gone Camping weekend happening this fall. Back in the summer of 2012, veteran Canoe Trip and P.A.C.T. paddler Marc Soberano experienced a different “Girls Gone Camping” adventure…

International Siblings Day!

This past Sunday was #InternationalSiblingDay! While many Tamakwans come to camp with their siblings and cousins, many others start the summer on their own.

Robbie Who?

Yes, we are turning to our many alumni to help answer this question! This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions and guess what? We actually don’t know the answer. Who is Robbie’s Point named after?

Echo Echo Echo 2015

Tamakwa has always been the source of great stories that help define each summer. That’s why we always get excited by the appearance of each new issue of the South Tea Echo

The Tuck Shop: Part Two!

We are loving the feedback from our “What’s Up With That” column and have even received a few interesting follow up facts to some of our recently published posts.

A Journey Like No Other

Do you remember your very first canoe trip? While many Tamakwans experience their first canoe trip as a Junior Tamakwan, for our international campers and staff this first trip often happens later in life.

99 Days and Counting

March 21, 2016 marked the official 100 day countdown to Arrival Day for #Tamakwa2016. Excitement was in the air yesterday as Tamakwans from around the world inundated cyber space with their enthusiasm about the 100 day mark!

Happy St. Patrick`s Day

You can’t stop the Green Machine, no you can’t stop the Green Machine!!! Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone!!

Silver Days

When the sun is shining, we call it a Golden Day. When it rains, we call it a Silver Day. With Spring upon us here in Toronto we are expecting a lot of rainy days.

What Makes Lucky Log Lucky?

Hey Tamakwa, what’s up with the lucky log? Former Camp Director/ Owner David Bale has the answers! Did you know that The Lucky Log as we know it wasn’t always lucky!

Challenge By Choice

At Tamakwa, particularly at the Ropes Course, we follow the ‘Challenge by Choice’ principle. Campers learn to set goals and work towards achieving them.

Best Nine

Have you created your Best 9 of 2015? The “Best 9” app gathers your top 9 posts on Instagram from 2015. We did it, and here is what we got!

Surf's Up

Windsurfing is an incredibly fun and challenging activity for campers and staff. At the windsurf dock, campers improve their balance, gain strength, have fun and feel a sense of independence on the water.

Stronger, More Independent and Outgoing

When we receive emails like this, we are reminded there is so much more to learn at camp than sterning a canoe! (which all Tamakwans learn to do as well…)

That Old Tamakwa Spirit

That Old Tamakwa Spirit When we think of the words Tamakwa Spirit a few things come to mind. For many the song “Gimme that Old Tamakwa Spirit” comes first, followed by other songs that can be found in our song book.

International Staff on the Shores

As the summer of 2016 fast approaches, we are excited to once again welcome new and returning international staff to the shores of South Tea Lake.

PJ Day

On this snowy Tuesday morning, does anyone else find themself wishing they could be wearing their PJs to work/school? If only summer lasted all year round… Happy #TamakwaTuesday

Family Day Fun

Happy “Family Day” Weekend to all those able to celebrate it! This holiday was first celebrated in 1990 when the Alberta Premier decided it was important for Albertans to take some extra time with their families in order to emphasize the importance of family values.

Det. Jewish News: $ave in Canada

It looks like the news about the current exchange rate and how this affects American families is starting to spread.

Best Views at Camp

Did you read our blog “Captured By The View“? In the article, South Tea Echo “Editor in Chief” Robert Sarner writes about his favourite spot in camp. While there are countless beautiful options to choose from, Robert decides on the Lower Deck as his favourite.

Unca Lou and Omer Collection

On a cool and misty morning in the year 1936, a red canoe glided silently across the still waters of South Tea Lake. In it were two young men: one with a dream, Lou Handler (Unca Lou), the other with the skills to make it a reality, Omer Stringer.

George Who?

February 3rd, 2016 George Who? Every Tamakwan arrives at camp in a Pointer. Only George Hirsch arrives by water ski! Who is George Hirsch and what is his connection with Tamakwa? Former Camp Director/Owner Dave Bale tells all!

Another Winterfest Successfest

While #TamakwaWinterfest was missing some snow, it was certainly a wonderful spring-like afternoon filled with skating, tobogganing, foods, drinks, ice dancing, skating races and much more!

Through the Dirt and Grime, He Shines!

The following is our next installment of “Tamakwans Talk” (see the bottom for a brief explanation) written by a camp mom a few summers ago that we recently rediscovered. Happy reading !!

Favourite Trees at Tamakwa

While Lone Pine is the most iconic tree on the sunny shores, former Canoe Tripper/Outdoor Fun Director Snaige (Jogi) Zahn had a few other favourite trees to share.

The Tamakwa Sign

It’s the first thing you see when you arrive to the shores, and it’s the last place you get your photo taken before you leave for Canoe Trip…

It's time for an Electronics Fast

You’ve read it before on our blogs and you’ve heard it from friends across the globe, the benefits of summer camp are endless.

Winter at Tamakwa

The sunny shores are covered in snow and it’s beautiful. Check out our collection of awesome winter pics and be sure to share any scenic winter shots from your off-season home!

Making the Right Call

The 2016 Tamakwa staff team is shaping up to be one for the record books! With many familiar faces, and many new ones as well, we are very excited for the upcoming summer season.

Get Outside, and Snap a Selfie!

Yesterday was #BlueMonday. It was cold in the city… and it was even colder on the Sunny/Snowy shores of South Tea. Our winter team has been braving the cold up north and taking some awesome photos for us all to enjoy… and it’s pretty cold up there!

Working at Camp is a Real Job

Hello my name is Andrea. I am 28 years old and I am a camp-a-holic. Since I was 8 years old I have spent every summer of my life at camp. I have never been to a summer music festival, I have no idea what other people do in the summer, and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

Exchange Rate Excitement

The current US/CDN exchange rate hasn’t been at this level in years and it’s making headlines across North America. For families in the United States, Camp Tamakwa can almost be considered a bargain, relatively speaking!

What`s up with the cabin names?

Many people have noticed that our cabin names are somewhat random and have asked “What’s up with the Cabin Names?” While many are lakes in Algonquin Park, others seem quite strange. Former Tamakwa Owner/Director Dave Bale has the answers!

Camp Clothing Through the Ages

While the majority of Tamakwa clothing has remained green and white over the years, there have been many different pieces in the collection.

What`s in a Name?

Ever wonder where the name Tamakwa came from? You are not alone! You would think that the origin of the name would a documented piece of Tamakwa history, however this is not the case. In a quest to find the answer in 2006 South Tea Echo editor Robert Sarner went on a mission…

A Star is Born!

The Camp Musicals and Drama department at Camp Tamakwa is a favourite part of the summer for all Tamakwans!

This Mirror is Clean… Are You?

This mirror can be found on the side of the dining hall. At some point, almost every Tamakwan has taken a photo here! Share your mirror photo today!

Captured By The View

Everyone has a favourite place on the sunny shores of South Tea. South Tea Echo Editor Robert Sarner writes about his favourite in the 2009 edition. What is your favourite place at Camp?

Tamakwa Pennant

At each activity at camp there are award levels. When campers (and staff!) participate at activities and develop their skills, they achieve awards.

Girls Hill – The Early Years

When girls first came to the sunny shores in 1949, the eastern shore of South Tea Lake looked very different! While the cabins have changed colours, shapes and names, they continue to be filled with smiles, laughter, and girl power!

Tuck Shop or Tilt Shop?

Hey Tamakwa, what’s up with the Tuck Shop looking like it might fall over? Well, it’s true, this isn’t the most elegant of camp buildings but it’s definitely the oldest. The Tuck Shop now stands, or leans, as the oldest structure in camp.

The Harvey Deutch Triathlon

The Harvey Deutch Triathlon includes swimming, canoeing, and running, and dates back to the summer of 1989. Campers and staff of all ages enjoy this triathlon as a personal challenge and often make an attempt each year to improve upon their previous personal best times.

Tamakwa’s Food Fight

For the past few years I have taken up a small space in our annual South Tea Echo newspaper to outline “Margot’s Changes”; a summary of new and exciting food and environmentally friendly changes that have been made at camp each year .

Our Boys

The following is our first installment of “Tamakwans Talk” (see the bottom for a brief explanation) written by a camp mom at the end of the summer. Happy reading !!

The Timeless Value of Canoe Trip

Change is important, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little consistency in life. Over the past 80 years Tamakwa has grown from a small camp for boys, with campers mostly from Detroit, to an ever expanding co-ed camp with boys and girls from all over the world.

Tootsie Frootsie, Really?

Hey Tamakwa, who came up with Tootsie Frootsie? Well, there are lots of great ideas that date back to our founder Unca Lou and Omer but this great one is actually a joint effort.

Lone Pine Day

Rounding the bend and seeing the Lone Pine tree is arguably one of the best feelings in the world. To some, it is just a tree.

Tamakwa Collections: Sail Boats Through the Ages

Sailing has been a part of Camp Tamakwa for generations. Unlike tubing and wake boarding, campers learn to have fun on the lake without the need for fast motors and fancy toys.

Vic and His Bugle

Cabin Photos are Here!

Hey #Tamakwa2015 Campers and Staff! Have you checked your mail box recently? Your 2015 Cabin photos should be there! If not already, they should arrive this week!

Why the names “Girls Dock” and “Boys Dock”?

You wondered… Why do you always say you are going to “girls dock” or “boys dock” when all campers have swimming lessons at the same place? Camp Director Margot Perlmutter has answers!

Getting Crafty on the Shores

Happy #TamakwaTuesday everyone! Thanks so much to everyone who has been sharing their photos on Instagram. It is so exciting to see so much #Tamakwa love online! Even when we are miles apart it feels like we are together.

Water Sports at Tamakwa

It is a beautiful golden day here in Toronto and it truly feels like summer! If only we were together on the shores of South Tea basking in the sun and enjoying all of the wonderful water sports Tamakwa has to offer!

New for #Tamakwa2016

Camp Tamakwa is very excited to present our new Steinhauer Stage ready for action in #Tamakwa2016! Our Drama and Musicals program is one treasured by generations of Tamakwans.

To CIT or Not To CIT

-written by Camp Director Margot Perlmutter If you wanted to do research on the benefits of camp for your children there are likely hundreds, possibly thousands of articles to browse.

Tamakwa Teaser Top 10

Have you ever found yourself standing around the playground listening to a bunch of parents talk about what they need to do to get their kids ready for overnight camp while you silently question if your child will ever be ready for camp?

Tackling Your `To Do` List

We hope you have taken some time to review our Green Book Camper/Parent Manual. We know there is a lot of information to digest but we promise you, it’s worth taking the half hour to read through everything.

Echoes from An Echo

Since 2002, the South Tea Echo has become a highly anticipated publication. Whether you were a camper, parent or staff the previous summer, 10 summers ago, 30 summers ago or more, Tamakwans literally around the world rejoice when the South Tea Echo is published.

Fiddes, by Vic

I’m certain every Tamakwa friend of John Fiddes wishes they could have attended his memorial service. Many of his closest and dearest Tamakwa friends, despite formidable logistics, were present. Of course John’s family was there.

Family Day Across Canada

Most of Canada will celebrate a holiday called “Family Day” this coming weekend. This holiday was first celebrated in 1990 in Alberta, when their Premier decided it was important for all Albertans to take some extra time with their families in order to emphasize the importance of family values.

The History of Beaver Canoe

Omer Stringer, Roots, Beaver Canoe and Camp Tamakwa. While most Tamakwans know the connections, few know some of the details…

`From Detroit to Algonquin Park` – in the DJN

“[It’s] those neat little things, many rooted in decades-old Tamakwa traditions, that help define the camp...

Freeze, You`re Busted

Dear Tamakwa Family, We are sad to inform you of the passing of the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. John Fiddes, AKA The Fiddler, Fiddeus, Fiddlesticks, Big Bad John…

Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Winterfest is coming… this Sunday! While we are thankful for the sunny days we have been having here in Toronto, we hope you will join us in asking Wakonda for some Snow!

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.

Tamakwa Winterfest 2015

Save the Date! Our 5th annual Tamakwa winterfest is almost here! An afternoon full of winter fun with your camp family. What could be better?

Camp Tamakwa is Real!

Last year at a camp fair in Ohio, we were approached/mauled by a pair of overjoyed Camp Directors who were surprised to hear that Camp Tamakwa was real!! Of course we are real! They even said they watched “Indian Summer” with their entire staff during pre-camp training week every single year

The Famous Tamakwa T-Shirt

Is your wardrobe full of Tamakwa clothing? Do you love your Tamakwa t-shirt? Last year, after one of our most successful Tamakwa Shirt Days ever, we were very excited when our friends at Summer Camp Cultures Blog, wrote a blog about Tamakwa t-shirts appearing on the big screen.

How!How! to Matt and Sam!

We are always thrilled when anyone in the Tamakwa family gets married. When two people MEET on the sunny shores and fall in love, well that is extra special.

Tamakwans Lend Helping Hand

Each time we wave goodbye to a fleet of aluminum Tamakwa canoes we hope for many things.

No Parents, No Make-up, No Worries

In today’s world of social media, gym selfies, and cyber bullying, very rarely do we hear positive things about kids using social media.

Let the Countdowns Begin!

As the leaves of Algonquin Park change colour and then fall to the ground and the piles of lost and found are slowly being depleted from both camp offices, the feeling that summer is really over sinks in

We are turning 80!

t’s been 80 years since Unca Lou and Omer Stringer first set foot on the sunny shores of South Tea. We have a lot of excitement lined up for #Tamakwa2015, and we want you to join us!

Already 6 months since Tamakwa Shirt Day 2014

It’s been 6 months since #TamakwaShirtDay2014! A huge How!How! to Tamakwan’s around the world who participated.

Announcement OCT 2014

Here it is Tamakwans… You’ve been asking, we’ve been listening. ‪#‎Tamakwa2015‬ will be that much better. It’s going to be amazing !!

Time to Get Outside!

There are many hot topics and key trends that emerge in society over the years and encourage parents to take a step back and evaluate the choices they are making for their children.

Back to Camp Season

The leaves are turning colour, there is a cool breeze in the air, kids are back at school and parents are planning for…….. summer camp?

Tamakwa Food Policy Reminder

WE ARE A PEANUT/NUT AWARE CAMP. DO NOT PACK ANY SUCH PRODUCTS FOR THE BUS RIDE TO CAMP. When putting the final touches on packing a few snacks for your campers ride up to camp, there are a few simple and straightforward policies which are in place for the safety of our campers and staff.

Not to be Nit Picky, but

Ok, so we have shared lots of fun details like what sort of shampoo to buy, what you need to label (that one was easy, you need to label EVERYTHING) and what sort of beautiful stationary you should be sending with your campers (our postage machine doesn’t like dark envelopes!).

Camp Mail for Everyone!

To Do lists are growing, labeling has likely begun and if you are really a go-getter, maybe you have even started writing a few letters and stashing them away until your kids hit the road.

What You Really Need To Do

We hope you have taken some time to review our Green Book Camper/Parent Manual. We know there is a lot of information to digest but we promise you, it’s worth taking the half hour to read through everything.

Tamakwa for a Day!

The Tamakwa Teaser is a small taste (ok, maybe more like an itty bitty taste) of what residential summer camp is all about. Yup, it’s just one day in glorious Algonquin Park but we promise that, it’s a great, jam-packed day.

True Sounds of Algonquin Park

I scream, you scream, we all scream for NO SCREENS. Birds chirping, loons calling, campers laughing, cell phones ringing? One of these things clearly doesn’t belong and I’m sure we all know which one.

Tamakwa Stays Green

One of the many sayings from founder Unca Lou we still adhere to at Camp Tamakwa is to “leave your campsite better than you found it”.

Tamakwa on CBC Radio One

On May 1, 2014, one day after Parks Canada announced plans to install Wifi internet access in numerous parks around the country, Camp Director Craig Perlmutter was on “The Current”, a daily show on CBC Radio One, weighing in.

My “Mom View”

When you ask campers and staff who have spent a summer at Tamakwa what makes us different, one of the most popular answers is always, THE PEOPLE!

Family Camp 2014

Family Camp 2014 registration is now officially open! We are thrilled with the response from so many excited young families eager to attend our Family Camp weekend.

Dayna’s Canoe Trip Essay

Here is an essay recently written by camper Dayna Katz for a class at school, certainly worth sharing.

The little Blog that could…

Food blogs, health blogs, workout blogs, home decor blogs, parenting blogs; there is no limit to what you can blog about or what already exists out in the incredible world of cyberspace.

A Different Budman & Green

My Tamakwa life began in 1986 and has now spanned across 4 decades, of course with a small hiatus in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Happy Holidays!

Here are some well wishes from everyone at Tamakwa!

Tamakwa on The Sing-Off

Hello Fellow Tamakwans! It’s Josh Lavine – you might have seen me recently on NBC’s The Sing-Off with my a cappella group, The Princeton Footnotes...

Cinch Bag Mania is here…

The Tamakwa Cinch Bag craze has hit Michigan and is about to spread around the world!

Why Businesses Should Hire Former Camp Counselors

Perfect timing for an article on why camp counselors get jobs outside of camp when they’re ready.

Summer Camp Spurs Positive Growth in Youth

In case you missed it, here’s a great article on the growth of kids at summer camp in the Epoch Times.

Family Camp is Coming

Family Camp is coming… Friday, August 29 thru Sunday, August 31, 2014 Where parents are campers too!

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