Author Archives: Lisa Wilson

Q&A Performing at Camp Edition: Erika Munz

Q&A Performing at Camp Edition: Erika Munz

Meet Erika Munz! Erika was a Semi in 2016 and has found a home performing songs on the Oconto stage with camp friends and now with her own campers as well. We’ve asked Erika a few questions below about her experience at Oconto and advice for anyone looking to perform.

How long have you been going to Oconto and what keeps you coming back?
This year I will be spending my 8th summer at Oconto. Oconto has truly become my second home. Each year I am drawn back to the incredibly welcoming, fun, positive and caring environment that is Oconto. At camp, I have met some of the most genuine, goofy and compassionate people, who I am so thankful to call my bestfriends. Each year that I return is an opportunity to meet more amazing people, try new things, learn about myself and positively influence others.
Which all camp evening is your favourite: Sunday evening concert or Thursday night Campfire? why?
 Sunday Evening Concert! I love watching all of the fun and creative acts – especially if there are costumes involved.  It’s so fun to see campers on stage just being themselves and having a great time!
Do you enjoy performing at Sunday Evening Concert  and campfire? why?
I love performing at camp! I have never found a more supportive and caring audience then at Oconto. I first began performing at camp as an Int and remember feeling overwhelmed by all of the love and support I received from both campers and staff. No matter where I perform, Oconto always cheers the loudest!
Erika, Charlotte and Lucie singing and chapel

Erika, Charlotte and Lucie singing and chapel

If you could sing any song on the “Oconto Stage” what would it be and why?
I would sing Travelin’ Soldier by the Dixie Chicks. The first time I sang it at camp was in Seniors 2013, since then it has become my signature song and makes an appearance each summer!
Any words of advise to campers who want to perform at Sunday Evening Concert or campfire but may be shy?
You can do it!! Everyone at camp wants you to be yourself and succeed! Camp is the perfect place to try new things and build your confidence. You will do great no matter what!
Anything to add?
Camp has definitely had the biggest influence on my confidence and allowed me to become more outgoing and comfortable performing! Thank you Oconto for the constant encouragement and support!
Enjoy Erika’s cover of ‘Travelin’ Soldier’ below performed on the porch of The Four Seasons!

 

Work Camp: Making Camp Beautiful One Leaf At A Time

Work Camp: Making Camp Beautiful One Leaf At A Time

If you thought camp looks like it does in the summer all year round, you are in for a surprise! A group of staff members arrive up at Oconto the first weekend of May every year for 2 months of hard work in order for camp to look like camp. This is what we call WORK CAMP.

What does work camp entail? I’ll let this year’s work camp staff tell you! Take a look at the video below for a short peek at what work camp is all about!

There is LOTS to be done during the springtime! From raking all the leaves and staining buildings to taking the tin off zebos and cleaning every cabin; the work camp staff are always busy and working hard!

            Big thanks to our work camp staff every year for making camp what it is in the summer! You gals ROCK! This summers staff included: Emily Pepper, Katie Scott, Emma Kinsella, Maddy Horne, Gill Bevan, Brooklyn Colborne, Lani Macdonald, Tess Sutherland, Emily Lobb, Emily Mihalcin, Kate Lahaie, Ali Wyatt, Shannon Stride, Hales Carter, Ella Foss, Jenna Janiac, Danny-Mae Toon, and Michaela Bray.

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!

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Oconto FIVE: Packing Edition

Oconto FIVE: Packing Edition

The wait is almost over; camp is around the corner! Everyone has the same struggle before they head off to camp: ‘What do I pack/How do I pack?!’ Hopefully with these FIVE helpful tips we can turn that struggle into a breeze!

1. Use our PACKING LIST– Our packing list is printable and can easily be taped to the inside of a trunk for reference while you pack for camp as well for when you are packing to go home. Whether you follow our packing list exactly or not, it is a good base to start from. It even has convenient check boxes for you to mark off what and how much of each thing you have!

 

2. Label ALL of your belongings!– This is perhaps one of the most important thing to do when going to camp. Especially your Oconto paraphernalia since everyone else will have the same ones! At the end of camp we have so many lost and found items that aren’t claimed and that we can’t return because there are no names. We recommend using Mabels Labels, which is a fun easy way to personalize your name labels.

 

3. Bring OLD clothes – At camp we spend most of our time outside and in nature; occasionally there are impromptu mud splashing fights and accidental paint spillage! Camp is not a place for brand new clothes if you don’t want them to come back with a potential stain on them. By bringing old clothes or clothes you don’t care about, it allows you to play, splash and spill WHEREVER you please without the worry of ruining your clothing.

 

4. Avoid OVER packing – We are all guilty of this whether we admit it or not. You could be completely finished packing and see that favorite t-shirt and put it in your bag. Well, 20 favorite t-shirts later and you’ve ended up packing your whole closet! Before you start packing decide on a number for each article of clothing and STICK TO IT. While zebos and cabins do have some shelving areas, keep in mind it is a shared space so it is best to keep it light and organized.

 

5. Strategic packing – There are many ways to pack strategically to maximize space and keep your bag organized. There is a long debate about which is better, rolling versus folding clothes. Why not do both? With your bigger bulkier items try the folding approach, and with your smaller thinner items try the rolling approach. Items like sweatpants and sweatshirts will actually compress more flat folded, and by rolling items like t-shirts and shorts you can maximize space by fitting them in smaller spaces. Separate your underwear, socks and bathing suits so they are easier access if you don’t unpack right away at camp.

 

Hopefully, this will help you all when packing for camp! With only a few days left till campers arrive we are beyond excited for everyone to get here!

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‘Canoe’ Canoe? (Canoe Heads for Kids)

Oconto Alum team posing for a photo before the event

‘Canoe’ Canoe? (Canoe Heads for Kids)

On June 4th, not one but TWO teams consisting of Oconto alumni and current staff participated in Canoe Heads for Kids.

Together, Team Oconto Alum and Team Oconto Staff raised $7,025.28, which will send approximately 6 kids to camp this summer!

Oconto Staff team posing for a photo

Top: Tess Sutherland, Katie Scott, Danny-Mae Toon, Emily Pepper, Kate Lahaie Bottom: Brooklyn Colborne, Maddy Horne. Photo by Teddy Chau

Oconto Alum team posing for a photo before the event

Top: Emily Peebles, Beth McNeil, Calynn Irwin, Alice Nelson Bottom: Sophie Bertram, Evelyn Nelson, Kay Watson. Photo by Teddy Chau

Canoe Heads for Kids is an event that started in 2006 by Billy Anderson in hopes to raise $10,000 to send deserving kids to camp. He portaged a total of 43 km across the span of two days. From that, the idea came about to have an annual event portaging 20km through downtown Toronto and paddling 20km, totaling 40km.

 

Today, Canoe Heads for Kids is a 7km portage starting from the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre and ending up at Humber Bridge, then a 7km paddle back to Harbourfront. About 125 people participated this year and raised over $120,000 so far!

All participants listening to organizers talk about Canoe Heads for kids and the event.

All participants listening to pre event speeches. Photo by Teddy Chau

‘In the end, all the hard work is worth it when we see the money roll in and hear first hand from Amici campers about their amazing experiences at summer camp’

 -Tim McMartin (Organizing Commitee)

 

We spoke to the captain of our alumni team Sophie Bertram about her 5 years of experience participating in Canoe Heads and what camp means to her:

Sophie Bertram paddling during the event with team mate Kay Watson

Sophie Bertram paddling during the event with team mates Kay Watson and Beth McNeil. Photo by Teddy Chau

What does participating in this event and representing a team of Oconto Alum mean to you?

 

Sophie: It is so important to me that every child has the opportunity to attend camp. As Oconto Alum, I know the power of the camp experience and how much of an impact it can have on a child’s life. I wanted to raise as much money as I could to give that gift to as many children as possible.

 

What did you learn growing up at camp?

 

Sophie: Camp taught me confidence and resilience. At camp, you are in a safe environment to explore and play without the pressure and judgment we often face in the ‘real world’. You can be goofy and carefree but also sensitive and reflective – being your authentic self is celebrated and encouraged at camp, which gave me the confidence to always be myself no matter what.

With this confidence, came a resilience to face challenges head on and turn them into opportunities for learning and growth. Not everyday was going to be sunshine and rainbows, but with self-confidence and support from my peers I learned how to make the most of every day and turn a negative experience into something positive. This attitude and approach to life was instilled in me from my summers at Oconto and helps me navigate through my life today.

Oconto Alum ready for their paddle

Evelyn Nelson, Emily Peebles, Sophie Bertram, Kay Watson and Beth McNeil ready to paddle. Photo by Teddy Chau

Click HERE to see more photos from this year’s event! (Photos by Teddy Chau)

All participants and volunteers for canoe heads for kids

Photo by Teddy Chau

Emily Pepper, Danny-Mae Toon and Kate Lahaie paddling during the event

Emily Pepper, Danny-Mae Toon and Kate Lahaie Photo by Teddy Chau

Katie Scott and Maddy Horne paddling during the event

Katie Scott and Maddy Horne Photo by Teddy Chau

Brooklyn Colborne and Tess Sutherland paddling during the event

Brooklyn Colborne and Tess Sutherland Photo by Teddy Chau

There is still time to donate to canoe heads for kids and help send a kid to camp!

 

Save the date for next year’s Canoe Heads for Kids:  Saturday, June 3, 2017

 

*If you are interested in getting involved with Canoe Heads or Amici visit their website http://amicicharity.org/get-involved/

Hey SENIORS!

Hey SENIORS!

A word from your Senior section head RONNIE

Camp is coming up and I know this summer is going to be great! There’s a lot to look forward to and so many memories to make!

First year seniors, you guys must be pumped! How sweet is it to be in the oldest section and be role models and older sisters to all the other sections? Seniors is an amazing experience with loads of new challenges and team building.

Second year seniors, words can’t describe how happy I am to see your smiling faces! This is your year, the last hurrah. That means it’s time to enjoy every aspect of camp but also remember to complete your Basic C in Canoeing so you can come kick it as a QC!

Being in seniors, you’re all pretty lucky to have the chance to do certain activities that may not be allowed for other sections. There are many opportunities to try new things whether you love a good tie-dye day at A&C or you’re a canoeing Queen. If you’re up for the challenge, you can sign up for Bronze Med or Bronze Cross. This is a great way to learn life saving skills with the best teachers and with all your friends! This is also one step closer to getting your NLS and becoming a Camp Oconto lifeguard! Being in the lake sure beats taking lessons in a pool during the colder months!

As seniors, you have the chance to be one with nature by signing up for trip. There are many choices for trip whether it be a couple of nights or a full on five-day adventure in Algonquin Park! I absolutely recommend some type of trip this summer, regardless of the length!

Seniors is the perfect recipe for a staff member in training. A touch of laughter and fun with a sprinkle of leadership and responsibility, and voila! In a year or two QC’s will be calling your name!

Get ready to have the best summer of your lives, see you soon!

-Ronnie

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