“Our experience is valued
for a lifetime”
The Value and Importance of Our Alumni
Louis Gyori, Camp Director
It is really exciting to think about continued interest in the camp.
and appreciate the extent to which The reputation of Camp Can-Aqua
Can-Aqua campers, JRCs and is a very complex phenomenon,
staff carry away with them a sense acquired slowly and painstakingly
of continuing to belong to camp over the 30 years of our existence.
and an ongoing commitment to it. I had a vision of what I wanted
Our alumni are in a very real sense Camp Can-Ski / Can-Aqua to be
the Camp Can-Aqua ‘family’, and but it is the alumni who are the
this in itself means that alumni light of this vision - it is really quite
relations are deeply important to remarkable!
the success of the camp today and I think it's important, in times
well into the future. Assistant Director, Grant Wren where parents are bombarded with
I believe one specific issue with alumni, Lindsay Duncan & concerns such as the economy
regarding the relationship of our and their children are faced with so
alumni is that together we share a many options, we continue to work
campers, and thus we greatly
common belief that the camp together to build and to strengthen
value opportunities to bring alumni
experience is important for the Can-Aqua's reputation and image.
back to camp for events in which
development and fulfillment of And so for these and other
they can interact with campers and
children and, as demonstrated by reasons that I haven't mentioned, I
their parents through, for example,
the many testimonials from both sense that building strong
the family camp weekend or to
campers and their parents, plays a partnerships with our alumni is of
spend time during the summer as
significant role in the future well- vital importance to the future
being of those campers who have success of Camp Can-Aqua.
Finally, it goes without saying
graced our 5-star Rustic cabins.
that alumni enhance the reputation
I think our alumni also serve as
of the camp through their
role models for our current
Alumni Speak . . .
Jamie Miller, 1999 – 2005 wrote: to teach me – Louis Gyori, Camp Can-Aqua Director.
“A few weeks ago, I was given an English He was my mentor . . . the falls may be hard and painful, but
assignment to write about a time / lesson in my the sense of accomplishment makes you overlook all the
life where I learned some valuable lessons I still pain. I often found myself falling with my mouth wide open
use today. I thought hard about a good topic that would and swallowing water from smiling. Other than learning how
blow my teacher’s mind. Since this assignment was given to actually bare-foot, I learned some incredible life skills:
to me near the end of October, and I was still thinking about perseverance, courage, believing in myself, self discipline,
camp, all the great memories, it only and not to get discouraged.”
seemed right for my story to be from
camp. Here is an excerpt: About This Newsletter
“the warm calm, lake and the setting
The Mail Label on the envelope includes a number (i.e.
sun, is always so inviting for a bare-
footer. This summer I experienced one of 97, 102, and 104). The number indicates the last year you
attended camp. We will automatically send Camp Can-
the greatest [moments] of my life. For those
Aqua Alumni News to anyone who was at camp in 2003
of you who do not know what bare-footing is –
(103) or later. If your last year at camp was prior to 2002
it’s a lot like water-skiing, but with one incredible twist, no
and wish to receive the Alumni News, you must let us know
skis are needed, just your feet. I was fortunate enough to
by completing and returning the attached form.
have one of the best in the bare-footing business
What Can I Do As An Alumni
Write a Letter about your experience at Camp and what Camp means to you now.
Plan to come for a visit or to work for a day or two.
Introduce a Kid to Camp by bringing them for a Tour
Tell Can-Aqua about a family that should receive an info package or personal contact.
Bring a Kid to Camp Be a Counsellor Again
You already know the value, importance Come and join a growing legion of alumni who return to
and fun camp can be. Now, share the secret Camp each summer for a few days. These intrepid, once-
with a young person you know. Whether it’s upon-a-time counsellors volunteer a day or two or a week to
your own children, a niece or nephew, or a kid reconnect with camp life.
you think will benefit from the positive What can you expect? Well, for starters, we will put you
experience camp provides, jump in the car and to work. Just like your days on staff, you will be assigned to
come for a tour and a visit. activities. Ben Liston (’08) and Karl Hout (’06) moved right
Nothing answers the question “is camp for in and were a valuable resource during the summer.
me?” better than a tour. Meet some of our great You will demonstrate those rare qualities of leadership,
counsellors, hang in a cabin, and see activities in entertainer, humorist and friend that made you a valuable
action. staff member in the past. Catherine Mudie (’03) seamlessly
There is no one better we can think of to filled in on the waterfront and Sofia Guay (06) shared her
introduce a young person to camp than you! Call knowledge and wisdom with today’s staff and campers.
today to arrange a time for your visit! Jason Bornstein (07) easily filled in at Woodworking, like Al
was never there. Jason Vopni (’04) was on fire with
Your Experience is Important to Us! enthusiasm and demonstrated his expertise at Campcraft.
But, most of all, they had fun!
You are important to us. Whether you were Camper, Junior Thanks for your energetic contributions! Their visit was
Counsellor or Staff member your contribution created memorable and exciting. Imagine - you can still contribute
‘memories for a lifetime.” Many of you formed friendships to “memories that last a lifetime!”
that have survived and thrived well after camp. As Alumni, In return we provide room and meals and the unique
you know the enjoyment, fun and positive impact camp can opportunity to re-live the camp experience. We only ask
have on a young person’s life. There are no better that you call in advance to make arrangements for your visit.
spokespeople than those who have experienced camp first So, as you think ahead to next summer, and booking
hand. time off the job, think about Can-Aqua and coming to Camp
To help us pass this message on to parents and one more time! We would love to have you!
campers of today, we invite you to send us a short note
telling us how camp affected your life. We will use one story
in our Camper Fall and Winter Newsletters to help parents
understand the true long-term benefits of camp. We are truly
grateful for your time to help us keep the Can-Aqua
A TIME TO REMEMBER!
Camp Can-Aqua 2008
As the sun rose over the cool waters of Beaver Lake the staff welcomed 130 campers for the first session of the
one beautiful spring morning, an enthusiastic group of summer.
young adults reunited on the grounds of Can-Aqua for two As the Dinning Hall bell rang melodically campers
exciting months of hard work and play. gathered for their first meal together. From D-I-S-C-O to
Thirteen individuals, from far and wide, Journey they sang it all, especially a rowdy rendition of
worked exceptionally hard to prepare Can- Johnny Apple Seed in thanks for being reunited once
Aqua for the eager, waiting campers of again!
2008. From cold mornings to buggy At supper’s end they were greeted by a crazy
afternoons, the May / June crew worked magician who told them a story of an
through it all. They were unstoppable! estranged alliance. She explained how she
A major accomplishment included the intense herself was once part of the alliance but
construction of a beautiful waterfront fence created with was sadly removed - due to her messy
huge, limestone rocks and thick, cedar logs. ways! She told them the only way she
After some unique dance lessons, where could become a part of the alliance again
they learned interesting moves, such as was for campers to clean their cabins.
the peacock, the May / June crew was Feeling compassion toward the magician
ready to welcome the activity councilors and her woes, the Can-Aqua campers did what they could.
for some well prepared training. They cleaned and organized and decorated their cabins to
Everything went by in a blur and before they the very best of their abilities.
stopped to think, a full week passed and it was time for 1 After cleaning the deepest, darkest corners of their
session to kick off. With orange, creamsicle-coloured staff cabins they were ready for activities. On
shirts, kaki shorts, Birkenstock sandals, and gobs of the water, kayakers put it into high gear - Kevin and Billy
enthusiasm, earned their master instructors after mastering that oh so
desired FULL ROLL! In canoeing, Tyler Bay became one luggage down to the parking lot where their journey began
with his canoe paddle completing his just two short weeks earlier.
Pioneer Award after two years of The beginning of third session was ushered in with
dedication and hard work. massive amounts of rain!! Every day the sun played hide-
Meanwhile, in photography Arnaud and-go-seek with campers and staff, sometimes hiding
Dorval used his inventive behind clouds and sending rain in torrential down pours.
imagination to create some outstanding The rain became an ally and spirits ran high among the
ghostly pinhole pictures in the play-field, while down in campers who played through the bad weather and made
Archery, Mitchell Pham shot his way to a Hawkeye award. third session unforgettably memorable.
Outstanding! This was the session of the Golden Ski! Skiers ripped
After a week of activities, hard work and most through the wakes improving their skills and techniques
importantly fun, the camp was suddenly transformed into a with every chance they got. Some, like Shawn Lachance-
giant jukebox! Rock, Metal, Pop, and Rap Coward and Will Stuart took home a Gold Basic skiing
battled for the title of Best Music Form award. Meanwhile, at knee-boarding Alex Lachance-
Ever, in the July 2008 Olympic Games. Coward was awarded Gold after nailing the extremely
The weekend was filled with highlights, difficult Wake 180!
exciting competitions and tremendous fun From Travis starting barefoot and making a tricky pass
but in the end only one team claimed victory. . . and it was around the lake, to the staff’s ski show, dreams became
POP! reality where everyone pushed the limits to
As the first session ended, campers took a moment to an absolute max!
reflect on the past two weeks in the wonderful land of Can- Until next year skiers, remember:
Aqua and promised one another they would reunite yet “Knees bent, arms straight, head-up! Push
again next year. yourself and you will conquer all your
However, for the staff their summer at camp was far challenges!” (Harley – Ski AC 2008).
from over. As first session ended, second session was just Having enjoyed an amazing first three sessions, Can-
around the corner including an entire new group of Aqua staff and campers weren’t about to give up on the
energized campers. Excitedly, the staff gathered in the fourth! Stacked on top of the usual excitement of activities
parking lot to greet the new campers arriving in cars, and evening programs, the Staff Tribal Games had
minivans, SUVs and buses! everyone cheering their favourite team! The tension
Second session started off with a bang! Campers from mounted with each event as fierce competitors from both
far and wide gathered around the campfire and performed teams squared off in events such as canoeing, swim relay,
memorable skits such as Imagination Land starring Freddy photography, tripping and floor hockey! In the end, Cree
in his tight, bright-red jeans and magical voice that hit won – yet again – maintaining their Staff Tribal Games
unbelievable notes. Eric and his Blue Jays put on a dominance over Ojibwa! (Can you say 4 nothing!)
fantastic show “A Blast From The Blue Jay’s Past”, where As the first week of 4 session ended, the Staff Tribal
they performed fantastic skits from 90s pop culture. It sure Games wound down – and just in the nick of time –
was a blast! Without warning, the most cynical and evil villains known
Session two was the session of awards! With the to campkind, crept into Can-Aqua, plotting
introduction of the Cabin Cup, campers strived for its destruction. Fortunately, Superman,
more awards than ever! In Archery, Andrew Batman and many more super-heroes
Watson and Alex Evans shot their way to saved the Can-Aqua residents thwarting
victory, winning well a deserved Chieftain the evil doers. What an incredible theme
award. Meanwhile, at the water-front, campers day!
worked like busy beavers, absorbing as much More powerful then a locomotive, faster then a speeding
knowledge as humanly possible. At kayaking, bullet, the summer of 2008 came to an end. We
Shawn Phyper and Luka Marcoux completed their Otter experienced many fantastic, memorable events. We
levels after mastering the full roll. While on the other side renewed old friendships and made new ones! I know I
of camp, Timmy Robinson scored his Woodsman and speak for the entire staff when I say, “Without you, none of
Tyler Bay his Survival, the highest achievements at this could happen – you are our sunshine, our laughter
Campcraft. and our joy –
As each cabin prepared skits for Air “THANK-YOU!”
Bands, Can-Aqua was magically transformed
into a jungle for the Jumanji theme day.
Following a tough battle with the persistent
Hunter, jungle animals and climate changes,
Team Allan finally beat the challenging
board game and set things back to the way it used to be!
After an exhausting weekend the second
session campers relaxed on the beach,
listened to some sweet tunes and
enjoyed Club Med with Marcel the DJ
who floated up great sound waves with
his outstanding musical taste.
With second session quickly approaching See You Next Summer!
an end, the campers packed up and schlepped their
Editor’s Note: In last year’s Alumni News, I included the 1994 Program Story. I was impressed by your comments and
encouragement to include Program Stories from other years gone by. So, here it is: 1997’s Program Story. It is impossible to
include the entire story from that year since we included stories from every Activity Counsellor that year. The complete
package of stories is available for your reading pleasure in the Fun-Ski Lodge. In the meantime I hope you enjoy Mark’s
reminiscence from 1997 . . .
Remember When . . .
PROGRAM COUNSELLOR’S STORY
There is no doubt about it, it was an to make Can-Aqua money at Wall Street
amazing summer for all campers at Can- where they could then spend it at the
Aqua. Campers signed up for a huge auction after. The game show
variety of activities and earned Extravaganza and Real Estate Night
plenty of awards. One older camper, were heart stopping and spectacles
Louis Dorval, proved that he was a such as seeing Louis arrested for not
true master in several activities as paying his property taxes. Thanks to
he earned the “Award of Merit”. This the help of our faithful campers,
much sought after award requires that enough money was raised to buy back
a camper have Bronze Cross and the the camp at the end of the day. Other
highest award in four activities (at favourites included Woodstock,
least one land and one water). Airbands, Midway and of course
campfires. Campers always waited with
This year there were some special excitement for the announcement of
activities such as Art with Arne that each evening program at
great guy with the white beard. There suppertime...What will it be tonight?
were taffy pulls where campers learned
about maple syrup and tasted it over On the weekends in the middle of the
real snow. Two new sessions included sessions there was a change in pace as
“Magic with Matt” where Matt revealed we had theme days. In first and third
some of his magic tricks and session the Can-Aqua Olympics once
“Adventures in Archery” where campers again tested the skills of campers in
played Archery bingo! There were wagon swim races, boat regattas and Track
rides with Dan (the maintenance and and Field events. The WALO and other
flapjack man) to the next lake-what a team events often determined the
blast! In third and fourth sessions winning team. In second session
there was instrument and boat making Dorothy found herself in an unfamiliar
with Washboard Hank and his wife Jo- land but met some great friends to
Ellen. Also considered a special travel with--the Tin Man, the Lion and
activity was Can-Save where a handful the Scarecrow. The wizard was revealed
of campers learned useful first aid in the end. To everyone’s surprise it
skills. was an old man. In fourth session we
travelled back into the Medieval Times
Evening programs were a blast once with every Lord and Lady learning
again this year. There is nothing like skills such as log rolling, catapult
an intense game of Capture the Flag, launching and even the Bucking Bronco.
Mission Impossible, or the ever famous In the afternoon a medieval storm
strip the counsellor. Another forced a modification of the program
favourite was Indian Council with and the Rambo Run took campers through
fabulous fires, torches, legends, the best mud puddles around. The
dances, and of course the quieter afternoon was appreciated
competitions. What colour will the after the huge field feast lunch with
square in the dining hall be? Red or corn on the cob.
Blue. Casino night saw campers
spending and winning the ever famous What a fabulous summer!
Can-Aqua rhutabaga. Campers also tried
Keep In Touch . . .
You can reach us at the Camp at 613-339-2969
Or drop us a letter to 503 Beaver Lake Dr., P.O. Box 70, Cardiff, On., K0L 1M0
If it’s more convenient you can e-mail us a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better yet plan to come for a visit