At Camp Kodiak we work hard to establish a daily routine that will make all of our campers feel comfortable. So what does that daily routine look like?
Wake Up & Clean Up
At Camp Kodiak, we wake up at 7:30am from Monday to Friday. On the weekends, we sleep in a bit and wake up at 8:30am. Our counsellors help campers with their two missions for the morning: to get themselves ready for the day, and to get the cabin cleaned up. Each cabin has a chore chart, and each camper will have a small chore to do each morning. A morning chore could be sweeping the floor, cleaning the sinks or emptying the cabin garbage. Campers also make sure that their own personal area is clean, with a made bed and tidy shelves. Finally, campers will have to make sure they are dressed appropriately for the activities they will have that morning. For example, if they are going to the stained glass studio, they will need to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes, but if they are going to the beach, they will need a bathing suit and a towel. Every camper is also responsible for ensuring that their teeth are brushed, their sunscreen is applied and their water bottle is full!
Before heading off for breakfast, campers gather on the cabin porch and prepare for a counsellor to inspect the cabin. The counsellors inspect and give out “Kodi-bucks” based on how chores were done and how well the campers co-operated while doing them. The Inspector also double-checks to make sure that everyone is wearing sunscreen and has a full water bottle for the morning. We work hard each day to make sure we earn the most Kodi-bucks that we can for our cabin!
Now it’s time for some breakfast! In the dining hall cabin groups sit together at their cabin table. Food is served family-style and is delicious! Breakfast might be pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns or bagels, and there are always hot and cold cereals available. At the end of the meal there are announcements made about the day, sharing any important information before campers head off to academics.
Right after breakfast is our academic period, which is split into two options. Before camp parents decide which option they would like their camper to participate in. Option 1 is Academic Tutoring. Campers meet up with their teachers (Ontario Certified Teachers) and tutors, and then head over to their group’s picnic table. They spend the academic period reviewing reading, writing, and math skills, or any other subject which needs to be reinforced over the long summer break from school. Other campers are part of Option 2, which includes a variety of academic electives. These campers meet their counsellors for electives like drama, pottery, stained glass, martial arts, photography, guitar lessons, vocal music, learning to play chess, STEM projects, nature and survival skills, simple first aid procedures, and arts and crafts.
At the end of the Academic period, campers meet up with their cabin groups and then head to one of our core activities for Period One. These are activities that all our cabin groups will get to try with their cabinmates, and include waterskiing (wakeboarding, kneeboarding, ZUP-ing), swimming lessons, sports, rock climbing and more! We always encourage campers to try our activities, with the support of their counsellors and cabinmates cheering them on.
During Period Two, we travel as a cabin group to another fun core activity!
Now it’s time to head back to the dining hall for another delicious meal. Lunches could include chicken fajitas, grilled cheese or pizza and some fruit for dessert. But, there is also a sandwich station where campers can have a choice of cheese, tuna, egg salad, soy butter or jam. The end of lunch means announcements again, including merit announcements. A merit announcement is when a counsellor stands up in front of the camp, and shares something amazing they saw a camper do. This could be trotting on a horse for the first time, getting up on waterskis, or being a great friend and supporter for another camper who was trying something for the first time. The whole camp claps and cheers to recognize these fantastic accomplishments!
After lunch we head back to our cabins for some relaxation. This is a great time to take a nap, quietly read a book, or write a letter home. Every camper is on their own bunk, getting a little rest before an exciting afternoon. The first half of this period is for rest only, but during the second half of rest hour, campers can play on their electronics (Nintendo DS, iPad, etc) if they wish, as long as they are quiet in case any of their cabinmates are snoozing.
After resting up, all Kodiakers pop on their swim suits, put on a fresh layer of sunscreen, fill their water bottles and walk with their cabin groups to the beach. During General Swim, the waterfront is open for everything from swimming, to heading down the water slides to having a cannonball contest. There is also a digging beach to make sand castles, a volleyball court, tetherball poles and a big field to throw a baseball, football or frisbee with a friend. It is a great time to hang out with friends from other cabins, or to have some fun in the sun with your cabinmates.
After a fun time spent at the beach, it is time for a snack! Cabin groups head together to grab some juice (or water) and a cookie. Our LIT (Leader In Training) campers and their counsellors organise snack time, and hand out cookies and a drink for all of the campers and staff.
Remember how much fun we had in the morning for Period One and Two? Well, now it’s time for another great core activity with our cabin groups!
After Period Three it is time for Choice. Every week campers get to pick three activities that they would like to try for an hour each day. They get placed into one of those three activities, and then meet with their choice group every afternoon to go to that activity. Choice activities can be a camp classic like arts & crafts or kayaking, but they could be trying an activity that is not part of our core activities, like horseback riding, fencing or pottery! Choice is a full hour from Monday to Saturday, so campers can really work on developing new skills and learning a new talent.
At the end of Choice, we re-connect with our cabin groups and then head back to the cabin. During Bunk Time campers can hang out on their bunks with their electronics, take a shower, or play a game with their friends. This is also time for mail! Every day emails from family and friends are printed off, and then delivered for bunk time. This is also a great time for campers to write return letters which are then scanned and emailed back home. If a camper writes two letters per week they have bought their “tuck” for the week, which includes a few snacks and treats!
Time to head back to the dining hall for another great meal! Our dinners could be pasta, roasted chicken with vegetables, tacos, or another great meal cooked by our fantastic catering company. There is also a treat for dessert! Every Saturday we have an outdoor barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs and pasta salad. The sandwich station and cold cereal are also available. At the end of dinner we have announcements, including more merit announcements to celebrate amazing moments from the day!
After dinner, campers and counsellors head out to the main camp area for Free Play. During Free Play campers can choose to play mini golf, badminton, gaga ball or another fun camp game with friends from their cabin or another cabin. Or they could choose to just relax on the grass by the campfire with their friends and counsellors and chat about how great their day was. There are lots of fun activities available, and campers get to choose whichever one they want to try that day!
After Free Play is our Evening Activity. For many campers this is their favourite time of the day! Every Wednesday we have a campfire, on Friday there is a dance, and Saturday is camp movie night. Some other evening activities might be a camp-wide game, a special performance from a theatre group or a visit from Mike Ford, a musician who wrote our anthem, the Kodiak Song.
LIT Time or Getting Ready For Bed
After Evening Activity, cabin groups grab a snack of fruit and head off to their cabins to start to get ready for bed. Our older campers, who are part of the LIT (Leader In Training) program, have this time set aside to go to the Rec Hall, where they get some time to socialize with other LITs.
It has been an exciting, busy day so now it’s time to get some sleep! But before that, we do a couple of things in each cabin. We have a cabin bunk meeting where we talk about how the day went, look at what the schedule is going to be for the next day, and then have each camper answer the question of the day. The question could be “What was your favourite part of the day?” or maybe even “If you could have a superpower, what would it be?” After everyone has a chance to share, the counsellors give a couple minutes to settle and then it’s lights out. A few minutes are spent reading a portion of a book that’s been selected by the cabin group, and then it’s time to get some rest and get ready for another great day at camp!