Thursday, June 4, 2009

Camp Days - Part 1

I have always been an urban girl. When I was a preschooler, my mother realized I didn’t know the difference between a cow and a horse, and she felt compelled to do something about my distinct lack of rural knowledge. Not long after, we took a family vacation to a working farm.

Similarly, when I got a little older, she insisted I attend overnight summer camp. Although she had never been herself, she sensed how powerful the experience of going away to camp could be. I wasn’t getting a whole lot of wilderness experience in downtown Toronto, so off I went to Algonquin Park in northern Ontario.

My mother was a rather thorough person, so when she did things she did them with intent. Prerequisites for the camp she selected for me included a canoe paddle, a life jacket and a daytime uniform (in tan and green – like the wilderness I was soon to inhabit). This camp could be accessed only by boat. This camp had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing in the cabins. This camp had no showers – that meant we bathed in the lake and I learned about biodegradable shampoo from a tender age.

At this camp, I took my first canoe trip and heard the sound of loons calling. I learned how to make a fire with a single match in the rain. I went sailing and kayaking. I became a better swimmer. I made great friends. I laughed. Really hard.

Now you can’t take the city out of the girl: I still prefer to travel by subway rather than canoe. And I’d choose my duvet over a sleeping bag any day of the week. But my mother’s instincts were right: Camp allowed me to spread my wings. I went for seven magical summers. And you can be sure that when my daughters are old enough, I will take them from their downtown home, and send them away to camp too.

Camp season is just around the corner. Use our coupon CAMP09 at check out to receive $5 off your purchase of an Admiral Road camp blanket.

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

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