Activities at the Taylor Statten Camps

Camps with horseback riding

 

 

 

 

Riding

Riding came to Ahmek in 1923 and was part of the program when Wapomeo opened in 1924. From the beginning, no extra fees were charged for this activity, although the added expense to the camp was considerable. Expanded stable facilities at Ahmek to be shared by both camps were ready for the summer of 1937. Each camp ran a separate program, which scheduled times for various cabin groups.

Ahmek’s first riding instructor was Sid Bishop. The first Ahmek stables are used now as the craft shop. In later years, Sid became the trainer at E.P. Taylor’s highly successful Windfields Farm Stables. AS a memento of his days at Ahmek, Sid presented the camp with the front shoes, worn by New Providence when he won the Queen’s Plate in 1959, in the presence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. These shoes are on display in the Ahmek Dining Hall. In addition to riding instruction in the ring, trail rides were a popular activity. There were trails around the stables but longer trips often provided memorable experiences.

An excerpt from Fires of Friendship: Eighty Years of the Taylor Statten Camps

Sailing

From the first days of the camps, sailing was a favoured activity. Many of the early instructors had ties to Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club and the camp sailing medals bore the R.C.Y.C name. Personalities like Roper Dayment made sailing a prominent activity at both camps. From the start, racing was the chief object of the sport. The ability to pick the right boat and the right sail was a skill to be admired. Those sails of Egyptian cotton were worth their weight in gold later during the war years. “Lightening Blue” was the winner of many races. The highlight was the Wilson Trophy Race inaugurated by Hugh Wilson in 1929.

An excerpt from Fires of Friendship: Eighty Years of the Taylor Statten Camps

Final Play by Miki (Mitchell) Spring

The highlight of my summers as a camper was the Final Play when every day for two weeks I could get on the boat and go to Ahmek, to the theatre on Wigwam Bay.Above the entrance, carved in wood, were the words “Beneath these portals pass the finest actors and actresses in the world.” That’s me, I thought each time I entered the magic world of Suds Sutherland. Imagine having a director who came all the way from New York City! Each year he brought us a well-known Broadway play (for which the camp had to pay a royalty).                Once, Suds announced in the Ahmek dining room that he would be producing Life With Father, a famous three-act comedy starring an eccentric father who had seven red-headed sons. Try-outs would be the next day. The following morning half the campers arrived in the dining room with red hair! Peroxide was the only dye available in those days so the redheads were with us until the end of camp.

An excerpt from Fires of Friendship: Eighty Years of the Taylor Statten Camps

Camp Wapomeo for girls canoe race