The Camping Adventure of a Lifetime!

Paddle of Pride Award

The Paddle of Pride is a Camp Ahmek award created on Taylor “The Chief” Statten’s birthday and designed to celebrate his determination and indefatigable spirit. This award is given to campers who best exemplify qualities that The Chief set out to encourage in all young men: independence, strength of character, honesty, fairness, and generosity.

July 15-Dayer 2014 Recipient – Joe from the Pioneer SectionPaddle of Pride (2)

Joe had been to camp for quite a few years when he came back this summer. Remembering how homesick he was during previous years made him fear homesickness, and made dealing with it so much harder. One evening, one of his cabin mates gave him a little stress ball with a Canadian flag on it. From then on, every time he would feel homesick, Joe would squeeze the stress ball really hard, and find comfort in its presence. After a few days, Joe seemed to pick up on the positive attitude displayed by his cabin, section, and staff. He started making new friends, participating during activities; he started enjoying himself. And as his friends had helped him, Joe took it to himself to help his friends and cabin mates deal with their own homesickness. He succeeded in embracing the Ahmek way of life, in overcoming his fears and helping others deal with theirs; we believe he is more than deserving of the Paddle of Pride. Congratulations, Joe!

July 12-Dayer 2014 Recipient – Josh from the Pioneer Section

Josh Paddle of Pride (2)Josh had an amazing attitude from the moment he set foot in camp. He was a returning camper who embraced the values and lessons that camp teaches us. Josh was a role model to other campers, showing leadership across the board – whether it was volunteering to clean dishes on canoe trip, taking the Wanagan across a portage, or even helping other campers on portages; Josh just exceled at all aspects of camp life. Josh came to Ahmek with an open mind, ready to learn from his cabin mates and staff members about how to be a better tripper and better person as a whole. The chief’s paddle is awarded to a camper who exemplifies characteristics of independence, strength of character, honesty, fairness, and generosity. Perhaps Josh’s biggest personality strength was his generosity to his cabin mates, always putting his friends first and taking the time to explain traditions or aspects of camp life. His compassion and motivation infused his cabin mates, the section and all of camp. For everything he has done this month, Josh is more than deserving of the Paddle of Pride. Congratulations, Josh!

August 15-Dayer 2014 Recipient – Seb from the Bantam Section

Seb Paddle of Pride (2)Since Seb’s arrival at Camp Ahmek, he has completely embraced the Ahmek mentality of being the best friend, cabin mate, and camper he can be. In only his first summer at camp, Seb was easily able to integrate himself into the camp community. Seb has a charismatic smile which is infectious to all those who surround him. He is empathetic and caring in all situations; whether it be comforting his homesick cabin mates or doubling back on portages to relieve his friends of their dangling paddles and lifejackets. Seb was always enthusiastic and brought a positive attitude to everything he did. Seb epitomizes what it is to take pride in being the best person he can be, he is an inspiration to everyone at camp. Congrats Seb!

August Monther 2014 Recipient – Francis from the Pioneer Section

Francis Padle of PrideEver since Francis stepped off the bus, his positive and contagious smile spread throughout the cabin group. Not only did Francis always bring a positive attitude to each new activity but he was always quick to improve the experiences of those around him. He approached cabin mates who were in need, he sympathized with others about homesickness, and always brought a happy and excited demeanor to the cabin. I can still remember on the second day of canoe trip when it was pouring rain, cold and muddy. As I put the canoe down at the end of the portage, I saw that Francis had been running behind me with the wanigan. Without any pause Francis carefully placed the wanigan in my boat and ran back down the trail in search of his fellow cabin mates. As I ran to catch up with Francis I rounded the corner to see Francis taking a pack from his friends while joyfully yelling out encouraging words to those around him still doing the portage. As I watched Francis’ selfless actions on that portage, I couldn’t help but feel an unparalleled satisfaction and pride. For in the midst of adversity Francis exemplified all the qualities that we strive to teach at Camp Ahmek: courage, perseverance and an understanding of the importance of working together. Francis truly thrived over the course of this camp session and his actions in situations like the one above have earned him the paddle of pride this summer. Congratulations Francis!