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/July 12 Day 2013 recipient – Henry Rhodes

Henry joined us halfway through July and was immediately struck by homesickness. After 4 days of trying he simply could not lift himself out of the sadness that pervaded every waking moment…until inter-camp. Henry made a deal with his counselor to try all activities and take part in the Thursday inter-camp event before he would made up his mind about going home. That Thursday, Henry’s mother was contacted about the potential for picking him up. While discussions were underway, Henry could be seen laughing and enjoying himself. When asked what changed, Henry said “I don’t know, but I’m having fun now.” That one moment showed Henry that more elements of camp could be enjoyable. From that point on, he tried more activities and became even more engaged with camp life. We salute Henry and his persistence and we hope to see him back on the shores of Canoe Lake for many years to come.

August/August 15 Day 2013 recipient – Nicolas Diechmann

Nico came to us unsure of camp from the outset. His first few days, he was beset by homesickness and looked very much like he might request to go home. Nico made friends in his cabin group and set himself to participating in activities to his fullest. Over the first few days, Nico slowly emerged from the feelings of sadness and loneliness that he felt and embraced camp fully. He seemed to enjoy his canoe trip and was an enthusiastic camper from there on out. Our congratulations to Nico and his “never quit” attitude, and hope that we see his smiling face on the shores of Canoe Lake for many years to come.

August/August 12 Day 2013 recipient – Mathis Gagnon

In the first few days at camp, Mathis was constantly sad. He felt the weight of being a francophone camper in a mainly English camp environment and considered the prospect of being away from home for a full month extremely daunting. With the help of his counselor, Aaron Barrett, Mathis’ spirits began to rise. On trip, Aaron gave Mathis some responsibility by giving him a job on the campsite and he embraced it wholeheartedly. He felt important and needed and, consequently, he made more friends. At intercamp, Aaron composed a song about Mathis to the tune of “Country Roads”, refrains of which can be heard singing from the voyageur council ring every morning. On the last night of his canoe trip, Mathis expressed that, for the first time in his life, he could truly be himself and it made him very happy. From an extremely apprehensive and homesick camper in the first days, to one of the most beloved and confident of campers in camp this summer, Mathis has made a true transformation. We can think of no one more deserving of the Paddle of Pride. Congratulations, Mathis! We hope we’ll see you back here for years to come!