In the spirit of TSC Tuesday, we decided we’d share one of our favourite reflections from Fires of Friendship – Eighty Years of The Taylor Statten Camps.
There are so many wonderful memories from camp that are impossible to describe: the times we laughed hysterically, unable to stop, or cried when saying goodbye to our friends or the satisfaction from completing something really difficult. It is not so much specific memories as an overall impression of summers on Canoe Lake that stay with me.
I had a conversation with my boss in Banff, Alberta. He left Ontario after high school and moved there, where he has raised his family. A couple of years ago, he took a month off in the summer to return to Ontario with his three children. They stopped in Algonquin Park for a few days of camping. They rented a canoe at the Portage Store and set out for a few days of paddling. When I told him that the camp I attended was on that lake, he got very excited.
He told me how beautiful it had been that day and how they had paddled by this wonderful place that was full of life. Everywhere, there were healthy, happy girls enjoying camp activities. After coming around the point from the Portage Store, it was like a whole new lake. They paddled by and went to Tom Thomson’s cairn.
They were having lunch and a swim off the dock when two young men came paddling by at great speed. A second canoe came by and stopped at the dock. My boss asked them what they were doing. They told him about an annual canoe race called the Stilson. He chatted with the young men for awhile, and then he and his family began paddling back to return the canoe.
As he was paddling back by Wapomeo, a bell started to ring. The campers came down to the docks and got into two huge canoes. When they started paddling toward the main island for supper where Ahmek is located, my boss and his family just stopped. They watched them pass by, all paddling together, laughing and talking.
As he and his family watched them he realized they were witnessing an “authentic Canadian scene” and that it was something he would never forget. This was the place where he wanted to send his children.
I could see it all as he described it to me. I remembered every summer that I spent on Canoe Lake. I missed being there. Coincidentally, a couple weeks later I moved back to Ontario. Now I see my camp friends a lot more often. Everything, the good and the bad, makes me smile now.
– Sarah Eberts
Fires of Friendship: Eighty Years of the Taylor Statten Camps