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On the Lake with Ryan

A Thankful Heart 

As the leaves change color and fall a smell deeply rooted in my childhood fills the air. I’m always hesitant to share my love for the aromas of fall because most people conjuring dead leaves, pumpkins drooping on front stoops and the world falling asleep for winter. There are smells I love in every season, but the smell of fall reminds me of jumping in leaf piles, walking in the woods, and burning bonfires in the backyard. I’m grateful for those memories and the joy they bring. 

Fall is also a time when those of us who work here at Camp begin to turn our attention towards the future. We register campers for the following summer, receive CILT and CIT applications and begin to hire new staff. As the days grow cooler and shorter we find ourselves already planning for the warm sunny days of summer we love so much.  

It’s also a time of great thanksgiving here at Camp. This year we have a lot to be thankful for even though this year is unlike any other in our more than 65-year history:  

  • This summer we served over 1,500 campers through our Summer Day Camp. 

  • We served over 250 families through Camping Out at Kanata, our first-ever Summer Family Camp. 

  • Our staff this summer served campers and families safely with no known cases of COVID-19, something for which we are both proud and extremely grateful.   

  • Since August 24, 2020, we have served nearly 100 children through our Scholastic Support Center and Track Out Camp programs. 

  • Our Camp Kanata Family rallied to help close our financial gap and, together, we have raised over $390,000 to date! 

  • Registration is strong for Summer 2021, and we are grateful for the trust parents have in our commitment to safety. 

This year brought a myriad of challenges that have taught us more than we thought possible and encouraged us to be even more creative than before. You can play GaGa Ball with your feet! Social distancing is easy in a canoe! Eventually wearing a mask feels normal. Our traditions don’t change even when circumstances do which means Camp will always feel like Camp. And maybe one of the more special learnings is that parents can enjoy Camp as much (or maybe even more) than their kids!  

I hope you’ll take some time this month to reflect on what you’re grateful for this year. Our family has a “Joy Jar” that we add to over the year, writing significant moments on pieces of paper. Start one with your family and read it each November to remember a year’s worth of thankful memories.  

I’ve found joy this year playing my guitar, walking with my family in the woods, and searching for happiness in the smallest moments. And I have found joy from you all, my Camp Kanata family.  

The Camp Kanata team and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Until next time... 

On the Lake with Ryan | Camp Kanata


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