This year you may have heard from your campers, from your school or from us here at camp that we have been building an athletic field at Latona. For the past few years an accessible, open space large group activities has been a dream here at camp. Many years ago some of you Alumni will remember a grassy area for long grass soccer, tag, and the ever wonderful Odyssey.
The lower field was a cornerstone of traditional camp programming and it was sorely missed when we started working to bring camp back to it’s former glory nearly eight years ago. The lower field is ours again, and here’s how it went down…
This year with the continued support of our camp families and school groups we were able to make that dream come true. Demolition and cleanup work was started last fall by our site team with the help of a few cool machines. We removed dead trees, spent time clearing the rock face and cliff area between the lower and upper fields, developed a drainage system, and found soil that would grow grass in a mountainous rain-forest in the wilderness.
This labor of love saw success and challenges along the way and many great results before the grass was even on the horizon. We salvaged enough wood to keep us warm for a few winters to come, found giant rocks that changed plans, and removed decades of waste, reclaiming a great space! We are still working on it and the field will double in size over the fall and spring growing seasons, so watch this space as we look forward to welcoming to camp more athletic activities and time making memories!
This summer, campers and families from across Canada, the United States and further afield enjoyed Baseball, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee and Football games together building the Latona Spirit and enjoying the sunshine.
The field has opened up opportunities for more large group games, and as an area that camp camp be together as a community. The whole idea of playing such games is to intentionally expose campers to playing in teams, to show how to win gracefully, and lose games after playing hard and fair. To get kids active, outside exploring their own potential, get grassy knees, fresh air and expose them to other children socially.
This positive exposure to experience leads to some incredible changes and developments, even after a week! It’s pretty awesome when a camper makes a home run for the first time and gets a Tibi from both teams playing for the win! Having worked with summer camp feedback data this past few weeks, it certainly appears that we are doing things right, consistently working toward our mission of working together with our campers to inspire participation and respect to demonstrate that each individual is special.