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2010 – Completed!
July 28, 2010

33 campers, 15 volunteers, 2 rain days, 1 dog.
We all had tears in our eyes at the end of the day Friday, the kids didn’t want to leave, the counselors were exhausted, plenty hugs were given and taken gratefully. We had an amazing two weeks!

The children have transformed– we have new swimmers and burgeoning artists, actors and dancers, yoga gurus, cooks and avid helpers. We are blessed.
Best of all we have a new camp kayak song, sung by all the kids – it’s really wonderful, check out our link to YouTube and see it for yourself.

Camp is closed now, Carriacou has two big festival weeks ahead and we all need naps for sure. We re-open on August 11th and have 66 more students yet to attend. Exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, and extraordinary! We cannot wait!

July 20, 2010

Has it only been a week?
July 20, 2010

I look at our 30+ first session campers, and I am blown away by them! Some were apprehensive, some came with their parents, some shed tears of transition, others traveled over from another island and many had never met before. This week they have transformed. Today I read all their journals, and smiled. The pages are filled with joy, sketches and self portraits! And the kids seems to now feel completely comfortable on campus, and call it their own.

We have new swimmers, and drummers, and chefs, and gymnasts. We have song writers, and singers, actors and painters. They are really blooming in front of our eyes. These days are long, and we are whipped by 5:00pm, but I find myself missing the kids today. Still glad for our precious weekend days off.

Tomorrow brings a counselor pool party in Craigston, and a bit of preparation for Monday – but mostly a nice restful time together, week two is next! So, I’m feeling proud and content tonight, and very grateful that this Camp came into being in Carriacou!

More to come!

Great Day at CPR Class
July 8, 2010

Yesterday, marked a special day for Camp Kayak – 10 if us took the all day CPR certification class to be emergency responders and 10 are certified today! How fantastic – how proud I am of everyone! The day was long, hot and sticky but we all hung in there and learned the proper procedures and techniques to look listen feel then ACT – in emergency situation accurately – at the camp – and in our daily life, so awesome!

Today, after much celebrating last night we have a few events to join in on – Fisherman’s birthday in Harvey Vale, and the graduation ball at After Hours tonight, lookout Carriacou this is our last weekend before camp and we are all stepping out on the town!

Tomorrow brings a proper BBQ at a lovely spot on the beach and hard work begins again Monday…containers to unpack, children to schedule, bus routes to plan and organization in full swing at the stadium – updates to follow!

As they say on Carriacou, let we roll!

Live from Snake Pit
June 30, 2010

Its our one week and two day anniversary in the West Indies– hooray! There is a feeling of anticipation and excitement as we wait for the container to arrive, and for camp to begin. Already we have made good friends and experienced local food, lifestyle and festivities. From Fisherman’s Birthday Beach Celebration to Lonnie’s Lambi Waters (a local fish soup made with conch and veggies) our time here so far has been quite exciting. Today we visited two schools, L’Esterre and Hillsborough. The students were full of energy and just as excited to meet us as we were to meet them. Go Camp Kayak!

-Anna and Erika

Made of Magic Stuff
June 29, 2010

Well, we all made it to Grenada safe and sound!
Everyone is settling in nicely and Carriacou is beginning to feel like home to our American team!

The last weeks have been truly amazing – what has been accomplished and where we have been. In the past 10 days our counselors arrived at Maurice Bishop Airport in Grenada, and we have received our first palette of goods…we bought additional equipment in Grenada, and started the installation of electrical fans into the studios at the stadium. We have our little red mail box out front of the camp entrance, and organization of our artist spaces is beginning now.

Snake Pit had come alive with the addition of the Camp Kayak Team – and having a vibrant place to hang is great! Richard Barcley and Christopher Bartholomew have been amazing, arranging all the little conveniences of home to make the team feel welcome. Lonnie Wyse has been cooking like a champ – teaching us all about Lambi waters and Oil Down. Laura Smith is the den mother extraordinaire. CPR certification class is on Friday, and we will work hard to get 10 of us tested and ready for the next three years!

This past Saturday was Fisherman’s Birthday on Carriacou and is a most wonderful day of music and cooking all along the beach. A day when the local fisherman give back to the nation by serving eats and drinks for free, to the people that support them all year long. We enjoyed watching Anna and Erika roll cou cou and sticky rice into yummy baked balls of delicious matter – so tasty! All sorts of kids tumbled into the sea and played with us – and many people are beginning to know us by face at Paradise bay.

Sunday, another outing took us to Point Cistern – the future site of Camp Kayak for a neighborly BBQ on the beach – volunteers and counselors alike joined us to relax and enjoy the last free weekend before the big push to open July 12th! A fantastic day was had by all – and everyone chipped into make it work.

We are so pleased to have enthusiastic local volunteers signing up to work and play at Camp Kayak – this summer seems to be made of magic stuff.
More details as it all unfolds, I am overwhelmed and so excited by what is coming together down here!

See you at Camp Kayak very soon!

Victoria Armentrout
Camp Director/Founder

20 Days Til I Fly!
June 3, 2010

It’s June 1st, which means only 20 days til I fly away to Carriacou! Thoughts of the island bring to mind scenic beach imagery and a fresh ocean breeze, but back to reality. Now that the container has been shipped, its time to get serious and start preparing my curriculum. Testing out craft projects and printing techniques should make for a very fun and interesting week! Over this beautiful holiday weekend I got super inspired by all the great textures at the beach– sand, rocks, seaweed, shells etc. Hmm, definitely sounds like a project for some beginner printmakers to me, be back soon with the results!

Getting Ready to Go!
May 6, 2010

Whew, it has been a whirlwind. I’m not sure where we have all found the energy! Two months have flown bye and the container set sail for Carriacou yesterday. Of course it was raw, cold and raining, it was amazing! To prepare for camp this summer we have been stockpiling art supplies – gifts and donations come in from so many generous people! Yarn, darkroom supplies, art materials, clothes, sporting equipment – you name it friends of Camp Kayak have donated it. The 20’ container was packed so tight even Mr. McPhie was impressed! The movers from Collegian Moving came Friday May 14th, and we were still packing boxes of supplies franticly! They were so nice – we did it and rolled the last box out of Victoria’s living room by 1:00pm that day – wow! The 26’ ft truck had to be unloaded and jammed entirely into a 20’ container! We made magic happen and it all fit – how? We do not know. This past weekend was a blast – Alberto Lopez came from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to jazz up the metal exterior of our shipping container – we will own it and store our bits in there when Camp Kayak is not in session.  No of us expected that Al would be so fantastic! It took about 4 days to paint all four sides of the storage box – and boy does it look great! When the truck rolled away I actually got a little overwhelmed and then I realized it was sailing to us in Carriacou and I started to giggle with excitement! Do the kids even know what is in store for them? We have a bunch of paper work still to do – and getting the shipping documents for all the donated materials together is a job unto itself! I am so excited to work on my curriculum, that is the next meeting we have planned before we all fly down.  I can’t wait to get there! Can’t wait!