#yoursTOdiscover: Camp Pathfinder
by Hanan Nanaa – WHTO Hearts&Minds Storyteller
Exploring Pathfinder Camp in my new home!
In 2017, Pathfinder Camp gave a great opportunity to young newcomer boys to camp there for two weeks. My little brother Ali was interested and so excited to go, but his English was not perfect and he was worried about how to communicate with his new friends there. We were invited on a family camping day to explore the camp and enjoy the day as well as for the boys to get an idea about the camp, because it was their first time to camp away for two weeks without their parents and without using any electronic devices.
On Sunday morning, we prepared – I got my bag and my books then we head up to the camp. The camp is located on an island in a lake in Algonquin Provincial Park commonly referred to as Camp Pathfinder Island or “CPI”. It took us 5 hours to arrive there, then we had to go by the canoe for the first time to get into the island.
I was wondering if they were going to allow me to take some pictures, as one of the conditions was we were not allowed to use any electronic devices (research says children are easily addicted when they like something). Nowadays electronic devices have a lot of functions, such as drawing, playing games, taking photos, etc. When children start to use them, they think it is so much fun. Over time, children get addicted to electronic devices easily because they can’t self-regulate. Pathfinder camp wanted these kids to explore nature and the beauty of the world, focus on doing activities to improve themselves and stay connected with the real world. The camp owner allowed me to take some photos using my phone camera, but I had to take them while the kids were eating or doing activities so they didn’t see any electronic devices.
The weather was beautifully warm and sunny. When we arrived there, they welcomed us and shared some rules we were to follow, like eating together on the same table and talking to each other, which was my favorite part. I got to know many people from all over the world. We would stand for the national anthem every morning and play music and do activities together.
My favorite area is the one in the picture at the top with the chairs by the water. I would sit there and read my favorite book, Big Magic by by Elizabeth Gilbert, while enjoying this lovely view and focusing on many things. I felt comfortable there.
While walking around helping with the translation, I got to know many things about the camp, nature, Ontario lakes and many more things. There was a huge tree that had been knocked down by the storm:
This camp is a great way to learn more about Ontario’s lakes and animals, which are very interesting topics to me. I identify myself as one part of my community and my new country, and I love to know more about the culture of my new home. I also had some time to rest without any stress or think about school or work; I believe that each one of us deserve some time and treat himself by being separate for some time to relax and enjoy this simple life!
To learn more about Camp Pathfinder, you can visit their website at: