It is important that you understand KleeWyck is my Camp name. It’s been my Camp name since the summer of 2008, for the lovely 2 months of summer, it’s pretty much all I go by and answer to—and I love it. For some of you, the concept of camp names may be strange, for others, you may be sitting there thinking that it means that I chose this name to go by, but that’s not how it works at Camp Mini-Yo-We, no sirry-Bob!
|One of the signs at MYW.|
I can still remember my naming ceremony. It was a warm day in August and I was 16. There were 26 of us at NorthWoods—a section of Camp Mini-Yo-We. We were part of the Leadership in Training course [L.I.T.] and we were nearing our counselling time. It was a warm day and we were just loafing about after lunch. As I have my NLS, I was life guarding while some of my friends swam in the lake. We were all waiting for something to happen. I finished my shift, got changed into some clothes and headed into the lounge area to sit in the shade with some others.
All of a sudden, the phone rings. None of our leaders are anywhere so one of us answers it. The room goes quiet. We sit listening to her talk. Then she hangs up and says that we need to get everyone in the lounge in the next 5 minutes before the next phone call—the fun was about to begin. Some of us frantically shout from the steps to the surrounding cabins. It takes a few minutes, but eventually we’re all gathered, waiting, expectant. It’s a chaos of noise and chatter as we all wonder what’s going on. I’m excited along with everyone else and I can feel the blood rushing through my veins as my heart pumps ferociously in my chest.
|My small group at the start of a 3k portage|
The phone rings again and we’re told a clue and then nothing. Pondering the clue for a few seconds, we discover that we’re needed to head to the docks. Rushing across the camp, we run down to the lakeside to find another cell phone waiting. Again it rings and again we rush off to another location. After a few more similar stops, we wind up at Look-Out Point. There we find our leaders—all 8—and our program director waiting somber like behind a fire. We sit on the logs rolled before and wait in silence: the Naming Ceremony was to Begin.
As each person was called forward, their story told and their name given, the excitement continued to build. Everyone was anxious to hear their own name and to learn those of their friends. To add a few, some of my friends got the names: Edel [like the flower Edelweiss], Emelkae [M.L.K], Balou [DISNEY! WOOT!], Little Foot [YAY DINOS!!], Crombie [ohh.. there are jokes here…], and so many more.
Finally, it was my turn.
I walked to the front, nervous. What if I didn’t like my name? What if the story was bad or based off something I did by mistake? [There are names that happen from embarrassing moments…] What if?
I stood awkwardly before my peers. I didn’t really know what to do with my hands or what expression to make with my face, but hey, I was nervous!
This is my story:
I am Canadian—PROUDLY Canadian. I love being Canadian. It could be the igloos or it might be Tim Horton’s. Who knows, maybe even Hockey. Whatever the case, I love my country. In addition, I’m also a writer and I shared a bunch of my written work while at Camp. A famous Canadian Writer is Emily Carr. More famous for her paintings, Emily Carr spent time with the Aboriginals in British Columbia and a lot of her work stemmed from that time.
While she stayed with them, she received the nickname “Klee Wyck” which means “laughing one.” I too am an all around happy character. I am a laughing one!
As I stood before my friends, my family, my small leaders turned and said, “Rachel, you’re name is KleeWyck.”
And the chorus around the fire replied, "KleeWyck, Oooh Ha Ha!"