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Camp Tamakwa is a summer camp in Algonquin Provincial Parkmarker, Ontariomarker Canadamarker for between 220 and 300 boys and girls ages 7 to 16, and more than 100 staff each summer.


Lou Handler established Camp Tamakwa in 1936 with the help of his close friend Omer Stringer, the Canadian canoeist and craftsman, who built the first camp facilities on the shores of South Tea Lake, Canadamarker, about 175 miles north of Torontomarker. In the years before his death in 1988, Omer was best known for designing the Beaver Canoe. Original interest came from wilderness or outdoor enthusiasts from Southern Ontario who would send their children to spend a few weeks canoeing, fishing, or camping. Handler ran Tamakwa with his sister Esta Kraft until their deaths in 1974 and 1972, respectively. Vic Norris and Craig Perlmutter operate the camp full-time out of offices in Detroitmarker, Michiganmarker and Toronto respectively. They are the principal owners and directors.

Camp activities

In addition to traditional camp fires and cookouts, campers also enjoy sports competitions and camp games, such as colour war. The camp also has a range of activities and facilities including a climbing wall; ropes course; archery range; a water trampoline for blobbing; equipment for various activities including windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing; art facilities for activities including woodworking and ceramic art; and a ball field that accommodates baseball, softball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and other camp sporting events. In order to participate in water activities and cookouts, campers and counselors must complete a swim test and earn what the camp refers to as a "white cap".

In 2005, a medical complex was built providing an infirmary and clinic to the campers and staff, as well as serving as the residence for camp physicians and nurses. The following year, a pavilion was constructed adding a cooking area, lit stage, and ample seating for hosting camp events.

Indian Summer

Camp Tamakwa inspired Indian Summer, the 1993 Disney/Touchstone film about a group of friends who return to the camp of their childhood. The camp also served as the set and filming location. The film portrays many traditions from Camp Tamakwa, as well as lore, songs, pranks, and expressions. The black with white striped canoes are the trademark symbol of Tamakwa canoeists, and appear throughout the film.

The film was written and directed by Camp Tamakwa alumnus Mike Binder.

Notable alumni


  1. " Camp Info-Page: Tamakwa". Retrieved on November 28, 2008.
  2. " Camp Tamakwa (Description tab)". Retrieved on November 28, 2008.
  3. Camp Legal Counselor. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  4. (Fall 2006). " The Best of Summer 2006" (PDF). South Tea Echo. Retrieved on November 27, 2008.
  5. (2008). " Brochure Update". Retrieved on November 27, 2008.
  6. " Camp Tamakwa (Activities tab)". Retrieved on November 28, 2008.
  7. Camp Glossary, 2004. Retrieved on April 16, 2009.
  8. " Camp Tamakwa stars in Hollywood film". Retrieved on November 27, 2008.

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