Gold Arrow Camp’s Shaver Island Outpost is a highlight of the camp experience for many of our campers. The island getaway serves as a break in the highly-structured routine of main camp and provides an opportunity for campers to enjoy the outdoors in a different way. Campers who attend our two-week sessions spend one or two nights on our island at Shaver Lake.
Shaver offers the ideal setting for campers to learn and hone their waterskiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding skills, as those are the only activities offered on the island. These behind-the-boat water sports can be daunting to try for the first time, and we find that campers really build grit while learning and improving their skills. Often, campers’ goals at the start of the session reflect their desire to get up on a waterski, wakeboard, or kneeboard for the first time or to improve their skills at one of these sports. For some kids, it takes a lot of tries to get up for the first time. For these kids who have to practice persistence and keep trying over and over again, water skiing offers some great life lessons. For many of our campers, these water sports become a life-long passion, because they are fun, recreational activities they can continue doing long after their camp days are over.
With competition-style ski boats, experienced instructors, and hours of time behind the boat, campers learn and improve their skills rapidly and enjoy downtime spent in unstructured play on the beach. While at Shaver, campers have the opportunity to build friendships with campers in other cabin groups. The nightly social time is spent around a campfire that is large enough for all campers and counselors to gather to sing songs, play games, and make s’mores. Camping on the beach and falling asleep watching the shooting stars are also memorable experiences from their stay at the outpost.
Many returning campers choose to spend an entire week at Shaver Island, in addition to their two-week regular session, by participating in on of our Shaver Water Sports Specialty Camps. These three-week sessions are offered at the beginning and end of the summer.
The slower pace of rustic island life provides campers with an opportunity to rise with the sun and appreciate the promise of each new day. Evenings at Shaver bring a panoramic view of what is always a spectacular sunset, reminding everyone to pause and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us at camp.
We’re excited about Baboon returning to GAC for his second summer! He’ll be the Waterfront Director, so keep a look out for him when you head down to the water for your activities. He’ll be there with a huge smile on his face, probably dancing around, excited to see you! He’s just that kind of guy!
Baboon is originally from a village in the North Downs in Surrey, England. He is passionate about water sports, and is an experienced coach and competitive wakeboarder. While living in England, he spent his weekends teaching wakeboarding. He’s currently working at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort before he ventures back to camp in May. His endless high energy, positivity, patience, and passion make him an easy favorite among campers and counselors. Baboon has never met a stranger! His willingness to jump in whenever help is needed and his dedication to working hard is inspiring, and we’re looking forward to his nonstop dancing (he’s an expert “Gangnam Style” dancer!) and the fun he brings to camp!
We were able to catch up with Baboon and ask him a couple important (and some pretty ridiculous) questions. Check out his answers!
1. Why do you want to be a counselor at GAC again?
How could I not! I get to hang out and teach the coolest campers around, spend my whole summer outside, eat a lot, have campfires, sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching – it is the most fun I have all year! I love helping our campers overcome new and exciting challenges whilst watching them grow through the session. Beyond this, I always learn so much from GAC and feel it makes me a better person helping me to appreciate everything I have.
2. What is your hidden talent??
It’s not hidden, but I do enjoy sculpting bananas into penguins : )
3. Choco Taco or Strawberry Shortcake??
Choco Taco! No contest, although I would happily settle for both.
4. What is your perfect pizza?
I would say a Mediterranean-style pizza with a pesto base, it would be delivered to me whilst I was out on the water on a paddle board watching the sunset by a highly trained penguin.
5. What is your favorite part of camp?
Our breathtaking Gold Arrow Waterfront!
6. If you could be any age for a week, what age? Why?
I would say 5. Five-year-olds have no cares in the world or need to explain what may be irrational behaviour to anyone. I would stick broccoli to my wakeboard helmet, run around in circles, jump in puddles and get right to the biggest indoor playground I can find.
7. What should be the next Joke of the Day at Morning Assembly?
What do you call a pig that knows karate? A pork chop!
8. What is your favorite food at GAC?
Hmmm I would say Mexican.
9. Who is your hero?
Steve Irwin! He had such a passion for life and those around him, he took the positive from every situation and truly believed in following your heart in life. He would have made such an outstanding GAC counselor as I feel he embodies our philosophy so well. He dedicated his whole life to those around him that were in trouble. In the 80s, Steve spent months living in remote areas of Australia rescuing crocodiles from poachers. During this time he developed humane relocation techniques that are still being used today.
10. What are you most looking forward to about GAC 2015?
Tough question! I think seeing how our campers have grown is definitely way up there, along with meeting all of our new campers and staff. It’s just so exciting! I am really looking forward to being the Program Head of our Waterfront, I cannot wait to get all of our campers out onto Huntington lake. I am itching to turn my phone off and sleep under the stars again for a whole summer, and waking up to a good ole GAC breakfast. Oh, and Footloose!!
Want to meet more 2015 GAC Staff? Head over to the Meet Our Staff page!