Friday, November 18, 2016

Amaury in Chad!


Amaury hitching a ride in Chad

Past Canoe Island French Camp Program Coordinator Amaury Coin who is currently in Chad! Amaury is working as an international aid worker with a NGO named MOUSTAGBAL. The organization focuses on helping those who live in poverty through education, professional development, social and economic reintegration, food security and health. Amaury is the technical assistant to the director and works to execute the current projects by writing up reports for partners and funders, writing and submitting grants, and attending meetings with partner groups.

Here is a short excerpt about the weather in Chad from his newsletter "La Reine du Guera" .

The “rain season” is 90% done, we get a rain once a week now and by the end of October we shouldn’t have any rain until June. Which means it’ll be sunny every single day. I still don’t really realize that aspect of life. I’m so used to have rain and/or cold every often in Lille, Paris. But it seems to be true, every morning, when I wake up at 6am, there’s a warm sun and a perfect blue sky, with some white clouds sometimes. 

For the full newsletter en francais click the newsletter title above the excerpt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

France's reaction to Trump's victory


cover of La Croix after the US election

News across France last Thursday led with headlines relating to President-elect Donald Trump. Most included tones of shock and disbelief for his victory. La Croix was titled "L'inconnue" in reference to how little is known about his foreign policy and how many of his policies may impact the globalized world. They also warned against worrying too much with this message:

"What brings us together is worth more than that which divides us, it's better to build bridges than walls"

For the full range of discussion points around the United States election in France, including what it may mean for the upcoming elections in France, see this news clip from France 24. 

At Canoe Island we are constantly working to build bridges to understanding those different than ourselves: different languages, different cultures, different world views. Connie Jones, camp director, shared a message for the vision of Canoe Island French Camp looking forward:

"What we do for and with children and their families and the lessons we teach, should give us strength in the knowledge that we will make a difference in the outlook of the upcoming generation."

The desire to inquire and learn about those with different viewpoints from our own should not stop at camp. If anything, this election has revealed just how divided in thought an conversation the United States is. We need to focus on building relationships in our discussions and lead with curiosity from our hearts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bring out your inner artist!


Ever wanted to share your artistic expression through film, writing or design? Not only do you have the opportunity to do all these things at Canoe Island French Camp, you can bring these passions into your classroom back at school!

Every year, during National French Week, the American Association of Teachers of French invite students to muse on the annual theme and submit short films, essays, and posters. Sometimes all it takes to enthuse a new generation of filmmakers, writers and graphic designers is the right subject. And what is more inspiring than the theme "Onward to New Frontiers for French!" Enjoy the submissions for this year's French week, or see the winners from National French Week 2014.

CIFC camper designing a poster in art

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

En avant vers les nouvelles frontières du français!

Canoe Island French Camp mimes ready to perform!

Always up for an adventure, we at Canoe Island French Camp, along with the American Association of Teachers of French, explore the wonderful world of French November 4-10! National French Week is an annual celebration of French language and culture. The theme this year, is "Onward to New Frontiers for French," An inspirational sentiment in a global community that is ever changing and growing.

President Obama sent his support for the celebration of French in a letter relaying the appreciation he has for all the contributions French language and culture has made to the United States.

Send us a photo or upload one to instagram with the #canoeislandfrenchcamp #nationalfrenchweek of yourself and others celebrating French culture this and next week!

CIFC dancers in the San Juan Island 4th of July parade

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A divided France


At Canoe Island French Camp we encourage the development of our campers emotional and social intelligence through group activities and learning a new language and its culture. By engaging in a new language with people of different backgrounds from our own we begin to broaden our capacity for empathy and our world perspective.

France is currently undergoing a test of compassion with the recent rehousing of thousands of refugees from the town of Calais. A National Public Radio broadcast shares some of the responses to the rehousing, and brings into question how we as humans deal with the dire needs of displaced peoples and our own fear of the unfamiliar.

French counselors show their national pride on Bastille Day 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Guillaume le conquérant

October 14, 1066

Guillaume of France and Harold of England bring their armies head to head and the epic Battle of Hastings ensues! This battle marks the beginning of French rule in England, and the introduction of 10,000 french words that are still used in English today. Travel back in time with historians in this recent news clip from France 24 to hear the story and see the places of this historic battle. Also enjoy this short video that explains the influence French has had on the English language.

Consider registering for our Session 4, les chevaliers where campers learn about this story and the code of chivalry!

campers learn to use a trebuchet during the chevaliers session

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Day at Family Camp

Sometimes the best way to feel the value of a Canoe Island French Camp program is to delve into the favorite memories we have of it. Karen Leeds, who recently attended our Labor Day Family Camp shared some photos and memories that her family David, Eli and Nick will keep from their time at Canoe.

First thing in the morning we all gather at les drapeaux to raise the American and French flag while singing the national anthems. Karen expressed a fond memory she had of the experience:

"One of my favorite moments was when Eli cued up the singing of the French national anthem with 'un, deux, trois'! I had no idea he had picked up on how to do that and he'd never spoken a stitch of French in his life before that weekend!"

Eli giving folks an 'un, deux, trois'

After flag everyone heads to the Maxim's, our dining hall named after the famous restaurant in Paris. We all read the menu en français, and recite the benediction. Karen admits that after camp "we are still chanting 'tous sous le même toit!' around our house". French is woven into multiple aspects of programming, from meal times, to French class, and activities; it's easy for folks to apprendre le français. 

The days at Canoe Island French Camp are as structured or relaxed as you'd like them to be. We offer a wide array of activities for the whole family to try. Eli and Nick's favorites during the weekend included tomahawk throwing, a night paddle in the big voyageur canoe to witness the bioluminescence, and rock climbing on the far side of the island with our camp director Joseph Jones.

families get ready to circumnavigate the island aboard the voyageur canoe!

Great memories are formed outside of the planned activities as well. Dave enjoyed walking the trails around the island "there seemed to be something new and interesting to see everywhere we looked". Nights can be spent either in one of our platformed canvas tipis on our cots, or under the stars on the sports field. Nick and Eli chose the latter for one of their nights on island and have some favorite memories from their experience of dormant sous les étoiles. Eli loved "finding the Big Dipper. It was so dark so we could see so many stars". Nick also enjoyed experiencing the night sky "Sleeping in the field out under the stars was my favorite part. We saw so many shooting stars".

The view from inside the Leeds' tipi

Aside from the amazing natural surroundings and outdoor opportunities, it's really the people you meet and friends you make here on Canoe that form lasting connections. Another favorite memory of Nick's was, "playing new games with new friends". 

The final night at family camp we have a talent show that features anyone and everyone with something special to share. Karen relates her memories of that event as, "the talent show was such an unexpected surprise. It connected us to so many of the campers. And of course to see little Eli up there doing his thing, it was unforgettable". For those who weren't in attendance, Eli gave a memorable diablo performance!

With registration now open for all our 2017 programming, we hope you'll consider bringing your family to form your own memories and friendships here at Canoe Island French Camp.