Thursday, April 28, 2016

Knights of the Round Table Trivia

Les chevaliers


The legendary King Arthur ruled Britain honorably and vanquished both human and supernatural foes. His loyal and righteous round table of knights accompanied him on many adventures. French writer Chrétien de Troyes wrote of sir Lancelot and the story of the Holy Grail. In the French region of Brittany, King Arthur is a well known personage. French and British lore and language have influenced one another throughout the ages. Les chevaliers session at Canoe Island French Camp focuses on these connections and culminates in our own quest for the Holy Grail and knighting of King Arthurs court! See how well versed you are in medieval knowledge.


1. qu'est-ce que c'est, "la joute"?
what is "jousting"?

2. qu'est-ce que signifie un blason?
what does a coat of arms represent?

3. quelles sont deux qualités d'un chevalier?
what are two qualities of a knight?

4. quelle tapisserie fameuse raconte l'histoire du Guillaume le conquérant?

what famous tapestry tells the story of William the conquerer?

Les réponses

Check back next week for the answers!

See how much you knew about le monde francophone by checking your answers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All the world's a stage!

Past camper and program assistant Yann Dardonville is no stranger to the world of theater. As a camper in 2011 he was part of an enthusiastic group who wanted their Soir au Theatre to be a reenactment of the entire story depicted in the Bayeux tapestry. For those who are unfamiliar with this tapestry, it depicts the Battle of Hastings, an important victory for the Normands (French speaking) against the English. The tapestry is 20 inches tall and 231 feet long! It was a wonderful play. Yann says that Canoe helped give him the confidence to act in his high school productions.

Yann is now a senior at the Bush School in Seattle and chose to direct a short play for his culminating project after three years of involvement with high school theater. He is one of five directors who have prepared pieces for the 2016 Bush School Student Directed Short Play Festival. Come support Yann and his fellow directors this Wednesday and Thursday, April 28th at 7pm in the Benaroya Theater at the Bush School!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Safe trails and clean boots!

A huge MERCI! to all the hard working, fun loving folks who attended this year's Spring Work Party. So many essential projects were completed this past weekend including rerouting trails that have edged too close to cliffs due to erosion, graveling mud puddles that have dirtied shoes for years, installing a beautiful new door to l'Abri, building stairs to the second cabin and connecting the Musee to the internet. We are so thankful for all the help getting camp ready and look forward to our upcoming programs!

Joseph bringing gravel for a muddy trail!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Francophone World Trivia

Le monde francophone


Le monde francophone refers to all the countries in the world where the French language is spoken. In the 17th century France began competing to colonize countries in the Americas, Africa, the Caribbean and Indochina. As new provinces and colonies were established, the French language and culture spread. While most of these countries have since regained their independence, aspects of the French language and culture are still very present. At Canoe Island French Camp we celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of the French speaking world during our third session. See how much you know about some of them!

1. Qu'est-ce que signifie "l'OIF"?
What does OIF stand for?

2. Comment dit-on "bonjour" en Wolof, une langue native du Sénégal?
How would you say "hello" in Wolof, a native language of Senegal?

3. Qu'est-ce que c'est "la zouk" de Guadeloupe?
What is "la zouk" from Guadeloupe?

4. On peut acheter un bon dessert au Café du Monde en Nouvelle Orleans. Qu'est-ce que c'est?

We can buy an excellent dessert at the Café du Monde in New Orleans. What is it?

Les réponses

1. l'Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
International Organization of la Francophonie

2. Salaam aleekum

3. Une danse
A dance

4. Un beignet

Friday, April 8, 2016

French Voyageur Trivia

Les voyageurs


The French voyagers moved to 'New France' in the early 18th century to take part in the fur trade. Many of the elite class in Europe wore fur hats, so the demand was high! Especially with some of the most prized animals hunted to extinction in France and England. Travel along rivers in birchwood canoes into the backcountry was hard and dangerous work! Rhythmic songs to set the stroke pace and pass the time were aplenty, including Alouette and a Canoe Island French Camp favorite, Chevaliers de la Table Ronde

1. Où se trouve la Nouvelle France au début de 18ème siècle?
Where was 'New France' at the beginning of the 18th century?

2. Quel animal avait la fourrure la plus demandée pour les chapeaux en Europe?
What animal had the most popular fur for hats in Europe?

3. Qu'est-ce que ça va dire 'portager'?
What does 'to portage' mean?

4. Les Français ont de la baguette. Quelle type du pain était fait par les voyageurs?
The French have baguette. What type of bread was made by the voyageurs?

Les réponses

1. En Amerique du Nord
In North America

2. Un castor
A beaver

3. A porter un canot à l'invers sur les épaules
To carry an upside down canoe on the shoulders

4. le Bannock

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Magic of Family Camp

Why do people love Canoe Island French Camp Family Camp?

A recent interview with Susan West, a Bellingham mother, and multi-year family camp attendee reveals the answer.

Q. Why did you decide to attend a Canoe Island French Camp Family Camp?

A. I've been a Francophile my entire life. As my daughter grew old enough, I looked for summer camps for her with French language. We first attended Family Camp because my child was too young to register for camp, but we just couldn't stand waiting. It also seemed like a good way for me to know where she would be going, for her to be less likely to experience apprehension or home sickness, and for us to spend a weekend on a private island in the beautiful San Juan Islands.

Q. What did you find as a result of attending a Canoe Island French Camp Family Camp?

A. I made many friends, and my daughter did as well. The food was incredible, the island magical and the staff generous and attentive. Although I was worried about not speaking sufficient French, and facing sure humiliation, the whole range of French levels was represented in the other families attending, so I was able to learn some French without ever feeling pressured or inadequate.

Q. What was the best thing about it?

A. The location is unique. The size of the island is small enough to really get to know in a weekend, and ecologically rich enough that there is always something amazing to see. I doubt I will ever be less than delighted and amazed seeing a mink darting along shore as I kayak, or jellyfish blobbing about under my boat, or bioluminescence glittering off the body of some parent fool enough to jump in the cold water in the dark.

Q. What other benefits do you see in attending a Canoe Island French Camp Family Camp?

A. It's a chance to go back to childhood just a bit. Taking the ferry to Orcas Island, then the camp's boat to Canoe Island, is a transforming experience, removing us from our daily life and opening our hearts and minds to a new way of being in the world. It's great for my FitBit count.

Q. What would you say to anyone considering registering for a family camp?

A. I've recommended family camp to many families, particularly those with children a year shy of being old enough to go to camp on their own. Going to camp is, for most children, a first big step out of the family and school nest and into the big world of semi-independence, new friends, and unique experiences. Spending a weekend, with parents is a comfortable way to see what it will be like without actually taking a blind leap. And for parents, it's incredibly comforting to be able to picture where the little one will be, and to know that they'll be in reliable and caring hands having an amazing time.

Families who aren't sending their first child to camp also have a wonderful experience. Where else do we get to hurl Tomahawks at stumps and sleep in tipis? The pool is warm, and the new bathrooms are beautiful. Privately guided boating trips slip away from the dock at dawn, and the fire pit comes alive with songs as the sun sets. And forget the slop you may remember from your childhood camp: the magicians in the kitchen serve meals with organic locally sourced ingredients; meats smoked and cured on the island; breads and pastries baked from scratch; and crab and salmon grilled on the deck overlooking the strait where Orca whales have been seen hunting just feet offshore.

The only downside to Canoe Island Family Camp is hearing the staff's singing fade as the boat pulls away from dock, seeing the island dwindle in the distance, and knowing it will be a year before we can come back.