Why do we have camp names at Widjiitiwin? Because they’re magical!
It adds to the magic of camp and creates a space not only for the campers but also for the staff to have the opportunity to be the people they can’t be outside of camp. There’s nothing like hearing a camper yell “Moose!” when they see you away from camp! It’s something special between you, the staff and your campers and brings back memories for all of you!
One of the things you’ll notice right away is that camp staff go by camp names rather than their given name. We want our campers to know that they have entered a new community, where new things can be tried, new friends made, new skills gained, and new outlooks developed. They can become the person they want to be. Camp names are a fun way for us to build that magic, that sense of possibility.
Your camp name will become your super hero uniform, allowing you to achieve incredible levels of GR8ness! I find it gives a person the freedom to explore to find who their true selves actually are by stepping out of their name. Camp names for us are about freedom to be yourself not hiding or masking yourself. Many folks go through several camp names before they find a fit, which in turn helps them discover the person behind the real name.
The Ceremony: Staff with camp names sit in a circle on benches while those yet to be named sit inside the circle on the floor. As each staff receives their camp name they write their name in the book of staff names (choosing how to spell it). Then they come and join the named staff on the benches.
Rules for Approving Camp Names @ Widji
- The namee must like their name. They get one veto.
- The Camp Director gets final say and unlimited vetoes.
- If a staff comes with a camp name from another camp, and wants to keep it, they can. If they desire a new camp name, that is okay too.
- The camp name mustn’t be a proper name (Bill or Jennie).
- The name must be original to the camp – no repeats.
- The name must pass the test where a camp name is tried out to see if there was a way that kids could make it dirty.
- The name could make reference to your skills but not your physical appearance.
- Camp names should bolster people’s self-esteem and make them feel part of the community.
- The name must not scare parents away – no Killer, no Psycho, no LovesToHug.
- Camp names are an honour and are earned by your commitment to the community.