I had the chance to attend Charité Leo’s first ever leadership camp as a young female francophone and leader. The ‘Camp de Leadership transformatif’ took place at Camp Kintail in Goderich, Ontario, from August 2 to August 4.
We went to Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations reserve to learn about the challenges Indigenous Peoples face. First we were ‘smudged’ which is a sort of cleansing of the body with sage. We then made moccasins for the babies who are taken from their mothers at birth.
We continued to the camp. We ate and settled into our cabins and then we sat around a campfire to talk, play games and sing as a group (about 15-20 female youth francophones attended the camp). I took an icy shower after this because I literally smelled like fire.
We went on a beach walk (Lake Huron). This is the second favourite thing we did that I absolutely loved.
Following the walk, we ate breakfast and I took some time to write poetry. After that, we met with
Léonie Tchatat to share our aspirations and have a bit of a meet and greet session before heading down to the beach to canoe, kayak and paddle board, which I ALL tried successfully without falling into the water (it was my first time!).
The lake was beautiful, but so is food! We had lunch after our two-hour water session. Then, we attended our first workshop, a personal branding session hosted by Winy Bernard.
I wrote again in a beautiful garden that had swings before dinner. Oh and we also challenged our bodies to rock climbing, zip-lining, high ropes and more. I almost died. This confirmed that I do not have as much upper body strength as I thought I did.
After dinner, we attended another workshop. This time, it was a natural beauty management session hosted by Fatoumata Gueye. It was a bit more of a fun but long session. After a while I got so tired so I took another icy shower and went back to my cabin to sleep.
The weather was not on our side. We wanted to go to the beach but we couldn’t. So we slept in. And then we had breakfast.
After breakfast we attended our last workshop of the camp, communications and social media marketing hosted by Winy Bernard.
I played cards with a couple of girls before lunch. After lunch, the entire group sat down under a gazebo to talk about what we enjoyed during our experience and what could be improved for future camps.
The best thing for me was taking a break from my busy life in Toronto, learning and experiencing new things, meeting a variety of amazing female leaders and being in a positive environment that allowed me to speak and take my ideas to the next level.
I want to thank Léonie Tchatat (charity founder), Charité Léo, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations, Canada 150, Community Foundations of Canada and Toronto Foundation for making this possible.
I would also like to thank TFO Canada and Nike for the amazing gifts!