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The Camp Chikopi Story

Camp Chikopi - Canada's Summer Sports CampOver a Century of Adventure and Tradition

Let's take a journey through the remarkable history of Camp Chikopi, where tradition and adventure have thrived for over a century.

In the Beginning: Chikopi, which means "the land of white birch" in Algonquin, was founded in 1920 by U.S. Olympic Coach Matt Mann II. It holds the prestigious title of the world's "First All Sports Camp" and the world's "First Swim Camp." Matt and his wife, Lea, believed that boys learned best when they were "away from home," surrounded by the wonders of nature in a wilderness environment. Their dedication to "The Golden Rule" was central to teaching the values of sports and competition. Matt discovered the perfect wilderness location on Ahmic Lake during a fishing trip, where boys could learn to live harmoniously in a natural, wholesome setting. While Chikopi offered coaching in various sports, Matt himself was passionate about teaching swimming, a life-saving skill he held dear.

The Next Chapter: Matt and Lea had two children, Matt III and RoseMary. In 1928, they purchased a piece of land on the other side of the lake and established Chikopi's sister camp, Ak-O-Mak, meaning "across the water" in Algonquin.

Continuity: After Matt Mann II's passing in 1962, his son Matt III and wife Buffy took charge of Chikopi's operations, while daughter RoseMary and husband Bruce led Ak-O-Mak. They continued the traditions instilled by their father, emphasizing leading by example, nurturing, and being supportive.

The Torch Passes: In 1975, RoseMary and her husband Buck Dawson purchased Chikopi from Matt III. They welcomed Bob Duenkel as the swim coach in 1976, and he went on to become the director and owner in 1981. In 2000, Bob married Colette, and their daughter Teagan was born in 2002. While Bob passed away in 2019, Colette and Teagan carry on the legacy of Chikopi, preserving its traditions and the spirit of "The Golden Rule."

In Conclusion: For more than a century, Camp Chikopi has upheld the cherished values instilled by Matt and Lea Mann. Through the world of sports, boys here experience personal growth and develop robust team-building skills. The most precious rewards of the Camp Chikopi experience are independence, self-confidence, strength, and safe risk-taking.

Join us in this extraordinary journey, where tradition, adventure, and personal growth have thrived for over 100 years. Camp Chikopi continues to be a place where boys become champions not only in sports but in life.

Welcome to Camp Chikopi, where every day is a new adventure, and every moment is an opportunity to grow.



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