Our Kids: Why did you go to camp?
Steve Paikin: Both of my parents had gone to summer camp as well. My father as a camper and counsellor... so, as an all-boys' camp, that was a natural place for my brother and me to go as well. Plus, the summer camp experience is, I believe, a wonderful, essential Ontario experience and I'm so glad I did it, and so have all my kids.
Our Kids: How has camp affected your career success and personality today?
Steve Paikin: I have no idea. But suffice to say, attending Camp Mazinaw was one of the most important influences in my life and helped make me the person I am today, for better or for worse.
Our Kids: What is your favourite memory from camp?
Steve Paikin: Impossible to answer - at least, impossible to give one answer. Seeing the majesty of Bon Echo Rock on Mazinaw Lake, jumping off Cases' Point, a 12-foot mini-cliff and a rite of passage (took me an entire summer before I got the guts to do that, finally, on my last day at camp), learning to build a fire, pitch a tent, do the J-stroke, portage a canoe, shoot rapids, etc. And let's not forget falling in love with one of the kitchen girls!
Camp Alumni: Steve Paikin from Our Kids Net on Vimeo.
Our Kids: Why is summer camp important?
Steve Paikin: So many reasons. Getting outdoors, in the bush, particularly if you live in an inner city, is essential to becoming a better person. It's an essential building block in allowing children to become more independent. And let's not forget the obvious: it's good for parents as well to have some time on their own, knowing their kids are thriving in a spectacular environment.
Our Kids: What advice would you give parents who are afraid to send their kids to summer camp?
Steve Paikin: Get over it. It's not about you. It's about your kids. And if you pick the camp that is the best fit for your children, you'll never regret it. Yes, you miss your kids while they're away. But mine have all benefited significantly from the Ontario camping experience, which I believe, is unlike any other, anywhere in the world. I made friends at summer camp three and four decades ago who are still great friends of mine. The camp director at Mazinaw is still one of the most important mentors of my life. These relationships and experiences are not possible at school, at work, or at the gym. They're different. And the bond is extraordinary.
Paikin also attended Kandalore.