As a nine-year-old who couldn't ride a two-wheeler bike, Shelagh Rogers felt like a complete klutz — until she went to camp. Suddenly, at Camp Tawingo, in Muskoka, Ontario, she discovered she was comfortable in the water and fell in love with swimming. "That was a huge gift from Tawingo," says Rogers, who still does regular hour-long swims in the Pacific Ocean near her home in British Columbia.
Rogers, host of CBC Radio's The Next Chapter and former host of Sounds Like Canada and This Morning, also loved the singalongs. She thrilled to the collective noise of a bunch of kids shouting out the lyrics to Everywhere We Go or Junior Birdman. Her memory of camp songs put her in good stead as part of the Humline trio on the radio show Basic Black. "I can't remember my husband's birthday, but I can remember the words to all those songs," Rogers says, joyfully launching into a rendition of In a Cabin in a Wood.
Craft time appealed to her too. "You couldn't really goof up," she says. "I made a hideous bracelet out of red and blue cord — I couldn't follow the pattern at all — but there were always nice counsellors saying it was the most wonderful thing they'd ever seen."
Encouraged at camp to include everyone, even the shy kids, Rogers still makes an effort to approach people who come to gatherings alone — and to interview those people who might not otherwise get a voice.