Muskoka Woods 2018

The annual trip to Muskoka Woods is a beloved tradition which was again a great success this year. At the surface, this seems like a fun and frivolous orientation, but it is so much more than that.

Character and Skill Building

Grade 9 students are put into several different groups throughout the trip and put in situations where they experience activities, take risks, and meet people they would never normally meet. It is amazing to see students blossom over the course of the three day trip. The planned activities also include experiences that many students have never had before. There is a focus on collaboration and teamwork, risktaking and of course, fun!

The Muskoka trip was very fun. Throughout the way we conquered some fears. For example, I went on the Giant Swing and conquered my fear of heights. We were forced to talk to different people by using activities like balancing on a board with everyone on it. The staff and leaders were the main reason I loved it. –Jonah


The grade 9s not only meet each other, but they are constantly in the company of grade 12 leaders who are positive and encouraging. This mentor/mentee relationship often extends throughout the school year. Throughout the three days, you could see and hear the grade 12 encouraging and cajoling the younger students. The scariest thing about starting high school is the feeling of not knowing anything, but because of Carter Muskoka, that

What was really great about this Muskoka trip was how friendly and welcoming all the grade 12s were. It really made you feel special and confident in making new friends. –Deanna M & Isabel L

The leaders energy was amazing and helped us feel welcomed, excited, and have a great time. They made things fun, not awkward. They helped us to feel more confident about speaking up. They were really a huge part of why we loved Muskoka! –Victoria and Julianna

Community & Faith

Cardinal Carter is a community of faith. This becomes very evident over the three days at camp but especially on two occasions. Mr. Samuel traditionally leads a “Light Ceremony” in which he motivates students to be a light for others. This year, some of the grade 12 leaders shared their own personal stories. We also celebrate mass together as a school community.  And then, the students, who spent three days competing in “colour groups” come together as one family. Adamo Cresenzi, Vice President of Student Council said it best, “We came as individual colours, but we leave Carter green and gold.”


It is amazing to see the grade 12 leaders flourish as well. In grade 11, students apply to be a Muskoka leader. They then have a training session in the Spring, where candidates are further weeded out. They spend time in the summer organizing activities and then during the trip, they run the entire show. In education we talk about life-long learning, transferable skills, and leadership, but never are these skills as much as during the Muskoka Woods. The fact that students not only get to experience Muskoka in grade 9, but then can apply to become leaders in their senior year, is an experiential learning opportunity students don’t often get.

I feel like this Muskoka experience has changed the grade 12 leaders. We will take this experience back to Carter and encourage the rest of the grade 12s to lead the grade 9s into a successful first year. –Isabel E

A huge thank you to the organizing committee: Mr. Samuel, Mr. Masciarelli, and Ms Ceci, as well as all of the teachers who volunteered their personal time to supervise the students, as well as the teachers who stayed behind to cover their classes.

And you know the trip is a success, when kids go home and talk about it. Thank you to parents for trusting your children with us!


Here’s to a great year!