Courtesy of Alex Meyer, Camp Chikopi in Magnetawan, Ontario, Canada.

Camp Chikopi is the world’s first competitive swimming camp and is located in Ontario, Canada, where athletes train in both swimming pools and the open water.

Alex Meyer spent two weeks at Camp Chikopi, a few hours north of Toronto. “My high school coach Roy brought a few teammates and me to Chikopi in 2002 when I was 14. The camp was founded in 1920 by Matt Mann, the legendary Michigan swim coach.

[In preparation for his final race of his career at the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, Meyer decided to spend time in Camp Chikopi because it is an ideal training environment.

His first open water race was 4 km Ahmic Harbor Swim during his stay in 2002. “That win definitely lit a fire within me,” recalls Meyer. “I got some great training in, and just as importantly had a lot of fun with the approximately 45 campers and counselors. I helped coach the swim practices every day, was on the giving and receiving end of some epic pranks, fell out of a war canoe, broke the Chikopi Mile record, enjoyed a storytelling by the campfire almost every night, and made fun and meaningful connections with some young people that I will remember forever.

Chikopi really is a special place, rich in tradition, and I’m glad I chose to spend some time there and am thankful to Bob and Colette Duenkel for allowing me to stay.”

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