Ah, summer camp: a place to play, learn, bunk with friends new and old and connect with the environment. S’mores, campfires and singsongs too, please!
Choosing the best one is an important decision. Whether it’s a day-to-day or sleep away camp you’ll want your child to be enriched, learn valuable skills and create wonderful memories. Organizations like the Ontario Camp Association (OCA) and Our Kids are extremely helpful. By entering a few parameters – the type of camp, overnight or days only, you’ll be able to view options both near and farther from home. Certified camps bear the OCA logo on their website.
Options for sleep away camps are almost limitless – it really depends on the type of activities you want your child to participate in – and whether you want to stick within the province or go beyond Ontario’s border. Does your child like horses, dance, outdoor pursuits, sports, yoga, robotics, music, public speaking or art? Are you looking for something more faith-based? Co-ed? More than likely there’s a place that match your child’s interests.
Here are just a few fun and enriching examples:
Centauri Arts Camp
This summer home-away-from-home welcomes youth from eight to 18. Aptly named, there are over 40 programs revolving around acting, stage combat, dance, fine art, creative writing, music, TV production and more – even a cultural tour trip to Scotland. centauriartscamp.com
Where: Dunchurch (near Parry Sound)
A girls-only camp situated in the heart of the Canadian Shield. For over 60 years girls ages seven to 16 have been spending summers here. Two or four-week sessions are offered with lots of options for activities like rock climbing, canoeing, and sailing. miakonda.com
Canterbury Hills Camp
This camp has been operating for over 50 years, offering a nurturing Christian environment. All faiths are welcome to attend and enjoy typical camp activities like swimming, canoeing, archery, crafts and more. Day camps are also offered. canterburyhillscamp.ca
A multi-age, co-ed and Christian-based camp packed with activities like horseback riding, swimming, archery, zip-line, high ropes, initiative courses and more. Crazy theme meals and outdoor cookouts will add to indelible memories. csranchgrandriver.ca
Horse fanatics will enjoy this camp that offers a ton of fun and fresh air. Girls ages six to 14 will experience camp life that includes trail rides, horsemanship, swimming on hot days, mountain biking and more. Making the camp experience complete, meals are enjoyed as a group in the large dining hall. kemurcamp.com
Cave Springs Camp
All things you would expect in an overnight camp are included here, including the standards like crafts, nature walks, archery, baking, zip lining, swimming and sports. One evening/night is set aside for a camp-out sleeping in tents and with dinner around a campfire. cavespringscamp.on.ca
Day camps provide a fun environment for kids, and are especially helpful if both parents still need to work their usual nine to five routine. Again, with so many options, including Lego, art or Stem, here are just a few to choose from:
Time to head to university! Kids ages six to 14 can participate in a number of fun camps on campus! There are over 25 kinds of sports camps; or you might consider mini-university camps which offer hands-on, self-directed activities spread across three unique modules (for example, earth exploration, unraveling the human psyche, crime scene solving, chemistry, physics and more). rec.mcmaster.ca/programs
Royal Hamilton Yacht Club Camp
Camps for a wide age range will turn a landlubber into a sailor. The RHYC camps for young kids include outdoor play-based learning and in-classroom learning. More advanced CANSail programs for older kids focus on boat safety, boat-handling skills, and seamanship, plus basic terminology, knots, swimming and more. rhyc.ca/Learn_to_Sail/Youth_Program
Mohawk College Summer Camp
Kids from age five – 12 can experience a bit of college life a week at a time. Weeks are theme-based, ranging from under the sea adventures and DIY to science and time travel. Bonus for parents: after camp care is provided for free. camps.mohawkcollege.ca
The Ontario Camp Association