With such open outdoor spaces and large lakes, Ontario provides the perfect summer playground for kids. There are a lot of summer camps in Ontario with so much to offer children in terms of learning and activities.
You can find options that include girls and boys-only, adventures, sports and even chocolate-making. There’s also a completely off the grid programs to get children away from their screens and out in the beautiful nature of Ontario.
Whatever you want from an Ontario camp, read on to let your children discover the outdoors with any of these programs.
Established back in 1955, Camp Wahanowin centers on the core values of community, growth, respect, and tradition. It’s all about achieving personal growth through challenges, with the goal of encouraging kids to be their very best selves. Individuality and independence are seen as key.
Camps last from one day for a brief introductory session to the entire summer. In between there are camps that run for a weekend, a week, or even a month. A couple of the shorter options are suitable for kindergartners, while longer camps accept older students in grades 1 through 9th.
Amenities include recently upgraded cabins and sports courts. Camp Wahanowin also has a bungee trampoline and a flying trapeze that campers can make the most out of.
During their time at Camp Wahanowin, your child can get involved with baseball, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, tennis, waterskiing, and much more. Aside from sports, activities include cooking, pottery, theater, and woodworking.
Taking place in Hamilton, Ontario, Chocolate Tales is a summer camp that’s all about hitting the sweet spot with kids. The camp runs for five days, during which children learn all about baking or making chocolate. These themed camps take place on alternating weeks.
To mix things up, plenty of outdoor activities and games are also part of the itinerary. The camps are open to kids aged between 7 and 12. Discounts apply for siblings or bookings for more than one week.
Children attending the chocolate camp can learn all about tempering and creating with chocolate and even get to decorate an apron before they begin. This camp concludes with a pizza-making session so they can make everyone’s favorite savory from scratch.
At baking camp, kids will make various sweet treats to keep them energetic. These include lava cakes, French macarons, and cake pops. During the week, they’ll also get involved in the fine art of cake decoration.
Camp Can-Aqua is all about putting kids in charge of what they do and when. There’s a wide variety of exciting activities with its location close to Bancroft. With 40 years of experience and experienced staff with training, Camp Can-Aqua knows exactly how to keep kids entertained and educated.
Days comprise four periods of activity plus an evening program. Free time is also built into the schedule. At dinner each evening, children pick their activities for the following day so everyone knows where they need to be.
Camp Can-Aqua’s facilities include a private lake, meaning water activities like canoeing, kneeboarding, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and windsurfing are available. There are also arts, land activities, and overnight trips.
Whether your campers are into horseback riding or fine arts, finding things to do isn’t a problem here. Camp Can-Aqua offers many opportunities for kids 5 and older. Programs run for 1, 2, or 4 weeks, with the latter only open to those 12 and above. Camp Can-Aqua is part of the Canadian Camping Association (CCA) and Ontario Camps Association (OCA).
The history of Camp Kawartha dates back around a century from 1921. They offer summer camps for students ages 4 and 17 that are all about immersion in outdoor life. The range of programs includes day and overnight camps, canoeing and adventure camps, and leadership camps for teenagers.
They are located in Peterborough and at Clear Lake. As well as an introductory camp lasting 3 days, sessions run for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Kinder camps for younger children run for a week with several day camps also in operation.
Facilities at Camp Kawartha include the impressive outdoor education center at Clear Lake and an environment center at Peterborough. This non-profit has won multiple awards for the quality of its amenities and offerings.
Solely operating as a summer camp for boys, Camp Hurontario has been running for close to 80 years. The camp is a two-hour drive from Toronto and is situated to the north at Thirty Thousand Islands in Georgian Bay.
Boys aged between 5 and 16 are welcome here. Sessions last between one to three-and-a-half weeks, commencing in late June. Each program is tailored to specific age ranges and levels of experience.
Activities available at this boys’ camp include sports such as archery, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, sailing, and windsurfing. Kids can also get involved with arts and biology here.
Camp Hurontario occupies an island in Twelve Mile Bay. Facilities and activities make full use of the island and surrounding water, as well as the wider Georgian Bay Islands National Park area.
Camp Northway is a girls’ summer camp located in Northway and a canoe-tripping boys’ camp in Wendigo. It offers something different and nature-based, as there is no electricity at either site. This feature helps keep its authenticity and stay true to its roots that started all the way back in 1906.
Camp Northway accepts children aged between 7 and 16, with a maximum of 60 attendees at any time. There’s one member of staff per 3 kids to guide them through their wilderness living experience. The boys’ canoeing camps are open to 12 to 16-year-olds.
A typical Camp Northway day for girls will include pursuits such as arts and crafts and drama in addition to activities in the water.
Do note that due to the lack of electricity, contact between kids and parents is limited. The use of regular mail is therefore encouraged, though there is also a main phone number for important calls.
The history of Camp Pathfinder dates back to 1914, with programs for boys between 7 and 16. Located at Source Lake in Algonquin Park, kids from all over Canada, the United States, South America, and even Europe attend Camp Pathfinder.
Uniquely, this camp offers family camps where boys and their parents can attend simultaneously. It’s the perfect introduction to camp life for rookies.
Canoe trips are what it all began with. Now, programs focus on providing an experience based mainly on the natural world, with minimal technology. A long tradition of fellowship exists here.
As well as canoeing, activities to get into here include the arts, ecology and nature, athletics, paddling, ropes, and swimming. Some of the many Camp Pathfinder missions state to “Provide healthful, rewarding, maturing summer experiences” and “Empower boys to challenge and extend their limits”.
Camp Davern’s ethos centers on a back-to-nature approach. Camp Davern is located close to Maberly, Ontario, occupying a 150-acre site. Up to 120 kids aged between 7 and 16 can attend at any one time.
As well as summer camps, outdoor education programs are offered in spring and fall at Camp Davern. This is a non-denominational camp, and sessions last for one week or a fortnight. The philosophy here focuses on two things — trying out new things and forging friendships.
A variety of on-land and water activities are offered. Children can also get involved in arts pursuits and projects, undertake challenges and treks, or head out canoe-tripping for up to 10 nights. As well as sports, survival skills form part of the on-land program.
It was initially established as an all-girls camp back in 1946 before growing and expanding till today welcoming all, including entire families at their weekend family camps.
Camp guides for cities in Ontario: