Questions from Parents
What is the camper to staff ratio?
Our camper to staff ratio is 4:1. Most cabins accommodate 8 – 10 campers with two staff members (including an older staff member designated as the cabin leader).
How can I prepare my child for Camp?
It’s a great idea to try to join us at one of our “Welcome To Wenonah” information sessions during the Spring. Our presentation covers all information about our program, food service, accommodations, health care, staff, and more.
In June each year, we welcome new or interested families to visit Camp for our annual Open House, where you can get a tour of our facility, meet our staff team, enjoy a complimentary meal, and try out some of our activities.
As the summer draws nearer, talk to your child about the Camp experience. Learn about what they are excited about and also what they may feel anxious about. It’s natural for campers (and parents!) to feel a bit nervous about a first Camp experience, but we are here to help and answer any questions you may have!
How many campers are attending?
We welcome up to 250 campers during a typical Camp Period. Campers live in male and female cabins on separate cabin lines.
We also host 50 participants in our POLARIS and WCIT leadership development programs.
Camp employs over 100 staff members each Summer.
What programs does your camp offer? How does my child choose programs?
Campers attending for two weeks or one month have 25+ instructional and recreational activities to choose from. They take three PICs (Personal Individual Choice activities). Some PICs can be taken one week at a time and others are two week commitments. This provides campers with more variety in programming. Campers also have lots of opportunities to try other activities during their stay with us.
Campers attending Period 1B or Period 3B can also take some PICs during their week at Camp.
Introductory period campers visit our most popular activity areas with their cabin groups, allowing them an opportunity to try as many different activities as possible.
What will my child do all day?
A typical day at Camp is FULL of lots of activities to keep campers busy and having fun. Each day at Camp features a mix of personal choice, small group, and large group activities that meet the interests of each camper.
Two week, one month, and Period 1B/3B campers participate in three PIC (Personal Individual Choice) activities during the typical day. Campers choose their PICs on the first day of Camp.
Introductory period campers rotate through three or four of our most popular activity areas during the typical day.
A day at Camp is rounded out by cabin-based programs, section-based activities (including wide games and theme programs), and full Camp programs that can include campfires, talent shows, games, and large group activities.
How do you deal with homesickness?
It is very common for all campers (and, believe it or not, even some staff!) to “miss home” in some way while they are at Camp. We anticipate that happening, and work from the moment campers arrive to make sure they feel comfortable at Camp, that they are making friends with their cabinmates, and that they are kept busy each and every day.
Because each cabin has a Cabin Leader, and most often also a second junior staff member, living with the campers, we are able to closely monitor how each child is adjusting to Camp and quickly respond to any anxieties or concerns.
During our nine-day staff training program that is held before Summer Camp begins, all staff members participate in workshops that teach them to identify the signs of a typical “homesick” camper. Staff members are encouraged to practice and discuss effective stategies and methods to help a camper cope with missing home.
Veteran staff members are hired as Cabin Managers, and they work closely with either the Cabin Leaders that oversee groups of campers. In cases where a child is struggling with homesickness, the Cabin Managers often mentor the camper to help him or her overcome homesickness. In the very rare serious case, our Cabin Managers contact the camper’s family to update the parents on the camper’s progress and seek any feedback from the parents that may help the child.
Our experience is that a camper contacting home can only exacerbate homesickness. While our policy is to keep parents updated if there are any concerns with their child, campers won’t have an opportunity to talk directly with their parents.
My child has allergies. How do you accommodate his/her diet?
Accommodating campers with food allergies, including serious nut allergies, is nothing new to us. Wenonah is designated as a nut aware setting. All food served through the kitchen and on outtrips is carefully screened to ensure it does not contain nuts nor nut products.
Families are asked to identify any allergies or special diets with us when completing health forms in the Spring. In cases where a child has serious allergies or unique dietary needs, please contact us to discuss any requirements with us so that you can be confident that you child will be looked after when they are at Camp.
How do you deal with bedwetting?
If a camper wets the bed, we have full laundry facilities on site where we can wash any bedding, pyjamas, etc. When staff members are cleaning up a bed that has been wet, one of their main concerns is to be discreet. Staff members know that bedwetting can be sensitive for a camper, and staff members want to be sure that a camper’s cabinmates aren’t aware when there has been an incident.
Cabin leaders of younger campers are trained to monitor the intake of fluids close to their campers’ bedtimes, and to take an entire cabin group to the washroom before going to bed to help reduce the risk of bedwetting incidents. Oftentimes, parents will let us know in advance if their child has a tendency to wet the bed so, when necessary, cabin leaders will also wake a child up in the middle the night to take them to the washroom.
In some cases, a camper may go to bed wearing pull-ups to help prevent accidents. In these cases, campers are welcome to use a private room in the Health Centre or one or our private washrooms to change before going to bed.
Can they email or call home?
Campers do not have access to email while they are at Camp, and will be unable to respond to any emails. Parents are welcome to email their camper at our firstname.lastname@example.org email address (just put your camper’s name in the subject line), and our office staff will print the email and deliver it to your camper with the regular mail once each day.
We also realize and appreciate that more and more campers, POLARIS and WCITs arrive at Camp with an expectation of having some connection with home through a communication device, smartphone, etc.
While we STRONGLY urge all communication devices to be left at home, if a family reaches a decision that a camper, or leadership participant will come to Camp with a cell phone we have developed a Talk & Text Policy, where they can have access to their phone for 30 minutes two or three times during a two-week period. Devices may be brought only with parent’s permission, and are kept locked away in the Camp Office outside the talk and text time.
We prefer that younger and One Week Period campers NOT bring a device to Camp! This contradicts the basic foundation of the Camp experience and the development of independent living and decision-making skills.
How can I contact my child when he/she is at Camp?
Campers love to receive mail while they are at Camp! You may address your letters to:
Camper Name, Cabin, Period(s) Attending
c/o Camp Wenonah
1324 Bird Lake Rd., RR #3,
Mail is delivered to Camp each weekday. There is time each day for your child to write letters to family and friends. (HINT: You may want to self-address some envelopes for your camper!)
You are welcome to email your camper, and we will print and deliever your email once per day. Emails can be directed to email@example.com (please include your camper’s name in the Subject line).
Is there a laundry service available?
Yes! We have a great relationship with Centennial Laundry in Bracebridge. Parents can select the weekly laundry service for their camper (campers staying 2+ weeks) in advance of Camp for a small fee, and campers receive an individual laundry bag at Camp.
Once per week, Centennial Laundry picks up laundry bags and takes them to town. Laundry is sorted, washed, folded, and returned to Camp usually within 24 hours.
How are campers placed in cabins?
We take great care in putting together cabin groups to make sure that all campers are comfortable and happy with their placement.
Campers are placed in cabins with other campers the same age as them (usually within 18 months). Our goal, wherever possible, is to make sure that campers are in a cabin with others staying at Camp for the same amount of time as them.
We know that some campers may come to Camp on their own. Especially with first time campers, we make sure those children are placed in a cabin with other first time campers and we do our best to make sure a camper attending on their own is not in a cabin with a large group of friends that is attending together.
We also try to make sure that first time campers are placed in a cabin with some other first time campers whenever we can.
Families can make requests that their camper be placed in a cabin with a friend. Our policy is to consider those requests so long as:
- a) the request is mutual (made by both families)
- b) the campers are within 18 months of eachother; and
- c) they are attending Camp for the same amount of time
Questions from Campers
Can I be in the same cabin as my friend?
Yes! In the Spring, we mail our “Final Forms & Details” to your family with all sorts of information about Camp. There are some instructions for completing some forms online, including how you can ask to be in a cabin with your friend. We do our best tomake that happen if:
- You and your friend are within 18 months age of each other
- Both you and your friend ask to be cabinmaters
- You are both at Camp for the same amount of time
We try to not to put big groups of friends together in a cabin, so please ask to be in a cabin withjust one or two friends.
How do I choose my activities at Camp?
If you are attending Camp for one month, two weeks, or for Period 1B or 3B you can choose three “PICs” when you are at Camp. You can click here to see the different PICs we have available at Wenonah.
If you are coming for one of our introductory periods, you have a chance to visit some of our favourite and most popular activity areas with your cabin group.
There are lots of other chances to choose some activities that you think will be fun, like during Daily Options, Camp Clubs, or Mega Options.
Where will I live?
All campers live in a cabin. Most cabins sleep 8 – 10 campers along with a Cabin Leader and usually another staff member. All cabins have bunkbeds (you can choose to sleep on the top or bottom bunk!).
ROOTS, POLARIS, and WCIT participants sleep in “tabins” (platform tents) in Leadership Village.
What is the food like?
Food at Wenonah is awesome! We have three meals a day in the Boyes Lodge, plus a yummy evening snack. All meals are cooked in our kitchen, and we are sure you will love them!
During mealtime, you sit with the other campers in your cabin, as well as your counsellors. Pretty much every meal is served buffet style, which means you go up to the buffet table to pick what you’d like to eat.
We plan our menu by thinking about what you will like. We want to make sure that you love the food at Camp!!
What happens if you have a special diet? All we ask is that you and your family let us know about this before Camp.
If you are a vegetarian, or have a special food allergy, then we will look after you! We have a special menu already planned for vegetarians. If you have other special diets, our kitchen staff will make some delicious meals for you. Sometimes, we may ask that you bring some meals to Camp with you if we can’t make something safely in our kicthen. Our kitchen staff are happy to prepare them for you.
If you have a nut allergy, then you will be okay at Camp! We are “nut aware” at Camp. We check all of the food that we serve to make sure it does not contain nuts nor nut products. We also make sure nobody brings any nuts or nut products to our site.
Will I like my cabin leader?
We are sure of it! Some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet are cabin leaders at Camp Wenonah!
We hire all of our cabin leaders because we know that they love working with kids and youth. Many of our cabin leaders are volunteers when they are at home. Other cabin leaders are instructors, coaches, or teachers at home. Each person who works at Camp Wenonah is there because they want to make sure that you are happy, and having a good time.
If you are ever feeling sad, or need somebody to talk to, then our cabin leaders and other staff will help you. Don’t ever be scared to ask somebody for help at Camp – we are there for you!
Of course, let your cabin leader know when you are having a great time also! Our cabin leaders love it when our campers share fun stories, or talk about something cool that they did during their day.