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Life at Camp

Our Camp Staff are a dedicated group of young adults who are dedicated to providing campers with a safe and fun experience at camp. Kitchikewana counsellors are between the ages of 17 to 19 years old, and are trained and supported by our senior staff teams. Our senior support and management teams are older staff who have gained additional training and professional experience through relevant post-secondary education and/or previous camp employment. Our staff team participates in a week-long training prior to the camp season that includes but is not limited to: camper care, safety, bullying, emergency procedures, first aid, cabin dynamics, skill instruction, and quality program delivery. All staff provide a vulnerable sector police check and have their standard first aid and CPR C certifications.

The majority of our staff hold their National Lifeguard Qualification (NLS) as well. In addition to these standard certifications, our senior support staff hold the following certifications:

  • Kitchen Staff: Safe Food Handlers Certification
  • Maintenance Staff: Transport Canada Boat Driver’s Licence, Small Drinking Water System Operators
  • Canoe Trip Staff: Wilderness First Aid Training, ORCKA Tripping Level 3, ORCKA Tripping 1 instructors
  • Counsellors and program staff:YMCA Healthy Childhood Development Training
  • Camp Van Drivers: G Drivers Licence and MTO Driver’s Record Check
  • Sailing Area Head: CAN Sail Instructors
  • Boating Area Head: ORCKA Canoe and Kayak Instructors
  • Swimming Area Staff: Life Saving Society Swim Instructors and Examiners

At YMCA Camp Kitchikewana, camper care is our number one priority. Staff are trained to ensure that campers needs, safety and personal care are of utmost importance. The following are a number of ways we strive to ensure campers have a safe and enjoyable camp experience:

  • Staff will ensure that campers are looking after themselves; eating properly, staying hydrated, protecting themselves from the sun and bugs, dressing appropriately for the weather and staying active.
  • We have a Wellness Centre on site that is staffed by a certified nurse or doctor 24 hours a day. Campers can visit the Wellness Centre if they take medication or are unwell.
  • Camp Kitchikewana follows all overnight camping standards and recommended practices set by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the Ministry of Health and the Environment, the Ontario Camping Association and YMCA Camping in the areas of food and drinking water service, safe program delivery and camper care.
  • All of our programs are built on the foundation of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s values; kindness, integrity, inclusiveness, respect, and optimism. Staff, campers and volunteers are expected to behave in line with our values and Code of Behaviour.
  • Bullying is not tolerated at YMCA Camp Kitchikewana. In our pre-camp training week and throughout the summer, staff are trained in anti-bullying strategies to ensure campers are provided with a safe environment where they can be themselves and enjoy camp

Typical Day Schedule
7:30am……………………………………..Morning dip
8:00am……………………………………..Breakfast hopper bell
8:15am……………………………………..Flag raising and breakfast
9:00am……………………………………..Cabin clean up
9:45am……………………………………..Cabin Choice
10:45am……………………………………Section Season
12:00pm……………………………………Lunch hopper bell
12:15pm……………………………………Lunch
1:15pm……………………………………..Rest Hour
2:15pm……………………………………..First skill
3:15pm……………………………………..Skill transitions/snack
3:25pm……………………………………..Second skill
4:25pm……………………………………..End of skill
4:30pm……………………………………..Awesome time (free time for boating, swimming, sailing, and land games)
5:30pm……………………………………..Dinner hopper bell
5:45pm……………………………………..Dinner
7:15pm……………………………………..Evening section program
8:30pm……………………………………..All camp snack, campfire
8:45pm……………………………………..Waterbug and Juniors to cabins
9:00pm……………………………………..Intermediate to cabins
9:15pm……………………………………..Seniors to cabins
10:15pm……………………………………All lights out, cabin lines quiet

Note: For campers enrolled in sailing camp, section season is replaced with an additional block of sailing. They also spend both skill one and two in sailing lessons. For campers enrolled in the waterbug program, one skill block is spent swimming and the other is spent doing a waterbug-specific group program (eg. box car races). Leadership campers have an adapted schedule as their month-long program has different aims and requirements.  They spend the morning block (9:45-12:15) and the afternoon block (2:15-4:30) in session, skill instruction, or other leadership-specific programs.

Campers receive three delicious meals a day with a mid-afternoon and evening snack before bed. All of our meals are healthy, nutritious and camper friendly. We strive to make food from scratch and to use as few pre-packaged food items as possible. Camper’s meals are done “family style” with campers eating with their cabins for the whole meal and helping set and clear the table and serve the food as a team. Our kitchen staff are able to accommodate dietary needs and food allergies. Please be sure to indicate any restrictions on your camp application form.

Here are some examples of our camp food service menu:

Breakfast
Cold cereal, Juice, Milk and Fruit (at every Breakfast), Yogurt, Muffins, Bagels, Breakfast Sandwiches, Breakfast burritos, Coffee Cake, Banana Bread, Pancakes and Sausage/Bacon, French Toast, Oatmeal

Lunch
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Chicken Caesar Wraps, Make-your own sandwiches, Perogies, Hot Dogs, Chicken Burgers, Pasta Salad, Cold fruit (at every lunch)

Dinner
Salad or veggie sticks (at every dinner), Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, Burgers, Stir-fry, Spaghetti, Pizza, Tacos, Pork Chops, Fajitas, Sheppard’s Pie. Dessert, Oatmeal Bars, Cookies, Fruit, Jello, Pudding, Brownies, Popsicles. Evening Snack, Pretzels, Popcorn, Chips and Salsa, Bits and Bites, Granola Bars.

Camp Kitchikewana prides itself in being a rustic site nuzzled within the beautiful environment of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park. The camp is situated in a protected bay with three private beaches perfect for waterfront programs. Campers will have access to the many kilometers of back-country hiking trails that the National Park has to offer.

All campers live in cabins, with 8-9 campers and 2 counsellors. Our cabins are basic living spaces, designed to be comfortable and welcoming during rest hours and at nighttime. All our cabins have electricity, porches, and storage space for personal items.

Additional Accommodation Information for Session 4:

Upon registration for Session 4, campers will have the choice to sign up for an all gender or single gender cabin. It is important to us that all our campers are able to choose an accommodation that makes them feel comfortable and to be themselves.

All gender cabins are open to everyone – it is a welcoming space for campers who want to share a space with campers of different genders, who have friends or siblings who are different genders, and for campers who identify as non-binary or genderqueer.

Every cabin group will continue to be sorted by age, and we intend to have multiple all gender cabins in order to offer cabin groups that are within a developmentally appropriate age range. Because our cabins are one open space, private changing areas are available for campers.

Each of our camper cabins is staffed with 2 counsellors.  Our entire staff team participates in extensive training each year will receive additional resources and training focused on creating positive spaces for our campers.

We are proud to be a camp that encourages friendship, belonging, and inclusiveness and we want to ensure that we continue to grow and support the needs of all our campers and families.

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