Build family memories. Make new friends. Repeat year-after-year.
YMCA Wanakita’s unique Family Camp program has set the standard for family camps throughout the province. More than just a great family vacation, YMCA Wanakita Family Camp is ideal for developing and strengthening relationships with family and friends while building meaningful memories together.
YMCA Wanakita offers nine weeks of Family Camp program in the summer. Families arrive midday on Sunday and depart midday the following Saturday. Family Camp operates on Wanakita “East”, separate from the Kids Overnight and Day Camp, except forWeek 9, where the “West” side is open for Family Camp too.
Just relax or dive in to everything we offer.
Designed with all members of the family in mind, each day is filled with activities and opportunities for family members to play independently and together. Family campers enjoy an outstanding sandy waterfront with docks for various waterfront activities, fields, courts and wooded areas for all land based programs; buildings for indoor activities, and access to fire pits and other communal spaces. Our staff are trained in age-appropriate programming, ensuring that campers of all ages enjoy their time at YMCA Wanakita. All programs are optional, giving families the opportunity to choose whether they would like to participate in programs or relax on the beach.
Be part of a really great camp community.
Each family occupies their own rustic wood cabin, outfitted with single bunk beds, shelving units, and electricity. Cabins are located moments away from centralized bathrooms with showers. Family campers share meals together in our community dining hall, where we pride ourselves on healthy and delicious food. Our Food Services Department is able to accommodate most dietary needs.
Family Camp activities includes many of Wanakita's traditional camp activities. All activities are optional. You can fill up your schedule with staff-led activities, or take a hike, sign out a boat, or read a book on the beach while the kids play in the sand.
Family Camp 2022 Dates, Rates & Availability
Updated Apr 26, 2022
|Week 1||July 3 - 9||Limited Space|
|Week 2||July 10 - 16||Full|
|Week 3||July 17 - 23||Limited Space|
|Week 4||July 24 - 30||Full|
|Week 5||July 31 - August 6||Full|
|Week 6||August 7 - 13||Full|
|Week 7||August 14 - 20||Full|
|Week 8||August 21 - 27||Full|
|Week 9||August 28 - September 3||Limited Space|
Frequently Asked Questions
YMCA Wanakita sits on 1,000 acres and 1 km of continuous shoreline on Koshlong Lake in the Haliburton Highlands. The closest town is Haliburton, 15 minutes away, with grocery stores, department stores, pharmacies, restaurants, a hospital and library.
Each family is assigned to a cabin of their own. Cabins come in various sizes (from 3-12 beds), but all are outfitted with single beds or bunk beds with vinyl covered foam mattresses. Please bring your own linens (sheets and blankets or sleeping bags), pillows, towels, etc… Each cabin has electricity. Some but not all cabins have baseboard heating. If concerned about the temperature, please feel free to bring a small space heater for your cabin (or a fan if it’s going to be hot!). Washrooms are located in three centralized buildings around camp with private stalls for showers and toilets which are cleaned several times each day.
The food is great! We provide delicious and nutritious meals with lots of options that both kids and adults love. Coffee, tea, juice, hot chocolate, toast, fruit and other snacks are available 24 hours a day.
Please let us know of any dietary requirements before you arrive at camp. We can accommodate many dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan and most food allergies and religious dietary restrictions, when notified ahead of time. If you have a food preference or a food you simply don’t like, we can do our best, but can’t guarantee it can be avoided. There are always lots of options at meals.
Yes, you can definitely bring your own snacks, though we strongly encourage that they be tightly sealed and kept in your cabin or the trunk of your car, to avoid attracting critters. We also sell snacks, ice and other amenities in our Tuck Shop which is open twice daily. Please avoid bringing any products that contain nuts.
Throughout the day we run family-friendly programs as well as programs organized by age groups. You can choose to attend as many or as few programs as you please. Programs are run by enthusiastic and qualified staff members. In addition, many program areas are open to use on your own, such as our hiking and biking trails, waterfront, canoes and kayaks. Evening programs are scheduled every day, and include a mix of age-specific and family-friendly activities. Our programs run rain or shine (except during thunder storms or high winds).
In addition, some other things to look forward to include:
- At the opening and closing of every session, there are group campfires where staff share skits, stories and much anticipated traditional Wanakita songs. Every cabin section has a smaller campfire for you to enjoy in the evenings. Wood is available for purchase at our site.
- We have a talent show every Thursday night. Brush up on your talents and showcase them for everyone’s enjoyment.
- We have a theme dinner each week. Several weeks before your camp session, we will let you know what the theme will be so you can come prepared with costumes or table decorations if you choose.
- You can look forward to our ever-popular arrival and departure day brunches with lots of delicious options.
- And so much more!
In an effort to ensure the opportunity for as many families as possible to enjoy YMCA Wanakita's Summer Family Camp program, families may register for only one week of Family Camp prior to January 1st.
After January 1st, should availability allow, families may register for a second week of Family Camp. Please note that unfortunately we are unable to accomodate families on Wanakita property during changeover periods between consecutive weeks of Family Camp.
Sure! Please contact us and we will discuss if there is room in the week or your assigned cabin.
That depends on how many people are currently registered. We have a set capacity in our dining hall, which once filled, can no longer accommodate additional people (even if there is room in your cabin). If you are hoping to have family members or friends join you for a portion of your time at camp, it is necessary that you communicate this to the camp office prior to your arrival. To ensure the safety of all participants, YMCA Wanakita must know who is on site at all times. Also note that when visitors or guests arrive at YMCA Wanakita they must check in at the main office at the front entrance of camp, as well as at the Family Camp Office.
Guests vs Visitors:
- Guests attend camp part of the full program time. Guest fees are charged at full price, regardless of the time spent at camp, unless your guest is staying for 48 hours or less.
- Visitors are any participants attending camp without attending meals or programs (for a few hours at a time). There is no fee charged for this, though it must be communicated to the Director ahead of time.
Please contact the Family Camp Director for day rates for guests.
Director, Family Camp
Yes! We love dogs at camp. Our dog policy is as follows:
- You must provide a current copy of your pet’s rabies vaccination record before arrival.
- Your pet must be on leash at all times, or on a lead outside your cabin. The only exception to this is for swimming at a designated area of the beach, or playing in the archery/baseball field during designated times when programs are not running.
- The only building that your pet is to be in is your own cabin. We don’t allow pets in any program buildings, washrooms or the dining hall. The exception to this is working dogs.
Wanakita Family Camp defines a family as multi-generational, and preference is given to families fitting that description. If one or more adults wish to attend without children, there is the opportunity, assuming availability, for a registered family to invite you to stay as a guest in their cabin.
We understand - past family campers have a strong connection to YMCA Wanakita. Our first priority is to provide this multi-generational experience to today’s families so they can develop these same strong connections with their family that you experienced. We do provide opportunities for adults to come to Wanakita during our Getaway Weekends and Work Weekends.
Cell reception at camp is very limited. A short walk around camp to find a cellular pocket, or if needed, a drive into town, will provide you with better cell phone reception and/or access to internet.
Family campers find that the more they disconnect from their electronic devices, the more they connect with their family and friends. We encourage you to enjoy the beautiful setting, have fun, take part in activities and relax in the company of family, friends, staff and campers around you. As such, access to internet is not available at Family Camp. We do however recognize that internet access is sometimes a necessity. There are several places in Haliburton (15 minutes away) that offer free Wi-Fi.
We do not provide transportation service for Family Camp. There is, however, a daily bus that arrives and departs from Haliburton, 15 minutes away from camp.
We advise that you come prepared for all types of weather including hot, cold, wet, dry, sunny and cloudy, to make the most of your stay here. Don't forget your costume or props for our Theme Dinner. Details about your camp session's theme will be mailed to you before summer.