One week. Two weeks. Or longer. Wanakita will feel like home.
YMCA Wanakita offers a variety of excellent summer overnight camp programs for ages 7 - 16. A unique balance between individual and group camp activities provides an opportunity for each camper to participate in virtually all age-appropriate programs. Our balanced program also creates an atmosphere where both technical and social skills are fostered, providing a safe place for campers to take risks and grow. We believe that participating in any of our programs provides the potential for success that will stay with each camper well beyond their time at camp.
The Kita program is a wonderful introduction to camp.
- Junior: 7 - 9 years
- Intermediate: 10 - 12 years
The Kita program is YMCA Wanakita’s one-week camp program that provides a supportive atmosphere with experienced counsellors chosen specifically to create a fun, inclusive and welcoming environment.
During their stay campers will participate in Personal Choice Activities (PCAs) each morning, an overnight camp-out and a variety of camp activities. Though it may not be possible to experience everything Wanakita has to offer in just one week, your camper will be fully immersed in all aspects of camp life. The Kita program is a wonderful introduction to camp.
Enjoy the best that Wanakita has to offer.
- Junior: 7 - 9 years
- Intermediate: 10 - 12 years
Junior and Intermediate sections (JI) are a fantastic way to engage with the best that Wanakita has to offer. JI campers participate in a variety of activities that are fun, engaging, and instructive.
Monday through Friday, campers spend the morning attending their pre-selected Personal Choice Activities (PCAs). Campers can choose from any of the age-appropriate PCAs and earn Wanakita levels or focus on experiential participation.
Campers also get a chance to challenge themselves on a trip tailored to their level of experience, exploring Koshlong Lake. Intermediates will be out for two nights, learning and developing a number of outdoor skills and Juniors will have a one night introduction to overnight camping. Our JIs also participate in Theme Days, friendly camp-wide games in the middle of each session.
Build wilderness leadership skills and independence.
The Senior Traditional Program has remained one of our most popular programs for over 60 years. With nine days at camp and five days on trip, “Trad” campers get the best of both worlds while enjoying the full extent of YMCA Wanakita’s diverse programming. The five-day canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness provides each cabin group with a meaningful challenge to work toward. The sense of purpose and adventure fostered in this program will help any camper gain self-confidence and build lasting friendships.
Senior Trad First Year
- Age: 13 years by end of year attending camp
The Senior Trad First Year trip offers an exciting trip for first-time and experienced campers alike as a grand welcome to the Trad program. Routes are selected to provide time to hone skills while taking in the beauty of rocky shorelines and sharing campfires under the stars.
Senior Trad Second Year
Age: 14 years by end of year attending camp
This five day trip is the flagship experience of our Senior Traditional program. With a little more age and experience, these campers are ready to venture out in smaller cabin groups to meet new challenges and enjoy the beauty of one of Ontario’s iconic wilderness parks.
Specialize in traditional camp skills.
- Age: 13 - 14 years
Senior Specialty campers spend two weeks at YMCA Wanakita, refining skills and strengthening friendships. These campers also participate in a three-day, two-night overnight on Koshlong Lake where they can learn about camping basics, and bond with their cabin mates around the campfire. Spending the full two weeks at camp allows Senior Specialty campers to pursue more time-intensive skills such as paddle-making and advanced wilderness skills.
Back-country exploration, team-building and independence.
- Age: 13 - 15 years
This specialized tripping program is a step up from the Senior Traditional trip with more paddling, portaging and back-country exploration. It begins in camp with two days of packing, preparation and fun before heading out for 8 days of trekking and canoeing deep into a provincial park to places other trips don’t go. Supported by staff uniquely suited to this experience, trippers learn and grow throughout the trip. Back at camp for the final two days, trippers debrief and participate in YMCA Wanakita’s closing traditions.
Group cooperation, self-discipline and personal initiative.
- Age: 15 years
This program focuses on technical skill development, with an introduction to group leadership skills. First year SC’s will face the challenge of a six-day canoe trip, and the opportunity to earn nationally recognized certifications in lifesaving, first aid, and canoeing.
Participants also refine their skills in YMCA Wanakita’s other activity areas such as archery, sailing, kayaking, and outdoor living skills. Group cooperation, self-discipline and personal initiative are keys to a successful and fulfilling experience.
Developing the key skills to lead the next generation of campers.
- Age: 16 years
Our Second Year program focuses on camp and community leadership skills, group dynamics, understanding the counselling role, teaching skills, camp philosophy and program objectives. All participants will do a cabin placement where they will learn about camper care and gain first-hand experience. The skills gained will be widely transferable both at Camp and in their home communities.
This program is split into two streams – Second Year Student Counsellor and Second Year Student Counsellor Tripper (SC2T). Both streams cover the same key points however where the traditional Second Year SC program takes place mainly at Wanakita, the Tripper stream encompasses a 10-day trip where Student Counsellors cover the same content in a floating classroom environment. The SC2T program aims to help shape the next generation of trip leaders.
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, which has quick access to the hospital.
Fresh, homemade and delicious
We're committed to healthy living and an integral part of that is serving campers delicious and nutritious meals that sustain them throughout all the fun and activity. We can accommodate allergies, vegetarian, vegan, halal and kosher needs. Portions are hearty in size and are served family and buffet style. Make sure to indicate any dietary restrictions or information on your registration.
We understand that some campers have severe, sometimes life-threatening allergies to nuts and other food. Our Food Services team chooses ingredients and designs menus to minimize the risk to these children and our Tuck Shop does not sell any items containing nuts.
If you choose to send an alternate packed lunch or snacks for your child, please do not send any products that may contain nut ingredients.
Campers will be staying in either cabins with washrooms and showers or without, depending on which program they are in. Each cabin has electricity, lights and bunks with mattresses. Please bring your own bedding. Each cabin has at least one separate room for the cabin’s counsellors.
Washrooms are located in three centralized buildings around camp with private stalls for showers and toilets which are cleaned several times each day.
Yes! We do our best to accommodate cabin mate requests, provided they are in the same program, and similar ages. Only one request will be considered, and it must be mutually requested. Requests are not guaranteed. If you have more questions about this, please contact the office.
Generally we require campers to attend the program within the age requirement posted on our website. Cabins are most successful in their relationships and friendship building if peer groups are kept within a limited age gap. If you have further questions, please contact our main office.
Mornings are spent doing Personal Choice Activities, chosen upon registration. These are co-ed and all-ages programs. After lunch and a rest period, cabins spend time together doing things they choose as a group and trying new activities around camp. Evening programs include section-specific and camp-wide activities, and are always super creative and fun for all! All campers get to go on an overnight on the lake or outtrip farther away, during their stay. The length and location of trip varies by program.
Please have a look at the weather forecast prior to packing for camp. However, we suggest you pack clothes for all kinds of weather, to be sure you are prepared. Click here for a suggested list.
Session Dates, Rates & Availability
One Week Program Availability
|One Week Sessions
|June 30 - July 4
|July 7 - 11
|July 14 - 18
|July 21 - 25
|July 28-Aug 1
|August 4 - 8
Two Week Program Availability
|Two Week Sessions
|June 30 - July 11
|July 14 - 25
|Jul 28 - Aug. 8
|Aug. 11 - 22
Four Week Program Availability
|Four Week Sessions
|June 30- July 25
|July 28 - Aug. 22
|Kita - Junior, Intermediate
|Two Week - Junior, Intermediate
|Two Week - Senior Specialty, Senior Traditional
|1st & 2nd Year SC
|Transportation (1 way)
|Transportation (round trip)
all fees subject to 13% HST
For more information look through our 2024 Field Guide!