Camp Kawartha

Teacher Testimonials

We are committed to providing students, teachers and parent volunteers with the best outdoor education experience possible. Below are some letters and comments we have received from teachers about their visit to our centre.

We have been coming here for many years. For many of our new students it is their first experience at an outdoor camp and for some it is their first home away from home. Always this trip is a highlight of their elementary school experience. They came away with lots of new knowledge and a love of the outdoors and “camp”

Marcia Johnston & Georgina EldridgeTeachersKawartha Heights PSGrade 5

Our grade 5/6 students at the Giles school enjoyed their visit at the camp. At no point they said they were bored. There was a good balance in the program, the students were busy but not tired. They also felt they are in a safe environment thanks to the staff/instructors who made them feel welcomed, respected and cared for. In every step of the program the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Big thanks to Neil, Jacob, Samantha, Dino, Greg, not forgetting the kitchen staff.

Mme Amal, Mme Caroline, Mr. Jean-JacquesTeachersThe Giles SchoolGrade 5/6

Camp Kawartha is an amazing trip for students. I have organized it for middle school students for the past 4 years, and every year it gets better. The programs and food are amazing and the staff are wonderful and very knowledgeable. Every year the students come back to school exhausted, but they always say it is the best trip of the year.

Ryan GibsonTeacherQueen Alexandra Middle SchoolGrade 8

Our students had a great time. The hands-on experiences outdoors lent themselves to some great exploration of some big ideas. They created a springboard to further enrich classroom discussions. The knowledgeable staff was highly valued as you could tell they believed in what they were doing (watershed model). The food was also really good (better than in previous years) – dedication to local & healthy products valuable lessons for our students too.

Humphreys, Baggetta, GraybowskiTeachersThe Bishop Strachan SchoolGrade 4

This is our second year coming to Camp Kawartha with our grade 10 cyber science class and we had a blast again! The staff were knowledgeable, organized and helpful at all times. Our group experienced the high ropes course for the first time and were very happy to try it out. Amanda was a great instructor with safety always on her mind. Glen is a great entertainer with a lot of knowledge about the native and pioneer history. The great hall was a perfect and cozy spot for students and staff alike. Thank you to the kitchen staff for a variety of delicious and healthy meals and snack. We will be back next year!

Paul CaramidaTeacherEmery C.I.Grade 10

Camp Kawartha’s programs have been a wonderful learning experience for our students. Linked to the Ontario curriculum, the programs (provided at Camp Kawartha) are engaging and rich in team-building opportunities. The staff are very knowledgeable at what they do and are always available to assist the kids at anytime. Their ability to motivate the students and adopt different teaching styles promoted an enthusiastic learning opportunity and guaranteed success for all in each of the program areas. We look forward to future visits.

John Zuba, Natasha Giorgia, Daniel DiamontiTeacherJosyf Cardinal SlipyjGrade 7

Camp Kawartha is a very special place for us. This is our 3rd year returning. We are excited to enjoy local vegetarian food; share a talking circle in the glowing tepee at night with 47 of us; take risks way up high in the tree tops; and grow together as a group, gaining trust, memories and friendship.

Pam Koekebakker, Wally Koekebakker, Sam QuackenbushTeachersIE Weldon Secondary SchoolGrade 11/12

Watching our students learn and plan in a natural environment was an eye-opening experience. It is such an important part – and often a forgotten part – of their education. There was rarely a moment during our stay at Camp Kawartha that the students weren’t learning something: teamwork, history, science or a skill. For some of our students, this was the first outdoor education experience. The staff, facilities, food, programming are outstanding. We will be back next year!

McFadden, Gill, DishopTeachersFallingbrook PSGrade 6

Dear Neil,

On behalf of the staff and students at Blyth Academy Thornhill, I would like to thank you and your staff for providing us with two days of challenging activities, delicious food, comfortable cabins, beautiful scenery, and, most importantly, patient and engaging staff when we visited the Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre from November 9th to 10th, 2010.

When we were first planning the trip, the biggest obstacle for our students was the knowledge that they would not be able to bring electronics with them on the trip.  They complained and argued and didn’t see any reason why they couldn’t bring their cell phones or mp3 players.  They couldn’t comprehend going for 24 hours without constant access to Facebook and texting.

After about twenty minutes on your site, all thoughts as to their missing phones were absent.

This continued throughout their whole stay.  They were too busy playing basketball, hockey, football, and board games to notice.  When mealtimes came around, they swept, set tables, washed dishes, and helped make the meal times enjoyable.  Almost all students participated in the climbing wall and high ropes activities.

One of our students was so surprised by the happy faces, singing and smiling that she was convinced we had drugged the food.  She didn’t believe there could be such a change in the dynamics of our group within such a short time, nor that teenagers could be so happy.

I knew that this trip would be a way for our students and staff to spend some time together outside of the school environment.  Your facilities gave us the space and equipment to provide our students with two days of memorable interactions, plenty of laughs, lots of encouragement, and challenging activities to keep everyone engaged.  The flexibility in meal preparation was also very much appreciated.  Your cooks prepared delicious, varied food and I could tell by the way our students went for seconds and thirds that they appreciated it as much as I did.

I believe the most impressive parts of your program is your staff—Dave, Ainsley, Abby, Amanda, and yourself (as well as others whom I forgot).  Our students felt immediately comfortable (I could tell by the way they continued on being their boisterous selves) and appreciated the endless patience exhibited by your staff toward our students.  I had no doubts that the expertise of your staff and the level of safety they were providing encouraged our students to take risks in new ways and challenge themselves on the climbing wall and ropes.

We have now been back in the real world for a week.  I still hear the students talking about the trip in the hallways.  On Facebook, one student had posted as her status: “wishing I was back in Kawartha.”  There is a new sense of community in our school, and I have no doubt it is the two days we spent in your facility that is keeping spirits high in our school.

Thank you for hosting our group and I will highly recommend your facility to others.  We also intend to return next year for a longer period of time, mostly at the insistence of our current students. All the best,

Sarah DavisHead of GuidanceBlyth Academy Thornhill

As usual, we’ve had a great time at camp. The staff is knowledgeable, energetic and well-trained. Our students get a wide variety of activities that many of them might not otherwise have opportunities to try, such as the Flying squirrel or the Grapevine. The cooperative games are great for community building, as we bring a group of students who have come together from different feeder schools. The night hike and survival game allow a different look at our environment as well as a chance to be out and physically active while they learn.

Michelle Jansen-Forbes, Ruth Woroma, Jay KolburnTeachersTerry Fox PSGrade 7

Good afternoon Sir,

I am a very impressed parent who visited your Camp Kawartha Monday Nov 1st to the 3rd, 2010.

I attended because I have twin boys who enjoy the outdoors and felt I should help out in my boys class on such a trip. I would like to compliment your staff on their professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge of the program they run. From the onset right until we left they were always available and eager to assist with every situation. It was a delight to see your staff work creatively and so energetically with large groups and in some challenging situations, some students had never been on such a trip before even walking through the forest was interesting to see. Keep up the good work, may your staff reap the benefits of seeing kids return because of the attention and kindness they showed.

The food was also excellent, the variety and selection was good. It is always a challenge to prepare food for kids and to meet nutritional needs with such a diverse crowd. I heard many a student say that they enjoyed the meals, and wished they could have meals like this at home (sad to hear that but that is reality) encouraging kids to be part of the clean up I understand is a good cost effective measure but more importantly is a good skill to have especially with some of our kids not doing much around the home these days, kuodoos to your team! Lastly, I write this email because I have run large camps before and know the work that goes on behind the scene. Regulation 170 and all the other governmental regulations do pose challenges and often many don’t realize all that goes on to achieve a successful camp. So I salute you and the team for running a good clean and exciting camp. P.S. you may be wondering what I think of the cabins—- they were excellent too, warm, comfortable. May you have many years of being a service to the community and youth of all ages.

I will be mentioning your facility to the service groups I deal with to use it should the opportunity arise.

Kind regards,

JohnParentMerwin Greer and Grant Sine Public School

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