Camp Kawartha

Summer Camp Activities

“As a parent there is no way I could replicate the huge variety of activities being offered here!” – Parent, Session E2, 2015


CanoeingBoth one-week and two-week session canoeing classes begin by going over parts of the boat, proper paddling technique and waterfront safety. Once out on the water, one-week campers have an opportunity to practice the strokes they have learned, gain experience sterning a canoe, and playing canoeing games. Two-week campers continue in this vein, learning to swamp and right a boat, practicing canoe-over-canoe rescues, and portaging. Two-week campers work on building upon their knowledge and skills and towards Camp Kawartha canoeing levels and standards. The skills campers learn in canoeing classes will benefit them on trip, future leadership programs, and help them enjoy one of Canada’s favourite pastimes.


KayakingBoth one-week and two-week campers learn quickly enough that kayaking requires balance, but once gaining this control, there is a sense of ownership of being one’s own Captain! During a one-week session, the focus is on gaining the confidence to steer one’s own boat and on the interaction with others and the instructor through games. During a two week session, campers work on the development of their kayaking skills in a safe environment and work towards Camp Kawartha kayaking levels and standards.

A note on kayaking: Whether a camper participates in kayaking or not, all campers are required to do a deep water exit as part of their swim test. A deep water exit demonstrates one’s ability to release themselves from the seat of the kayak when it has tipped over. By passing this test, it ensures us that they are confident with this skill.



Come join the Camp Kawartha Yacht Club! Whether it’s for a recreational sail, or gaining the skills to acquire one’s “white bead,” (meaning you can sail without a staff chaperone), one acquires a love and appreciation for wind power! Both one-week and two-week session sailing classes begin by going over parts of the boat, rigging techniques, and waterfront safety. Once out on the water, campers are taught some basic skills on turning, proper monitoring of the main sail and main sheet, and have an opportunity to take the ‘controls’ and steer the boat. Two-week campers work on building upon their knowledge and skills and towards Camp Kawartha sailing levels and standards.


Our swimming area continues to be a main hub for water recreation. Daily activities and opportunities include polar (morning) and solar (afternoon) dips, our afternoon General Boating and Swimming (GBS) period, interest choices, and camp programming

A note about Swimming: All campers are tested on their swimming ability on the first day of camp. They receive a coloured yarn necklace based on their demonstrated comfort and skill level in the water. The necklace allows our lifeguards to perform their jobs effectively and maintain the utmost safety down by the waterfront.


SC2015D - Waterfront Classes (22) (Medium)
Over the course of an exposure period in a one-week session and the two-week session classes, campers practice key skills such as balance and learn about points-of-sail and how to control a sailboard. Instruction is done one-on-one, while the remaining campers play games and practices their skills with the remaining instructors. Two-week campers work on building upon their knowledge and skills and towards Camp Kawartha windsurfing levels and standards.


ArcheryArchery periods begin with the campers learning how to string and load bows properly. They learn the proper commands for practicing archery safely, and have time to practice shooting on targets with feedback and support from the instructors. In two-week sessions, later classes take a more creative turn: campers produce their own targets, and instructors introduce challenges and story-lines to the program. The final day is test day, which ultimately will lead to each of the campers being assigned a CK level in Archery.

Arts & Crafts

SC2015D - Land Classes (31) (Medium)Campers are exposed to a wide variety of crafts and projects in A&C, ranging from tye-dye to candle making and plaster molds of hands, feet, or faces. In one-week sessions, cabins will participate in A&C once in the week, but A&C activities are also offered throughout the week during afternoon Interest Choices, giving everyone the opportunity to experience a wide range of crafts. In two-week sessions, activities are selected to gradually become more challenging, and campers will come home with plenty of souvenirs!


SC2015D Musical (4) (Medium)During a one-week session, campers get to see the fun in dance and exercise at the same time! The exposure period includes warm-ups as well as many dance games and activities like dance freeze, dance-offs and much more. This class is simply about having fun and trying something new! During a two-week session campers get the opportunity to learn different forms of dance. Choreographing dances and performing them to each other is introduced into the program as campers gain confidence in their skills. The class culminates in a group performance for the entire camp.


having fun wearing costumesIn a one-week session, campers play a series of games based on their age in an effort to improve their creativity, imagination, teamwork and improvisation skills. Campers are led through a series of activities that encouraged them to develop characters, to think outside of the box, and explore their comfort zone. The ultimate goal of a two-week session is to build one’s confidence and acting skills through the production of a play. Through creativity, role-playing, and the exploration of relevant topics, campers with the support of their instructor develop a short play, rehearse, and perform in front of the camp. Campers gain a great sense of reward to see their ideas come to life on the stage.

Eco Skills

campers exploring natureLed by our Eco Skills Activity Head and the Camp Kawartha Environmental Coordinators, our program introduces campers to a variety of nature-based issues and activities. In both one-week and two-week sessions, campers travel out to our “Range” – the 180-acre property across the road – to identify animals, insects and plants, and discuss how to keep the wetlands healthy and sustainable. In two-week sessions, campers learn about wilderness shelters, fire-making by traditional methods, edible flora and fauna, and survival skills. Whether it’s building your outdoor skills, or just taking walks in the forest, there’s so much to enjoy about Eco Skills!


Camper learning guitarThis new activity choice will give an opportunity for beginners and those with experience an opportunity to learn new skills while working collaboratively toward performances. During a one-week session, campers will have an opportunity to sign up for guitar sessions during interest choices. During a two- week session, campers will be separated into two groups. For beginners, campers will learn the basics, such as tuning, posture, technique, reading tablature and playing elementary chords. For those with some experience, lessons will have a greater focus on building upon skills through songs. Campers will not only gain confidence in their abilities, but gain an appreciation for the role of guitar in music and those artists who’ve made their name through the instrument. The class culminates with the group showcasing their skills through a camp-wide performance.


basketballCampers are exposed to a wide variety of sports while being taught coordination skills and the concepts of fair play. We offer ball hockey and basketball on our sports court; soccer, football, and ultimate Frisbee on our upper field; and beach volleyball in lower camp. In addition, we offer a wide range of other games, and initiative tasks. In one-week sessions, campers participate in one sports exposure period, but sports activities are also offered throughout the week during afternoon Interest Choices, and during free play. In two-week sessions, activities are selected to build upon previous skills, and include a full repertoire of our sports activities. Campers focus on aspects of teamwork to encourage others and build confidence. We ensure that campers are well hydrated and protected from the sun so they can focus on enjoying these activities and doing their best.

Climbing Wall / Ropes

high ropes ladderIn one-week sessions campers are scheduled to participate on our climbing wall following our challenge by choice model. Wall and other ropes opportunities are also available throughout the week during afternoon Interest Choices, and the General Boating and Swimming (GBS) period that follows.

During a two-week session, our oldest campers (typically 13-14 year olds), participate in a team building program that incorporates the many different elements on our ropes course. The activities are selected to gradually become more challenging for both the individual and the group. Younger campers (ages 8-12) participate in our ropes program through planned cabin group activities, and signing-up during afternoon Interest Choices.


All 2-week and 3-week sessions go offsite for an overnight camping/canoe trip.

canoe trip

Intermediate & Pre-Leadership Camp 1 Activities

Instructional swim: Lifesaving instructional swim programs will be offered including Bronze Star and Canadian Swim Patrol. These courses offer an excellent opportunity to develop swim strokes and the skills foundation for future success in Bronze Medallion, Cross and Lifeguarding awards. 8-12 hours courses will run over the course of the first week with some additional times running into the 2-weeks of camp that follow.

photographyMedia: Campers will be exposed to radio, photography, video and camp blogs. Preparing for radio shows, being “on-the-air,” planning an opening week video, reporting from around camp, creating a camper newsletter and taking photos for our website will all be part of this in-focus media team.




Improvisation: Do you have the acting bug? Improvisation builds acting skills and teaches us to say “yes!” Live in the moment, be spontaneous, learn about yourself and build your confidence. Become part of the Camp Kawartha Improv Team with a final performance scheduled for campers and staff.

cooking classCooking: You are invited into the kitchen to learn some recipes that you can take home with you. Learn both indoor and outdoor cooking, where our foods come from and preparing what’s both good and good for you. Be prepared to have fun and eat what you make and bake!




Survival Skills: Outdoor skills, bushcraft, score orienteering, fishing and camping.  Nothing like enhance your skills and appreciation for the outdoors  to get your adrenaline pumping!

Pottery: For those who like to create with their hands, pottery and other 3D sculpting will be taught and explored in the Arts & Crafts building and around camp.  Help shape the new Camp Kawartha Artscape!