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Frequently Asked Questions


Camper Demographics

The majority of our campers are from Eastern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area, but we have a growing number of international campers from across Canada, the USA and overseas, many of which have gone on to become counsellors. The location of our camp in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes region – a short distance from Peterborough, Ontario – makes us popular with cottagers and vacationers visiting the area.

International Campers

Beyond North America, we have had campers come from more than 20 countries, including:  Australia, China, Ecuador,  France, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and more!

A small camp with a big heart – Camp Kawartha is a home away from home for international campers. Our small size is perfectly suited to international campers who are looking for an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to build relationships that will last a lifetime.

 We offer:

  • English immersion in the outdoors
  • A safe and welcoming atmosphere
  • An authentic experience in the Canadian outdoors
  • A focus on outdoor environmental awareness, education and stewardship
  • A non-competitive environment encouraging creativity and kindness to one another
  • Location less than 2 hours from Toronto Pearson International Airport


  • Campers register individually for our summer camp programs, and are assigned to cabins according to gender and age
  • Transportation to and from camp is the responsibility of parents and guardians.
  • International campers (including U.S.A) must bring their passport with them to camp in case of emergency
  • Campers are responsible for obtaining their own travel visa.
  • Our summer camp programs are run & supervised by Camp Kawartha Staff
  • We are not able to provide custom programs for groups or provide accommodation for group leaders during the summer months (July & Aug). If you are interested in booking a custom group retreat during the months of September to June, please visit our Facility Rentals page for more information

Information Links:



All rates are in Canadian dollars, and are subject to 13% HST.

Regular Day Camps are HST exempt.  Stars Day Day is subject to HST because it includes an overnight component.

Sibling Discount

The first camper (highest fees) pays full price, and each additional camper in the same family household is eligible for a sibling discount.

The sibling discount will be applied to your account automatically if applicable when registering your children.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available for overnight campers from low income families who do not have the financial means to afford the total cost of camp fees.

Visit our Financial Assistance page for information about payment plans, and/or applying for assistance.

Leadership Application Process

There is an application and selection process for all our 4-week Leadership Programs (CSD, LIT, WCSD, WLIT).

For more information and how to apply, visit our Leadership Programs Page.

Waiting List

Our camp sessions fill very quickly. If the session you want is marked as full, we encourage you to put your child’s name on the waiting list through our online registration portal. Campers are placed on the waiting list in the order in which they are received.

While we can’t guarantee your child will get in, you will be contacted by our main office should a space open up. Please ensure your contact information on your account is accurate and up-to-date.

Printable Registration Forms

We highly recommend using our online registration system to register for camps, but if you require an offline paper version, please contact our registrar, Serhii 705-652-3860 x 201.


  • Registration Form
  • Health Form – must be received by our administration office PRIOR to your child’s arrival at camp
  • Activity Choices Form – required for 2-week overnight camps
  • Leadership Application – required for 4-week leadership campers

Mailing or Faxing Forms

  • If you are mailing forms, please allow at least 1 week for mail to arrive at Camp Kawartha.
  • If you are faxing forms, be sure to use a black pen and print clearly to ensure legibility.
  • We register campers when the forms are received, not by postage date.
  • All required forms must be received by our administration office PRIOR to your child’s arrival at camp.

Our Policies

Camper Code of Conduct

It is our commitment to provide a rich and wonderful camping experience for all campers.

All campers are expected to adhere to our camper code of conduct. Please review carefully with your child(ren)

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Camp Life

The First Day for Overnight Campers

Arrival day is designed to ease the transition from home to summer camp. As soon as the camper is checked-in and the luggage is stored with his or her Counsellor, we encourage parents to leave promptly, as this makes the transition easier for campers.

As soon as all the children of the same cabin group have arrived, the Counsellor will take them to their cabin and help them settle in. Then, the camp will meet as a whole and an official welcoming will begin.

For the rest of the afternoon, the campers rotate to various information sessions. These include:

  • A tour of the main camp area including safety and emergency procedures;
  • An introduction to the various activity areas;
  • Discussion of the camp’s environmental policies;
  • A head-to-toe health check including a head lice check;
  • Screening of swimming abilities and an outline of waterfront policies;
  • The Counsellors keep the campers up a little later than usual on the first night, in order to help those with homesickness fall asleep.

Nutritious Meals

We pride ourselves in the provision of nutritious and local food. Children with special dietary needs are given individual attention and alternative meals. Read more about our food philosophy.

We prohibit any food or snacks that contain nuts or traces of nuts. Please do not send food, snacks or candy of any kind with your camper or to your camper.

Camper Communication

  • Review our Camper Mail page to learn about sending letters, email and care packages to campers.
  • Like us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Twitter for periodic updates and news
  • Our contact page has information on how to reach our main office by phone, email or fax

We know that being away from home can be unfamiliar for campers and families alike – and particularly that campers not having cell phones may feel unfamiliar for parents sending their children away from camp.

It’s important to use that families are able to feel confident and secure in their child’s wellbeing while their children are under our care. While we are unable to provide daily updates on each and every camper, our summer team is accessible by phone 24 hours a day, and by email throughout the working day.

While their children are at camp, families can contact our Summer Camp Director by phone anytime at 647-963-6206. We can also be accessed by email through the following emails as listed below – our summer staff works to ensure that communications are responded to in a timely manner.

  • For concerns or questions about early camper pickup, late camper drop-off, forgotten camper items, or lost and found please contact our Assistant Summer Camp Directors, Sadie and Hilary,  at or
  • For concerns or questions about general camper care and wellbeing, please contact our head counsellors, Mimi and Moira, at or
  • For concerns or questions about your camper’s health, medication, or illness, please contact our nursing team at
  • For concerns or questions about camper mail, cabinmate requests, or registration (forms, payment etc..), please contact our registrar, Serhii, at
  • For concerns or questions about our giftshop, please contact our gift shop coordinator, Karen, at
  • For concerns about your leadership camper or volunteering for session N, please contact our leadership coordinator, Andrew, at 
  • For questions or concerns about our Day Camp or a camper enrolled in a Day Camp program, please contact our Day Camp Director, Isaac, at
  • For questions or concerns about our Kinder Camp, or a camper enrolled in a Kinder Camp program, please contact our Kinder Camp Director, Bronwynn, at
  • For concerns and questions about camper accommodations, ongoing camper concerns, concerns following your stay, and questions about our policies, please email our Summer Camp Director, Emma, at
  • For concerns our questions about our food service or your campers’ dietary needs, please contact our Kitchen Manager, Brenda, at  


Some children, particularly those who are away from home for the first time, may experience a period of homesickness. This is a very real condition that, when properly managed, can play a part in the development of independence, self-confidence and self-reliance. Our Counsellors are trained to detect symptoms of homesickness. We will contact you if homesickness becomes a real concern, and we will work with you and the camper to determine what is best for your child. If a decision is made to shorten the camp experience, we cannot provide any refund or credit on camp fees.

Please refer to the article Preventing Homesickness written by our Executive Director and published in the Peterborough Kids Magazine.

Staff Screening & Camper Privacy and Safety

Camper safety during summer camp is the top priority at Camp Kawartha. It’s important to us that families know and can trust the counsellors who will be caring for their children while away at camp, and that our campers feel safe and secure while away at camp.

A majority of our staff members have grown up attending Camp Kawartha and have gone through our Leadership programs – so by the time they are coming onto staff, they are well known within our community, and have demonstrated a strong ability to act in a manner that is in line with Camp Kawartha values.

All staff that are hired are certified in Standard First Aid with CPR-C. Any staff member over the age of 18 must provide the Camp with a valid, recent Police Check prior to beginning employment. Any staff member who is new to the Camp Kawartha staff team has at least two references checked from previous employers/supervisors, with a particular focus on the trustworthiness of the staff candidate around children.

Within the cabin, camper privacy and security are of the utmost importance. Each cabin has a private pop-up changing tent available to any camper who prefers to change in privacy. Consent and bodily autonomy is discussed with campers on arrival day, and everyone in our community is expected to respect consent and maintain appropriate boundaries throughout their time at camp. 

All staff members must abide by the Camp Kawartha Staff Policies, which outline expectations for conduct, safety, and appropriate boundaries. If families would like to review a copy of the staff policy, they can review it at request with our Summer Camp Director, .

If families have questions about our staff screening, camper safety and privacy policies, or any other concerns relating to camper wellbeing, they are encouraged to reach out to our Summer Camp Director who will be happy to speak with them about any concerns they may have.

Swim Check & Swimming Safety

In order to use the swimming and boating area at camp, each camper must complete a swim check. Our swim check includes:

  • A disoriented entry (roll) into the water
  • A 50-meter swim of any stroke
  • 1 minute of treading water (keeping head and airway above water for the entire time)
  • A kayak dunk and exit under water

It’s important to remember that swimming in a lake in a camp setting is very different from swimming in a pool setting or a swim class. In the deep end of our swimming area, the waves can sometimes be large, and the nearest dock/barge can be a fair swim away depending on the conditions. Our swim check is intended to assess if a camper’s swimming abilities will allow them to navigate the water confidently, even in wavy, cold, and windy conditions.

After completing our swim check, campers will be given either a green, yellow, or red string. Our swim stings are soft yarn that is worn as a necklace for each camper for the entirety of their stay at camp (strings are worn around the neck so that they are visible to our lifeguards while the campers are swimming).

  • A green string, typically given to very strong swimmers, means that a camper can swim in the deep end and shallow end without a lifejacket.
  • A yellow string, typically given to average swimmers, means that a camper must wear a lifejacket in the deep end but may swim in the shallow end without a lifejacket.
  • A red string, typically given to those who are still building their swimming skills, means that a camper must always wear a lifejacket in the swimming area, in both the deep and shallow end. As well, a red string means that a camper must have a staff member accompany them when they go swimming.

We know that some campers may feel nervous about completing a kayak dunk and exit underwater. If campers don’t feel comfortable completing this, they may still get a green string, but will have a red bead on it to signify that they may only ride in an open-faced kayak in boating classes.

The string colour is based on the judgement of our Waterfront Director and is non-negotiable once it has been decided. Campers may be given the opportunity to retry their swim test on another day, at the discretion of the Waterfront Director.

Our counsellors do their best to minimize any conversation around comparison of string colours between campers and will often wear red or yellow stings themselves. We try to keep conversations around swimming positive and use the term swim ‘check’ instead of ‘test’ to ease camper anxiety.

Staff Training

For a whole week before campers arrive at camp, our Summer Camp Staff complete a period of staff training, designed to help them excel at supporting campers and providing an excellent camper experience. Staff are trained in the following subjects:

  • First aid, CPR, and assessing camper health and wellbeing
  • Camper care (aiding with homesickness, conflicts, emotional challenges, ensuring all needs are met)
  • Consent, boundaries and privacy
  • Accessibility, Inclusion
  • Teaching and leading classes, activities, and programs
  • Identifying bullying and effective intervention
  • Mental health
  • Emergency Procedures (Fires, Missing Camper Searches, Severe Weather Protocol etc…)
  • Environmental Kinship
  • Sun Safety, Allergies, Bed Bugs, Lice, and other health-related topics
  • Staff professionalism and Expectations
  • Counselling for campers with specific needs
  • Waterfront, Ropes, and Range safety

Lifeguards, Canoe Trippers, Specialist and Senior Staff members complete additional training relative to their areas. Additional training outside of what is listed above is also provided for all staff members.

Packing Lists and Arrival Times

To access our packing lists and Arrival times for Summer 2024, please click here.