5 Reasons Why you Should Send Your Child to Camp this Summer

For the past 5 years we have sent our kids to Summer Camp at Ontario Pioneer Camp in Port Sydney, Ontario.

Some of our friends think we’re a little bit nuts to just drop our kids off 3 hours from home and leave them there for a week to “fend for themselves”.  Others think it’s a fabulous experience for the kids and I agree.

Here is why we send our kids to camp every Summer and think you should too:

1.  Create Independence – Being away from home can’t help but foster independence in your child.  Our son left for camp his first year as a shy boy and came back a confident and social kid that could’t wait to go back to school.

2.  Let them experience new things – Summer camp gives a great variety of new experiences for your child.  From archery and high ropes to group campfires and trying new foods.  At camp, there is no lack of new experiences year after year

3.  Make great Summer memories – The memories they will make will be so special and endless.  Believe it or not, this rock has special memories for my son as this is where he would go his first year to reflect on his day and think of home.  For the past 5 years he makes a point of visiting “his rock” when at camp.  There are SO many other memories that he adds to his list year after year

4. Step outside their confort zone – Being away from home is already out of their comfort zone but sleeping in a cabin with no solid walls takes that a little further.  But guess what?  The kids think it’s a blast!!!

5.  Make friends that will last a lifetime – Each year the kids will make new friends and catch up with the ones that they met the years before.  One of the best things is the great counsellors they meet and help make their week at camp awesome.


BONUS – A week without KIDS!!  Kinda like a week-long date night!!

Ontario Pioneer Camp is the Place to send your kids this Summer

For 85 years, Ontario Pioneer Camp has provided over 250,000 campers an experience to help them grow spiritually, mentally, socially and physically in a fun-filled and safe place of adventure and challenge.

Located on 1200 acres of pristine Muskoka waterfront, at Pioneer your child can expect adventures and opportunities to be challenged all under the watchful eyes of caring staff that are carefully chosen, trained and supervised. Pioneer Camp also provides high scale activities including kayaking, windsurfing, mountain biking, high ropes, horseback riding and many more!


Whether you’re splashing through the water’s edge on a sandy shore, conquering a high ropes course, paddling in a grand war canoe, or sitting with friends by a campfire at night, Ontario Pioneer Camp will deliver incredible summer camp memories!

Why send your child to camp?

Kids have a fantastic time at camp and that’s why they want to go back year after year.  It’s a place to grow and develop in healthy ways.  Research* proves that children who attend summer camp:

Mature emotionally
Develop Self Confidence
Make life-long friends
Increase in levels of physical activity

Nervous about sending your child to camp?  Read about the our son’s first experience at Pioneer camp

Let us tell you why our family and kids LOVE Ontario Pioneer Camp

Summer Programs Offered at OPC include:

Adventure Camp (Coed Ages 5-10)

There is no better place to be a kid this summer! Adventure Camp is designed to give your young camper a safe and adventure-filled summer camp experience with age-specific ‘villages’, a high staff-to-camper ratio of 1:3, and engaging weekly themes.

Whether swimming or boating for your next level, making something special in crafts or pottery, climbing the low ropes course, riding the mountain bike trails or exploring creation, every activity at Adventure Camp is designed to challenge you and to help you grow.

Adventure Camp creates space for every camper to build authentic relationships—with friends, well trained leaders who are there to support and mentor them, and most importantly with God who loves them and wants each of them to discover the potential of who they were created to be.


Girls’ Camp (Ages 11-16)

Girls’ Camp is a place bursting with excitement as girls jump into amazing experiences like camp wide games, action-packed program and theme events, activities like swimming, kayaking, rowing, horseback riding, high ropes, sports, crafts, and the opportunity to build great friendships.

At the heart of Girls’ Camp is the opportunity to grow through learning new skills, experiencing creation, and enjoying laughter, friendship and the joys of living in community. At Girls’ Camp we also seek to create a fun and exciting place for every young woman to build authentic and lasting relationships with God who loves them and wants them to discover the potential of who they were created to be.


Boys’ Camp (Ages 11-16)

Boys’ Camp is the ultimate action-packed overnight summer camp adventure. During each session at Boys’ Camp you can see boys sailing, kayaking, riding the dirt jump bike park, flying down the zip line, being launched off the BLOB, playing frisbee golf or sports, woodworking in crafts, or sneaking through the Muskoka forest while playing an epic wide game!

Boys’ Camp is also a place where young men learn about God’s love for them and discuss what a relationship with him could look like through small group discussion and mentoring relationships with staff. Boys’ Camp is full of crazy summer camp experiences, great friends, and awesome overnight camp adventures.

Check out information on Ontario Pioneer Camp for Teens & Leadership camp here


Ontario Pioneer Camp

942 Clearwater Lake Road RR#2
Port Sydney, Ontario
P0B 1L0

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 1.800.361.CAMP (2267) or 705.385.2370
Fax: 705.385.3649

Follow OPC on Facebook & Twitter


* The Canadian Summer Camp Research Project, University of Waterloo (2011)

Great Family Camping at Long Point Provincial Park #Review

For the past few years we have camped in Norfolk County at Long Point Provincial Park, partially because we know it’s a great place to camp and also because the beach is awesome.

Long Point is about a 2.5 hour drive from Toronto and located on Lake Erie and when I say ON lake Erie I pretty much mean it.  Here’s a picture to show you…

The Beach


Okay so let’s cover the beach first.  The beach is covered in beautiful sand and goes on for miles and is perfect for making sandcastles.  Although the beach tends to get busier with day-trippers on the weekend, there is ample space for everyone so you don’t feel sardined as the beach is very wide.  Make sure to pack your frisbee, soccer ball or kite as there is lots of open area to play. There is no rocks or seaweed on the beach as it is well maintained but there is the odd fallen tree log that is great for taking a cute shot of the kids!  Sunsets can be seen perfectly on the beach and if the weather allows, I highly recommend you catch one while you’re there.

 The water is shallow which is great for younger kids or big kids like me that need to slowly get used to the water.  Many days there are great waves so be sure to bring your boogie boards to ride the waves.  Skim boards and kayaks are also a great way to have fun at the beach.   Although the waves can be fun, they also come with an undertow that can be dangerous on certain days.  Since the beach does not have lifeguards, it is the parents responsibility to watch their children carefully and especially when the undertow is strong.

The Campground

Long Point Provincial Park is home to 4 different campgrounds.  Firefly, Monarch and Turtle Dunes are located in the newer section of the park while Cottonwood is set apart from the others and is considered the ‘old park’

Cottonwood is where we choose to camp as it a smaller park and the beach is only steps away from nearly every site.  The park is a beautiful sand dune environment, with very few sites having grass coverage.  

Water stations are located all over the park where you can find water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.  The water is tested daily and is cleared for personal consumption.

Washrooms are kept fairly clean and are always stocked with soap and toilet paper.  Showers are  located centrally in the park with roomy stalls with good water pressure a change are and the best part is that they are FREE

The Playground contains a teeter-totter and swings and is filled with more sand.  It’s a great place for kids (and adults) to make new camp friends and let out some energy.

All sites are equipped with a fire pit with a removable cooking grate.  Wood can be purchased for cooking and campfires at the main camp store.

Fireflies – At night time the park is lit up with fireflies!  Watch for them in the bushes, one your tent or flying by your head.  They are sure to give you a cool show!

Check-out time is 2:00pm but you are welcome to move to the day-use area of the park until 10:00pm or use the public beach for the day

** NOTE: Cottonwood is a Radio-free park and non-electrical

Tips for Camping at Long Point

Non-reservable sites –  Cottonwood has 25 non-reservabe sites that are first come, first served. Check out the non-reseravbles before you set up camp as you may find one that is more suited to your tastes.  The camp office will gladly switch you to a non-reservable site upon arrival if you find one you prefer.

Bring your bikes – There are lots of places to bike and you can take a trip to the ‘new park’ to play on their bigger playground, go get some ice cream or just to check out the local cottages.

Port Rowan is the nearby town (about 10 mins away) and has a grocery store, LCBO, ice cream shop, general store and restaurant

Bring a beach tent – Due to the fact that the beach is quite big, there is plenty of room to set up a beach tent to take a break from the hot sun and shelter ou from the wind.

Watch for snakes, frogs and turtles – not that they are going to hurt you but because they are cool to watch and quite common at Long Point

Poison Ivy – Stay out of the grassy areas as there is lots of poison ivy throughout the park

Long Point is a place not to be missed wether you are going for the day or staying for a week.  You will fall in love with the beach and keep coming back, like we do, year after year.

Feel camping challenged? Never fear, & have you covered with their Learn to Camp program