Sunday, April 28, 2013

Muskoka Woods Summer Camp 2013

Spring has finally arrived and with it many parents are making plans for the summer months…   What will your kids be doing?  Have you thought of registering them for camp?   Did you know that they can have a wonderful time away from you and still learn things at the same time?    Camp is a great way to spread a child’s wings and become more independent in the process.  Surrounded by nature and qualified counsellors, a child can discover skills that he/she didn’t know was in him/her and find something they might be passionate about.

When I was a child, my mom wasn’t working but that didn’t stop my parents to get me involved in activities for me to meet other kids.   You see I was an only child and they thought it would be good for me to be involved in various activities.   I was involved in the girl guides from a young age spending 11 4-27-2013 10;37;45 AMyears in the movement and 2 years as a leader.  I went to a snow camp while in grade 3 with all the classes at the same camp.   I also had the opportunity to attend various camps while in the girls guides (winter and summer camps).   But on top of these, I had the privilege to attend various summer camps at two places in Quebec – Le Petit Bonheur in the Laurentians and La Perdrière at St-Donat, QC.  While writing this, I discovered that La Perdrière is now closed which saddens me a bit thinking of the fun time I had there doing horseback riding, excursions, archery, sailing, rick climbing from the face of a rock and more.

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While in high school during the 80s, I attended the private camp of the Collège L’Assomption at Minerve which has closed it’s doors in 1990.   From that camp I remember the cabins, the assembly in the morning and evening, the challenges (piste d’hébertisme) in the woods where we needed cooperation and creativity to clear the course and much more.  And to conclude my adventure in summer camp, I even worked one year at Camp St-Donat during my teenage years. 

I have fond me memories of my time while going to camp.  There I learned things that I would never had done while staying in Montreal or Repentigny like archery, sailing, horseback riding and rock climbing.   While in the girl guides we also went through day adventures of walking long distance and learning to survive in the forest.   We built shelters and learned more about the nature but identifying plants, bugs, and animals.    I remember learning about identifying the animals by the tracks, learning which plants are good to eat, and predicting the weather based on how the birds fly or the colors of the sky at dusk. 

Summer camp as a girl guide was full of excitement too because we would usually have a special theme for camp.   One year, while I was a group leader, we had to cook an international meal for our leaders over the fire table we had build.   Each team had a different country and we had to decorate, cook the meal, and present it like the restaurant of that country.    Below are pictures of our campsite that year and that international supper thing was the highlight of it.  Each team had worked particularly hard and it was a sort of competition between us.  We had to serve numerous plates from appetizers to dessert within the guidelines provided.  Everything had to be a recipe from the country assigned to us.    I remember making menus for that special night in order to let our guests know what they would have for supper.     And the memories I have of the famous fire table we were building every time we would go to summer camp – trying to stir the fire by blowing and the ash going up in the air and down in your spaghetti sauce.  Who cares about a little bit of ash in your sauce anyway….  we just stirred it and it was delicious.

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Another memory I have when I was a girl guide would be when we did a military camp.   One day, our parents came to visit and they would be immediately arrested for trespassing.   We were brought to identify them to see if they could come.  I remember one teammate decided to not recognize her parents and made them wait a bit in the “prison” we had set up.   It was bold and it was hilarious…   That day we knew we would have an inspection from the leader while showing our parents our campsite.   Suddenly, someone in my team realized we had forgotten to was one pot.   We panicked for a while because we knew that the leaders and parents were on their way.   Someone quickly decided that if we would go far enough in the woods, we could hide the forgotten pot until the inspection was passed.   We all thought it was a great idea and the pot “disappeared” from view.    Lo and behold, some leaders decided to "inspect” deeper in the woods and we were all worried about them discovering our strategy.   We got caught and suffered the consequences like in the military with extra chores to do that day.    We learned a lesson that day discovering that we couldn’t fool our leaders.

I have four kids and part of me wants them to experience camp without the parents.   They go to Awana and the Sparks have a one day camp for the kids who complete the three books in SPARKS.   Last year, my second son went to his day camp and this year my third son will be going.   I know that it will be a fun day for him.   This year we have decided to send my two oldest kids to a Christian camp close to our city for the first time - the oldest son for a whole week and my second son for a period of four days.   I know that they will have a blast while at camp and will look forward for the next year.   To prepare them for their time there, we have decided to register them to an archery course for a few weeks.  They have been enjoying these and look forward to practice their skills while at camp this summer.  Let me tell you that the bows and arrows I have used back in the 80s are nothing compare to the ones they are using at their archery lessons!   This activity has gotten sophisticated as the years went buy!

Today as I remember the fun times I had at camp, I would like to encourage you in registering your kids for camp this summer. It is an experience of a lifetime and will bring them fond memories as they grow up.   One of the place that looks like a great place for kids would be Muskoka Woods.  I have heard of the place but never visited it as it is far from our location (+6 hours).  But this camp is located about 3 hours from downtown Toronto, ON.   They provided transportation from specific locations if needed.  Let me present you the fabulous summer camp of Muskoka Woods.

imageWhat is Muskoka Woods?

The vision of Muskoka Woods is to inspire youth to shape their world.   It is a Christian Youth Resort that welcomes all young people to life changing experiences.   The kids will choose from water sports and athletics, media and arts, leadership and team building programs.   It operates all year round on Lake Rousseau as a non-profit youth organization.  The staff is selected based on their trustworthy character, ability with children and love for their Creator.  Muskoka Woods is a safe place where kids grow mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.  It is a place where creativity reigns, friendship flourish and confidence grows.

Where is located Muskoka Woods and what does it look like?

Muskoka Woods sprawls across 1,100 wooded acres with 2,800 feet of stunning frontage on sparkling Lake Rosseau. It’s a perfect mix of untouched nature, modern buildings, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities. In addition to cabins, dining halls and meeting rooms, we’ve got a new purpose-built Leadership Studio, a concert hall, guest lounge and boathouse.

What kind of activities does my kids will do?

imageIf it’s sports you’re after, they have 12 tennis courts, two beach volleyball courts, a 15,000-square- foot indoor gym, 50-foot climbing wall, an 80,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor action sports park, dedicated gymnastics facility, the largest and highest ropes course in Canada, three playing fields and a golf training centre with driving range, putting green, and chipping green.    WHEW!   Just reading this, I realize that camp has changed tremendously since I was young…    The calm waters of Lake Rousseau will also provide all the water activities at the camp.

Bottom line, your child won’t have time to be morose and down while being at Muskoka Woods.  He/she will have plenty to do with all these activities: archery, arts & crafts, B3, badminton, ball hockey, basketball, beach volleyball, BMX, cake decorating, canoeing,image club volleyball, culinary, dance, digital photography, dirt camp, fashion design, fine art, fitness, flag football, free period, free swim, freeride, golf, graphic design, guitar, gymnastics, Hollywood North, horseback riding, kayaking, kids on the water, kitchen sink, leisure sports, longboarding, markmanship, mountain biking, music recording, paintball, power cheerleading, radio broadcasting, rage, RC car racing, ropes course, sailing, skateboards & scooters, soccer, stand up paddle-boarding, tennis, trampoline, tubing, tv broadcasting, ukulele, video production, vocal performance, wake X, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wellness, WILD, and windsurfind.   Reading this makes me want to be a child again just to experience some of these fun activities.  Though I have done horseback riding, sailing and archery I would love to try out trampoline, do the rope course, wakerboarding or a few other ones.      I would also definitively try my hand at archery since it has been decades I did that.


Where do the kids sleep?

At Muskoka Woods you will find clean and fully-enclosed cabins with bunk bed-style sleeping arrangements.   Each camper is responsible for the tidiness of their cabin during the week. 


What will they eat while at camp?

imageAH! the food…. remind me of my days at camp where we often had sheperd’s pie on the menu which might explain why I dislike that meal nowadays.   From what I can see, food at camp as changed quite a bit.   Apparently the meals are served in a buffet-style three times a day in addition of snack times.   The buffet will feature a variety of tasty options which will allow the most picky eater, the vegetarian or the ones who have a huge appetite to be satisfied with the food they will ingest.   Check out a sample menu below!


This sounds interesting but…

Not convinced yet?   Watch this video of alumni talking about their experience at Muskoka Woods.


Summer Camp is Awesome from Muskoka Woods on Vimeo.

I’m convinced…. where do I sign up my child?

It’s simply, click on the image below and get immediately directed to the registration section of the website.   Dates and prices can be found on the Muskoka Woods website.


I`m sure your child won’t have time to miss you with all the activities and fun time he/she will have at Muskoka Woods.    I know that I had a great time while attending camp while I was younger and I can’t wait to hear what my boys have to say of their experience this summer.

Disclosure – I am participating in the Muskoka Woods Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

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