Info for parents
- 2015 Overnight Camper/Parent Handbook
- 2015 Day Camper/Parent Handbook
- Camper Email Service
- Camper's Packing List - all campers
- Cancellation Policy
- Financial Assistance
- Food Service
- Health & Wellness
- Homesickness Preparedness
- Inclusion, International & Sponsorship
- Laundry Service
- Location & Directions
- Mail for your Child
- Personalized Clothing Labels
- Staff Qualifications
- Tuck Shop
Stay in touch while your camper is at YMCA Wanakita with a One-Way Email service. YMCA Wanakita and Bunk1.com have partnered to provide you with easy, secure, summer email service that lets you stay in touch with your camper all summer long. Visit them at Bunk1.com or contact Bunk1- firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-465-2267 to learn more about how to stay in touch.
• Overnight Kids Camp – Participants must cancel a minimum of 2 months
prior to the program start, in order to receive a full refund less the 15% deposit of the program in question.
• After this time, refunds will be given for medical reasons only (with
medical certification). All refunds must be made in writing.
• Refunds are not granted if parent/guardian withdraws camper
from the session early, or if camper is sent home for misconduct.
• A $35 NSF will be levied on all declined payments.
• We reserve all rights to charge any outstanding balance to your
credit card on file unless other methods of payments are provided.
• A parent/camper information booklet will be available for viewing
and download on our Website. This booklet is to help prepare for
the camp experience. Included will be clothing & equipment lists,
specific program schedules related to selected sections and much
• YMCA Wanakita reserves the right to cancel any program if a
minimum number of participants have not registered one week
before the program
We at YMCA Wanakita believe that everyone deserves to experience camp, regardless of their financial status. If your financial circumstances make it difficult for you to register for a YMCA Wanakita program, you may be eligible for support through our YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Please see our Financial Assistance page for more information.
An integral part of YMCA Wanakita's commitment to healthy living is to serve delicious and nutritious food. Meals and snacks are planned by our full-time Food Services team. We give attention to special diets, age of participants, program content and length of stay. Portions are hearty in size and are served family and buffet style, or on outtrips 'beneath the open skies'.
Many of our summer campers have severe, sometimes life-threatening allergies to nuts and other food. Our Food Services team choose ingredients and design a menu to minimize the risk to these children and our tuck shop sells no items containing nuts. When packing, please be conscious of other campers in your child's cabin and do not send any product that may contain nut ingredients. If campers have nut products, their counsellor and our Health Services Staff will dispose of them. Please screen all items for any trace of nuts.
YMCA Wanakita has an experienced registered nurse or doctor on site 24 hours a day, and can treat minor injuries, dispense daily medications, etc. If your child is on medication, please label it clearly and ensure that you send enough medication for the duration of the camp stay.
If your camper is bringing medications to camp, please pack them at the top of their luggage. Ensure that medications are clearly labeled with the camper's name and accurate directions for their use are included. Upon arrival at camp, all medications will be entrusted to the Health Services Staff, who will be responsible for dispensing them. Please do not give medication to bus staff. If any additonal medication is purchased at camp, it will be added to your account and an invoice will be mailed.
When children are away from home, it is reasonable to assume that they will become adjusted to the camp situation and may go through some days of homesickness. This is a very natural reaction of all ages and it is important for parents to realize that this is something which children need to experience and see it through to the finish.
By overcoming homesickness, children attain the degree of independence which is necessary for them to grow into self-reliant, mature individuals. Please allow campers to try camp and deal with their homesickness before resorting to picking up your child early. It may be harder for the camper to overcome this natural reaction if a promise is made by the parents to 'rescue' the child.
The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign assists children and youth whose financial circumstances would normally prevent them from attending Wanakita and other YMCA programs. For those needing assistance, our staff are happy to provide you with details and assist in making confidential arrangements.
We are pleased to acknowledge our partnerships with Hemophilia Ontario and Reach for the Rainbow and our continuing relations with Point in Time and AMICI whereby children with special needs are able to experience YMCA Wanakita.
Over the years, YMCA Wanakita has gained a solid international reputation and is welcoming more and more participants and staff from countries around the world. In 2015, we expect over a dozen countries to be involved over all 4 seasons.
An individual laundry service is available. Laundry will be washed, dried, folded and returned within a 24 hour period. If you are interested, please indicate on the registration form. Laundry service must be purchased at least 1 month before camp.
Please follow this link to access directions to YMCA Wanakita.
Camper's Family Postage
Your Camper's Name (Session ?)
- Incoming mail is delivered daily from the local Post Office to our Tuck Shop. Mail is sorted by our Tuck staff, picked up by a counsellor from each cabin and then hand delivered to each camper. Please make sure YMCA Wanakita / Camper's Full Name is in the address. A cabin number is not required for delivery.
- Outgoing mail is picked up from the dining hall and sent out to the Post Office every business day.
- Courier mail and packages are delivered directly to the Main Office and is then transported to the Tuck Shop for sorting. **Puraloter delivers directly to our site, while other companies such as FedEx subcontract their deliveries.
Campers are very busy while at YMCA Wanakita, so please do not be surprised if letters/postcards from camp are brief and infrequent. You should consider sending stamped, self-addressed envelopes and paper with children to help facilitate the letter writing process.
Please make all communication from home upbeat, positive, and legible. Children need reassurance that there are friends and family out there who still care about them and want them to have fun at camp. Don't focus on the great times your child is missing at home, or on how much you miss your camper.
If you get an unhappy letter from your children, please don't panic. It is most likely that by the time you get the letter, whatever made them unhappy is long since forgotten. If you have a real concern, please call us to discuss it. We want camp to be a positive experience for both campers and parents.
It is recommended that parents label their children's clothing to reduce the amount of belongings that go missing. It also means that your child can have fun while at camp instead of worrying about losing their clothing and shoes. Get your kids organized for camp with personalized labels.
The counsellors working with your children are trained, energetic, and motivated individuals. Counsellors have First Aid, Life Guarding, and CPR certifications and most are graduates of our two-year student counsellor program or possess an equivalent skill set. All counsellors provide YMCA Wanakita with a Criminal Reference Check before commencing employment. Counsellors will live in the cabin with your child, providing care, support, and supervision 24 hours a day. YMCA Wanakita overnight counsellors range in age from 17 to 24.
Click here for more information on YMCA Wanakita's staff team.
For a detailed schedule and description of transportation options available for your camper, please refer to our Transportation page.
Pick-up & Drop-Off Locations:
- Hamilton - Mohawk College
- Burlington - Appleby South GO Station
- Toronto - HWY 400 (north of Major Mackenzie)
Please indicate all tranportation plans or requirements on your Registration Form.