Parent Resources

We have compiled the following resources for your information. Please click on the headings to view. Each resource is also available as a printable Word or PDF document.

About the Camp Northway Store & Spending Money Word DocumentPDF Document

The Camp Store:

The Northway Camp Store is open 3 days/week. It allows campers to purchase various items using the deposit you have made for them. There are snack items such as chocolate bars, chips, and juice bottles (daily limits apply). A variety of necessities are also on hand in case your camper runs out: toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes, flashlights, batteries, stamps, paper, envelopes, sunscreen, etc. Remember that if your child is attending camp from outside Canada, they will need to purchase Canadian stamps at the camp store to mail letters home.

The store deposit also covers canoe trip permits and laundry charges. Laundry is sent out once within each 13-day session. It is returned the following day.

If the unused portion of the store deposit is under $5.00, it goes toward the support of Northway’s adopted child in India. Unused deposits over $5.00 will be returned to you in the fall.

For Wendigo campers, please note that the store deposit will cover Trip Permits.

Spending Money:

Little spending money is necessary, due to the deposit you have made for your child at the camp store. You may wish to send some money with your child to use while travelling to and from camp, or to spend on a canoe trip if the trip stops at a store. Any money sent with your child can be locked into the camp safe and returned to them at the end of their stay—please let us know if you want us to collect money and store it in the safe.

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A Note about Packing Word DocumentPDF Document

The Northway and Wendigo Outfit Lists are a suggested list. The Northway list is based on a 25-day session, while the Wendigo list is for a 13-day session. Please adjust your packing accordingly. Remember that a good camper travels light! This is particularly true for those children who will be flying to camp, as many airlines now charge for all checked baggage.

Involving your child in the packing process may help them to become more excited about camp, and increase their confidence. A list of what was sent to camp will be helpful for your child when they are packing at camp to go home.

We suggest sending older clothing to camp. One rule of thumb: if your child would like to wear it to school in the fall, don’t send it to camp in the summer.

Please LABEL EVERYTHING! The Ontario Camps Association sells labels ($15.00 for 100). The link to their order form is: www.ontariocamps.ca/documents/parents/Name_Label_order_form_v4.doc

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A Typical Day at Northway Word DocumentPDF Document

  1. 7:30 Wake up call
  2. 8:00 Breakfast
  3. 9:30 Morning Council, send off trips
  4. 10:00 Lessons and Dock Duty
  5. 12:00 Dock Duty ends
  6. 12:30 Lunch
  7. 3:00 Rest Hour ends, Free Swim, Greet Trips, Activities and Appointments
  8. 4:00 Wash Dips
  9. 5:00 Play Rehearsals
  10. 6:00 Dinner
  11. 6:30 Evening Dock Duty
  12. 7:30 Campfire

Every day between Breakfast and Morning Council is a time to tidy up the tent, change to swimsuits for lessons, and pack for trips. Morning lessons between 10:00am and 12:00 noon consist of a half hour lesson in each of the waterfront activities: swimming, sailing, canoeing and kayaking. During afternoon lessons between 3:00pm and 5:00pm, campers attend the activity areas of their choice. Arts and Crafts and the Nature Program are also available during this time.

Sundays: Breakfast and Morning Council are ½ hour later. A Sunday morning walk or work-shift takes the place of morning lessons.

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Communicating with your Child at Camp Word DocumentPDF Document

Mail:

Receiving mail at camp is fun and exciting. Receiving letters regularly is what campers love. The content of the letters is secondary—a quick note is just as appreciated as several pages. Mail to camp can be slow. We recommend sending a letter a few days before your child leaves for camp so they will receive the letter shortly after arriving.

Care Packages:

Sending a small “care package” can be special, but several parcels diminishes the unique aspect of a care package. As Northway and Wendigo are wilderness camps, no food or candy is allowed in the tents to prevent attracting animals. Care packages are opened with a staff member. If you wish to send a care package to your child please note that any candy sent to campers will not be given to them. As an alternative, you might consider items such as magazines, puzzle books, notepads, pens, etc. Do not send gum.

If you are sending a package to your camper, please use only the Post Office, and not special courier companies, as they cannot deliver to camp due to our water access. These packages may be returned as undeliverable by the courier company or might be left unattended at the public access dock. Any packages requiring Duty will not be accepted.

Mailing Address:

To send mail to your child during the summer, please use the camp’s summer address:

Camper Name
c/o Camp Northway—or c/o Camp Wendigo
Cache Lake, Algonquin Park
Lock Box 10003
Huntsville, ON
P1H 2G7 CANADA

Email and Telephone:

We do not access our email after June 20th. If you need to contact camp, please call us. The telephone is not located at camp, and will not be answered directly. You can, however, leave us a message 24-hours a day at 705-633-5595. Messages are checked regularly. Please do not make birthday calls or any calls that are not absolutely necessary.

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Electronics at Camp Word DocumentPDF Document

Cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc. have become a part of daily life for many children. When surrounded by this technology “bubble”, it is difficult for them to see how it impacts their lives. In such a hectic world, it is a rare opportunity for kids to step outside this bubble and engage with new friends face-to-face.

To nurture this opportunity, we do not allow cell phones and iPods at camp. These items can greatly detract form the wilderness experience. Cell phones may not be used as cameras at camp. Camp is an opportunity for your child to have a break from all the technology that is ever-present in her/his life throughout the rest of the year. As a child’s dependence on electronic entertainment and communication increases, so does the importance of time away from it.

Camp is an opportunity for your child to grow and experience greater independence and autonomy. They will form friendships with other campers that will last a lifetime. Keeping the camp environment free of distracting electronic devices will help this special bonding experience. A child who brings electronics to camp can unwittingly ruin the wilderness experience of her/his fellow campers. Thank you for your support of this policy.

“Removed from the artificial stimulation of radio, television and movies, freed from the confines of a city and school life, a child sees, often for the first time, the beauty and harmony of the world around her.” —Northway Brochure, 1959

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For Campers Flying to Camp Word DocumentPDF Document

If your daughter or son will be flying to camp, please advise us if they will be travelling in the care of the airline. Your child’s flight will be met by a camp representative at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Please make arrangements to pay for baggage and care of the airline fees in advance for your child’s flight home.

The camp bus departs from the airport at 1:30pm on its way to camp on July 1st and July 26th. Please ensure that your child’s flight will arrive with adequate time for them to collect their baggage and clear customs before this time.

The camp bus will arrive at the airport from camp on July 25th and August 19th at 11:00am. Again, please plan for your child to have adequate time to check in and get to their gate before their flight departs. Campers flying to the United States will go through U.S. Customs at the Toronto Airport, which will also require additional time.

On July 13th and August 7th, limited camp van transportation is only available between Camp and Toronto Yorkdale. Airport pick ups and drop offs are not available on these dates.

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Homesickness - Tips for Campers & Parents alike Word DocumentPDF Document

Tips for Northway Parents (Good Advice for Wendigo Parents Too)

It is never too early to start planning for your daughter’s summer at camp. There are many exciting things about going to camp for the first time—new friends, great adventures, and an opportunity for increased independence.
For some children, homesickness may also be a part of their experience. This is a normal and natural reaction to being away from home. Preventing or minimizing homesickness can be accomplished by using a number of practical steps before your daughter attends camp. A pediatric doctor and psychologist developed the following list of helpful tips, which may assist you in making your daughter’s stay at Northway a great one.

  1. Homesickness is normal. Children should be told that almost everyone misses something about home while away.
  2. Arrange practice time away from home. For example, 2 or 3 day visits with relatives or friends.
  3. Give your daughter a supply of pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes, paper and pens for writing home. (Please note: these items are available for sale in the camp store. American campers will need to buy Canadian stamps to mail letters to the U.S.)
  4. Talk about what to expect with your daughter, and stress the positive. Express enthusiasm and optimism about the fun she will have at camp.
  5. Do not make comments that express anxiety or ambivalence. Even “What will I do without you?” can make a child feel anxious.
  6. Learn about camp with your daughter. Look at the pictures on the website (www.campnorthway.com); they are changed regularly.
  7. Prepare and pack as a family. Taking part in even the smallest decisions increases a child’s perceptions of control and confidence.
  8. Pack a personal item from home, such as a stuffed animal.
  9. Write early and write often. Sending a letter a few days before your daughter leaves for camp means she will receive it when she arrives, or shortly afterward.
  10. Share the “Tips for Campers” with your daughter, if necessary. These strategies can help if your daughter feels homesick while away.
  11. Respond to questions about homesickness with statements such as: “It’s normal to feel a little homesick, but we’ve talked about ways to cope with those feelings. Remember that the staff will also be there to help you. You’ll have a great time.”
  12. Do not make a “pick-up” deal with your daughter. This decreases her likelihood of success at camp. It undermines your daughter’s sense that you have confidence in her ability to be on her own, and sets the expectation that she won’t like the camp experience. It also teaches her that her only solution is for her parents to “rescue” her.

Camp can be a great “life-training” experience for children, building their independence and teaching self-reliance and social skills they will use throughout their life.

Tips for Campers

These strategies can be used at different times, and will work in different ways. Some may work better than others for you.

  1. Do something fun (like play with friends) to forget about feelings of homesickness.
  2. Do something to feel closer to home, such as write a letter to your family.
  3. Find someone who can talk with you to help you feel better (like a counsellor, or the Assistant Director).
  4. Think about the positive things at camp. (Things like friends, canoe trips, or campfire).
  5. Think about how the time away from home is actually pretty short.
  6. Try not to think about home, to forget about your homesickness.
  7. Think about your family, and figure out what they would say to help you when you feel homesick.

Letter writing can be a helpful way to maintain contact, because it requires narrative reflection, which promotes an understanding of one’s experience.

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Northway-Wendigo Visiting Policy Word DocumentPDF Document

We have no set Visitor’s Day at camp. Northway and Wendigo are a very special experience. This is an opportunity for your child to establish his or her independence. A visit from family may interrupt this experience, and could possibly create feelings of homesickness.

Parents are welcome to take a camp tour when dropping off or picking up their child.

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Northway Canoe Trip Equipment Word DocumentPDF Document

While Northway tripping has remained relatively unchanged over the past 100 plus years, the equipment associated with backcountry camping has made incredible progress. Many of these advances allow for a more dry, warm, efficient and generally successful tripping endeavor. For many returning campers who have experience with backcountry camping this information will be familiar, but we hope that it may be helpful for families and girls coming to Algonquin for the first time. All of the following information should only be taken as a suggestion. New equipment can be expensive and there is by no means a need for your daughter to come to camp equipped with the highest-end gear. This information is essentially a loose guide for anyone who may be in the market for new equipment. Most importantly, the best advice is to head to your nearest outdoor outfitter to do your own research, try things on, and speak with a real expert. You can always search for sales and order online, but it’s best to do the original research in person.

Trip Pack:

The trip pack is possibly most central to a happy trip (other than the canoe, of course). A few things about packs:

  • Fit: Pack technology today can be almost overwhelming, but the key will always be fit. This is why going to a store to have a salesperson fit you is so crucial.
  • Frames: There has long been an internal vs. external frame debate, but we believe that general agreement is in the direction of internal frames. We feel that they tend to distribute weight better, and also fit into canoes much more easily.
  • Size: Both height and volume are important considerations. The appropriate size will depend on your daughter’s age and subsequently length of trip, as longer trips require somewhat more clothing and food. The age suggestions below are also flexible however, as fit is the most important consideration. Additionally, for older campers who have interest in continuing tripping activities outside of camp in years to come, a pack designed for women can often provide a better fit.
  • Pricing: As packs get larger prices go up, and a new pack can be a fairly expensive commitment. First of all, do not feel that your daughter needs to arrive at camp with the newest or most expensive equipment. Borrowed packs from neighbours or older siblings work just as well as a brand new pack, as long as they fit. If your child is going to use her pack frequently, however, the investment in a new pack might not be a bad idea.
  • For Younger Campers (9-11 years old) An outdoor daypack will work well, as your daughter will not be carrying large quantities of food. These packs will not be large enough to need an internal frame, but should be somewhat larger than a school backpack and should have at least a hip strap, if not both hip and chest straps.
  • Middlers (or girls around age 12-13) A good pack for a 4 or 5-day trip will be somewhat taller than these daypacks, but are still often listed as day or “weekend” packs. At this size, it’s not a bad idea to start looking at packs with internal frames.
  • Seniors (ages 14-16) These packs are fairly large. Don’t feel the need to go too large—the lack of comfort will certainly not make up for any increase in capacity.

Sleeping Bags:

Sleeping bags are far less complicated than packs, and most any bag will work well. The biggest things to keep in mind are:

  • Temperature rating (colder than 10oF or –12oC are probably too warm for camp)
  • Material: Down or synthetic are both great, but heavy materials such as flannel linings can take quite a long time to dry and are very heavy when wet
  • Pack-ability: Bags that pack down small are best, and stuff sacks or compression sacks help with this

Hiking Boots:

Our canoe trips take girls through some of the most beautiful wilderness. On long portages, good hiking boots are really a must. Waterproof boots stay dry as long as water doesn’t come over the top and get inside the boots, in which case they take a while to dry. Breathable and quick-dry boots get wet easily, but also dry easily. It’s really just a matter of preference. As always, good fit is the key.

Dry Bags:

These are completely optional, but many of our campers have started to find that dry bags are one of the more effective ways to pack for a canoe trip. Camp provides plastic bags for all campers, but dry bags are both completely water resistant and also a good way to compress all items on a trip and save space. SeaLine is the main manufacturer of the bags, and most outdoor outfitting stores will sell various sizes. If you are interested in a dry bag, you’ll need to make sure the dry bag fits inside your pack and is large enough to fit a sweatshirt, campsite pants, tshirt, changes of socks and underwear, a flashlight, a book, camera or other small items for a trip that will need to stay dry.

The best advice on all counts is to shop around, ask friends and experts, try various options, and maybe even have your daughter do a dry run of packing her trip pack before she comes to camp. No matter what equipment your child has, however, we promise that she will have a summer of amazing trips and even more amazing friendships and experiences.

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Wendigo Canoe Trip Equipment Word DocumentPDF Document

While Wendigo tripping has remained relatively unchanged over the past 45 plus years, the equipment associated with backcountry camping has made incredible progress. Many of these advances allow for a more dry, warm, efficient and generally successful tripping endeavor. For many returning campers who have experience with backcountry camping this information will be familiar, but we hope that it may be helpful for families and boys coming to Algonquin for the first time. All of the following information is based on very general research and should only be taken as a suggestion. New equipment can be expensive and there is by no means a need for your son to come to camp equipped with the highest-end gear. This information is essentially a loose guide for anyone who may be in the market for new equipment. Most importantly, the best advice is to head to your nearest outdoor outfitter to do your own research, try things on, and speak with a real expert. You can always search for sales and order online, but it’s best to do the original research in person.

Trip Pack:

The trip pack is possibly most central to a happy trip (other than the canoe, of course). A few things about packs:

  • Fit: Pack technology today can be almost overwhelming, but the key will always be fit. This is why going to a store to have a salesperson fit you is so crucial.
  • Frames: There has long been an internal vs. external frame debate, but we believe that general agreement is in the direction of internal frames. We feel that they tend to distribute weight better, and also fit into canoes much more easily.
  • Size: Both height and volume are important considerations. The appropriate size will depend on your son’s age and subsequently length of trip, as longer trips require somewhat more clothing and food. The age suggestions below are also flexible however, as fit is the most important consideration.
  • Pricing: As packs get larger prices go up, and a new pack can be a fairly expensive commitment. First of all, do not feel that your son needs to arrive at camp with the newest or most expensive equipment. Borrowed packs from neighbours or older siblings work just as well as a brand new pack, as long as they fit. If your child is going to use his pack frequently, however, the investment in a new pack might not be a bad idea.
  • Boys 12-13 A good pack for a 4 or 5-day trip will be somewhat taller than daypacks, but are still often listed as day or “weekend” packs. At this size, it’s not a bad idea to start looking at packs with internal frames.
  • Boys 14-16 These packs are fairly large. Don’t feel the need to go too large—the lack of comfort will certainly not make up for any increase in capacity.

Sleeping Bags:

Sleeping bags are far less complicated than packs, and most any bag will work well. The biggest things to keep in mind are:

  • Temperature rating (colder than 10oF or –12oC are probably too warm for camp)
  • Material: Down or synthetic are both great, but heavy materials such as flannel linings can take quite a long time to dry and are very heavy when wet
  • Pack-ability: Bags that pack down small are best, and stuff sacks or compression sacks help with this

Hiking Boots:

Our canoe trips take boys through some of the most beautiful wilderness. On long portages, good hiking boots are really a must. Waterproof boots stay dry as long as water doesn’t come over the top and get inside the boots, in which case they take a while to dry. Breathable and quick-dry boots get wet easily, but also dry easily. It’s really just a matter of preference. As always, good fit is the key. Boots should be “broken-in” prior to camp.

Dry Bags:

Dry bags are one of the more effective ways to pack for a canoe trip. Dry bags are both completely water resistant and also a good way to compress all items on a trip and save space. SeaLine is the main manufacturer of the bags, and most outdoor outfitting stores will sell various sizes. If you are interested in a dry bag, you’ll need to make sure the dry bag fits inside your pack and is large enough to fit a sweatshirt, campsite pants, t-shirt, changes of socks and underwear, a flashlight, a book, camera or other small items for a trip that will need to stay dry.

The best advice on all counts is to shop around, ask friends and experts, try various options, and maybe even have your son do a dry run of packing his trip pack before he comes to camp. No matter what equipment your child has, however, we promise that he will have a summer of amazing trips and even more amazing friendships and experiences.

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Camp Northway for girls (ages 7-16) offers a traditional program based on our wilderness setting, of swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, and dramatics.Camp Wendigo for boys (ages 12-16) is essentially a canoe-tripping outpost, offering supervised canoe trips throughout Algonquin Park's 3000 square miles of protected wilderness.ANNUAL POST CAMP FOR FAMILIES & ADULTS
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CAMP NORTHWAY • CAMP WENDIGO • ALGONQUIN PARK • ONTARIO CANADA

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