What is Wahanowin?
The land where Camp Wahanowin now stands was granted to one John McPherson in 1867. Using limestone from our site on Lake St. John he built the Stonehouse, the first settlement and post office in Simcoe County (our mail service remains excellent to this day). It was nearly 100 years later, in 1955, when Harold Nashman and his Mother, Anne (Bubby Nash), discovered the site and recognized it for what it was – a place for children to flourish. They opened Camp Wahanowin that same year, and the Nashman family has owned and operated Camp Wahanowin ever since.
Who are the campers and where are they from?
Our campers are boys and girls aged 6 to 15 years old. Most are from the Greater Toronto Area, but we have campers come to us from Europe, across the United States, and as far as Israel.
Are campers allowed to “hang out” in their cabins?
With over 40 amazing activities, campers rarely want to “hang out” in their cabins. However, we do set aside time after lunch (Rest Hour) and dinner (Free Play) for less structured (still supervised) activities. At Wahanowin, busy campers are happy campers.
Who are the staff and how are they selected?
Wahanowin staff are a spirited and loyal team who work hard to make our camp a special place for children. Many have grown up right here as former campers, and have gone through our Counsellor in Training (CIT) program. We also recruit qualified staff from around the world, all of whom are equally dedicated to protecting and preserving our values and vision, and have been carefully screened and selected by our directors.
What are the cabins like?
All our cabins have been completely renovated but have lost none of their rustic charm. Each one accommodates 8 to 12 campers in bunk beds, and all have indoor washrooms with showers, and electricity. We also have shower houses with private shower stalls and additional washroom facilities throughout camp.
Is Wahanowin an accredited camp?
We are an active member of the Ontario Camps Association and meet or surpass all required standards.
Is Wahanowin for younger campers?
Wahanowin began as a junior camp and established a reputation as an ideal haven for younger campers. However, as our camp has grown, so have our campers. We now provide an exciting camp experience for all age groups.
When is Visiting Day and what are the rules?
Visiting Day is the only time parents and families are allowed to visit camp. Naturally, it is a day that both parents and campers look forward to. Visiting Day takes place the third Saturday in July. Parents are invited to come to the camp and take their children out for lunch, or enjoy a lunch buffet in the Dining Hall. We also have activities planned for both campers and parents to participate in. All we ask is that parents not bring food into camp that contains nuts, or leave any food for their children.
Can I get a tour of Wahanowin?
Of course! New families who have not had the chance to visit our camp can arrange for a tour and see our amazing facilities in person. We understand that sending a child to camp is a big decision. We want to answer all of your questions and help you feel completely at ease. Please contact us to arrange a time to visit in late spring or summer.
Can I call my child at camp?
We have a strict no phone call policy, which includes no cell phones. From our experience, phone calls make the adjustment to life away from home more difficult for both campers and parents. Trust us to have your child’s best interest in mind and know that we will always call should the need arise.
Does Wahanowin have a religious affiliation?
While we are not a religious camp, the majority of our campers and staff are Jewish, and we do observe some Jewish customs and traditions. Our menu is kosher style, and every Friday night we host Shabbat dinner and hold evening service in the Theatre. However, as a family run camp, we strongly believe in making everyone feel welcome and comfortable as a member of our community.
How long are your sessions?
Sessions range in length from 5 days (Super Summer Sleepover) to 7 weeks (Full Season). Please see our Dates and Rates page for more information.
Is there a doctor on-site?
Yes. We have a fully equipped Health Centre with three nursing staff/students and a doctor on site every day throughout the summer. We are also 15 minutes away from a hospital.
How is the food?
The food is fantastic. Our kitchen staff work incredibly hard to maintain our reputation for fabulous food – and lots of it! We can accommodate most dietary needs, and provide delicious and nutritious meals for campers and staff who are vegetarian, lactose intolerant, gluten-free as well as kosher*. We are also a nut-safe camp and do not serve any products with peanuts or other nut-related ingredients.
*Additional fee approx. $50-$60 per week for kosher or gluten-free/celiac meals.
Is there a laundry service?
Yes. Campers send out all of their laundry once a week in individual laundry bags that we provide. Everything is washed, folded, and returned in the same bag the next day.
Can campers bring food to camp?
No. Outside food creates excess garbage, attracts insects and animals, and often causes conflicts within a cabin. Not to worry, each camper receives three nutritious and delicious meals a day, plus mid-morning, afternoon and evening snacks. Campers also get to choose special snacks at the Tuck Shop three times a week.
How does mail work at camp?
Every camper has to show a written letter at the Tuck Shop in order to receive Tuck. It’s a convenient way to ensure that campers write home at least three times a week. Mail delivery can take 5 to 7 days, so we suggest parents send a few letters before the start of camp. That way, when children arrive at camp, they already have mail waiting for them.
Parents can also sign up for Bunk1,* which allows them to send and receive emails, view and share photos, and get updates.
*Additional fee applies
Can I e-mail my children at camp?
We have partnered with Bunk1,* which provides a simple way for families to stay connected with their campers.
*Additional fee applies
How are activities scheduled?
Campers travel with their cabin from one activity to the next. This strengthens the bond between campers sharing a cabin and ensures friends stay together throughout the day. There are five scheduled cabin activities per day, and every cabin attends each activity area at least once a week. Individual choice is available daily to all campers during General Swim (the 6th daily period) and is scheduled for older campers on a regular basis.
What do you do on rainy days?
At Wahanowin, we play rain or shine. Many of our activities can be adapted to indoor venues. We have eight large recreation halls for group games, as well as a camp carnival, cabin competitions, talent shows and an indoor campfire program.
What does Wahanowin mean?
The meaning of Wahanowin is a closely guarded camp secret and can only be told around the campfire. It’s tradition.
Though we miss our girls tremendously during the summer, it is such a relief to know that they are happy and in good hands. Wahanowin has changed their lives by giving them confidence, independence and chance to redefine themselves or just to be themselves.”