Wanapitei 101: What is Family Camp?

Ahhhh Family Camp – a most magical week in the Wanapitei summer.  A week that provides respite and relaxation – adventure and challenge.  Each person who attends – young and old – gets their specific needs met.  Solitude and community – family time and time with peers.

The Wanapitei Family Camp offers programming each morning for kids ages 3 and older.  While the kids are engaged in camp activities, the parents are drinking coffee or tea, reading a book, going for a paddle on their own, gazing out at the crystal clear waters of Lake Temagami…. Each summer I am amazed at the community that is created with the kids at Family Camp.  One parent said that this was one of her highlights, “A highlight was watching T run free with other kids: catching frogs, fishing, collecting nature bits, playing in the hammock, and making new friends.  All under the watchful eyes of a community of caring adults.”  It seems to me that nature, flexible structured programming, and fantastic camp leaders makes for quick and easy community building for kids.  By the second day of Family Camp, it seems like they’ve been together all summer.

Afternoons at Family Camp see families taking part in activities led by the camp leaders.  A hike to the waterfall, a paddle up the river, cooking over the campfire, archery, swimming from the raft and sliding down the raft’s slide. Taking part in activities together in a multi-generational context gives a depth of connection that I haven’t experienced with groups of people in any other setting.  Laughter abounds – adults help each other’s kids – people try new things and shine.  The stress of leading the activity for your kids – of worrying about supplies, set-up, etc. – is removed.  Adults go along for the ride and have a blast.

Evenings are beautiful in Temagami.  A camp program for the family and/or the kids and then we are sitting around a campfire under the stars or taking part in our own version of a wine tasting program (when the kids are asleep).  Days are eventful, but that feeling of being on vacation and setting your own schedule is still present.

One of the most amazing things about Family Camp is that it really appeals to anyone.  We have had families with almost no camping or canoeing experience alongside those who go on complicated canoe trips themselves each summer.  The week is a great taste of what summer camp is at Camp Wanapitei and can lead to kids joining our summer program.  It is also a wonderful week in-and-of-itself – a chance to go to camp, have someone else cook incredible meals and pack for your overnight canoe trip while you spend quality time with your family and make new friends. From small toddlers to energetic grandparents and everyone in between, Family Camp offers something for the whole family, however you define it.

Family Camp runs from August 11th to 16th this summer, with a three night option available beginning August 13th.  Visit our website for further information and to register.