Camp Wahanowin

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to your most frequently asked questions, click on a question to find the answer. If you have additional questions that were not addressed here, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

What is Wahanowin

In 1867 (Canada's Confederation) the land upon which Wahanowin now stands was granted by the British government to a man named John McPherson. He built, using limestone from our overnight site on Lake St. John, the Stonehouse, which was the first settlement and post office in Simcoe County. (Hence our excellent mail service). The property was farmed for many years until it became a campsite in 1935. In 1955, Harold Nashman and his Mother, Anne (Bubby Nash), on a snowy winter's day discovered the site and knew immediately it was a place for children to flourish. The Nashman family has owned and operated Camp Wahanowin since 1955.

Who are the campers and where are they from?

Our campers are boys and girls aged 6 to 15 years old. Wahanowin can accommodate 450 campers per session. The majority of campers come from the Toronto area, but our reputation is far reaching. In fact, many campers come to us from Montreal, Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Chicago, Florida and across the United States. We also attract international campers from Mexico, Israel, France, England, Venezuela and other countries.


Do you have a brochure available online?

Certainly!  We encourage you to peruse our promotional brochure to help give you a better understanding of who we are and what we can offer to your children/family.

Are campers allowed to "hang out" in their cabins?

With over 40 amazing activities and enthusiastic staff, campers rarely want to "hang out". Our cabin based program allows campers to be with their friends throughout the day participating and having fun. The day is very active and eventful, but we do set aside time after lunch (Rest Hour) and dinner (Free Play) for less structured (yet supervised) activity. At Wahanowin busy campers are happy campers.

Who are the staff and how are they selected?

Many of our staff have grown up at Wahanowin and have been trained in our CIT program. All staff are interviewed and carefully screened by the directors. Cabin Counselors are university or senior high school students with good camping backgrounds and a genuine interest in children. Activity instructors are qualified professionals or skilled students who are all aware of the special responsibilities in dealing with younger children. Wahanowin staff are spirited and loyal. Together they form a dynamic team and make our camp a special place for kids.

What are the cabins like?

Our rustic yet comfortable cabins accommodate 8 to 12 campers depending upon the age group.  All cabins have indoor washrooms with showers, electricity and bunk beds.  In addition, we also have shower houses with individual private shower stalls enabling cabin groups to shower at the same time. Over the past few years we have upgraded and renovated all our cabins with expanded washrooms, increased living space, more shelving and new bunk beds.

Is Wahanowin an accredited camp?

We are an active member of the Ontario Camping Association and meet or surpass all required standards. Click here to visit the OCA web site.

Is Wahanowin the camp for younger campers?

Wahanowin began as a junior camp and established a reputation for meeting the needs of younger campers. Although we have grown to accommodate all age groups and provide an excellent and dynamic program, we have not lost sight of our roots.

When is visiting day and what are the rules?

Visiting Day is typically near the end of July. Parents may take their children out of camp for lunch or enjoy our lunch buffet in the Dining Hall. Parents may not bring food to camp that contains nuts, nor are parents permitted to leave any food items with their camper on this day. Parents may not visit their child at any other time during the summer.

Can I get a tour of Wahanowin?

Absolutely! New families that have not yet seen Wahanowin may arrange to see camp. Contact us to set up a convenient time to visit camp in early spring or the summer.


Can I call my child at camp?

Our experience indicates telephone calls are almost always negative for both the camper and parent. Therefore, Wahanowin has a strict no phone call policy. We will always contact you if the situation requires it. Trust us to have your child's best interest in mind. As well, we have a strict no cell phone policy for all campers.

Does Wahanowin have a religious affiliation?

The majority of our campers and staff are Jewish and we observe several Jewish customs and traditions. Our menu is kosher-style. Every Friday night we celebrate Shabbat in the Dining Hall followed by the Friday night service. Each week a different Unit leads the service, which is comprised of commentary and songs, related to a Jewish theme. Being 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?

Our camp season is 7½ weeks in length and campers may attend for the entire time (Full Season), the first 4 weeks (July Session) or the last 3½ weeks (August Session). In addition, we offer a 2+2 session for younger campers currently completing grade 4 or younger.

Is there a doctor on site?

Yes. We have a fully equipped Health Centre with 3 nursing staff/nursing students and a doctor on site everyday throughout the summer. The closest hospital in Orillia is only 15 minutes away from the camp.

How is the food?

Great!  Chef Roch Beaudry has been preparing gourmet meals to all of Camp Wahanowin for a number of years. We strive to continue our reputation and tradition of fabulous food (and plenty of it!)  We are able to accommodate many special dietary needs and provide nutritious meals for campers and staff that are vegetarian, lactose intolerant, as well as kosher.  Kosher meat can be arranged (additional fee applies - $300 for Full Season/July11, $200 for July/August and $50 for any shorter session).  In addition, we are a nut-safe camp and do not serve or have any products with peanuts or other nut-related ingredients.

Is there a laundry service?

Yes!  Once a week campers send their laundry out in bags (lights and darks) to our camp laundry service. It's not necessary to pack a laundry bag since all cabin laundry is sorted into the assigned cabin laundry bags.  The clothing, etc. it put directly into these bags making laundry day easier and more organized.  The laundry is washed, folded and returned in the cabin laundry bag the following day.  *Proper name tagging is important for this service to run effectively.

Can campers bring food to camp?

No! Campers may not bring food to camp. Each camper receives 3 nutritious and delicious meals each day, plus afternoon and evening snacks. In addition, campers go to the Tuck Shop three times a week to receive candies, drinks, chips, popcorn or freezies. Additional food causes excess garbage, attracts insects and animals and often causes conflicts within a cabin group, between the haves and have-nots.

How does mail work at camp?

Every camper must write home three times a week to receive their Tuck (works like a charm!)  Allow 5 to 7 days for delivery of mail in either direction. We suggest parents send a couple of letters prior to the start of your child's session so that there is mail waiting at camp when they arrive. In addition, parents can sign up for Bunk1 (this is an independent service) which enables you to e-mail your camper(s).  Check out the Bunk1 link in the top right corner of our website.

Can I e-mail my camper(s) at camp?

Yes.  We offer an e-mail service for parents to send letters ("Bunk Notes") electronically to camp.  Please refer to the Bunk1 link on our webiste (green button located in the top right corner of every page) for more information.  In addition, your camper(s) can also send a "Bunk Reply" (additional fee) to you electronically written in their own handwriting.

How are activities scheduled?

Campers travel with their cabin group from one activity to another. This strengthens the bond between campers within the cabin. This approach ensures friends are always together participating throughout the day. Each cabin group will visit every area at least once a week. Individual choice is available daily to all campers during General Swim and is scheduled for older campers on a regular basis.

What do you do on rainy days?

We are always prepared in the event of a rainy day (or as we like to say, liquid sunshine). Many activity areas continue in the rain because they are adaptable to either indoor or outdoor venues. We have eight, large indoor rec halls for group games. Many of our evening program activities are easily adaptable for rainy days. As well, we always have a camp carnival, staff talent show, popular movie or indoor campfire program ready to go.

What does Wahanowin mean?

The answer can only be told at camp around the campfire! See you there.