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Building Better Boys For 70 Years

In 1947, Ponacka began with only 12 boys. The camp celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016.

Mr. Bergey, a Pennsylvania school teacher, glad to have sold the camp, gave me an abundance of advice. He sent me his prospectus, crest, movies of the camp in action and permitted me to retain the name, “Ponacka”.

The trees were in full leaf and spring was in everyone’s heart but mine. Examinations at Western were not far off and July 1st, the opening date of camp  just a little further. Many things had to be done at camp before it could be opened and I had only one camper, for only one month. I alarmed my friends and people I scarcely knew. The baker and the milkman scanned their books for families with boys in the right age group.  I studied a map of London and with my bicycle went from house to house. Every afternoon, I visited homes, careful not to call while supper was being prepared or while the washing was being done or the rhubarb canned. My files were filled with correspondence and name cards ran into the hundreds. The applications now stood at seven for July and five for August.

The Second Birth of Camp Ponacka

Okimau (Bruno Morawetz) in 1947

Bev Lane on her way to make cinnamon buns for the camp in 2015, alongside Ponacka alumnus Fred Rapson.

Right from the start, Okimau never wavered in his love of and faith in Ponacka. Since that first year in 1947, Ponacka has evolved and grown into a camp with over 350 boys each summer who enjoy the same beautiful setting and camaraderie unique to summer camp.

We honour the traditions of Ponacka’s past and continue to value the philosophy that Okimau and Oki (pictured left) ascribed to, providing boys with experiences which grow them into fine young men, who are thoughtful, grateful, self confident and imbued with a spirit of forgiveness and humility.