As a result of the government closure of all overnight summer camps for 2020 we are eagerly awaiting summer 2021 and the opportunity to welcome boys back to Ponacka. If you would like to come for a visit or a tour we are here and will be delighted to see you. Send us an email or click the link above.
WHAT IS PONACKA?Camp Ponacka is an exceptional boys camp in Ontario, offering 1, 2, and 4-week sessions for boys 6-15. Established in 1947, Ponacka is a community where each boy truly counts and belongs; where each camper gets the opportunity to learn, have fun, make friends, and challenge himself in a supportive environment. 2021 Rates & DatesRequest Information
4 REASONS TO CHOOSE PONACKA
FREEDOM AND CHOICE
Ponacka’s program allows each boy to choose his own schedule of activities each day, because making his own choices helps him become more independent and confident.
Only swimming lessons and some canoeing lessons are compulsory — everything else is up to him!
Developing skills is an important part of camp. Each boy can choose what he wants to do and enjoy learning a wide variety of skills:
- On the water - sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, scuba, waterskiing; and
- On land - horseback riding, nature, arts & crafts, woodworking, pottery, aerial ropes, climbing wall, archery, bushcraft (survival skills), and lapidary (stone cutting and polishing)
See A Typical Day for more information on our programming.
As our children’s world increasingly makes use of technology, time at Ponacka is a precious opportunity to “reset”:
- Texting is replaced by conversation;
- Streaming by singing after breakfast and at campfires; and
- Watching videos by creating one’s own entertainment.
Camper accommodations do not have electricity.
FAMILY & COMMUNITY FOCUS
Founded in 1947 by Gwen and Bruno Morawetz, Ponacka has been directed by their daughter Anne and her husband Don Bocking since 1985. Their daughter Laura Bocking now works full time for Ponacka as the third generation.
Home Visits: Each spring, Ponacka's directors visit each first-year camper in his home (distance permitting), to answer questions, learn more about each boy and introduce ourselves to his family.
Introductions: Within days of arriving at camp, each boy is introduced by name and hometown during a meal in the Dining Hall.
Writing Home: All Ponacka parents receive a scanned handwritten letter from their son’s counsellor, a few days after arrival, providing an update about his initial camp experience. Each boy is encouraged to write home.
Visitors Weekend: We encourage all parents & families of four-week campers to visit during our mid-month visitors weekend (either the Saturday or Sunday).
Christopher considers Ponacka his “happy place” and would be there 12 months a year if he could! We will be forever grateful that Ponacka has been such an important player in his development. We are amazed at how he has grown in confidence and leadership abilities over the years – we credit a great deal of that personal growth to the safe, supportive environment that you create at Ponacka.
As a Phys Ed teacher for 30+ years, I have gotten to know many camps and their unique atmospheres very well. I would rank Ponacka as one of the best camps anywhere as far as its ability to provide a stable, nurturing environment where boys are able to test personal limits without fear of bullying, competition or being ostracized. This is a difficult thing to achieve, especially for an all boys camp. I know how much effort it takes to develop and maintain such a positive space, and I want you to be reminded that your hard work is appreciated by so many boys and their families. What better legacy than being responsible for creating the place that so many wonderful young men consider to be the source of their happiest memories and the experience responsible for shaping them into empathetic, confident and strong leaders.
ANNE MORAWETZ (BNSC) & DON BOCKING (MSW)
Camp Owners & Directors
Welcome to the Ponacka site! For the first time in Ponacka’s 74 year history, we are not able to open for the summer of 2020. We consider ourselves “on sabbatical”, a time to reflect on what make Ponacka such a special place and to start planning to make 2021 the best summer ever.
This is the summer to come and visit us! Prospective families, enrolled families, staff and alumni are all welcome. Bring a picnic lunch, your bathing suits and plan to enjoy some time on Lake Baptiste. Just send us a quick message to let us know your plans.
We look forward to being in touch with many of you in our Ponacka family and to welcoming new families too.
LAURA BOCKING (BNSC, RN) & NICK SMART (BCOMM)
2020 will be a memorable year for so many reasons and we are hopeful that the value of camp has only increased. Time for kids to gain confidence, independence, rekindle friendships and have fun is needed more than ever.
We are keenly missing the boys and staff that bring Ponacka back to life each summer. While the closure of camp is giving us lots of time to visit with alumni, staff and new and old families we look forward to welcoming everyone back for summer 2021.
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