Our Directors

 
Anne Morawetz (BNSc.) & Don Bocking (MSW.)

Anne Morawetz (BNSc.) & Don Bocking (MSW.)

Camp Owners & Directors

The 2021 season was one for the record books!  With testing and cohorting and cancelling all visitors, we were thrilled and relieved to have a covid free camp all summer. A huge thanks goes to our staff who happily took on all the tasks needed to make camp successful. And a big thanks to our parents who trusted us with their boys, even with the uncertainty that has been a hallmark of this pandemic.

All of us on Lake Baptiste last summer appreciated the freedom, fun and respite from covid that camp provided.

We anticipate a normal season in 2022 and look forward to celebrating our 75th season with new and returning campers along with our staff and alumni.

Laura Bocking (BNSc. RN)

Laura Bocking (BNSc. RN)

Camp Director

2021 was a magical summer! Being reunited with our campers and staff was incredible. While we missed our international campers and some sunshine in July we were so grateful to be open.

As a third generation director at Ponacka, and my first summer as a working mom I enjoyed the new perspective that parenthood brought to my role. The well-being and growth of the boys and staff of Ponacka continues to be our number one focus as we roll into our 75 summer season. I really look forward to welcoming both new and returning campers to Ponacka for summer 2022!

Our Staff

Our staff are our most valuable asset. Each counsellor grew up at camp, and many started at the age of 8. They keep the Ponacka spirit alive from generation to generation. Becoming a counsellor at Ponacka involves an intensive evaluation process – each counsellor spends one year as a CIT (Counsellor In Training), where they learn the skills needed to teach, mentor, and care for the campers. Being a counsellor at Ponacka is far more than just a summer job.

 

Read on to hear what our staff say about working at Ponacka:

Cameron Browning

Cameron Browning

2008 - 2022, CIT Director

I have been coming to Ponacka for 13 years now and this Summer will be my 4th on staff, as the CIT Director giving me a chance to help teach and mentor the CIT’s into becoming the best counsellors they can be. What I love most about Ponacka is that from my first day as a 9-year-old to my third Summer of being on staff I’ve never stopped learning. I’ve gained skills in activities I would never have had the chance to even try where I’m from in England such as canoeing, bushcraft or windsurfing and as an only child I absolutely loved being able to hang out with kids my own age for a month at a time. I’ve made lifelong friends and become far more confident than I think I ever would have been without Ponacka. Away from camp, I live in London, England where I grew up, and I have just completed a degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Southampton, I’ll now be taking time off to go and see the world before beginning my career.

Cameron Lang

Cameron Lang

2009 - 2022, Activity Director

This summer will be my 11th at Ponacka, my 3rd on staff, and my 1st as Activity Director. In this role, I will be designing and running the evening programs, Sunday games and cookouts for the whole camp. In previous years I’ve been the co-head of canoeing and a counsellor for a wide range of age groups. When I’m not at camp, I’m studying to get my philosophy degree at the University of Guelph (while impatiently waiting for summer to come back!). In my opinion, the beauty of camp is that it is the most entertaining, fulfilling, enjoyable and healing aspect of my life while simultaneously being the biggest source of my personal growth and development. Even after 11 years at Ponacka, my parents still comment at the end of each August that it seems like I’ve come back as an entirely new person. On top of this, camp has provided me with an everlasting connection to nature and some incredibly strong friendships which I will carry with me forever. It might be snowing outside but I’m already counting down the days until we can all get back to the shores of Lake Baptiste!

Peter Rowley

Peter Rowley

2009-2022, Program Director

This will be my 13th summer at Camp Ponacka and my 6th year on staff. My role as Program Director will be assigning staff to their daily assignments, as well as programming all the boys into activities and levels. Previously, I was a counsellor for the youngest kids at camp, which brought me so much joy and plenty of amazing memories. Additionally, I was teaching on the swim dock helping kids pass their swimming levels, in the beautiful waters of Lake Baptiste. The aspect I love about camp is that there is an atmosphere where everyone is friends. Whether it’s a first-year camper or a seasoned staff member, we all know each other, and we all care about each other. Every year we return, it is like we have never left. I have been privileged in life for the opportunity to attend camp, and the fact that most of my friends I met in my first year when I was 10, returned to camp for many subsequent years. We are still having fun and learning from the campers every year, as they teach us as much as we teach them. When I’m not on Lake Baptiste in the summer, I reside in Peterborough where I’m completing a degree in Physics at Trent University. However, my time at camp will always be the greatest education in life I will receive.

Wyatt Belanger

Wyatt Belanger

2009-2020, Counselor, Waterski and Sailing Instructor

This summer will be my 12th at Ponacka and my 3rd on staff. I will be teaching sailing and waterskiing, two activities that I have adored at camp since I was 8 years old. Outside of camp, I study Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Looking back at my years at Ponacka, I realized that there are so many things I love about camp that it’s so hard to pick just one. As an 8-year-old, my favourite part of camp probably the tuck shop. However, 12 years later, I think my favourite part of camp is teaching waterskiing on a nice day, watching the joy a boy gets when he gets up on skis for the first time (and I still like the tuck shop). Camp is where I’ve made some of my best friends, as well as a lot of my happiest memories, and I still get a massive smile on my face every time I enter the Ponacka gate.

nICK hARTERRE

nICK hARTERRE

2009-2020, Program Director

This summer will be my 11th summer at Ponacka, my 4th year on staff, and my first working as Ponacka’s Program Director! That means taking care of the staff’s day-to-day assignments and all the campers’ daily programming. In the past three years, I’ve had the chance to teach swimming, ropes and pottery, and organize all of our special programming, such as Evening Programs and Cookouts, as Activity Director. I can’t stress enough how much growing up at Ponacka, both as a camper and a staff member, has contributed to my self-growth. My closest friends and many of my most cherished memories have were made here. I am so grateful to be part of an amazing team that works to make such a thing possible for the next generation of Ponackians.

 

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