ReviewsSee what parents and campers have to say about Ponacka!
As a first-time camper we were a bit worried that Elliot may have a bit of a hard time transitioning and making friends. Our expectations were far exceeded, and we are so happy with Elliot’s experience.
Leo always comes home talking about his counsellors and CITs. He has benefitted a lot over the last two years from having older boys to look up to and to go to for guidance. I have heard multiple stories about the wisdom of your young staff. They’ve also inspired him to take more seriously leadership and academic opportunities.
Gray absolutely loved camp! We had been worried about him being homesick, but it does not seem as though he experienced any at all! I’m so pleased to hear all about his new skills (sailing, canoeing, etc.), and he can’t wait to return!
I am very happy that Andy had the pleasure of attending Ponacka for two weeks this summer. He came back and told me a lot of interesting things that he experienced. He enjoyed getting up every morning and jumping in the lake. He introduced each horse’s name to me, and he loved the activity of horseback riding. The counsellors were very friendly and took care of him, and the friendliness of the kids also made him feel warm. I’m glad he’s growing up and I appreciate your dedication! Hope he comes back to this family every year.
I just want to thank you for all you did with our kids. They had a wonderful time in Canada at Camp Ponacka. Santi, who at the beginning was very worried to go, told me it was the most wonderful experience he could have, and Emilio said the same.
Thank you for the wonderful month Charlie had at Ponacka. He is still regaling us with stories about the friends he made and all the fun things he got to do (last night he went online to find a map of his canoe trip route to show us – a big deal considering he was initially a little worried about going on a longer trip!).
His counsellors were fantastic, the activity staff were fantastic, the way the days were structured was fantastic, as were the activities and programs themselves – he came home proud and happy and enthusiastic and I really can’t thank you enough!
We were so grateful to be able to send the boys to camp, especially this year.
Owen said last night, while he was at camp, he forgot all about COVID. Camp has been a big reset for him, bringing our joyful boy back to himself.
As well, for Emmett, beyond the envelope of evaluations he brought home, the accomplishments he made this past month we can see in his quiet confidence and to be surrounded and mentored by a group of kind young men is such a gift.
I have heard Sam say this was the best summer yet a couple of times. Going from 2 weeks to 4 weeks was a big step for him, but it was better than expected!
Each year I think the counsellors or CITs cannot get any better, and then they do. Always very impressed when we have the opportunity to meet his counsellors.
We are very happy to have Sam come home raving about this summer’s experience and activities.
We can’t say enough good things about Ponacka.
Every year Sebastien comes home a happier, stronger version of the self that went to camp. He was excited to go this year, but still came home a little happier, stronger and full of joy and confidence. And he’s got his laundry on already. As always, he came home clean (how is that even possible?), healthy, well fed. Also he said he had no moments of anxiety at all at camp. Sebastien came home so full of joy. He had a FANTASTIC year at camp. He came home with tales, all positive and totally exhausted from the final night. And to my “horror” he came home my height!
Charles looks forward to Ponacka all year. He returns to us more confident, independent and grown up after spending his August with you, your staff and the campers.
Aiden had a wonderful time at camp. It’s a place he loves to go to and a place he feels at home. We feel very fortunate that we have found a place where Aiden can be himself. Ponacka is one of the first things we budget for when our year finances are looked at. There is a perfect balance of safety and risk at Ponacka. I am happy that the boys are still able to cliff jump and rough house and that they do get bumps and bruises. They thrive at Ponacka. I have never seen such great leadership and quality of staff anywhere. You can feel the difference in mood when you enter camp from the outside world. It’s a magical place or bubble that the boys enter for one month a year. Where they can be themselves. Ponacka has continued to be everything the boys expected. When they look back to the 4 years they have been, each year is as great as the last. they are never disappointed. They thrive and rejuvenate at Ponacka. The program, the staff and their cabin mates all contribute to creating a place where they can get away from it all and be themselves. Thank you. It’s the best thing for these boys!
I love camp Ponacka. I loved everything.
Pierce had his best year yet and just loved camp! Every letter he wrote included fabulous highlights of achievements, activities he was trying for the first time, and ways he was recognized, felt proud, and was having fun. So wonderful! The reports once he got home were even better! We loved hearing about the skills he was learning and awards he received. He feels like an important member of a close community and wants to keep in touch with everyone!
We are impressed with the leadership demonstrated from the junior counsellors and up. It has obviously had a big impact on Benji. He has come home a “better boy” and I can tell from his demeanor, super cheerful singing, and hugs that he had a fantastic time, and that he will miss you all dearly – until next year!
Your staff really do care about the boys. Arthur talks non-stop about all the staff members he liked and admires – they made a BIG impact on him!
Colin greatly enjoyed his first camp experience. I was pleased to see he had been encouraged to push himself and try new things! We felt confident sending Colin to camp after interactions and chats with Anne and Don. The counsellors were terrific and clearly had made the effort to connect with Colin.
Oh my goodness, we cannot thank you enough for the experience and community Gavin found at Ponacka! He absolutely had the BEST time. He talked (or sang) non-stop ALL the way home. From the second we saw him at camp the stories just started to roll. We read the tripping stories out loud in the rag bag on the drive home, often crying laughing. Still, a week-plus later the stories are still rolling. Our boy, is full to the brim from his time with you all. Thank you for your care, leadership and guidance from the morning talks, to chapel, and modelling an inclusive community….it means so much to us and we are so grateful for the blessing you have all made on Gavin’s life. He has every intention to return next summer and is already thinking about what skills he can develop and contribute as part of the staff one day!
Thank you directors, support staff, and others for all your hard work and making this month happen. I was really happy to get to come back for another month at Ponacka and am hopeful I get to come back next year for my sixth year. Make sure you thank my counsellors, Parker and Connor, for all they did for me and my tent-mates.
Looking forward to seeing all of you again next year.
First off, thank you for everything!!!
Lance and I were really impressed with how everything was handled on our/Lachlan’s arrival to camp! Thought it was prudent to send this email, as we arrived home today with a totally different child, thanks to the experience that he had this past week. The growth, development, and confidence is FINALLY exuding from our child, who has always had the potential, but has always been stuck.
We had not even departed the parking lot, and he was already asking to come back again next summer (which is of course the plan). One of his new friends (Finn, whom I understand is related), had said Lachlan was smart. Lachlan told me, it was the first time that a peer had ever said that to him, and it meant the world to him. That was just one of the memorable experiences that he has had this past week. We also wanted to say that Tyler, Gardiner, and Noah could not have been more supportive of Lachlan – please extend this thank you to them, with THANKS, as we know he can be a total handful! We cannot wait to see how this experience will impact him over the course of this year.
It was awesome. It felt like 3 days, and I’m going for a month next year!
Alex loved camp. He did seem to miss home more than Zachary, but keeping them together really helped. He is excited to go back in 2019. Impeccable care. I love that their emotional health is just as important as their physical. Zachary was in his element at camp. He loved every part of it. Zachary said he didn’t feel anxious as much, but when he did his CIT really helped him calm down. I was so impressed with everyone at Ponacka. We could not have had a better experience in 2018. The kids will be back for 4 weeks next year.
I am deeply grateful that Oliver had a positive and happy camp experience. I appreciate how much work and planning must go into each year. Thank you and see you next year!
Thank you for giving Pierce another fabulous experience at camp! Its amazing to see him come home feeling so happy and confident, and excited to share all of his awesome camp stories. He is involved with so many wonderful things at home, and yet – I can already see that Camp Ponacka is something so different and special for him. We are lucky to have such an amazing place for him to go to challenge himself, be unplugged in nature, and make new friends. For his experience, and for everything you do to make it all happen – we are truly thankful.
The Importance of a One-Month Experience
Picture any holiday – usually a week, if you are lucky two – it takes several days to wind down at the beginning to get to enjoy time away, then several more to wind back up at the end to prepare to get back to the “real world”. Not really much time to actually enjoy and get much from the time away. Time really does fly when you are having fun. Ponacka gives the boys the gift of 4 weeks to really make the most of their experience. Not only do they get to completely settle in, being comfortable with the routines, make their tent/cabin their home and get to really know the people around them, but they also get to truly develop new skills in activities that simply can’t get done in any shorter period of time. They have time to go on a real canoe trip into the wilderness, play a meaningful season of PHL, and earn entire swimming levels, and high level canoeing, riding and sailing levels. Most importantly though, 4 weeks gives the boys the time and space to truly develop their independence, social skills, self esteem, and make true friends for life. Our boys have both been at Ponacka for over 10 years. We can’t imagine a better experience in their lives any other way.