2018 Reviews

See what 2018 parents and campers have to say 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!

Jennifer

Toronto, Canada

The counsellors appear very engaged. Appreciated that they did their “homework” and knew a bit about my son prior to the drop off on day 1. Really liked and appreciated the letter from the counsellor after week one. Both Korben and Zaiden had another great summer at camp. Boys like all the activities, get a lot out of their “trips” to Algonquin and have very good things to say about the counsellors.

Tara & Warren

Richmond Hill, Canada

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.

Scott & Emily

Toronto, Canada

Seggie had a great time at camp. He is enthusiastic about going back again next year. I’m very happy that Seggie is a Ponacka camper.

Renata & Justin

Toronto, Canada

William loves camp Ponacka, this year was fantastic. It lived up to all his expectations (which says a lot about how wonderful camp Ponacka is). He anticipates and looks forward to camp all year, and each year is as good as the last. William feels safe and happy for the duration of camp. It is the only place that he feels 100% content and where he feels he belongs/fits in. He always goes through a couple of days of sadness/anger when he gets back home and needs to reacclimatize to home life. There is no worry that his personal care and safety is ever in danger at Ponacka. The camp has a quality about it that you can feel as you enter. The staff is top notch, very good role models and care takers. They show empathy and kindness, a broad spectrum of human emotion that men may sometimes hide in the general public. It is a wonderful place for the boys to build their “soft skills”. We are yet again very thankful that William has had the opportunity to spend a month of the summer in your care. He is happier, healthier and more content. Ponacka helps William get through the other 11 months. We are blessed to be able to send him, he will be back again next year.

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!

Christine & Tico

Midland, Canada

I love camp Ponacka. I loved everything.

Elliot

August Camper

I really liked pottery, woodworking and archery. It was way more fun than I thought it would be and I wasn’t homesick.

Pierce

August Camper

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.

Nick & Nicola

Kitchener, Canada

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!

Kitty & Dana

Toronto, Canada

Thank you so much! Pierce had an amazing time and has been talking non-stop about all of the fun things he did and what he learned at camp. We are so proud of him and so thankful for everyone at camp who made his first year at Ponacka such a success. He told us he missed camp the first night he was home! He felt safe and had lots of fun even though it was his first time away from home. Thank you for the extra support you gave us, the home visit, the emails, the discussions at the alumni weekend and the camper info night at Leaside Arena. All of it combined gave me the confidence in camp that I needed to join Rob in encouraging him to take the leap and go to camp. He lights up every time he talks about it. We are thrilled! Pierce told me we need to “Eat the Frog” and complete this right away!

Andrea & Rob

Toronto, Canada

It was our first year so we didn’t know what to expect. Elliot came back so happy and excited. I would have liked more communication from the camp while he was there – at the same time I understand why you don’t do it.

Andrea & Gordon

Toronto, Canada

Once again Parker had an awesome time at camp! Overall, it appeared that despite the terrible meals (only on trip) the canoe trip was a great success for him. Having a sense of knowing he can endure has definitely increased his confidence. Also he loves PHL and PBA. Excellent leadership and quality of staff. It’s funny, it doesn’t appear to be the organized discussions that have the most impact, but instead the bonding that happens off line, in down time. Great laughter and inspired to try to new things, like guitar. So overall, it’s your leadership Don and Anne together with your young leaders that so helps enrich Parker’s life and why he keeps coming back. Thank you again for giving him this wonderful opportunity and experience. It’s life changing.

Netty

Toronto, Canada

Alex came back from camp all enthusiastically. He thanked us for having sent him to camp all these years – and we remember that he didn’t like it the first few years. So the persistence paid off and we are very grateful. Each time after camp Alex has grown as a person. He comes back very kind and helpful. This must be linked to the quality of the staff. Louis seems to have been the youngest, but I think he did fine. Just after returning, he said that camp was “good”. That’s already quite high praise for him – he’s a critical mind. I had no doubt that he’s always been in good hands. Another great year at camp for Olivier. Many thanks, I think Olivier is ready for the 4-week camp next year.

Lori & René

Toronto, Canada

The Importance of a One-Month Experience

At first the thought of 4 weeks away sounded like a really long time for our “little boys” but once there it is clear why this is an essential part of the Ponacka program.  

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.

Kim Morrison

Camp Doctor, 2007-2016

Kim with sons Aaron and Corey