Ponacka is a community where each boy truly counts and belongs.
FREEDOM TO CHOOSE
Each camper selects his own activities each day. Only swimming lessons and one week of canoeing are compulsory — everything else is up to him!
We encourage each boy to learn skills at all activities.
Sailing, Canoeing, and Horseback Riding are available as week-long courses.
The rest (including Archery!) are available for sign-up daily.
See A Typical Day for more information.
Time at Ponacka is a precious opportunity to reset—away from devices—and be physically active. Living in the forest, the gentle sounds of water, birds and trees replace the noise of the city.
Months before camp, 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.
Each spring we also host gatherings for Ponacka families in Oakville, Toronto, Ottawa and Mexico City. At these events first-year campers can meet each other, and staff and Counselors-in-Training from the local area.
Each boy is greeted by name when he arrives at Ponacka.
Within the first week of camp, counsellors write to each boy's parents to provide a quick update.
If parents have concerns, we are available via email and phone at all times. We encourage parents of all 4-week campers to visit during our Visitor's Weekend (distance permitting).
“There are certain things a boy can best learn at camp: to fit into a group, to live away from home, to care for himself and his belongings, to depend on himself, to develop initiative. To ‘grow up’. It is important that this learning is accompanied by a feeling of success, a feeling Ponacka aims to provide for each boy, every day. In many ways, the first camp experience is a boy’s first time facing the world at large. At Ponacka, a tremendous effort is made to make this first step enjoyable, happy and successful.”
— Bruno Morawetz, Ph D., Founder
The Ponacka Spirit
The “Ponacka Spirit” inspires gratitude for life, taking personal responsibility, learning forgiveness, humility and an appreciation of the natural world. It is embodied by each staff member and CIT (Counsellor-in-Training), and is both ‘caught’ by spending time at Ponacka, and intentionally taught. One can hear it in “Morning Talks”, where staff share their wisdom each day after breakfast. Overall, the ‘Ponacka Spirit’ is one reason why Ponackians (alumni) say their summers at camp were the highlight of their childhood.