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Camp Big Canoe

1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
Bracebridge, Ontario, P1L 1X3
Camp Big Canoe logo
 

Camp Big Canoe  

1012 Sherwood Forest Rd, Bracebridge, Ontario, P1L 1X3

  • Type:
    Overnight camp
  • Focus:
    Traditional (multi activity)
  • Cost:
    $450 to $600/week
  • Ages:
    6 to 16
  • Gender:
    Coed
  • Main language:
    English
  • Capacity:
    66
  • Programs:
Request more info
  • Summary Profile

    About Camp Big Canoe

    Summer 2023 Registration is now OPEN - early bird discount to Nov 15

    Come explore Camp Big Canoe, an Experience Like No Other! Over 50 years of camping for 6-16 year old children. Sessions from 5 -12 days in length. Outdoor Skills and Leader in Training programs are one month and allow participants to earn OSSD High School credits. Located on 240 wooded acres on the Canadian Shield, in beautiful Muskoka including our private Hart Lake. Experience outdoor living by sleeping with your unit in canvas tents, participating in various activities across the site and taking out-trips. Disconnect from technology & connect with nature. Our families can attest: campers come home more confident, responsible and excited for next summer!

    • Special needs: Not available
    • Religious affiliation:Christian
    • LGBTQ+ friendly community


    COVID-19 Response 

    Camp Big Canoe continues to follow guidelines and advisories set by the provincial government and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in regards to vaccination status and participation in overnight camp activities. While there have been recent changes to safety measures such as capacity limits for indoor spaces and proof of vaccination to enter businesses we as a camp are committed to operating in a manner that is consistent with the latest safety guidelines for COVID-19. Vaccination requirements are subject to change prior to the start of the 2022 camp season. As always, the medical form will require immunization dates, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Additional information will be provided well in advance of the camp season.

    What this looks like at camp: * Fully vaccinated staff * Lower registration numbers to ensure distancing and smaller cohorts can be maintained * Hand sanitizer stations at all buildings and tent-lines to support good handwashing practices * Masking may be required * Activities primarily outdoors in well ventilated areas * Asking all staff and campers that are not feeling well to stay home * Streamlining drop off & pick up procedures to minimize the number of people on site

    View recent COVID-19 updates from Camp Big Canoe


    Camp Big Canoe - profile photo

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Camp Big Canoe currently has 6 programs available.

    Filter Activities


    Name
    Type/Gender
    Specialty
    Location
    Date
    Bus
     Cost
    Email
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 8 - 16
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $630 to $750
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Sewing|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Papier-mache|CIT/LIT Program|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Nature/Environment|Archery|Dodgeball|Gaga|Lacrosse|Soccer|Volleyball|Hiking|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 15 - 16
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $2,040 to $2,520/month
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Jul 03-28 $2,040 - $2,520/month
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Aug 01-25 $2,040 - $2,520/month
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Painting|Papier-mache|Credit Courses|CIT/LIT Program|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Nature/Environment|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Gaga|Soccer|Ultimate Frisbee|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 14 - 15
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $2,040 to $2,520/month
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Jul 03-28 $2,040 - $2,520/month
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Aug 01-25 $2,040 - $2,520/month
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Painting|Papier-mache|Credit Courses|CIT/LIT Program|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Nature/Environment|Archery|Baseball/Softball|Basketball|Gaga|Soccer|Ultimate Frisbee|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 8 - 16
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $735 to $875
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Sewing|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Papier-mache|Nature/Environment|Archery|Dodgeball|Gaga|Lacrosse|Soccer|Volleyball|Hiking|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 8 - 15
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $1,140 to $1,380/2 weeks
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Jul 17-28 $1,140 - $1,380/2 weeks
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Aug 14-25 $1,140 - $1,380/2 weeks
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Sewing|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Papier-mache|CIT/LIT Program|Empowerment|Leadership Training|Nature/Environment|Archery|Dodgeball|Gaga|Lacrosse|Soccer|Volleyball|Hiking|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming
    Overnight Camp
    Coed
    Ages: 6 - 9
    Traditional (multi activity)
    $425 to $525
    Bracebridge, ON
    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd
    Jul 28-Aug 01$425 - $525
    Ropes Course|Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Sewing|Storytelling|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Papier-mache|Nature/Environment|Archery|Dodgeball|Gaga|Lacrosse|Soccer|Volleyball|Hiking|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Swimming



    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes

    Discounts

    Discount if paid in full $100
    Discount for 2nd child $200
    Discount for 3rd child $400
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Camp Big Canoe

    our take

    Camp Big Canoe began in 1931 as Camp Ahshunyoong, founded by the York County Boys’ Work Board. It was a product of its time, though grew and developed considerably through the years. It moved twice and in 1965 ownership was transferred to the United Church of Canada, which has run the program ever since, having moved to the current location on Hart Lake in 1968. One thing that has remained since the very beginning is the goal of providing a place of community and belonging, a place where young people can grow and learn together into a shared set of values. It reflects the tried and true traditions of camping, including camp craft and tripping. The site is extensive, and if you have an idea of what an overnight camp should be, this is it. The facilities have been updated over the years, and the site maintained in such a way as to keep a close interface with the surrounding natural environment as well as the camp’s long-standing traditions. A wealth of all-camp programs during the evening are a plus, bringing everyone together for active events as well as three campfires per session. Cheese House is the camp’s take on talent night, and it provides something of a touchstone for the programs; it's an opportunity for campers to get out of their comfort zones presenting songs and skits to the group as a whole, and likewise being supported and encouraged by the group. In so many ways, that and the other programs are precisely what camping is all about.
     



    User reviews of Camp Big Canoe  — Read all 6 reviews


    Going back
    Parent feedback form - summer 2019 (Parent)

    He had a wonderful time and wants to return for two weeks next year.

    LOVED his leader
    Parent feedback form - summer 2019 (Parent)

    "Our son said he LOVED his camp leader. I believe his name is Nick and it was his leaders first year. J said he did a fantastic job!!"

    Growth in confidence and self-esteem
    Parent feedback form - summer 2019 (Parent)

    Our daughter had so many great things to say about her counsellors and the camp activities. We really noticed how much her confidence and self-esteem has grown by having the opportunity to attend Camp Big Canoe!

    Camp helps with anxiety
    Parent feedback form - summer 2018 (Parent)

    "Keep doing what you are doing! This camp is amazing and beneficial in so many ways. _____'s anxiety that he copes with on a daily basis has been helped so much by this camp. His confidence and future goals are being shaped by the friends he has made there and the leadership he gets and is now learning. Well done and we can't wait for his little brother to join next year. ... Read More

    More confident
    Parent feedback form - summer 2018 (Parent)

    Is it weird that I feel more confident Mom? Silent fist pump from Mom!

    Saw a beaver
    Parent feedback form - summer 2018 (Parent)

    My child's best memory of camp was seeing a real live beaver in nature! A definite highlight for her. She had a great time at camp this year.

  • Location & Site Details

    Address

    1012 Sherwood Forest Rd, Bracebridge, Ontario, P1L 1X3, Canada



    Busing



    Accommodations

    Sleeping Accommodations

    • Platform Tent

    Washrooms Facilities

    • Flush Toilets
    • Showers (indoor)

    More details about accommodations: Cabins are used for staff and rentals. These have electricity, heat, flush toilets and showers in them.

    Are meals provided? Yes

    Is Camp Big Canoe technology free? Yes We ask that campers leave their technology at home in order to be present and enjoy their wonderful surroundings and new friends!



    Property Details

    Sports facilities

    • Archery Range
    • Rope Course

    Landscape

    • Beach
    • Forested Area
    • Lake/Pond/River
    • Nature Trails
    • Open Field

    More details about property: Camp Big Canoe is a unique site situated in the diverse region of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest. With 240 acres all to ourselves, we boast our very own lake, Hart Lake, where all our water activities take place. Within the site there are numerous areas the campers will become familiar with, divided mostly along the lines of “Top of the Hill”, “Bottom of the Hill” and “Tentlines”.



    Rentals & Services

    Available for private rentals: Yes
    We have space available for rental on some weekends in May & June, as well as both week days and weekends during September and October. You can stay in our cabins and rent the lodge for group gatherings and meals.


    Associations

    Ontario Camps Association Associations
    Canadian Camping Association/ Association des camps du Canada Associations


  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Erin Miles, Executive Director
    20+ years in Camp Leadership and Hospitality Management

    I am excited and honoured to be the Executive Director at Camp Big Canoe, continuing to build upon the deep legacy of the 86 year history of camping.

    The values of Camp Big Canoe resonate with my experience at camp. Personal growth, building meaningful relationships, living faith…

    – Erin Miles, Executive Director of Camp Big Canoe

    I have a wealth of experience working at summer camps across Canada for many years. Starting as a lifeguard, I worked my way up to many Director roles, and now will be leading our outstanding Directing team at CBC. In addition to camping, I  also run my own First Aid business, a great skill set to bring to camp. My previous experience in camp directing includes being part of the leadership teams at Camp Kintail, Huron Feathers, The Forum Summer Rollerskating Camp, Camp Manitimono, Camp Kannawin, Canadian Adventure Camp, and Camp Ganadaoweh. My experience at these wonderful camps allows me to set Big Canoe up for success this summer and beyond!



    In the News

    October 20, 2022
    2023 Registration Open - Early BIrd Deadline: Nov 15

    Register for a summer of fun now! Take advantage of the early bird discount before November 15. ... Read More

    May 6, 2022
    Label packs with our logo - now available!

    Make sure you go home with everything you brought to camp! Order our logo labels from Mabel's Labels and support the camp at the same time.... Read More

    May 6, 2022
    Earn High School Credits in our Leadership Programs

    Our Outdoor Skills & LIT programs offer campers the opportunity to earn different high school credits. ... Read More



    Stories

    • The Circle of Camper to Staff

      My first time enrolling in Camp Big Canoe, I was very nervous about going. I was 11 years old, much older than many first-year campers; I knew no one at camp and had very minimal sleep-away camp experience. However, the second I arrived for my camp session, my anxiety imminently went away. All of the leaders and campers were incredibly welcoming to me, it was evident that the staff cared about my while-being and happiness, wanting me to thrive and grow in the spaces provided. The leaders tried their best to make the camp fun and welcoming for all participants every day. Throughout my first week at camp, I was immersed in many great activities; got to canoe for the first time, go on an out trip with my unit, share great meals and laughs with my new friends, and spend my last night at a beautiful banquet to celebrate all the friends and memories I made. I left feeling like a valued member of my new camp community, and joyful that I had the experience of meeting so many great people and doing such amazing things at Camp Big Canoe. After my first experience, summer camp became an annual ritual for me and something I looked forward to every year. I continued making friends and great memories through my camp years, with many camp friends I still talk to today. 

      Currently, I am 17 years old, becoming a first-year staff member six years after I first went camping. I am so excited to spend the summer in a great place, with people I genuinely love. I hope to help recreate the same amazing experiences I had at camp with new and returning campers. Camp Big Canoe will always have a special place in my heart. I am ecstatic to go back, and give back, creating a great and welcoming experience for the new generation of campers!

       

    • Rooted in Camp

      When I was a junior camper I didn't understand why staff didn't always come back, when I began to grow older throughout my years at camp I realized that each summer I fell in love with the new values that each year's new staff brought to camp big canoe, but as I matured I realized that the whole thing works in a system, like a family tree's roots within the ground, I realized that those roots were the first councellors who ever worked at Camp Big Canoe and first created that spirit that they rooted within those first campers that first year and as it grew although those first councellors no longer came to camp they helped teach the young campers the true spirit and that spirit and passion grew each year. The first year I went to camp and the second and third I made friends with councellors I thought would stay at camp forever and when they stopped coming I saw it as a loss, but as I grew I realized that those councellors taught the spirit to the campers who then gained the dream to be a councellor when they grew up. When I realized this I no longer saw it as a loss I saw it as growth, as I learned in my culture, we teach the younger ones as they shall teach the younger ones after them and so on, we share our joy and knowledge with those younger campers and they grow up to have roots as strong as ours and teach the next generation our love for CBC and when I realized this I noticed that the councellors who came back didn't cry tears of sadness they cried tears of joy for seeing all of the new traditions rooted in with the old, as each new camper, leader, skill and councellor brings something to CBC and I am honoured to be given the position I have at CBC and am excited to live it and then teach more the spirit of camp and step back and see what it's like to come back and visit and see it's growth. Sincerely yours Sonya-Jade Saturday March 4th 2017

      (submitted for sharing - April 2022)

    • Stage Fright

      I had the worse case of stage fright when I was younger. If you had asked me to speak  in front of the whole school or perform a play in front of a large group of people, I would have  been terrified. I spent my first session at Big Canoe in 2008 and remembered dancing around  my very first campfire for the fast songs, singing about the muffin man, Bazooka Bubble gum,  and brown cars. Then the sun started to set, and everyone took their seats for the slow songs.  Guitars were brought out, bagpipes, bongos, trumpets, but I fell in love with the Ukulele. As  soon as I got home, I begged my parents to get me one. Sadly I had trouble committing to  instruments, so my mom wasn’t going to buy me something I would lose interest in and they  had a point! Something was different, and I was ready to save up and work hard to buy my first  plastic ukulele at Toys R Us. I practiced and practiced, prepared to go back next summer for  an entire session and pull out my incredible new talent of playing Riptide.  

      I was too scared to sign up at the first campfire, but over the course of the first week, I  had made a bunch of new friends and got to know every staff member telling some of them  how badly I wanted to play the ukulele at the campfire, but I wasn’t going to because I was too  nervous. One of my councellors offered to sing a song while I played the ukulele. After that  summer, I gained more confidence at every campfire and cheese house and eventually slowly  got over my stage fright, and I have Camp to thank for that. I have traded the plastic toy  instrument for a real wooden one and still practice it every day. You will be able to see me play  at campfires this summer with my instrument in hand and I can’t wait to see you there. 

       



    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does Camp Big Canoe have good reviews?
    We've collected reviews from past attendees. Read 6 reviews of Camp Big Canoe here.

    What types of programs does Camp Big Canoe offer?
    Camp Big Canoe runs: Traditional (multi activity) overnight camps. Browse the program calendar for rates and dates.

    What age does Camp Big Canoe start?
    Camp Big Canoe has programs for children aged 6 to 16.

    How much does is cost to attend Camp Big Canoe?
    Fees to attend Camp Big Canoe range from $450 to $600/week.

    Does Camp Big Canoe offer support for children with special needs?
    Camp Big Canoe does not offer support for children with special needs.

    Does Camp Big Canoe offer busing?
    Yes, Camp Big Canoe offers transportation. Find busing info and fees here.



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