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Camp Northway/ Wendigo

Lock Box 10003 Huntsville, Cache Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, P1H 2G7

  • Type:
    Overnight camp
  • Focus:
    Traditional (multi activity)
  • Cost:
    $1,415 to $1,670/week
  • Ages:
    7 to 16
  • Gender:
    All Girls, All Boys
  • Main language:
  • Capacity:
  • Programs:
Request more info
  • Summary Profile

    Camp Northway/ Wendigo answered our questions

    Who are you as an organization?

    Northway is Canada's oldest summer camp for girls, founded in 1906, and located on beautiful Cache Lake in Algonquin Park. We offer a traditional camp program with a strong canoe tripping emphasis, taking advantage of our world-class paddling location. Girls aged 7-16 form lifelong friendships. Wendigo is a small camp for older boys (age 12-16) dedicated to overnight canoe tripping throughout Algonquin's 7600 square km of protected wilderness. Boys are involved in every facet of a canoe-trip, learning how to pack out a trip, paddling and navigational skills, the value of efficiency and ingenuity in setting up camp and outdoor cooking. Wendigo's program helps boys develop canoe-tripping abilities while learning teamwork and leadership skills

    • Special needs: Not available

    What do you do differently or uniquely well?

    "Northway has changed very little since it was founded in 1906--campers still live in large platform tents-3 girls with their counsellor; we still get our drinking water from a drilled well with a handpump, and have no electricity. Our founder's philosophy that girls should learn how to live simply in the outdoors and that the absence of appliances and luxuries would give campers a wilderness experience which they might draw upon throughout their lives still guides us, and is perhaps more relevant today than ever before. We believe the ideals of canoe-tripping—friendliness, lending a helping hand, and creative adaptation in a group—are a template for life in camp and throughout adulthood."

    Who are your staff and counsellors?

    "Many of our staff are long-time campers before joining the ranks of our staff team. We have a 3:1 camper:staff ratio in camp, and a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio on canoe trips. All staff have First Aid training and at minimum the Bronze Cross swim certification; canoe trip guides have Wilderness First Aid certification as well. Our small camp size, and high camper-staff ratio means everyone at camp gets to know everyone else, and our counsellors interact with all campers regularly, creating a welcoming and friendly community. Our staff are great advocates for our nature-based camp life, and share their passion for Algonquin Park while helping to create strong, independent girls."

    What do families need to know about registration?

    "Signing up for camp is easy; simply click the link to our online application site: and create an account for your family. The site will walk you step-by step through the application process. We require a deposit of $600.00 to confirm your child's spot at camp. "

    COVID-19 Response 

    We at Northway and Wendigo have been overwhelmed by the messages of support we received from our camp family since the spring of 2020. While our historic 115th Anniversary had to be delayed, we celebrated that special milestone during Summer 2021.

    We are excited for our 2022 season, and will be following any guidance provided by Public Health, the provincial government and the Ontario Camps Association to create a safe and happy summer for everyone at camp.

    For more details, please check our website for our latest updates.

    Please reach out to us if you would like to talk or have any questions.

    View recent COVID-19 updates from Camp Northway/ Wendigo

    Camp Northway/ Wendigo - profile photo
  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Programs and Sessions Calendar

    Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; Camp Northway/ Wendigo currently has 9 programs available.

    Filter Activities

    Type (Gender)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Vocal Training / Singing|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming
    Ages: 7 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (All Girls)
    Traditional (multi activity)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Vocal Training / Singing|Musical Theatre|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming|Cycling|Hiking
    Ages: 7 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (All Girls)
    Traditional (multi activity)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Vocal Training / Singing|Musical Theatre|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming|Cycling|Hiking
    Ages: 7 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (All Girls)
    Traditional (multi activity)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Vocal Training / Singing|Musical Theatre|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|CIT/LIT Program|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Cycling|Hiking|Canoeing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming
    Survival skills|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Swimming
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 12 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (All Boys)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Swimming
    Ages: 7 - 16
    Overnight Camp
    (All Girls)
    Traditional (multi activity)
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Vocal Training / Singing|Theatre Arts|Arts & Crafts|Drawing|Painting|Nature/Environment|First-aid/lifesaving |Canoeing|Cycling|Hiking|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming
    Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Nature/Environment|Canoeing|Swimming

    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes


    Discount for 2nd child 10%
    Discount for 3rd child 10%
    Discount for 4th child 10%
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Camp Northway/ Wendigo

    our take

    Northway is the oldest girls camp in Canada, having been founded in 1906, and much of the camp’s charm comes from the long-standing traditions and the overall approach to the camping experience. It’s hard to imagine a more traditional camp than this: paper and envelopes are listed in what to bring, and campers really do write real letters home. iPods, jewelry, cell phones, and valuables aren’t allowed. When campers arrive, they are really here, immersed in all the priorities of the camp: spending time together, singing together, and experiencing something different. It’s not a time capsule, but rather a place that has stayed absolutely true to the ideals that it was formed around. And it’s as charming, and charmingly beautiful, as any summer camp you could ever hope to find. The programming is strong and varied, though the experience of place is the focus. The campers stay in canvas, cabin-style tents, and they spend their time doing the most traditional activities: canoeing, sailing, tripping, reading, making crafts. The current director, Brookes Prewitt, came as a child in 1951 because his mother was camp director, and he’s been at Northway literally every summer since. That’s a run of 66 years. His mother was director for 26 years prior to him. Wilson, Brookes’ son, first came to camp when he was three months old, and he’s been there every summer since, taking various leadership roles along the way. That’s pretty great too. Girls who have attended Northway know that they’ve participated in something quietly unique, which is an experience which unites them, even much later in life. 

    Editor's Review

    Three Things: Camp Northway/ Wendigo
    Hear the three things that Our Kids’ editors see when they look at Camp Northway/ Wendigo

    Questions for the Director

    • 00:31 - What is unique about your camp?
    • 01:23 - What type of child is successful at your camp?
    • 02:15 - Is the schedule structured or is it more open?
    • 03:54 - How do your staff deal with behavioural issues?
    • 04:50 - What do campers value most about their experience at the camp?
    • 05:51 - What message do you have for new campers?
    • show more

    Insider's Perspective: Parent

    • 00:31 - What's unique about the program at Camp Northway that made you want to enroll your child there?
    • 01:25 - What was your daughter's first impression?
    • 01:44 - What does your daughter like the best about Camp Northway?
    • 02:50 - How Camp Northway taught your daughter to be more socially courageous?
    • 03:48 - How Camp Northway taught Emilie's daughter to be more independent?
    • 04:30 - Emilie's advice to parents hesitant about sending their children to overnight camps
    • 05:56 - What tips or suggestions would you give to other parents to get the most out of Camp Northway?
    • 07:31 - What would you tell other parents about the overall value of Camp Northway?
    • show more

  • Location & Site Details


    Lock Box 10003 Huntsville, Cache Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada



    Sleeping Accommodations

    • Platform Tent

    Washrooms Facilities

    • Outhouses

    More details about accommodations: Campers live in large platform tents.

    Are meals provided? Yes

    Is Camp Northway/ Wendigo technology free? Yes Cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc. have become a part of daily life for many children. When surrounded by this technology “bubble”, it is difficult for them to see how it impacts their lives. In such a hectic world, it is a rare opportunity for kids to step outside this bubble and engage with new friends face-to-face. To nurture this opportunity, we do not allow cell phones and iPods at camp. These items can greatly detract form the wilderness experience. Cell phones may not be used as cameras at camp. Camp is an opportunity for your child to have a break from all the technology that is ever-present in her/his life throughout the rest of the year. As a child’s dependence on electronic entertainment and communication increases, so does the importance of time away from it. Camp is an opportunity for your child to grow and experience greater independence and autonomy. They will form friendships with other campers that will last a lifetime. Keeping the camp environment free of distracting electronic devices will help this special bonding experience.

    Property Details


    • Forested Area
    • Lake/Pond/River

    More details about property: Northway and Wendigo are located on a peninsula on Cache Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park.


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

  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Brookes and Joan Prewitt; Wilson Prewitt, Rebecca Prewitt, Owners/Directors
    Brookes: BA (Hons), York University; LLB, JD, Osgoode Hall Law School; Director since 1976; Joan: B. Comm (Hons), University of Guelph; BEd Brock University; Director since 2005

    During Northway’s 110-plus years we have remained committed to our small size of just 51 girls.  Each camper is an important part of camp life.  Lasting friendships form where girls have the opportunity to spend time together in the absence of today’s constant exposure to technology.

    Our wish for girls to live in and appreciate the beauty of nature is accomplished at our extraordinary location in Algonquin Provincial Park.  Algonquin provides an ideal location for our small, two-canoe, 6-person out-trips.  With a large staff presence, girls are able to gain confidence, independence, a sense of community and wilderness skills that will last them a lifetime.

    Wendigo provides a unique opportunity for older boys interested in canoe tripping to spend their time in a small group setting exploring Algonquin Park.  Wendigo emphasizes teamwork, canoeing skills, self-confidence and creating a connection with our natural, wilderness environment. 

    We look forward to welcoming your child to our Algonquin summer home.


    • Camp Birthday
      On the last night of camp, Camp Birthday celebrates another wonderful summer at Northway. Campers and staff enter the dining hall under an archway of paddles decorated and held by the Wee Woodsmen. A special dinner that includes birthday cake and ice cream is followed by singing, awards, and skits. The evening ends around the campfire with a gift exchange. Names are drawn (but kept top secret!), and gifts are made with items available at camp--from the craft house and the forest's natural media.
    • Drama--Alice in Wonderland
      Our talented counsellors produce 2 full musicals each summer. Impromptu playlets, one-act plays and skits are also a part of the drama program. The girls use their creativity to decorate the outdoor amphitheatre for the many plays. Alice in Wonderland, complete with dancing lobsters, was one of our most popular plays. In the past, other plays have included Annie, Grease, The King and I, My Fair Lady, Oliver, and The Wizard of Oz.
    • Welcoming Home Trips
      Canoe trips are the most special and loved of all activities. Over the decades that campers have been singing "Au Large Trippers" to each trip as they leave camp, Northway has developed an unmatched style, spirit, and skill in canoe tripping. Three campers, one counsellor and two guides set off in two canoes for 2 to 10 days to explore Algonquin Park, one of the finest wilderness areas in North America. The planning of trips is always a well-guarded secret and no camper ever forgets the thrilling surprise when her trip counsellor touches her on the shoulder at breakfast and invites her on a trip that will leave that day after morning council. When trips return, campers gather to form a kick-line on the dock and sing to welcome the trippers back to camp.
    • Canoe Restoration
      Each summer campers have the opportunity to assist Jim Spencer, Director of Camp Wendigo and a local canoe builder, in the restoration of a wood-canvas canoe. Girls help in all aspects of the work--bending ribs, replacing rotted wood, caning seats, and as in this picture, stretching the canvas.
    • Annual Visitors
      "The year I turned 14 my mother suggested that we think about Camp Northway for the summer. I knew that this was a place of great importance to my mother, but did not know what to expect. She was careful not to push me too hard for fear that I might build a teenage aversion to it. I loved it right away. Through the course of the nearly 10 years I was a camper and counsellor, I made some of the best friends of my life. There is something about sharing that experience, in that setting, that makes it an extraordinary place. Over the years, my desire to return has turned into a sort of annual pilgrimage to Family Camp. A few years ago, I met a man in Boston who just happened to go to Wendigo back in the 80's. He felt the same sort of connection to the place, and now my husband and I make the same pilgrimage together."
    • Camp Memories
      "The faint breakfast call rings in my ears as I stumble to the dining hall. I smile broadly as I see pancakes sitting at each wooden table. Pancakes are my favourite. I wolf them down, drenched in maple syrup. My eyes scan the dining hall, and I realize that many girls are being asked out on trips. Their eyes dance with excitement and they shriek yes. Trees surround me, making me feel small, and roots poke up from the dirt ground. I can see the glimmering lake between the trees. A loon calls faintly in the distance. Rain patters on my tent roof, as I come back from wash dips. I peek my head outside when I am changed into clean, fresh clothes. A hazy mist slowly inches towards the lake. I pull on my rain jacket and run to play practice. I rush with excitement into the sheltered building. The rain has stopped, leaving puddles of muck everywhere, obstacles I have to dodge when I'm running to dinner. Joy floods me when I realize that dinner is pizza. After, I go back to my tent and get ready for campfire, and join the herd of girls walking to the library. A blazing fire in the corner of the wooden lodge warms it. When campfire is over, I make my way back to my tent. The thousands of stars above me glimmer and glitter against the jet-black sky. The pale moon is full and big, as it reflects perfectly on the deep blue lake, here at Northway."
    • A Parent's Perspective
      "When I came back to camp after 30 years to visit my daughter there, it was just the same as when I was there in the 50's: no electricity, no running water, no radios, only the sound of the wind in the trees, the water lapping on the shore, the girls laughing and calling out to each other. Because it's the same as it was, and because the world has changed so much in 35 years, this is the only thing that my daughter and I have experienced in common. It's a great blessing.
    • Thoughts on Summer
      "Relaxing in wildlife, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing is what we do at Northway. With about 50 campers, a good small number, I know almost everyone in camp. We have friendships that will never break. We sing in tune all the time whether it's at the table, or at the campfire. We go portaging, hiking and canoeing on trips from 2-15 (or more) days, depending on your age. On trips, we cook our own meals, and altogether have a great time. Northway Lodge is a wonderful camp. I can't wait until summer comes!"

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does Camp Northway/ Wendigo have good reviews?
    We interviewed families about their experience with Camp Northway/ Wendigo. Watch the video here.

    What types of programs does Camp Northway/ Wendigo offer?
    Camp Northway/ Wendigo runs: overnight camps. Programming specializes in: Traditional (multi activity) , Canoeing. Browse the program calendar for rates and dates.

    What age does Camp Northway/ Wendigo start?
    Camp Northway/ Wendigo has programs for children aged 7 to 16.

    How much does is cost to attend Camp Northway/ Wendigo?
    Fees to attend Camp Northway/ Wendigo range from $1,415 to $1,670/week.

    Does Camp Northway/ Wendigo offer support for children with special needs?
    Camp Northway/ Wendigo does not offer support for children with special needs.

    Does Camp Northway/ Wendigo offer busing?
    Yes, Camp Northway/ Wendigo offers transportation. Find busing info and fees here.

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