376 Ponacka Road
Highland Grove, Ontario,
K0L 2A0

Contact name:
Don Bocking & Anne Morawetz

Phone number:
(705) 748-9470×


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376 Ponacka Road, Highland Grove, Ontario, K0L 2A0

Overnight camp
Traditional (multi activity)
$2,050/2 weeks
7 to 15
All Boys

Get more information

Contact Name:
Don Bocking & Anne Morawetz

Phone Number:


About this camp


Building better boys since 1947, Ponacka is family-owned, with all home-grown counsellors. Ponacka strives to create an "I count, I belong” experience. Founders Dr. Bruno and Gwen Morawetz described Ponacka as a "happiness factory". Ponacka's philosophy places an emphasis on choice, exploration and the mastery of skills where the individual truly counts.

For over 71 years this formula has been shown to develop both self-confidence and self-reliance, attributes we foster in both campers and staff.  For the first time, in 2018, we look forward to welcoming two fourth generation campers!

The Our Kids review of Ponacka

our take

Founded in 1948, Ponacka has been family run for more than 70 years, providing a wonderful continuity to the programming and the culture of the camp. It was founded very much in the vein of what Taylor Statten was doing at Couchiching and the Algonquin camps that continue to bear his name today. Namely, these programs based in woods-lore and campcraft—all the most traditional camp activities—in order to promote confidence, social interaction, and a set of core values. Then, as now, that's why families turned to Ponacka. The all-boys atmosphere is attractive as well, giving boys a unique space to develop and grow into a sense of themselves and their talents.  

Camp Address
376 Ponacka Road, Highland Grove, Ontario, Canada

Session Calendar

Choose the right sessions for your child. Filter by activities offered or search by dates below.

Activity filters:

Activities available at this camp: (Currently showing 2 of 2 sessions)

Available sessions:

Overnight Camp
Traditional (multi activity)
All Boys
Ages: 8 - 15
Expired 2018
First-aid/lifesaving |CIT/LIT Program|Archery|Basketball|Board Sailing|Canoeing|Fishing|Hockey|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Mountain Biking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Waterskiing/Wakeboarding|Rock Climbing|Ping Pong|Ultimate Frisbee|Arts & Crafts|Theatre Arts|Woodworking|Pottery/ceramics |Guitar|Piano|Wilderness Out-tripping|Rope courses|Wilderness Skills
Overnight Camp
Traditional (multi activity)
All Boys
Ages: 7 - 9
Expired 2018
Archery|Basketball|Canoeing|Fishing|Hiking|Hockey|Horseback Riding/Equestrian|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Soccer|Swimming|Volleyball|Waterskiing/Wakeboarding|Ping Pong|Ultimate Frisbee|Arts & Crafts|Woodworking|Pottery/ceramics |Guitar|Piano|Wilderness Skills

Director's Message


Don Bocking, Anne Morawetz, Laura Bocking, Owners/Directors
Don MSW, Anne BNSc., Laura BNSc. RN

For over 30 years, we have directed Ponacka, taking over from Anne's parents, Bruno and Gwen Morawetz. Bruno purchased the land that is now Ponacka in 1946 and over many years, he and Gwen created this wonderful place, which Bruno described as a "happiness factory".

In 2015, our daughter Laura and her husband Nick, joined the Ponacka team. Laura, having grown up at Ponacka and trained as a public health nurse is a huge support to us and our staff and campers. We look forward to transitioning Ponacka to the third generation. 

Ponacka strives to give every boy a happy camp experience while providing opportunities to learn to live independently, to learn to live with others and make his own decisions. During the four week stay each summer, boys develop authentic and lifelong friendships.

Through the attainment of skills, boys develop self confidence and a willingness to take risks and try new things. Skills learned in childhood provide opportunities for lifelong enjoyment, whether in a sport, music, drama or art.  With over 20 activities, each boy can find his niche, often surprising himself with a newfound passion. Camp is an ideal place to try on the "world at large" independent of family and the comforts of home. Trying new foods, new physical challenges and exposure to a few discomforts (rain on a canoe trip or sore muscles from the ropes course) all help to develop personal growth. 

From the initial contact with the parents, to the home visit prior to arrival, we try to make each boy feel included and a part of the Ponacka family.



Accommodation & Property Details

Property details

Sleeping Accommodations

  • Cabins
  • Platform Tent

Washrooms Facilities

  • Outhouses
  • Showers (indoor)

Sports facilities

  • Archery Range
  • Basketball Court
  • Climbing Wall
  • Horseback Riding Arena (indoor/outdoor)
  • Rope Course
  • Soccer Field


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


Cost & Financial Aid


Cost: $2,050 /2 weeks

Payment Options:

Deposit required with acceptance Yes

Stories & Testimonials



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.


For more information on "Why 4 Weeks?" click here

For more testimonials click here 

From an appreciative Mom, August 2017

“ As the stories unfold, it always astounds me how so much living can be packed into one month. Thanks for fostering and supporting Murray’s individual interests and providing such a warm and caring environment. Murray can’t wait for next year."

Comments from a 5 year camper, August 2017

“Cameron always returns from camp having had an outstanding experience. He says, “I can’t believe that a whole month has gone by already”.

From a first year camper's Dad, August 2017


'Peter had a wonderful time at camp this past summer and is very excited to

return. I think it's the only reason he has agreed to continue weekly

swimming over the winter. Thank you for being such a motivating force."

After camp....

From the time he went to sleep until the moment he woke up he did not stop talking about camp - in fact he is still talking! 

Once again he LOVED his time at Ponacka.

We wanted to extend the warmest of gratitude to you, Anne and Don, because it is clear that without your leadership those boys and the staff would not have even an ounce of the character and joy that they do. Our Jack is so incredibly happy - to the core - after coming back from camp. He soaked up every single moment. Last night at our own back yard camp fire where he made the fire - log cabin and all! - he said, "Dad. Thanks for sending me to camp". When a kid has genuine appreciation for an experience you know it must be an amazing place. He has embraced all the wonderful attributes of being a boy and has returned once again confident and counting the days until he returns! "Next year, four weeks mom"!

Thank you. Thank you.

To his counsellors: Jack absolutely loved and admired his counselors from last year and this year he has once again returned with the same feelings. The beginning and end of each day with your child are moments a parent cherishes, knowing you were there for our boy at those times and knowing you are trying to be the role models we hope him to have, is worth so very much. Jack spoke highly of the two of you and watching you hug him the way you did upon his (late) departure, means more than words can describe.

With warmest regards and deep appreciation.

Learning Independence and Resiliency

Hi Anne and Don

At the end of September Tye was explaining that a few kids had left Dalhousie University because they were home sick. He told me that he was fine because he was used to being away after spending so many summers at camp! He was loving being on his own at school! I was thinking how great it would have been to hear those words way back when Tye was 8 years old and we were sending him away for his first 2 weeks.Thanks for helping to build the much needed confidence kids need to be successful in the real world. Looking forward to seeing you next summer!

Take care, Jackie

In the News


October 15, 2015 - PONACKA TURNS 70!

Since 1947, Ponacka has been in the Morawetz family. Most traditions and values have not changed since its inception! ...


  • Canadian Camping Association/ Association des camps du Canada Associations
  • The Ontario Camps Association Associations
  • The Ontario Equestrian Federation Associations

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Contact Name
Don Bocking & Anne Morawetz

Phone Number:

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