Saturday, July 26, 2014

Delayed Bus Today

Hi folks!

This is a quick note to let you know that the bus home from camp today has left half an hour late (30 minutes), at 11:00am. This means that the bus arriving in Toronto, Burlington and Hamilton will be late.

If you have any questions please contact us at 1800-387-5081

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Goodbye Winter!

Well, we've had a wonderful winter up here at camp these past few months! With record temperatures, and record snowfall, all of our participants had their fair share of winter conditions.

We had many different groups here this winter, including international students from all over the world, adult team-building weekends, grade school recreational experiences, high school leadership classes, family camps and more. With over 20 enthusiastic, experienced and knowledgeable program staff, and hard-working kitchen, maintenance and office staff behind it all, we pulled off a great winter 2014 season! Thank you to everyone who visited our site this winter- you made it a memorable one!

The winter program staff team! 

Here are some photos from the past winter we'd love to share with you! 

The broomball court early on....those banks haven't quite built up yet!

 We had a great lake rink this year!

New Year's Family Camp was a blast! 

 Skiing across the lake, tracking a fox!

 Family Camp (east) Beach with quinzee sleeping shelters!

 A rare view from the east dining hall porch.

 Sunrises are always worth it, when you have scenery like this!

One of the first big snows of our winter season...snowshoeing to breakfast! 


Everyone loves a ski across the lake to the ice wall! 

High ropes in the added challenge of more clothing and clunky boots!

 A group of families at March Break Family Camp on a snowshoe trek.

Hot chocolate, marshmallows, and a fire: a great reward to a beautiful ski across the lake at night!


Our kitchen staff sure are talented! Pirates & Vikings theme dinner: treasure chest cakes for dessert!

The ever popular and infamous "umbrella Island"

So now we close off our season with an empty site for about a month with still many inches of ice on the lake, lots of snow (with a new fresh layer just yesterday!), and a quiet dining hall; and we wait in anticipation for the snow to melt, birds plants, and animals to emerge, and soon, for our spring groups to burst onto site with lots of positive and enthusiastic energy! We hope to see you here this spring in some form!

Some of the exciting things we have planned are:
- Outdoor Centre Groups of all kinds!
- Mother-Daughter Weekend  (May 9-11)
- Father-Son Weekend (May 23-25)
- Spring Volunteer Work Weekend (April 25-27)
- Spring Family Camp Volunteer Work Weekend (June 6-8)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Family Celebrations!

Wanakita hosted a Family Day Weekend camp this past holiday weekend!
We had 40 people up here to camp to celebrate family time with their families.

Activities included cross country skiing, snowshoeing, high ropes, low ropes, fort building, skating, the ever popular broomball, and indoor activities like crafts, group games and yoga. We ended it off with a wonderful campfire with songs and stories, and we all had a fantastic time! Thanks to everyone who joined us! We hope to see you all again. To those who didn't attend- perhaps next year!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Transportation Update- Friday Feb 21, 2014

This is to update folks who are trying to get into YMCA Wanakita today: Our camp road is extremely slippery, which may cause a delay in arriving at camp or leaving.

If you are a bus driver or teacher from a school arriving today, please let us know if you will be arriving later than expected (call Andrea Pepe at 1800-387-5081 ex 236), or if you have trouble getting here.

If you are a parent expecting your children either home or to arrive at camp today, we will post on our Facebook page ( when everyone is safely here or have left. Your school should have more information about the status of their bus.

Also note that we have limited staff in the office today because of the road conditions. If you need to speak with someone, call Andrea at the number above, or email

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wanakita Winter Wonderland!

Many people know Wanakita as a summer camp- and only get to see our site in the summer (warm sunny days, an active waterfront, bugs, and long daylight hours). However, we're actually open almost all year long, serving school and other community groups in outdoor education, leadership, recreation and fun! This means cool (or COLD) days, changing leaves in the fall, new spring life, lots of snow and ice in the winter, shorter daylight and learning new skills like cross country skiing, pond ecology, winter ecology etc. All three seasons provide a fun, cozy, beautiful time of year. 

Right now, winter is in full swing here at Wanakita in the Haliburton Highlands! 

January is a busy month for us, and we've had a great mix of groups visit our site!

 Here's a list of some of our highlights:
  • New Year's Family Camp - We had about 60 people (from babies to grandparents) visit for 4 days of traditional winter programs, and a night of dancing and celebrating the new year together!
  • Fleming College - Residence Life re-treat. The don's from the college (Peterborough and Lindsay) visited to partake in some team-building and traditional winter programs (skiing, snow shoeing, broomball, skating on the lake)
  • James Cardinal McGuigan Collegiate High School - The L.E.A.D program came to Wanakita for some team-building and winter programming. They had great fun in the evenings too, letting loose, dancing and having fun, silly times!
  • Alive Outdoors Inc. brought in their first group of the season, the Grade 8's from St. Micheal's College, to our site for a three-day winter program. The group of 120 boys had a great time playing in the snow, as well as doing some team-building and goal setting. They have been bringing their grade 8 boys to Wanakita for over 10 years!
  • Heartlake Secondary School - A new group to Wanakita, they were group of high-school students focusing on outdoor adventure, and even built and slept out in quinzee's (snow shelters) for one night. 

The Wanakita Staff Team: We are fortunate to welcome 16 experienced, and enthusiastic staff to Wanakita this winter, as well as some new senior management. Returning after several years in the outdoor world elsewhere is Andrea Pepe as the Outdoor Centre Director. Returning this winter as well, in the role of Lead Facilitator, is Elspeth Strain. As well, a long time seasonal staff member, Mike Thaler, has joined the full-time team here at YMCA Wanakita in the role of Program Coordinator.

We have lots more groups to visit us this winter season, and we are looking forward to all of them! If you have any questions about bringing a group of your own here to Wanakita, contact us at!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Work Weekend was a Huge Sucess!

This past weekend, while many were indoors, avoiding the cold, wet snowy weather, some of Wanakita's most dedicated past and present staff and campers, friends and family were dedicated to being outdoors, spending their time cleaning up our site! We rely on these wonderful volunteers every year to help us prepare our site for winter. A big thank you to everyone involved!

We put away boats and summer equipment, put out winter equipment, chopped and stacked lots of wood, sanded and painted paddles and show shoes, raked leaves, and lots more! Thanks to the almost 70 people who participated in this fun annual work weekend! We couldn't do it without you! Lets do it all over again in the spring!

 We ended the weekend with some beautiful weather- blue skies and calm water!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall is in Full Force!

Fall at Wanakita is such a treasure! Its unfortunate that most of our clients don't get to experience the beautiful colours, crisp mornings and warm, breezy days that we've been having lately. However, we've had many schools up here so far this fall season, and they've been loving every minute! Below are some images from site! We're enjoying it now, because we know it will fade fast as nature makes way to welcome another beautiful season here at camp.

 The road to the Core!

 Day Camp Central!
 The swamp and WIC (Wilderness Interpretive Centre) building

 Lots of red at camp!

Clear skies and beautiful reflections!

The shores of Koshlong in the fall!

We have a HUGE West beach right now!

Beautiful sunsets in the fall here at Wanakita- East Beach