Preparing for Overnight Summer Camp

First time and seasoned campers (and parents!) will have questions about their upcoming summer camp experience. Regardless of the programming you're joining us for, planning ahead is key. Below you will find general information for campers registered in our Summer Overnight Camp Programs at Camp Pine Crest.
Further down, we have dedicated sections for Overnight campers (ages 5-14) and Leadership campers (ages 13-16).
If you can't find the answer to your questions here, please reach out to us and we'll be happy to help.


Camper Code of Conduct

At YMCA Camp Pine Crest our staff are trained and experienced in providing high quality care for our campers, ensuring the needs of everyone are met. We expect that all staff, volunteers, campers and parents are focused on supporting Pine Crest to be a safe environment for everyone, both emotionally and physically.
If a situation arises where a camper threatens the safety or security of another camper, staff member, or themselves, we will make every appropriate effort to inform the parents involved, address the behaviour, and provide a positive camp experience for everyone. However, should disruptive behaviour continue, the child may be dismissed from camp at the discretion of the Camp Director or the designate. The camp will not be held responsible for any costs or provide a refund associated with a camper’s dismissal on the grounds of disruptive behaviour.

Note: In extreme circumstances, a camper may be removed from the camp environment without warning if their behaviour jeopardizes the safety of campers or staff, or where the camper is engaged in illegal activities (including possession of non-prescription drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco products).


Arrival/Departure Day Information

Whether you are dropping your camper off yourself or signing them up to take the complimentary camp bus from Greater Toronto, please find details regarding arrival and departure days.

Arrival Day Timing

Arrival day for all sessions, except Little Critters, is Sunday.

Drop-off times will occur in two sections:
11-year-olds and younger arriver between 11am - 12pm
12-year-olds and older arrive between 12pm - 1pm

If you are dropping off multiple campers, please arrive at the time slot for your youngest camper. Parents and families are invited to drop off their campers with us and move theier camper into their cabin before saying goodbye. We respectfully request that all parents depart by 1pm, as we will be having a sit-down lunch for campers at that time.

Departure Day Timing

This summer, for campers being picked up from camp will be on Fridays between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm For those departing by bus, campers will be arriving in the city between 2:00-4:00 pm.

Travelling by Camp Bus

Busing is available to and from Pine Crest throughout the summer for a fee of $25 each way.
You can registered for bus transportation to camp, home from camp, or both.
Depending on the week, we are offering 1 to 4 stops across the GTA .
Registration for the bus is required as soon as possible, as buses will be canceled if there is low enrollment.

Taking the bus is convenient, avoids extra driving for families, and helps to reduce carbon emissions.
If you are not interested in the bus to camp, please consider booking a bus home as Friday traffic to Muskoka can be quite congested.
The camp bus will be supervised for the full duration of the commute by 1-3 staff members, depending on the number of campers.

We ask that you arrive at the bus stop location at least 30 minutes prior to the departure time listed below.

Please note that bus registration closes May 24, 2024.
After this date, call the contact centre 1-877-303-2267 to see if spots are still available. 

#Bus StopDeparture from City on SundayArrival Time back to City on Friday
1Toronto Scarborough Town Center Centre YMCA9:00 am1:00 – 2:00 pm
2Toronto Central Grosvenor Street YMCA9:00 am1:30 – 2:30 pm
3North York — Hollywood Public School9:45 am1:00 – 2:00 pm
4Mississauga Burnhamthorpe Rd YMCA9:30 am2:00 – 3:00 pm


See below to learn how you can opt-in for bus notifications this summer.

Opt-In for Bus Notifications

This summer families registered for bussing to and/or from camp will have the option to receive bus notifications by a SMS/Text notification system.
In order to receive these notifications, you must opt-in by texting “Y” or “Yes” to the number 978338 at any time.
Ensure you send your text from the phone that you wish to receive bus text updates to. If you have several phones you’d like to receive bus text updates to, we recommend you opt-in on each device.

Camp Pine Crest Summer Staff

All of our staff at Pine Crest are trained to help your camper transition into camp life and be successful while they are here. Our counsellors take part in a week-long training course before campers arrive that trains them in topics such as how to manage homesickness, emergency procedures, group dynamics, conflict resolution, and out-tripping training. Our more senior camp staff take part in two to three weeks of training prior to campers arriving.
Many of our staff have been campers at Pine Crest in previous years and have a thorough understanding of the expectations of our community. In addition to onsite training, all staff must have Standard First Aid and CPR-C, while a large majority also hold National Lifeguarding Society certifications.
Leadership staff are very experienced! This staff team includes many individuals who have been on staff for the better part of the last decade, which means they have tons of experience and knowledge to share. All Leadership staff are very qualified and hold a variety of the following certifications depending on their role:

  • National Lifeguard certified lifeguard
  • ORCKA Basic Instructor
  • ORCKA Tripping III
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid and CPR-C
  • ORCKA Whitewater certifications
  • Swift Water Rescue Technician
  • Wilderness First Responder

The First Day of Camp

When your camper arrives, they will be given a tour of camp and given time to settle into their cabin. All campers will have a 1:1 wellness check with our team, including a lice check.
We will also conduct a mandatory swim evaluation and canoe/kayak dumps (a controlled tip of canoe and/or kayak). This prepares campers for the possibility of “dunking” and keeps them calm and collected if they happen to tip in a boat. All campers will then meet in the dining hall for their first supper at camp!

Health and Safety at Camp

An enjoyable experience begins with a healthy participant. Your child’s good health — physical, social, and emotional — is very important to us. Our programs emphasize careful planning to ensure high safety standards are in place and followed. We are a member of the Ontario Camping Association and many of our YMCA practices exceed the OCA standard. Staff are trained to reduce the risk of and respond to emergencies. All staff hold current CPR and First Aid certifications, and most staff possess additional qualifications depending on their role at camp. Participants travelling over water or swimming are always supervised by a certified lifeguard.

Camper Supervision:

Participants are accounted for 24 hours a day. The vast majority of the time they are directly with their counsellors. However, during clubs and skills they are supervised by other trained staff members. Counsellors sleep in the cabins, and are ready to help the campers if they need anything throughout the night.
For our Junior Leadership and Intermediate Leadership participants (ages 13-15) our leadership trainers sleep in the cabins with them. Senior Leadership (16 years old) is the only year we do not provide overnight supervision. However, Senior Leadership still has cabin checks, curfew and is gender-specific overnight accommodations unless otherwise stated.

Wellness Centre:

Our Wellness Centre serves the health needs of everyone at camp. The wellness staff are in charge of the day-to-day routine of camper health checks before and after canoe trips, delivering medications, and handling incidents and accidents on site.
Our Wellness Director is an experienced healthcare professional who has additional wilderness first aid experience and is joined by a full wellness team each session to provide appropriate medical attention for our camp population.
All participants visit with the wellness staff upon arrival to camp, before and after out-trips, and again before going home.
We advise families to have their children examined by a physician annually; however, a physician’s signature is not required on the Health History Form.
During Arrival Day, our counsellors will ask a series of medical questions to parents and campers. This gives our Wellness Team answers to questions which campers might not know independently. Depending on the answers, we may ask parents to check in with our full Wellness Team while they are with us on site. This includes issues relating to lice, broken bones, or medication.
The Wellness Centre staff will keep you informed about your child’s health, especially in the case of a change in health, a trip to the doctor, or an emergency. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your child’s health while they are at camp, our Wellness Staff will call you back directly to discuss your concerns. In order for us to provide the best care possible for your child, please make sure to be as specific as possible on your child’s health forms.

Illness While at Camp:

When campers start to feel sick, Pine Crest does everything it can to nurse them back to health as soon as possible. If over-the-counter medications, extra rest, or even a hot cup of soup are needed, we will provide those remedies. Camp is a very challenging environment to handle contagious illnesses. For this reason, we work hard to ensure that we know the health of our campers and staff and do everything we can to minimize the potential for spread of illness. It’s our camp practice to treat injury, illness, and infectious diseases as per recommendation of the local health unit.
We cannot list everything that may occur with children; however, for common illnesses or viruses including impetigo or chicken pox, children will be taken to a local clinic for assessment, prescription for medication will be given, and campers will be asked to return home until they are no longer contagious. Unfortunately, we do not have the space or the additional staff supervision to support individual campers for lengthy medical stays in our Wellness Centre and feel that they will be much better supported at home to make a speedy recovery and return to camp.
In addition, having campers with any type of contagious illness recover at home helps us to reduce the potential for spreading illness in our community. Families will be responsible for any costs associated with prescriptions and will not be reimbursed for the time at home.


We try to ensure that at Camp Pine Crest we are a nit-free environment, however individuals may come to camp with lice. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that your child is in good health when they arrive at camp and this includes ensuring they are lice-free. We recommend getting them checked thoroughly for lice within the week prior to camp.
Within the first 24 hours of their arrival at camp, cabins visit the Wellness Centre where lice checks are done by our staff. If lice or nits are found, the child is immediately given a shampoo treatment at camp, their parents will be contacted, and the rest of the cabin is checked as well. By health standards we also inform all other parents of children in that cabin that their child has been exposed to lice.
As per the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, campers should have one shampoo treatment, wait 7 days as recommended, and then have a re-treatment to ensure the lice is gone. Picking nits is also a thorough and necessary process to ensure they are nit-free. In order to check an entire cabin it takes our wellness staff hours to complete and this is time away from the hundreds of other campers and staff that may require medical support.
If you are contacted about your child having lice at camp upon arrival (within 24 hour check), you will be asked to pick them up from camp and after a second shampoo treatment and a medical note saying the lice is gone, they will be able to return to camp. If lice is found during a session, treatment will be done on site, followed by additional nit-picking and follow up to ensure they have not spread or worsened.

Meals and Dietary Concerns:

Meals at camp are eaten together in our dining halls. Each cabin eats together, family style, with plenty of food. Our kitchen staff prepare nutritious, tasty meals and snacks that follow the Canada Food Guide.
Individuals who have special dietary needs will enjoy a supplemental menu modified to suit their needs. These special requests are to be noted on the Camper Information Form prior to arrival at camp. The Food Services Directors will be on hand during Arrival Day and throughout the session if you have any particular concerns about food allergies or dietary questions. As part of our commitment to supporting campers with food allergies and intolerances, our Food Services Directors have formal training in managing and supporting food allergies provided by Anaphylaxis Canada.
For more information see Dietary Restrictions and Allergy Accommodations

Allergies and Anaphylaxis

To help us maintain an environment that is safe for campers with various allergies, we request that parcels sent to campers do not contain any food. If a camper receives food in a package, the office staff will store this food in a safe location and return it to the family when they leave camp. However, if the food may or does contain nuts, it will be disposed of.
For more information see Dietary Restrictions and Allergy Accommodations

Active Lifestyle:

Camp is a very active place. We make sure that all of our campers and staff stay healthy by promoting the regular application of sunscreen and bug spray, adapting our outdoor activities in the case of extreme weather, providing regular water breaks, and ensuring that healthy snacks are available throughout the day.

Supervision of Waterfront Activities:

YMCA Camp Pine Crest has specific policies and procedures related to all waterfront activities to minimize the risk of injury. Most importantly, no swim areas are ever open without lifeguards on duty. Boating is one of our major camp activities on and off site. For this reason, we require that all staff and campers wear a Ministry of Transportation approved personal floatation device (PFD) while boating. All PFDs are provided at camp. If you choose to send your child with their own PFD, please ensure that it is clearly labeled.

Lost and Found:

In a busy place like camp, items occasionally get misplaced. Throughout the camp session, lost and found items are displayed for campers to identify and claim as well as a “Lost and Found Parade” after the last lunch. We will make every effort to return unclaimed items to their respective owners.
However, the camp is not responsible for the loss or theft of these items. The best way to avoid disappointment is to leave all valuable items at home and clearly label each piece of clothing and personal equipment with your child’s first and last name. Parents can view lost and found items on the last day at camp, prior to departure. Unclaimed personal items are cleaned and donated to a local charity in the fall.

Laundry Service:

Our camp packing list suggests sufficient clothing for a two-week session at camp. We do provide a laundry service for campers/participants staying longer than two weeks. Each cabin has a laundry bag that they can drop off on laundry days as a group. Laundry is washed and folded and returned within 24hrs. A special service will be available to accommodate laundry for those campers on canoe trips as well as additional needs such as bed wetting.

The Camp Store

Everyone loves camp merchandise to remember their fond Pine Crest experiences. We have an online store available so you can get your Pine Crest swag year-round or you can visit us in person during the summer. Our store is open for business on arrival day and departure day. We accept cash, cheque, debit, and credit cards at camp. If we do not have an item, we may be able to order it for you.

This year we will offer items like:
• Pine Crest 1L water bottle
• Winter toques
• T-shirts
• Hats
• Sweatshirts
• Fanny Packs
• Postcards
• Pine Crest stickers
• Alumni gear
• YMCA Camp Pine Crest History Books

Overnight Camp Information

Within this section, you will find information dedicated to Overnight Camper programs. For campers ages 5-14.

Out-Tripping (Ages 5-14)

As an integral part of the Camp Pine Crest experience, all campers go on an out-trip with their cabin group. We have found from years of experience that canoe trips provide unique opportunities for group development, personal growth, and challenge. We don’t guarantee that all our canoe trips will be bug free and sunny, but we do ensure that they will be a solid bonding experience for all groups! Campers with little to no background in canoeing and canoe tripping will be given instruction and training at camp prior to departure as well as on the trip under the guidance of our experienced staff.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a child will have a positive experience on a canoe trip is to provide them with appropriate clothing and sleeping gear. Please refer to the packing list section below or contact our office if you have any questions. In addition, we have found that campers have more success if they are emotionally prepared for their adventure. We encourage parents to discuss the canoe trip with their campers before arriving at camp.

#SectionTrip LengthLocation
1Bantom (ages 7-9)2 days and 1 nightback lakes (Pine Crest property)
2Junior (ages 9-11)3 days and 2 nightsback lakes (Pine Crest property)
3Senior (ages 11-13)4 days and 4 nightsSurrounding Muskoka region
4Pioneer (ages 13-14)5 days and 4 nightsSurrounding Muskoka region

This is not an optional part of our programming at Pine Crest.
If a child is unable to participate in the canoe trip portion of their program due to medical reasons, parents will be asked to pick up their child while the group is away on trip as we do not have additional supervision for campers without groups. It is important that campers understand that they will be contributing each day by paddling to get to their destination for the night. They will also participate in some portages; this will require participants to divide up the group gear and carry it between paddles. This is a necessary part of group travel and deeply rewarding for the individual to build their strength and contribute to the team.

Daily Schedule and Program Descriptions for Overnight Campers

Although no two days are the same at camp, below you will see what a day at camp may look like for your camper and program descriptions.

Daily Schedule
7:15 to 7:55 amWake up and Radical Risers
8:05 amMorning Thought/Flag Raising
8:15 am

Breakfast and Daily Skits (Announcements)

9:00 amCabin Clean Up
10:00 amSkill Block 1
11:15 amSkill Block 2
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pmRest Hour
2:30 pmCabin Activities
3:30 pmCabin Activities
4:30 pmGeneral Swim and Clubs
5:30 pmDinner
6:30 pmGeneral Boating and Clubs
7:30 pmEvening Program and Special Events
8:30 pm to 10:00 pmSnack and Bedtime (depending on age)
Radical Risers

Each morning, campers have the option to participate in Radical Risers and jump in the lake! The cabin that attends Radical Risers the most wins a special prize.

Captain Cleanup

Following breakfast each day, campers and staff return to their cabin to participate in cabin cleanup and try to get a perfect score for the entire session from Captain Cleanup. This is a great time for cabin mates to contribute to the cabin and will be assigned roles within the group to achieve high scores. In an effort to maintain high hygiene standards, cabins with repeated low scores may be asked to miss programming in order to clean their cabin.
Cabin groups are challenged to compete against others to get the highest scores for these programs, and have an opportunity to win a prize at the end of the session!

Skill Development

During skills, our campers can work to complete skill levels. Campers are awarded their skill cards on the last day of camp to recognize their hard work and achievements.
The levels are a series of progressive skills that campers can work towards mastery in that particular area. Campers are led in small groups by qualified staff members to earn levels in one of these ten skill development areas (not all skills are offered every session):
• Canoeing:
Campers learn the basics of paddling and have the opportunity to earn Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) Basic Canoeing levels with qualified ORCKA instructors.
• Swimming:
Lifesaving Society and YMCA certified swim instructors teach basic and advanced swimming lessons.
• Archery:
A chance to practice your aim with a bow and arrow at our archery ranges. There will be plenty of opportunities to build your own targets and challenge your friends.
• Kayaking:
Qualified staff provide instruction at the flat-water level, concentrating on basic strokes and kayaking fundamentals.
• Natural Arts:
Get creative at our Natural Arts Centre with wood, clay, wax, paper, leather and beads.
• Outdoor Living Skills:
Build shelters, learn navigation, cook a gourmet meal over the fire, practice for out-trip and much more. Come explore nature with telescopes, microscopes, bugs, gardening, animal tracking, bird watching and exploring the site.
• Snorkeling:
Learn the art and science of this popular diving sport. See what treasures you can find on the bottom of our crystal Clear lake.
• Land Sports:
Get active on land as you learn and play various team sports, lawn games, and field games. You might even have a chance to invent a game or two!
For Senior and Pioneer campers:
• Climbing:
Learn about rock climbing techniques and safety, and experience what both our low and high ropes courses have to offer. (Note that while this skill is limited to Senior and Pioneer campers, all campers are welcome to experience climbing with their cabin groups).
• Sailing:
Try out the winds on Clear Lake in one of our sailboats. Campers will learn how to skipper the boats, right a tipped boat and sailboat set up/maintenance.

Small Group Activity:

For the afternoon and evening, activity choices are made democratically by the cabin group at the beginning of the session, and modified on any given day to meet the changing needs of the cabin. Groups choose from an exciting variety of activities that may include: canoeing games, stand up paddle boards, cooking pizzas in the pizza oven, playing an exciting game of survivor, story time, stargazing, low and high ropes adventure programs, picnic lunches, disc golf, hula hooping, and much, much more!


Clubs are held each day before and after dinnertime. This is a time for campers to choose to go to a skill area they have not tried yet. Weather permitting, there is always a free swim or paddle offered during each club time. Before dinner there is also Natural Arts and Crafts and Archery, while after dinner is Outdoor Living Skills and Land Sports. In both clubs blocks, we also run a camp classic game of GaGa Ball, and have a space for campers to recharge whether that be by reading, drawing, writing letters, etc. Each camper must choose one club to attend, and with clubs of varying energy levels there is always something for everyone!

Packing for Overnight Camp (Ages 5-14)

Packing for camp can be fun for kids! Get your child involved so they can easily recognize their belongings. Since they’ll be away for 3 days to two weeks, it’s very important that they come equipped with all the items needed at camp. It is also helpful to write your child’s name on all of their belongings in case anything gets misplaced.
To assist with your packing, we have provided a suggested list of what to bring.
Canoe trip needs are taken into consideration in the design of this list.

Packing List Based on a Two-Week Session (half for a One-Week Session):
• 1 rain coat with hood (waterproof)
• 1 pair of rain pants
• 1 pair of rain boots
• 1 sun hat
• 1 tube of sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)
• 1 sleeping bag
• 1 blanket
• 1 pillow
• 10-12 pairs of socks
• 10-12 pairs of underwear
• 10-12 T-shirts
• 3 pairs of long pants
• 4-6 pairs of shorts
• 2 long-sleeve T-shirts
• 1 sweater (fleece, wool)
• 2 pairs of running shoes (one for wearing on trip)
• 1 pair of sandals (with ankle strap – no lip-flops will be allowed)
• 2 athletic style swimsuits
• 3 towels
• 2 pairs of pajamas
• 1 toothbrush and toothpaste
• 1 brush or comb
• 1 insect repellent (lotion, not spray, ideally eco friendly please)
• 1 pair of sunglasses
• 1 flashlight/extra batteries
• 1 water bottle (camp also sells Pine Crest water bottles)
• 1 camera
• Soap and shampoo for showers at camp (Biodegradable, if possible, to be easy on our septic system)

Click here for a printable copy of this list.


Campers must bring their own sleeping bags and pillows. If bedwetting is a concern, please note that our staff are trained to deal with this discreetly, working with children one-on-one. Campers are encouraged to ask their counsellors for help, day or night, and every effort is made to prevent accidents. Campers who may wet the bed are asked to bring extra bedding or sleeping bag liners to camp. The camp laundry service is available to quickly launder any bedding. Please make sure this has been noted on the Personal Information Section of the registration form and that you mention it to staff upon arrival.


For children who require eyeglasses or contacts, we recommend that parents consider sending along an extra pair to be kept in the Wellness Centre in case they are needed.

Shoes, Sandals, and Flip-Flops

Because of our natural rocky setting, we encourage campers to bring suitable footwear. We consider flip-flops to be a safety risk and we ask that all campers and staff wear footwear with backstraps. Flip flops are allowed to be worn in the shower house only. Out-trip Footwear Campers: Campers are required to bring two pairs of closed toed shoes for their out-trip. One pair will be worn during the day and will get wet. The second pair will be kept dry for the evenings. We ask for a sturdy pair of shoes to be worn during the day as campers may encounter rugged terrain while portaging or swimming. To ensure your camper’s safety, we recommend an older pair of running shoes over thin water shoes. Closed toe, rubber sole and sturdy sandals are fine as long as they have adequate toe coverage.


All medications are to be sent to camp in their original packages, clearly labelled with the person’s full name and date of birth. All staff and camper medications are locked in a secure space within the Wellness Centre. We ask that you give the medications to the bus monitor, if travelling by bus, and that you give them directly to our Wellness Director on the first day if you’re dropping off your child. If your child wears a medic alert bracelet, we strongly encourage that he/she wears this bracelet while at camp, and that this information is clearly noted on the Health Form.

Optional Items

• Writing paper, envelopes, and pen
• Stamps
• Journal
• Small backpack
• Musical instrument
• Books
• Paddle, PFD or any personal canoe trip gear
• Fitted sheet for a single bed
• Sleeping mat for out trip

What Not to Bring to Camp
At YMCA Camp Pine Crest, we believe that a camp experience should be a return to the basics, where campers can develop a sense of harmony with nature, themselves and others. If any of these items are brought to camp they will be collected by camp staff and returned to the parent/guardian at the end of the camp session. Please ensure the items listed below are not brought to camp:
• Pocket knives
• Matches
• Cell phones
• Electronic toys or devices (e.g. Nintendo DS)
• Personal media players (e.g. iPod, ipad)
• Radios, stereos, CDs
• Food (Nut-Free site)
• Toy guns or water pistols
• Curling irons or hair dryers
• Any other valuables

Leadership Information

Within this section, you will find information dedicated to Leadership program details. As a camper, 13-16, you should read this section over thoroughly with your guardian/parent.

Packing for Leadership Camp (Ages 13-16)

Packing for camp can be fun! It's very important that you come equipped with all the items needed at camp. It is also helpful to have your name on all of your belongings in case anything gets misplaced. To assist with your packing, we have provided a suggested list of what to bring. Out-trip needs have been taken into consideration in the design of this list.

What to pack for camp
  • Bedding — sleeping bag (necessary), pillows, sheets, comforter/ duvet (optional)
  • Eyeglasses/contacts if required (bring an extra pair to leave in Wellness Centre)
  • Medications (to leave in Wellness Centre)
  • 1 water bottle (at least 1 L)
  • 2 pairs of close-toed running shoes (one will get wet on your trip)
  • Optional: 1 pair of sandals with sturdy back straps (note: flipflops are not permitted)
  • Rain coat with hood and rain pants (not windbreaker or poncho style)
  • Sunhat and sunscreen (SPF 30 or above)
  • 4 pairs of heavy socks (wool or fleece — not cotton)
  • 6-8 pairs of light socks
  • 7-8 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of long pants — at least one being non-cotton for out-trip
  • 4 pairs of shorts — one pair quick dry for your out-trip is ideal
  • 4 long sleeve shirts — one recommended to be non-cotton
  • 3 sweaters (fleece or wool strongly suggested)
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 athletic style swimsuits
  • 2 towels
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • 1 toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 2 bandanas or hats
  • 1 brush or comb
  • 1 insect repellent
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 flashlight with extra batteries
Optional for all leadership participants
  • Writing paper, envelopes, and stamps
  • Musical instruments
  • Books, journal, and pens
  • Camera
  • Rubber boots
  • A small backpack for carrying around site
  • Money for night off or after your trip
What not to bring

At YMCA Camp Pine Crest, we believe that a camp experience should be a return to the basics, where campers can develop a sense of harmony with nature, themselves and others. If any of these items are brought to camp they will be collected by camp staff and returned to the parent/guardian at the end of the camp session. Please ensure the items listed below are not brought to camp:

  • Matches or lighters
  • Cellular phones (these will be removed and kept locked in the office)
  • Candy, gum, soft drinks, and junk food
  • Curling irons, hair dryers and straighteners
  • Any valuables
  • Knives of any kind
What to pack for out-trip
Wet Clothes (wearing while paddling)Dry Clothes (wearing at night)
  • 1-2 T-shirts
  • 1 pair lightweight quick-dry shorts
  • 1 pair lightweight quick-dry pants
  • 1 mid-weight long underwear bottoms for Senior Adventure
  • 1 mid-weight long-sleeved undershirt for Senior Adventure
  • 1 long-sleeved undershirt
  • 1 long-sleeved lightweight shirt (to protect from bugs and sun)
  • 1 mid-weight fleece or wool sweater
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Underwear
  • 1 toque and pair mitts/gloves
  • 2-3 pairs of wool socks
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of athletic shoes (these will get wet and must have closed toes and strong ankle support for portaging and walking on wet, slippery rocks)

  • 1 T-shirt
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 1 pair fleece or lightweight pants
  • 1 long underwear bottoms
  • 1 warm fleece or sweater; (heavyweight for senior adventure Leadership)
  • 2-3 pairs wool socks
  • Pajamas or sleeping attire
  • Underwear
  • 1 pair dry shoes (light cotton runners or sturdy sport sandals with a back-strap)

Required personal equipment
  • Waterproof rain jacket with hood and rain pants: very important! Please make sure these are waterproof, not just water resistant; windbreakers and ponchos are not acceptable.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Ensolite pad or Thermarest
  • 1-litre water bottle
  • Headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries
  • Fox 40 whistle
  • Toiletries for your canoe trip

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Lip balm with sunscreen (at least SPF 30)
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen — SPF 60 recommended
  • Bandana
  • Small towel (quick dry chamois style)
  • Biodegradable soap/shampoo
  • Sunglasses

Option Items for Out-trip
  • Journal and pen
  • A good book
  • Camera!! Highly recommended!!
  • Waterproof 30L stuff sack
  • Personal paddle and/or PFD
  • Souvenir money
  • Fishing rod and tackle
  • Fleece or down-filled vest
  • Neoprene paddling socks
  • Neoprene paddling gloves
  • Bug jacket
  • 60L Hiking Pack

Note: Remember to pack a set of clean clothes, shoes and toiletries that will be left at camp to wear and use after your trip!

Out-Trip Details

We have provided information below around common questions and concerns we are asked from parents and campers when it comes to out-trips.
Phone Access on Out-Trips

Most leadership trips travel outside of cell phone service so they carry a satellite (SAT) phone for emergency contact and to stay in touch with Pine Crest. The SAT phone is stored in a waterproof case and carried by one of the trip leaders at all times. Contact with YMCA Camp Pine Crest is scheduled, typically every four to six days depending on the length of the trip. Groups are able to contact camp using their SAT phone at any time in case of an emergency. Calls are kept short, relaying important information only, to preserve the SAT phone batteries.

Emergency Process while on Out-Trip

All of our trips’ staff are trained and highly certified to be able to handle basic emergencies and communicate directly with the camp. Detailed route plans are also completed prior to departure and left on camp property. These plans include possible resources in the travel area and details of emergency response locations and times when evacuation or assistance may be required. In cases where they need assistance, the camp staff on property assist with evacuations and communicate all plans to parents.

Family Contact During Out-Trip

The satellite phone provided to trip leaders can be used for emergencies, but unfortunately family members cannot call. Any mail and/or messages will be at camp awaiting your return. It always feels great to hear from a loved one upon arrival back at camp after a long trip! On our check-ins, we also try to get an update on any exciting things campers have experienced so we can pass this information along to your family. All families will receive at least one email with updates while their participant is out on trip.

Drinking Water on Out-Trip

All of our leadership trips carry a combination of water filter pumps and aqua tabs to ensure that the water consumed on-trip is free from water-borne bacteria. It’s camp policy that all staff, campers and leadership participants treat water prior to consumption and cooking.

On-site Camp Activities

Daily activities for leaders may vary depending on the specific program and level of leadership they participate in. Most programs will involve a combination of the following while you are on site at Camp Pine Crest before or after your trip:

Technical skill development

Canoeing, high ropes, outdoor living skills, you name it. There are lots of staff and peer-led sessions for participants to develop and practice their camp-related technical skills.

Interpersonal Skill Development

Learning sessions will be run in a variety of formats including games and activities followed by debriefs. Staff will direct the learning and conversation to help develop understanding and awareness of interpersonal skills.

Trip Preparation

Our goal is that after a few years in leadership programs all participants can successfully plan, prepare, and lead their own camping trips. To reach that goal we make sure all participants are active contributors to the trip preparation process including route planning, meal preparation, and inspecting and packing gear.


At some point each program will practice giving back to the community with a project they think of and plan, like building a new campsite or repairing gear for others at camp.

Event Planning

Leadership participants get the chance to put their leadership skills to use in practical settings by planning and running events like campfires, reflection activities, and/or daily programs for younger campers.

Classic Camp Activities

What would camp be without all the fun and magic that camps are so well known for? There is a healthy dose of classic camp activities mixed in with the rest of the activities, including sailing, ropes courses, swimming, and more.