Dining Halls & Meals

Dining Halls are shared spaces where, depending on numbers, many groups can come together during meal time. To ensure everyone has a place to eat, each group will have a reserved set of table(s).

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Dining Halls

There are two Dining Halls within the Pine Crest property; Kekindewin and Winter Lodge. Kekindewin is located at the apex of the property while Winter Lodge is closer to our four-season accommodations. Both are used as a hub for all group visits. It’s the space where everyone can gather together and share stories about all their exciting experiences.

Kekindwein Interior

Kekindwein Interior

Winter Lodge Interior

Winter Lodge Interior


Kekindewin, meaning “a promise to gather again” in Ojibwa, is our main dining hall. Built in 1995 in a camp-friendly style, giant wooden beams, exposed flagstone, and wooden carved animals surround you to create a typical Muskoka environment. Host to a maximum of 270 people, this is our three-season dining hall, located at the highest point on the property.

Winter Lodge

Winter Lodge is the smaller of the two dining halls and has a much more intimate cozy feel. Open year round, it hosts all of our winter groups as well smaller groups when Kekindewin just isn’t enough. Winter Lodge can also be used as a meeting space or shelter from inclement weather throughout the year.


Meals are an essential part of the Camp Pine Crest experience. We recognize that eating away from home can be trying for participants and parents. Our goal is to be able to put as many of your questions aside before you arrive at camp. At Pine Crest, our Food Service is run by an in-house team. All kitchen staff members have their Food Handlers Certificate and have training from allergy Canada (our manager has the allergen training certificate from Traincan). In many cases, our staff were campers at Pine Crest and our team is dedicated to creating the best Pine Crest experience possible.

Our participants' days are packed with activity, and we strive to keep our participants happy and well fueled with nutritious, filling, and delicious food. Our goal is to have lots of options to choose from so that campers can enjoy the food they eat and get the proper nutrition they need. At Camp Pine Crest we strive to meet the needs of all participants whether they are picky eaters, have any dietary restrictions, have a food allergy or follow a specific religious diet. At Camp Pine Crest we believe shared meals can create lasting memories.

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Dietary Restrictions & Allergy Accommodations

Camp Pine Crest is a “Nut Safe” environment and adheres to a strict Anaphylaxis Prevention Policy. We know that many of our participants and staff come to camp with a variety of anaphylactic or non-life-threatening food allergies. All kitchen staff receives training from Food Allergy Canada as well as onsite site-specific training with a focus on safe food handling, cross-contamination prevention and knowledge of allergens. Every staff member on-site has a minimum of Standard First Aid and CPR-C we also review the signs and symptoms of how to spot an allergic reaction.  Every counselor will receive a briefing about the allergies and best ways to prevent reactions about every camper in their cabin.

We require all schools/participants to give Pine Crest the information on their food allergies or dietary restrictions in writing ten days before they arrive on site. This includes a description of the allergy or restriction, the severity, the last time they reacted, if they carry an epi pen, what their symptoms usually look like and how they treat their reactions. When Pine Crest has received all the dietary restrictions and food allergies from a school or camper session the food service director will create a menu and alternative menu that meets the need of those with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

During our summer camp season, our Food Service Director will speak to each child and parent/guardian that will be coming to camp with an allergy.  When possible, we prefer to have a conversation with any students coming in the outdoor center season as well. Depending on the severity of your or your child’s allergy we may choose to completely remove food from the menu during your camper's stay. During this phone call, we will be creating an Allergy Action Plan.  If your camper carries an Epi-pen or another auto-injector, we will remind you that they need to bring two with them. One always stays on them, the other stays at our wellness center.  You are also welcome to send your own food to camp as long as it does not contain nuts.

At Pine Crest, we are able to accommodate many different food allergies, dietary restrictions and religious diets. Things we are able to accommodate are:

  • Vegetarian and Vegan diet
  • Kosher diets can be accommodated with a vegetarian diet only
  • Halal
  • Gluten Free
  • Celiac
  • Dairy/lactose free
  • Egg free
  • Many other diets with discussion

Where possible we remove food allergens from the menu, however that is not possible for egg, wheat, dairy, or soy. It is also important to note that almost all Pine Crest general bread may contain sesame and we do not have a source of fully sesame free bread.


Once a camper/participant arrives on site we have their counsellors bring them to the kitchen to introduce themselves to the kitchen staff. We ask this for several reasons. First, it allows us to put a face to a name to make sure every child gets the right food. Second, it helps the participant feels more comfortable about any food they eat at camp. Third, it shows the participant where they will pick up their food at each meal. Finally, it allows us to go over any steps they need to follow while at camp in person.

Food Allergies on Trip

The kitchen staff work closely with all counsellors to pack and prepare all food safely for every camper/participant with a food allergy. We determine a menu that has the least amount of food allergen possible. If for example, some allergen is still going on a trip such as cheese with a dairy allergy, we ensure that all of that participant's food is packed separately including anything needed for food preparation. All staff members receive instruction on food allergies, first aid, and cross-contamination. The kitchen and wellness staff are always on hand to help.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at camp.pinecrest@ymcagta.org

Examples of food

At breakfast each day we serve a hot option and a breakfast bar. Our hot option includes both a sweet and savory option such as french toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit salad and home fries. Our breakfast bar includes a variety of cold cereals, yogurt, fresh-cut fruit, whole fruit, pastries, and bagels, toast or English muffins along with an oatmeal bar.

Lunches will see a wide variety of options including veggie sticks or a salad on the table as well a salad and soup bar. A few of our typical lunches are:
Greek chicken with pita, rice, tzatziki, roast potatoes and greek salad, a turkey and pesto sandwich with potato wedges and roasted broccoli, or tacos with a variety of toppings including cheese, lettuce, homemade Pico and sour cream with rice and nachos.

Dinners see an expanded salad bar as well as a hot option such as a variety of pasta, roasts, butter chicken, pad Thai etc. Dinners always include water, milk, and a dessert. Dinners may follow a specific theme coordinated with our program team.

Fresh fruit and water are available throughout the day at any time from the kitchen. Campers and participants are encouraged to use a water bottle throughout the day. A mid-afternoon snack is delivered to each skills group for the end of each skills block. 

Evening snacks such as homemade muffins, fresh popcorn, cheese and crackers and fresh fruit with dip are served each evening before bed.

Trip Food

Food on trip is packed and prepared by campers and staff together. Food on trip is a learning experience and a great way for kids to learn about cooking. Food on trip is plentiful and varied. We ensure that there are also plenty of snacks. Food on trip is also geared to the participants tastes though we also encourage all participants to try new food too!

Related Programs



Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

Overnight Camp

Overnight Camp

Contact Us

YMCA Camp Pine Crest
1090 Gullwing Lake Rd
Torrance, ON
P0C 1M0
Get Directions

Outdoor Centre email: pinecrestbookings@ymcagta.org
Summer Camp email: camp.pinecrest@ymcagta.org

Camp Pine Crest Office: 1-877-878-9622
The Camp Pine Crest office does not handle summer camp registration.
Any registration-related changes will need to be sent to the Registration Office.
Registration Office: 1-877-303-2267
Registration Email: register@ymcagta.org