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FAQ

If your question isn't answered here, feel free to get in touch! Email us at camp.pinecrest@ymcagta.org or call 1 877 878 9622.

Overnight Camp Registration

How do I register for summer programs at Camp Pine Crest?

We highly recommend you register your camper or leadership participant through your My Y account. Please reference our My Y FAQ for support. You can also call our customer service team at 1-877-303-2267.

How is the registration process new this year?

You will notice you no longer will have the options to choose "traditional - male" and "traditional - female" overnight programs. Cabin options for overnight camp will ask you to choose a boy, girl, or all-gender cabin.

What is your definition of 'boy' and 'girl'?

The Y understands that the term "boy" includes cisgender and transgender boys, and "girl" includes cisgender and transgender girls. Please choose the cabin that reflects your child's identity or our all-gender cabin. Please ensure that when you are creating your child's account on My Y that the gender on their profile reflects the cabin preference your child is most comfortable with.

Does Camp Pine Crest offer all-gendered cabins?

Yes! Summer 2023 was the first time we offered all-gendered cabins and we plan to increase the number of all-gendered registration spots for the Summer of 2024 due to its success.

Who can register for all-gender cabins?

Anyone! We understand that gender is a spectrum. The purpose of creating all-gender cabins is to ensure all campers regardless of gender identity, including but not limited to 2-spirit, gender-queer, cisgender, transgender and non-binary youth, can be in a space that they feel comfortable as themselves in, and can connect with others. The bathrooms in the cabins will be available as a binary boy's/girl's, and campers can choose whichever aligns best with their gender or expression. In the bathrooms, there are also door covered toilet and shower stalls for privacy.

Are Pine Cone cabins all-gendered?

For Summer 2024 parents will register their Pine Cone by choosing boy or girl, however the lodges that the Pine Cones stay in will have a mix of both boy and girl rooms. The bathrooms in the lodges will be set up to have one for boys, one for girls, and campers can use the one that aligns with their gender.

Is Financial Assistance available?

Yes. Financial Assistance is available for Summer Camp programs. We are thrilled to increase the maximum family income that is eligible for our financial assistance for this coming summer, AND to increase the amount that we will be awarding to our communities overall.

Please do not hesitate to apply, even if you are unsure if you will be eligible. We will be accepting Financial Assistance applications starting November 1, 2023.

Financial Assistance will be awarded based on needs, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please ensure you apply as soon as possible, to ensure our team is able to assess all applications before registration begins for all summer programs.  
 Make sure when you are applying that you select the area of interest overnight programs.  
Apply for Financial Assistance here.

My Child Is Turning 17 this Year.

If your child will be 17 by December 31, 2022 they will be eligible to apply to be a first-year staff at YMCA Camp Pine Crest! Please have them email PineCrestHiring@ymcagta.org to communicate their interest and we will support them in providing the job postings, when available. Or check out our Employment Opportunities for regularly for job postings. .

Do you offer 1:1 Support?

Yes. At the YMCA, we believe that the camp experience can benefit all children. That is why we work to the best of our capabilities, to provide an engaging, comfortable and inclusive camp experience for campers of all abilities in our camp programs. Additional staff support is given to camper groups, along with 1:1 staff support to individuals who require additional support in order to fully participate, including campers with disabilities. Your camper will be integrated into the cabin group entirely and will attend all programs with their cabin group. If you have a camper requiring 1:1 support, please contact the Camp Office directly at 1-877-878-9622 prior to registering for more information.
Fee: $450/week

What is the cancellation policy?

Request to withdraw from camp can be done through your My Y account before April 30 of the current camp year.  You will receive a refund minus the non-refundable deposit of $200.  No refunds will be granted for non-medical withdrawals received on or after April 30 of the camp season.

If you are withdrawing due to a Medical reason, these can only be done via email and require a medical certificate.  You can send your medical request along with the Medical Certificate to register@ymcagta.org.   You will receive a full refund minus a $30 administrative fee.

Refunds will not be issued in instances where the camper is removed from the camp program at the choice or request of the camper or campers' guardians or is dismissed from camp for contravention of camp guidelines or code of conduct.

How do I register for the bus to and from camp this summer?

You can pre-register online, or by calling 647-439-6611 or 1-877-303-2267 during the initial registration process OR after registering for an overnight camp program you may return to your account and register for your desired bus route.

For the Summer of 2024, registering for the bus will cost $25 each way (financial assistance available).  
 Bus registration will be open until May 24, 2024. We book our busses based on registration prior to this date. After May 24, limited spaces may remain on each route. Late registration is not guaranteed for buses.

What is the new 2024 registration process?

This year we will be offering pre-registration to 2023 families followed by an open registration. 

What does this mean?   

If you attended YMCA Camp Pine Crest in Summer 2023, you will be able to register your camper(s) early this year! We will be opening a set number of spots for registration during aninitial, pre-registration period.  

If you  have an additional  child in your family who you would like to register for the first time, you will need to call the contact center and register over the phone during the pre-registration window.  

Pre-registration is only available online to 2023 returning campers and families.

The number of mandatory questions has been reduced during registration to speed up the process for families with multiple children. 

I am a new family to Pine Crest overnight camp, when can I register?

All new families to YMCA Camp Pine Crest will have an opportunity to register for overnight camp (ages 5-14) starting January 8 when we open a set number of spots after the pre-registration period closes.

Are all cabins at Camp Pine Crest all-gendered?

No. We only offer a select number of all-gender cabins. Other cabins are broken up into boys’ cabins and girls’ cabins.

Where are the bus stops located in the city?

Depending on the session you are registered for, there are two to four locations in the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga YMCA, Central YMCA, Hollywood Public School, Scarborough YMCA) busses are available for all sessions of odd numbered one-week sessions (week 1, 3, 5, 7) and arrival of even numbered one-week sessions (week 2, 4, 6) will only have stops at Hollywood Public School and Central YMCA.

The bus is convenient, avoids extra driving for parents, and helps to reduce carbon emissions. If you are not interested in the bus to camp, please consider the ride home as Friday traffic to Muskoka can be quite congested.

Summer Camp Experience

Where do campers change?

Campers can change in their cabins in designated spaces made private with curtains, or in gender specific washrooms located near by. In the washrooms there are door covered toilet and shower stalls.

Where do campers use the washroom?

Each cabin section has a washroom with boys on one side, girls on the other. Campers use the side they identify with, or can use the washroom in our Wellness area in the main dining hall where we have an all-gender washroom. In each dining hall, there are boys and girls washrooms. In Winter Lodge, we have an all-gender accessible washroom as well.

What does supervision look like in all-gender cabins?

In our boys, girls and all-gender cabins, there is a smaller section with a bunk bed, where at least one camp counsellor aged 17+ will provide overnight supervision. At Pine Crest, all overnight camp programs are supervised 24/7. Senior Leadership participants 16+ are the only age that does not have supervision at all times over night.

What should my camper pack for camp?

Follow the links below to our Preparing for Summer Camp page for detailed packing lists.

Overnight Camp Packing List

Leadership Packing List

I'm nervous about tripping, what safety precautions are in place to protect campers?

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.  All of our trip 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 as well as 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.

Is Out-Tripping optional?

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.

I have concerns about hygiene on out-trip.

First-time campers will have a lot to get used to when adjusting to camp life - and then we go on a canoe trip! It is important to discuss with your camper that they will be using the washroom in the woods and bathing with lake water while on canoe trips.
Our staff are great resources to ensure campers feel comfortable, however, a discussion and a little practice before coming to camp doesn’t hurt - prior to camp! To reduce the waste on trips, groups ration their toilet paper for the group rather than for the individual. Women and girls will be advised of safe and environmentally sensitive ways to dispose of their feminine waste on trip.
Please ensure that if your child wears contact lenses that they bring their glasses for trip, with a neck strap if possible. It is much safer and easier to manage than trying to manage an eye infection later. If your child wears glasses please pack 2 sets in case of an emergency while at camp.

Are there information nights?

Yes. We find that even after reading all the information the camp provides, campers and parents often have very specific questions that can be answered during our Camper Information Day/Nights. Once you have registered, you will receive more information about our Information Day/Nights closer to the date in June, and we will inform you whether it will be held in person or virtually.

As a parent, can I visit camp?

Family Open House is a great way to help your child feel comfortable for their upcoming camp experience. Families are welcome to come to camp for the day to take a site tour, enjoy a buffet lunch, and explore our program areas including the waterfront. Family Open House will be held in mid-June. Keep your eyes out for our emails for more details.
The first day of each session parents are able to move their campers into their cabins before saying their goodbyes while passing the care to our welcoming counsellors. Parents and visitors are reminded that YMCA Camp Pine Crest is smoke-free. This policy affects all buildings, grounds, and programs conducted off-site. We also ask that families who bring their dogs to camp on Family Day keep them on a leash and out of our camp buildings.
We strongly discourage visits to camp during your child’s session. From experience, we find it is harder for children to adjust to camp when they see their parents and also have a much harder time adjusting after they have left. We also find that other children in the cabin have a hard time understanding why all parents are not allowed to attend once there has been a visitor.
For the safety of all children, we do not allow parents to integrate into the camp session. Only under special circumstances will parents be allowed to visit during the session and only with prior consent from the Camp Director.
Please come to camp on Family Day or join us for Family Camp if you’d like to participate with your child.
Family Camp: In addition to our camper programs, we also offer a week of Family Camp every summer. This program is exclusively for families and includes camp activities for all ages.
Please refer to our Family Camp page for more information regarding these programs.

How can I contact my camper while at camp?

We are excited to tell you about our partnership with Bunk1.com! Bunk1 is a secure, easy to use, summer website services that let you stay in touch with your camper all summer. It offers the ability to send your camper one-way emails as well as a photo gallery.

To set up a new account and visit our Online Community:
1. Go to our website at Bunk1.com
2. Click the red “Stay in touch, email your camper” button on the left side of the page
3. Click “Register Here”
4. Your invitation code will be sent to you closer to summer
5. Fill out all the required information
6. Purchase Additional Bunk Note credits (you will need a credit card)
7. Send an email to your camper!

Or send mail to your camper at:
“Camper Name” — “Camper Cabin/Trip Route”
YMCA Camp Pine Crest
1090 Gullwing Lake Road
Torrance, ON,
P0C 1M0

What does a typical day at summer day camp look like?

7:30 – 8:50am: Extended Hours (Dependent on Camp Location) The Extended Hours program provides campers with a variety of activities to choose from such as board games, puzzles, melt beads and arts & crafts.
Please bring an extra snack and re-fillable water bottle.

8:50 – 9:00am: Sign In

9:00 – 9:30am: Opening Circle and Attendance
Campers and staff participate in fun songs, games and camp traditions

9:30 – 9:45am: Transition Time
Campers and staff rotate to their first activity. They are given the opportunity to hydrate, eat a snack, use the washroom and apply sunscreen or bug spray if required.

9:45 – 10:30am: Program Block 1
Campers participate in their first program. For example, campers in science may participate in an exciting science project or experiment. Please note that some groups may combine two program times depending on the activity.

10:45 – 11:00am: Transition Time

11:00– 12:00am: Program Block 2

12:00 – 12:45pm: Lunch

12:45pm – 1:45pm: Program Block 3

1:45pm – 2:00pm: Transition Time

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Program Block 4

3:00 – 3:45pm: Closing Circle and Values Bead Ceremony
The camp day ends with a closing circle and values bead ceremony. Counsellors recognize campers who have demonstrated positive values throughout the day. At the end of the week, campers who have earned all 6 values beads are awarded their gold bead of excellence. On Fridays, the coveted camp spirit trophy is awarded to the camper group that earned the most spirit points.

3:45 – 4:00pm: Sign Out

4:00 – 6:00pm: Extended Hours (Dependent on Camp Location)

What does a typical day as an overnight camper look like?
TimeActivity
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)

Leadership

What is the Leadership Selection Process and how does it work?

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Starting November 13, each participant selects their top three program choices and lists them in order of interest. A link will be shared here and on our Facebook page the morning of November 13 to submit your selections.
  2. Selections must be made by 11:59 pm on November 19.
  3. Once the selection process has closed, the team will take the entire list and randomly assign each participant a number.
  4. We move down the list chronologically and award programs based on availability. 
  5. If the program a participant has listed as their first choice is full, we look at their second choice and if that program is full, we look at their third choice.  
  6. Participants are added to a waitlist for each of their program choices that they are not awarded a spot in. If you are not awarded any of your three programs, you are added to the top of the waitlists for each of your selected programs.  
  7. If a space becomes available, we work our way down the waitlist to fill the programs.
  8. All participants will receive notice from the team if they have been awarded a program to continue with the registration process or have been waitlisted. Notice will be given by email from November 22 to December 13.

NOTE: For participants that are applying for Senior Leadership programs this year, we ask you to sign up for a phone interview time ahead of time.

Due to the nature of our Senior Leadership program and the intensity of some of our trips, we are using this interview to gauge tripping and leadership experience to determine suitability for our more senior programs.   

What does supervision look like for leadership-aged participants?

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 accomodations unless otherwise stated.

General Questions

Are there staff available onsite in the event of an emergency?

Throughout your visit, there will be staff available to assist should you have any issues, questions or if there is an emergency. If you are staying overnight, there will also be a staff member onsite to assist you, if necessary. Upon arrival, you will be provided with our on-call phone number, as well details on how to reach our staff should you need anything. You can find this number posted in plenty of places across site, so it will be easily accessible to you. The nearest hospital to Pine Crest is located in Bracebridge at 75 Ann St, it is approximately a 40-minute drive by car. Alternatively, Orillia's Soldiers Memorial Hospital at 170 Coleborn St W, is roughly 45 to 55 minutes by car.

Can you accommodate visitors with accessibility needs?

Please contact us to discuss any specific needs that your participants or family members may have.

Can you smoke tobacco onsite? What about cannabis?

Tobacco smoking is permitted in designated areas onsite. On arrival, a Camp Pine Crest staff member will let you know where the designated smoking areas are. Cannabis smoking is not permitted, unless proof of prescription is provided.

Can I bring my pet with me?

Unfortunately, at this time, pets are not permitted at Camp Pine Crest, unless they are an identified service animal.

What COVID related safety precautions are you taking?

The health and safety of all our guests and visitors is our top priority. We are closely following and abiding by all Government and Public Health restrictions and guidelines. Currently we are not requiring masks at camp, but we support those that choose to wear them. Our team has also increased the frequency in which we clean and sanitize our indoor spaces we well as high-touch surfaces. If you have any questions, concerns, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us or view up to date details here: https://ymcagta.org/vaccination

Why am I not received emails from YMCA Camp Pine Crest?

There are a few reasons you may not be receiving our emails.  Your My Y account is not up to date with your current email address, your email is left blank under Main Content under your My Y account or typed incorrectly, our emails are being flagged by your email account as spam, or you have flagged an email from Camp Pine Crest in the past as spam.  If you flagged an email as spam or unsubscribed, our email system can no longer send you emails. We would advised that you change your email on your account. 
Looking for more help with your My Y account? Check out these FAQ.

How do I get added to your email list?

Sign up!  Navigate to our contact page and scroll down to the ‘Staying Connected’ section.  Fill out the fields and be sure to check that you want to receive news, updates, and offers from YMCA Camp Pine Crest.

Related Programs

Facilities

Facilities

Leadership Programs

Leadership Programs

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

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 registration.
Any registration related changes will need to be sent to the Registration Office:
1-877-303-2267
register@ymcagta.org

Registration Office: 1-877-303-2267