YMCA of Greater Toronto Announces New Summer Offerings from Virtual Camp to Camping in Muskoka

25 June 2020

Charity opens registration for virtual camps, day camps and family adventures to help children shine

TORONTO - JUNE 25, 2020 – The YMCA of Greater Toronto has officially launched Y Virtual Camp, an online camp that provides traditional elements of summer day camp in a secure, live and interactive format. It’s one of several new camp programs offered this year as the charity continues to adapt to COVID-19.

“The YMCA has more than 100 years of experience making traditional camp fun and interactive and we’re thrilled to bring this experience to our community virtually,” says Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “We’re also opening day camps with additional safety precautions, and have introduced new adventure programs including camping, cabin rentals, hiking and canoeing to help families get outdoors this summer.”

Y Virtual Camp

The Y is offering two virtual camps: Virtual Variety Camp and Virtual Scholar Camp. To keep campers engaged and promote independent participation from home, Virtual Variety Camp features a Camp-in-a-Box kit that includes five activities for campers to complete throughout the week. Each Camp-in-a-Box comes with a combination of nature-based, science, and art activities that campers will be guided through by counsellors who will answer questions and provide encouragement every step of the way, virtually.

Virtual Scholar Camp features one Y Day Camp staff, who is either a certified Ontario Teacher or teacher candidate, to four campers. Each day, campers will participate in a two-hour interactive and engaging session in the program they are registered in, which can be focused on Math or English.

One-week sessions for Virtual Variety Camp and Virtual Scholar Camp are available during a nine week-period, with the first week of camp starting Monday, July 6. Registration is open now and participants can register online and choose one of several daily two-hour time slots. Y Virtual Camps are designed for children between the ages of 6 and 12. The program is available for $125/week and Virtual Variety Camp includes the Camp-in-a-Box kit which will arrive on the camper’s doorstep before the first day of camp. Virtual Scholar Camp does not include mailed activities however campers will receive electronic resources to support this academic program.

YMCA Day Camp (in person)

The Y will offer day camp at 20 locations across the GTA where campers can enjoy a variety of fun, interactive activities, sports, games, arts and crafts and even science experiments. To encourage physical distancing, campers will be assigned to a designated camper group and indoor camp includes only eight campers.

This summer, Day Camp locations include Ajax, Brampton, Georgetown, Markham, Milton, Mississauga, Torrance (Muskoka), North York, Oshawa, Pickering, Scarborough, Schomberg, Stouffville and Toronto.

Muskoka Camping and Day Camps

YMCA Camp Pine Crest is a 650-acre oasis nestled on the shores of Clear Lake in Muskoka. In addition to offering day camp, for the first time it offers on-site camping permits for private, back lake camp sites. Campers can paddle or hike to a campsite and rent canoes and paddle boards, plus cooking kits and other equipment.

YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre

Located 45 minutes from downtown Toronto on 263 acres of the Oak Ridges Moraine, YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre offers a range of activities.

For the first time, families can register for overnight camping or rent a cabin and relax around a campfire, under the stars. Meal packages are also available. Registration opens June 26.

Y Family Adventures

Families can spend some quality time together at one of three locations. Registration is by the day and will be offered from Tuesday to Saturday every week of the summer.

  • YMCA Cedar Glen: low ropes, hiking, slack lining, mountain biking, swimming, archery, fire building
  • Brampton Heart Lake YMCA: canoeing, kayaking, slack lining, mountain biking, sling shots, fire building
  • Toronto Island: canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, slack lining, exploring the Island on bikes, archery, fire building

COVID-19 related safety protocols are in place at all locations. For more information including costs or to register for any of the Y’s Camp offerings, visit: theystepsup.ymcagta.org/camps.

Learn more or register Here.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

As a charity, the Y helps people shine through a variety of programs responding to the needs of the community, including education and training, employment and immigrant services, family and youth services, health and fitness programs, child care and camps. Serving the Greater Toronto communities, last year the YMCA made more than 620,000 connections across more than 450 locations.

While most of those locations were temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the Y continued to deliver shelter for at-risk youth, developed virtual offerings and remote programs across the Greater Toronto Area, stepped up with Emergency Child Care for health care and frontline workers, and supported food security efforts across the region. For more than 165 years, the Y has been there for communities, adapting to local needs. In addition to opening Day Camp locations on July 6, the Y will also begin to re-open its child care centres to previously registered families on July 6.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Brittany Arnold, arnold@veritasinc.com, 905-926-1863

Camille Cote-Begin, cotebegin@veritasinc.com, 416-819-2035