For a century, campers have been descending on the shores of Clear Lake in Douro-Dummer Township to visit what is now known as Camp Kawartha.
And after being unable to host campers in 2020 due to COVID-19, head counsellor Kaitlyn Macdonald said this year’s camp experience is more important than ever.
“It’s our 100-year anniversary and campers have waited two years to be here so the buildup and having campers here on the first day was absolutely incredible for everyone,” said Macdonald.
“We are fully open, full capacity, all of our cabins have kids in them, we have over 50 staff members, more than 110 campers and it is so amazing to see everyone back here.”
Camper Lily Hunt agreed. She said she is happy to be outside and able to spend time with other people.
“I’ve been in the house a lot, so it is really nice to do lots with my new friends, it is really nice to be out,” said Hunt.
The camp started as a Rotary camp for boys in 1921. Back then the site, 10 acres on Clear Lake and 185 acres, now across Birchview Road, was purchased from a local farmer for a whopping $250.
The operation officially became Camp Kawartha in 1985. Today it’s home to summer camps, school programming, partnerships with Trent University and workshops, and the camp boasts 20 awards for environmental stewardship.
Macdonald said that connection to nature is something that has been so important during the pandemic.
“People come from all over to be here and they have given up so much this year in terms of socializing and being with other kids so just giving them this opportunity to be outside, be in nature and be with other kids in just the best setting ever is just incredibly rewarding,” she said.
For more information on day and overnight camps, you can visit the Camp Kawartha website.