Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Hidden Bay located?
Hidden Bay Leadership Camp is located on Lake Shebeshekong in Carling Township, north of Parry Sound. We are located on a paved road, and about 15 minutes from Parry Sound.
We are just over 2.5 hours from the GTA and 1.5 hours from Sudbury.
How many children attend Hidden Bay each week?
We can accommodate up to 65 campers during a camp week. We have a maximum of 48 overnight campers and 16 day campers each week. Male and female overnight campers are accommodated in tent cabins in separate cabin lines. Our day camp program is co-ed.
Is there anything that makes Hidden Bay different from other camps?
- Hidden Bay has a maximum of 65 campers, and a camper to staff ratio of 4:1. Our small camp population ensures that each child receives individual attention and care. A family-like environment encourages the building of relationships and ensures that no child gets “lost in the crowd”.
- Hidden Bay offers a unique 6 day – 5 night experience, ideal for first time campers. A bus picks up the children on Sunday afternoon and returns them Friday afternoon, allowing them to enjoy an introduction to a full camp program and still be home on the weekend with their family.
- Hidden Bay provides a leadership program that begins with the youngest camper (6 year olds for day camp, 7 year olds for overnight) and builds on that experience until the camper qualifies for Leader in Training (LIT), Counsellor in Training (CIT) and eventually employment at our camp.
- We pride ourselves on creating an environment that promotes courtesy, respect, responsibility, confidence, care & compassion (CRRC3). There is zero tolerance for bullying or any violent behaviour.
Will my child be safe?
Safety is our first consideration in everything we do. We have a plan of action to deal with emergencies and we regularly practice emergency procedures with both campers and staff.
Hidden Bay is 15 minutes by paved roads to medical clinics and a modern, well-equipped hospital in Parry Sound.
What is the hiring process of staff?
The camper to staff ratio at Hidden Bay is 4:1.
We hire staff who can demonstrate that they are reliable, have experience with, a love for, and an understanding of children and youth. Our Senior Counsellors are at least 18 years of age, and they are complimented by Junior Counsellors who are 17 years of age.
The quality of our leadership staff and their commitment to our vision, mission and goals is critical. Staff must exemplify those qualities that we desire to see in our campers.
Counsellors participate in an intensive week of pre camp training. Our training emphasis is on health and safety, appropriate child guidance, planning exciting programming, and developing strategies to promote good character and excellent leadership skills.
All staff are thoroughly screened with a personal interview, references and a police Vulnerable Sector Check. In addition to bringing experience and skills, they are also trained in Standard First Aid and CPR-C.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STAFF
Will my child find this a happy, successful experience?
Your camper is supervised by experienced and trained program staff. Each one has a heart for bringing out the best in children and youth. Our 4:1 camper to staff ratio ensures that each camper, from the beginner to the experienced, receives the encouragement and support they require to make new friends and experience success in their daily activities.
How long has Hidden Bay been in business?
Hidden Bay was opened in the summer of 2000. It is a division of York Professional Care and Education Inc., a non-profit organization with charitable status, established in 1986. It is a multi service agency providing child care centres, before and after school programs, licensed home childcare, literacy programs, and day camp programs in York Region and Simcoe County.
DOES HIDDEN BAY HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION?
Hidden Bay is not a religious camp and is affiliated with a charitable child care agency based in York Region. We focus our program around leadership traits and qualities that campers may connect with their own faith or spiritual traditions and we welcome them to share those feelings.
We do offer a grace before meals that thank the cooks and earth for the food we are about to eat, and each day we do reflections on our leadership theme of the day, such as teamwork, enthusiasm, and integrity, during our Pond Time talks.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HIDDEN BAY PHILOSOPHY
Who sets the standards for Hidden Bay?
Hidden Bay is accredited by the Ontario Camps Association, ensuring that it meets or exceeds the standards set for staffing, health, waterfront safety and more. Further, we comply with the requirements of Public Health, the Fire Department and Building Code.
WHAT IS THE HOUSING LIKE?
Everyone lives in tent cabins, or Tabins as we call them at Hidden Bay, which are raised platform tents with a shingled roof and canvas sides. Each Tabin can accommodate up to 6 campers and 2 counsellors (usually one senior counsellor and a junior counsellor or Counsellor in Training).
There is limited storage available in the Tabins, so please pack your camper into a suitcase that can be stored under the bunk and be closed easily when not in use.
Washrooms are adjacent to the cabin lines and have separate stalls for flush toilets and a shower.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMP FACILITIES
What if my child has allergies and is on medication?
When you complete your child’s application, it is critical that you inform us of those allergies and list the meds. Food allergies are listed with the Camp Cook, and the meds are kept in the Camp Director’s Office under lock & key. When the campers go for their medications, they are supervised by the Director. All staff are trained in Standard First Aid and CPR-C, including the Director, who also attends the OCA Camp Health Workshop annually.
How will I know if there is an incident or accident at camp?
We are very lucky that most of the things that happen at camp are fun adventures that your child will tell you about when they get home. However, when there is a major incident or accident you will be contacted by telephone by the Camp Director to notify you of the situation and discuss how to proceed. Please ensure that you provide us with correct and current contact information when you complete your child’s camp forms.
For minor incidents the Camp Director may notify parents by email or phone at the end of the session.
How can I communicate with my child at camp?
Campers love getting mail while at camp! You can send letters to:
Hidden Bay Leadership Camp
200 Shebeshekong Rd
Nobel, ON P0G 1G0
ATTN: CAMPER NAME
Or you can email to email@example.com with CAMPER NAME as the subject line.
All emails will be printed in black & white.
Mail is delivered each day at afternoon snack, and there is time each day for your child to write letters to friends and family.
(HINT: You may want to self-address some envelopes for your camper!)
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DAILY SCHEDULE AT CAMP
What if my child doesn’t like the food?
Our cook is trained and experienced in preparing ‘kids’ favorite meals. After a busy day of activities, when campers and their new found friends gather in the dining room, or around the campfire, or go on a canoe trip, it is most unusual for them not to find something that they will enjoy eating! Many options are available at every meal, and toast and fresh fruit and vegetables are available at every meal.
What if my child gets homesick?
Homesickness is a very natural and common part of the camp experience. Our counsellors are very experienced in providing a positive experience that allows campers to overcome their homesickness and enjoy their time at camp.
If the camper’s homesickness is preventing them from enjoying their time at camp the Camp Director will call home to discuss options and only in very severe cases do we have campers call home, as this often makes them more homesick.
How will I find out how my child is doing at camp?
When they come home with a smile on their face. For first time campers, you will receive a Sunshine Email from the Camp Director in the first few days of camp letting you know how they are doing. Also, campers are welcome to bring stationary and stamps to write letters home.
When the counsellors leave the cabin at night, is my child unsupervised?
The cabin counsellors wait till everyone is asleep to leave the tent cabin and then around 10pm Willow Watch (night duty) starts. One male and female counsellor do rounds until midnight, when the cabin counsellors return to their cabin for the night. There is always a staff member on duty, nearby and available in case a camper wakes up and needs them.
How often will my camper swim and how safe is your waterfront?
At Hidden Bay we love swimming and safety! There are two members of our senior staff who have responsibility for ensuring that the waterfront is safe and fun.
Campers get the opportunity to swim in our marked swim area at least three times a day. They can swim each morning at the optional morning Freshie Dip, during their swimming activity in the afternoon and during Beach Party/Free Time. On hot evenings we may offer a Night Freshie before campfire.
Swimming levels are determined with a Swim Challenge conducted by the Waterfront Director at the start of each week of camp. This allows for the swim staff to know the abilities of each swimmer and ensure they are in the proper swim group.
At all times we ensure that our lifeguarding ratios follow those outlined by the Ontario Camps Association and the Lifesaving Society, where there are two lifeguards for 1-25 swimmers and three guards for 26-100 swimmers.
When paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding) the lead counsellor will hold a minimum of Bronze Cross (NLS preferred).
The Waterfront Director holds a current National Lifesaving Service (NLS), Standard First Aid and CPR-C certifications. Alongside the Camp Director, they ensure that the Hidden Bay beach meets all requirements under the Ontario Camps Association, Government of Ontario and Lifesaving Society Standards for a safe waterfront.
All members of the waterfront team, including swim and paddling staff, hold Standard First Aid & CPR-C certifications and Bronze Cross or NLS certification.
When is Drop-Off and Pick-up time for campers?
For Overnight Campers, you can check our BUS SCHEDULE to confirm the drop off and pick up time for your bus stop.
For those doing camp drop-off, you can drop off your camper between 4-5pm on the Sunday start of each session. Camp staff are available to help campers move in, and parents are welcome to help get their camper set up in their bunk, but we ask that parents depart in a timely manner to allow the camper to start adjusting to camp life.
Pick-up occurs between 3:30 and 4:30pm on Friday of each session. Parents and family are welcome to tour camp and see where their child spent the week!
Day Camp drop off and pickup happens at the front gate of camp each day at 8:30am and 4:30pm. Parents are asked to please wait at the gate, as the program will run promptly to schedule. On Friday, pick-up runs from 3:30-4:30 and parents are welcome to drive into camp and take a tour. For families doing before & after camp care please contact the office to arrange your drop-off and pickup times and locations.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CAMP DATES – Rates & Dates Link