1. How many years has your camp been in operation?
Established in 1955 by Mary and Jock Liddell, Mi-A-Kon-Da has been in operation for over 60 years.
2. What is your camp's philosophy or mission statement?
Mi-A-Kon-da has a strong belief in the importance and impact of residential camping on young girls. Camp allows young women to experience three major goals: learning, friendship and fun!
Each day campers participate in a wide variety of activities with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Camp provides a healthy, positive environment for our campers to experience personal growth and to appreciate and live in harmony with others and the natural world. As the summers go by, each camper broadens her horizons; more fully realizes her potential and develops her leadership ability. In the meantime, she creates many wonderful memories and life long friendships flourish!
3. Is the camp accredited by the Ontario Camping Association?
Yes, Mi-A-Kon-Da provides the safest and most enjoyable camping experience possible, annually meeting and exceeding the quality standards of excellence established by the Ontario Camping Association. The Camp is also an active member of the Canadian Camping Association.
4. Who is the camp Director and what is her background?
Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da is currently directed and owned by Pam Lamont and her husband, David Smith. Pam has been active in Mi-A-Kon-Da for over 30 years, starting from her own camper days with Mary Liddell, the founding director. Pam worked for many years as Patch, the camp nurse, before she took on the role of owner and Director in 1999. Pam has a back ground in critical care nursing and has a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing Education. She has held various teaching positions including on the faculty at the University of Toronto.
5. What employee screening procedures does your camp use when hiring staff?
We’re very proud of the fact that our counsellors have grown up through the Mi-A-Kon-Da camper experience – we know each counsellor very well! This commitment and experience ensures that the values of the camp are maintained throughout the years. All counsellors have completed the Mi-A-Don-Da leadership training program (known as the CIT program). Through their CIT training, we are able to identify strengths and work with staff on areas for improvement so that they continue to develop as strong leaders.
The water front activity staff have a minimum of a Bronze Cross with the majority of all our counsellors being certified in Standard 1st Aid and NLS (National Lifeguard). All of our swim staff have their NLS and Instructors qualifications. All of our Canoe Trippers are certified with Bronze Cross or higher, as required by the Ontario Camping Association.
All of our staff undergo a Criminal Records Check.
6. How much time does your staff spend in training?
In addition to the leadership training that all counsellors have received at camp, each staff member participates in a week of pre camp Staff Training and Orientation. This time focuses on leadership skills, review of emergency procedures, counsellor expectations, standardization of activity skills, teambuilding and how to work with children. Staff complete the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety in the Workplace training, AODA training, and WHMIS training. Staff also attend the OCA (Ontario Camping Association) skill development and counsellor training conference during the year.
7. What are their qualifications?
Mi-A-Kon-Da staff are qualified and knowledgeable individuals teaching activities where they have gained both knowledge and experience. Swim staff have NLS and Instructors qualifications as well as Standard First Aid training. The majority of counsellors posses their NLS and Standard First Aid training as well as high levels in the activities they teach.
8. How many staff return to work at camp each year?
Over 70% of our staff return to work at Mi-A-Kon-Da each summer. This return rate allows new positions for our first year staff that have completed the CIT program. Our high return rate provides continuity and a great chance for campers to get to know counsellors and staff from summer to summer.
9. How old are your staff members? Are they experienced enough?
Our staff is between the ages of 17 and 40 years old. In most cases they are university students, school teachers or outdoor education leaders. They have successfully completed the Counsellor-In-Training program and have First Aid and CPR training. Most of our staff have advanced certifications in first aid and life guard certification. In addition to the tent cabin counsellors, Mi-A-Kon-Da has an Assistant Director, Waterfront Director, C.I.T. Director, Section Directors and Program Director, all of whom have been on staff for significant number of years.
10. What is the staff to camper ratio?
Our counsellor to camper ratio is 1:3. With 100 campers per session, Mi-A-Kon-Da provides great support and supervision to campers with a staff of 30 Counsellors, 16 Counsellors In Training and 20 Support Staff. Our philosophy is to not to expand our camper base beyond this number, preferring to run a smaller family-style camp which provides enormous benefits to the campers and staff in terms of attention and development.
11. How many campers are in one tent cabin?
Each cabin has 4-5 campers in a tent cabin. Each camper has a counsellor assigned to their cabin. Each camper has a single bed and space for their clothing and belongings.
12. What if my daughter gets homesick?
It is normal for campers to miss their parents, siblings, pets and friends when they are away, especially if it is their first time at summer camp! Homesickness is a completely natural reaction to being away from home and it is nothing to worry about. Most homesick campers, both young and old, have fun most of the time while at camp, but might experience unease or sadness at certain moments of the day. They will have lots of support from their counsellor, the CITs, and their friends to keep them busy, safe, and having fun.
There are also many things you can do before camp that will help your daughter prepare for being away from home.
- Talk about homesickness, what it is and what it might feel like, so that your daughter is prepared and knows it’s a normal, natural feeling.
- Practice being away from home by going on a short overnight to a friend’s house, or a practice mini camp.
- Have your daughter pack her own bag so she know what she will have with her at camp and will be familiar with the equipment.
- Familiarize yourselves with the camp– either by looking at the video, pictures, or arranging a camp visit before camp starts.
- Prepare your daughter for the no-phone rule by and get her excited about letter writing instead! We suggest parents write and send some mail ahead of time, so that their daughter will receive something right away.
- Finally, brainstorm ideas with your daughter about how she might deal with homesickness, if it occurs– teach her a card game to play, send her some arts and crafts, or talk about mindfulness and positive thinking. Remind your daughter that she can always talk to her camp counsellor, or any staff member, if she happens to be feeling down. Our camp staff are experts when it comes to supporting and engaging campers — we keep them feeling busy, engaged and included so that by the end of their time at camp, they have had the time of their lives.
13. Do you provide laundry service?
Yes. Once every two weeks campers can send out roughly a dozen articles of laundry to be cleaned.
14. Can the campers write home and can I send a letter or parcel?
Yes! Mail is a highly anticipated and important part of camp life! Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da encourages campers to write letters home regularly and we hope that parents and friends will write. Letters and parcels are distributed on a daily basis. Parcels and letters may be sent by regular or Express Post. Purolator and other courier services do not deliver to camp
. Please do not send food or have the children bring food to camp. Campers will have plenty of food and snacks throughout the day. We have a No Nut Policy and food in tents encourages animals to become pests.
Parcelled with Love offers a care package service for kids at camp.
15. How does your camp communicate with families during the summer?
Telephone – The summer camp number 905-516-9382 can be called at anytime. In the event that no one is available,you can leave a message and it will be returned as soon as possible. Campers are not permitted to make phone calls or have cell phones at camp. We ask that they leave their phones and other electronics at home.
Email—The camp email, firstname.lastname@example.org, will be checked on a daily basis while we are up at camp. Should you need to get in contact with camp management, you can send an email and we will respond promptly.
Camp visits – We provide parents/families with the opportunity to visit their camper and see the camp while they are in session.. Visits should be booked in advance to ensure that your daughter is not out of camp on a canoe trip and to accommodate boat transportation and meal planning. There is a nominal cost per person for each visit. We recommend that first time campers and two week campers have visitors at the end of their two week stay. This allows them to enjoy the full experience of camp.
16. What is the tuck shop?
The tuck shop is where campers can purchase essential items that they may need at camp, such as toothpaste, sunscreen, hairbrushes or extra pens and paper. Campers can buy items by adding them to their tuck account, and do not need to bring any money with them to camp. The tuck shop is open once a day, and is for essential items only.
17. What type of food is offered?
We offer a healthy and kid friendly menu at Mi-A-Kon-Da. Meals are an important–and often the favourite– part of an active camper’s day! Camper favourites include:
- macaroni and cheese
- homemade pizza
- lasagna with caesar salad and garlic bread
- chicken with vegetables and wild rice
- strawberry angel food cake.
Fresh fruits and salads are staples at each camp meal and a fruit bowl is always available for hungry campers. Alternate menus are prepared for vegetarians and campers with dietary restrictions. All meals are prepared fresh. Buffet lunches are enjoyed picnic style by the lake while breakfast and dinner are served family style in the dining room. Afternoon and bedtime snacks are provided. We do not use a catering service, preferring to hire our own hand selected staff to provide a wide selection of enjoyable healthy meals for the campers and staff. We have a strict ‘no-nut’ policy.