Reaching Your Potential: Muskoka Woods Camp

Getting ready to leave for camp. I went with my kids as part of Mom Central Canada’s group of bloggers.

Where can you fly like Superman, glide like an eagle, zipline like Diego, swim like a fish and canoe like a Trudeau? Well, Muskoka Woods resort of course.

Nestled in the heart of the most beautiful natural territory we have in Ontario, Muskoka Woods youth resort camp is a one of a kind experience any kid or adult would be fortunate to have. My girls and I had the amazing opportunity to take last weekend with a group of bloggers and head up north on a bus to Muskoka Woods.

From the moment we got there, camp counsellors were in high spirits. Tippy and Brillo brought the energy and camp director Chris Tompkins kept everything working well. The counsellors and staff were all top notch and really diverse, the kind of teens you want to surround your children with for the entire summer if not longer. We met counsellors from Kentucky and one whose mother was an ambassador in India. They were all stunningly accomplished and many were obviously teachers in waiting, or traning to be teachers in college currently. While Muskoka Woods is a Christian camp, Tompkins noted their campers are free to explore their spirituality in the natural surroundings. The atmosphere naturally lends itself to exploration of sports, the outdoors and spirituality as well.

We had our first S`mores of the season and my youngest daughter Ainsley, who has invisible special needs, was literally in her element. Both of my girls have some special needs. My youngest though who comes up against barriers daily as a result of her special needs, well she couldn’t have been more suited to Muskoka Woods. My oldest child loved it in a quieter way. She would choose to canoe all day and draw pictures of the surroundings. Ainsley is naturally athletic and always on the go. She played tennis, canoed, swam and soared through the air on the big swing. She could have lived there. I know we weren`t the only ones who never wanted to leave. But my girl, Ainsley, who sometimes has such difficulty fitting in, and struggles a lot when the environment and people around her don`t meet her needs, well she seriously adored everything about her Muskoka Woods experience and wanted to sign up for a week of camp immediately.

Camp director Chris Tompkins answers our questions. I asked questions all weekend long. A lot of questions. Like what is the ratio of kids to staff is. 2 to 1. and can they manage children with special needs. Yes. In the WILD program ages 7 to 9 the ratio of counsellors to kids is 2:8 (They assert that this is the highest ratio of any residential camp anywhere.) And they showed me that even though I never identified my child as special needs the entire time we were there, they were skilled at handling a variety of personalities, temperaments and abilities. They  have doctors and nurses on staff for the whole summer. They can provide one on one support for special needs campers. They sponsor inner city youth every year to give them a chance to experience camp like everyone else. 
They offer peanut-free food and can accomodate gluten free diets and other various allergies as well.
Nearest hospital: Huntsville.
They also have a nearby airstrip should anyone ever require airlifting to a hospital.
Do they administer medication if necessary? Yes. The nurses and doctor on staff are able to do so.
The camp experience can start on the bus just as ours did – near Newmarket.
Or parents can drive campers up to camp.

Ainsley playing tennis

Payton learning to skateboard. I did too.

Ainsley exploring the skateboard ramps. The facility sits on 1100 acres and there is also a paintball area as well as indoor and outdoor skateboard ramps and mountain biking areas.

For more information you can visit the web site or email info@muskokawoods.com Prices vary and are on the web site under the parents toolbar at the top of the page. The week long experience for my child ages 7-9 is called WILD and the average weekly camp is between $900 to $1100. There are also testdrives for apprehensive campers or parents to test out the camp and see if the child can manage a whole week. For a test drive the campers would come for three nights and four days and the cost is $549, only available certain weeks and for brand new campers.

The boathouse in the distance

A quiet moment

Ainsley flying like superman. First they hook you up to a cable, then they lift you up 75 feet in the air and then you drop a cable and fly like a bungee cord.
Muskoka Woods is a co-ed youth resort. It is an amazing experience that any child would be lucky to have. There are several groups of inner city kids brought here every year as well.
Disclosure: I attended this camp weekend for free with my children. I was invited by Mom Central Canada. I was not paid to post this and my opinion is my own. I loved it and wish I could send my child for the entire summer as she finally is feeling comfortable with the idea of camp and staying overnight. Yay!

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.