Countdown to Camp: Your First Day!

Camp MYWCountdown to Camp

We want campers to have the best time ever at Mini-Yo-We — that’s why we created the Countdown to Camp video series. It presents helpful info and tips for first-time and returning campers. Registered families receive an email with a new video every Sunday at 2 PM. So far, we’ve covered FAQs, what’s new for 2024 and this summer’s themes. There’s plenty more to come, including camp tours, key summer staff introductions and packing tips!

What to Expect

This week on the Countdown, we hear from Connor “Revelstoke” Montgomery, one of our Boys Camp Directors. He describes what to expect on the first day of Camp, from arrival through to the first evening. Keep reading for a recap and a few additional details.

Pro Parent Tip: If this will be your very first time at Camp Mini-Yo-We, check out the First-Time Campers web page to help you prepare for a great week.

Welcome to Mini-Yo-We!

Each week of Camp starts on Sunday, and we ask campers to arrive at 2:00 PM. Some friendly staff members will greet you at Mini-Yo-We’s entrance gate. Just a reminder that we’re located at 1878 Muskoka Road 10 West in Port Sydney (click for directions). You will be directed to the parking lot closest to your camper’s lodge. We have one for each program: Junior Camp, Girls Camp and Boys Camp. Leadership camps usually check in at the Muskoka Hall. More greeters will guide you to a parking spot and provide you with directions if needed.

Pro Parent Tip: If multiple kids from one household are being checked in, it’s a great idea to arrive a few minutes early so you won’t feel rushed. We recommend going to Girls Camp last, since it typically has the most campers.

First Stop: Check-In

Leave your luggage in the parking lot with our team and they will ensure it’s delivered to your cabin. Then make your way to your lodge to check in. Kids get a name tag, which makes it easy to learn cabin mates’ names. A head check will also be done. Since campers live in close quarters, the spread of lice can happen quickly. That’s why each camper is checked for lice. Read MYW’s Lice Prevention Policy to learn more. Parents and guardians can also speak with a medical team member and drop off medications at check-in. A dietary specialist will be available to discuss any concerns. For more details, take a look at the Food & Diet web page or the Dietary Restrictions: A Resource for Parents & Guardians PDF. 

Pro Parent Tip: Drop off mail with our staff team during check-in (or give it to the bus captains if your kids are taking the bus). We give you MYW mailing labels to make it easy and extra-special! Leaving mail at Camp is free and you can choose which day it’s delivered.

Your Home Away From Home

Your next stop is your cabin for the week. Your luggage will be waiting for you there. Your cabin leader will also be there, excited to welcome you! Take some time to get to know them and choose your bunk. If it is important that you have a bottom bunk, please call the office at 705-385-2629 or email to let us know in advance. Parents often spend a few minutes in the cabin helping campers get settled in. Soon your cabin will be full and you can start making friends right away!

Pro Parent Tip: A “Get Excited!” package will arrive in the mail a couple of weeks before arrival. It includes a “My Camper’s Story” sheet, which can be filled in and given to the cabin leader. This is an opportunity to share about your camper’s past overnight experiences and provide tips to help them have the best time away from home.

Kicking Off the Week

Families should plan to leave Mini-Yo-We by 3:30 PM so kids can join the fun! The rest of the afternoon is spent getting to know everyone and the property. Cabin groups tour Camp together so they know where everything is. Kids meet the medical volunteer assigned to their program for a health and safety chat. They’ll also get to jump in Mary Lake for a swim assessment. This helps our lifeguards know which waterfront areas are suited for their skill level. We wrap up orientation at dinnertime when campers return to the lodge for their first delicious meal! Afterwards, they’ll enjoy the first night of activities designed to get them excited for the week ahead.

Pro Parent Tip: Parents may feel a little nervous when leaving their kids, especially for the first time. Campers pick up on this, so it’s a good idea to keep your goodbyes upbeat and positive! 

We’re Here to Help!

Despite the best-made plans, you may run late. Simply call 705-385-2629 and let us know what time you expect to arrive. We’ll make sure the team is ready to welcome your camper! If there’s a last-minute change and you need to switch to bus transportation, we sell tickets right up to the day before arrival and departure. We assign senior staff members to be bus captains to ensure a smooth trip to and from Camp for kids. Learn more on the Bus web page. 

Pro Parent Tip: Our website is full of helpful info to make sure your first day at Camp runs smoothly. For example, visit the Registered Families page for packing lists, tuck details, social media links and much more. 

Up Next on the Countdown

“Nervous to Excited: Preparing for Overnight Camp ” is next week’s Countdown to Camp video. Anna “Marsalis” Temple, our Team Development Coordinator, helps kids (and parents!) work through their anxiety so they can have a great time away from home. If your family is not yet registered, it’s not too late to grab your spot! Sign up online today with just a $1 deposit