Fun, adventure & opportunities to build self-confidence in a variety of activities. Qualified staff incl. a physician. A commitment to environmental sustainability. Solar power is one of our initiatives to educate campers in environmental stewardship. Close to Huntsville on 730 acres with 1km of safe shoreline. Various options for ages 4-16.Visit our website for info. Est. 1922
Glen Bernard was founded in 1922 with the intention of helping girls develop self-confidence and independence, and certainly it’s succeeded at that goal, and then some, ever since. One of the reasons is the leadership of Jocelyn Palm, who has owned and directed the camp since 1977. She’s a rock star in the world of camping, and rightly so. She’s impressive, and, frankly, inspiring. In 2014, she was asked by an interviewer why she had gone to the trouble of installing composting toilets and solar water heaters. She answered, “if I’m not prepared to be a role model and show kids the technologies that are going to make our environment sustainable, who’s going to do it?” She brings that spirit of leadership to the life of the camp, and passes it on to the campers who attend. Her advice to young people is to “set realistic goals and, once you’ve achieved them, set more.” In that regard, and indeed many others, Palm leads by example. The activities cluster around the camp traditions, though with an eye to the wider world, empathetic leadership, environmental stewardship, and interpersonal skills.
Glen Bernard Camp - Our Kids Insider Perspective
[00:16] - What is unique about your camp? [01:02] - What type of child is successful at your camp? [02:20] - Is the schedule structured or is it more open? [03:04] - How do your staff deal with behavioural issues? [04:03] - What do campers value most about their experience at the camp? [05:06] - What message do you have for new campers?
Jocelyn Palm, Owner/Executive Director
44 years as Owner of GBC, past president of both the Ontario and Canadian Camping Associations, 2013 recipient of the Order of Canada
Camp is a uinque experience because it offers opportunities that are not available anywhere else. There are all kinds of exciting activities and programs through which campers improve their skills. Days are shared with carefully selected leaders who patiently guide and encourage.
Camp is informal; yet it provides enough framework to allow campers to appreciate open space, sunsets, star-scattered skies and sparkling, clear water. Camp offers the chance to learn that becoming independent is important, at the same time recognizing the rights and needs of others. And camp provides the opportunity to better understand oneself.
I sincerely believe that camp helps to develop attitudes and values in a way particular to this unique environment. It is my hope that camp will become a part of your daughter's life experience which she will cherish long after her days at Glen Bernard.
More details about accommodations: Campers sleep in comfortable cabins. Some younger camper cabins have electricity. All camper cabins are close in proximity to washroom facilities.
Are meals provided? Yes
Is Glen Bernard Camp technology free? Yes
More details about property: GBC is 730 acres, with one kilometer of safe shoreline. There are many indoor lodges at GBC to accommodate all campers for inside activities which complement all outdoor activities.
Cost: $1,325 /week
|Deposit required with acceptance||Yes|
|Credit card payment||Yes|
|Maximum installments available||8|
|Discount for 2nd child||5%|
|Discount for 3rd child||5%|
|Discount for 4th child||5%|
In addition to the regular camp program, GBC offers several specialized programs:
One and Two-Week Introductory Sessions
Campers going into Grades 1, 2, and 3 or 6, 7 and 8 can attend one of Glen Bernard's one-week sessions. Spaces in these sessions are limited to keep group sizes small. These one-week sessions provide an introduction to the camp program and activities. Campers stay in cabins and participate in a wide variety of activities, including some of the all-camp programs.
Glen Bernard offers two, 2-week sessions for campers ages 8-10. These sessions are only for campers who are new to GBC. Campers who are entering grade 3, 4 or 5 are eligible to attend.
The two-week theatre program offers an experience in all aspects of theatrical production for campers with advanced skills in this area. The program involves scenery and prop construction, makeup and costume design, which complement performance skills. Enrolment in the Theatre Program is on a limited basis, for campers entering Grade 8 and older.
Wilderness Canoe Trip
Campers ages 14-16 who especially love tripping have the opportunity of a 12 day canoe trip. The trip route is unique each year, offering participants an extended and rewarding wilderness experience.
The Theatre Program and Wilderness Canoe Trip are offered during Period Three. The regular camping program is also available to campers ages 8-16 during this session.
Leadership Training Program
Campers entering Grade 11 are members of the Pacer section and participate in a session-long leadership training program. The Pacer program focuses on developing skills and teaching techniques in camp activities. Through workshops and hands-on leadership opportunities, Pacers acquire skills in communication, time management, group dynamics and program planning. Through the Pacer program, campers have an opportunity to earn their Bronze Cross lifesaving certification, Standard First Aid, and a Grade 11 Ontario high school credit.
How do I know my daughter is ready for camp?
Does your daughter enjoy positive overnight experiences away from home? What are her, and your, expectations for camp? Parents set the tone. Your confident attitude about camp will be contagious.
How can I prepare my first-time camper for a great experience?
Talk to your camper about making new friends, trying new activities and the excitement of new experiences. Offer gentle reminders about the importance of co-operation with others and helping out the group. Make sure she knows who and how to ask for assistance, if needed. Above all, be positive!
How do I communicate with my camper?
Before she leaves, plan how you will stay in touch. Pack pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes to make letter writing easier. GBC parents can send letters to campers by mail or fax. Letters by mail are the most personal and valuable communication with your camper.
Will my camper 'eat right' at camp?
GBC meals are wholesome and child-friendly. Our menu has been reviewed by a dietician and meets the standards set by Canada's Food Guide. We have a vegetarian option at meals where meat is served. GBC is 'nut safe' and has a system for protecting those with nut and other food allergies.
How do you deal with homesickness?
It is normal for your camper to feel nervous about being away from home. Discuss this with your camper before camp. Be supportive of her experience and developing independence. It's best not to tell her that if she doesn't like camp she can come home. GBC's program encourages campers to get involved and stay busy. Campers usually feel at home after a few days. During pre-camp training, our staff develop strategies to help campers who miss home. If we have any concerns during the session, we will call you.
What's so great about camp?
Camp is a wonderful adventure! There are new skills to learn, new activities to try and loads of new friends to meet. At camp, you can perform in a play, go on an overnight canoe trip, scale the climbing wall, create a craft masterpiece, kayak, canoe, swim, score a bullseye in archery and more... There are at least a billion ways to have fun at camp, everyone has a favourite aspect -- what will you enjoy most?
What's the food like? Do you have candy?
What are some of your favourite meals? Pizza? Submarine sandwiches? Spaghetti? Chicken fingers? We serve all of these at camp, plus many other tasty favourites. At GBC, there is plenty of food on each table so everyone can help themselves to firsts -- and seconds! You can visit the tuck shop with your section twice a week. The tuck shop sells candy (three items per visit) plus GBC clothing and other useful things like batteries, toothpaste, stamps, bug repellent and flashlights.
Can I be in the same cabin as my friend?
Of course! Please make sure that the request is mutual (you both request each other) and that you are both going into the same grade in September. Cabin groups are announced when you arrive at camp.
Do I get to choose which activities I go to?
The GBC program has a mix of scheduled and choice activities. Each day starts with flag raising and breakfast. In the morning, you go to activities with your section group. At GBC, you can earn levels in many activities, like canoeing, kayaking, trampoline and swimming. After lunch and rest hour, we have choice activity time. Campers choose two activities from options that change every day. You can go to these activities on your own, with friends from your cabin or section, or with someone from a different section. The hour before supper is usually spent at an activity with your cabin group and counsellors. The evening program changes every day. Sometimes, it's a special all-camp game, play or program. Or, it could be an activity with your section or cabin. No matter what you like to do, every day at GBC is action-packed!
What if I don't like it?
It's ok to feel nervous about going to camp for the first time. Many campers feel the same way. New experiences are often scary and exciting all at once, but don't let that stop you! Camp is about making friends and having fun. It's also about learning new skills, like how to get along with others in a new setting. It takes a few days to get used to all this new stuff, so be patient. Give yourself time to adjust to camp and being away from home. Before you know it, you'll be having so much fun, you won't want to leave!
Camp is a unique environment. It is a community of people living closely together, learning by example and depending for success on the presence of excellent role models. Camp staff must demonstrate positive values and make healthy choices. At camp, we learn to lead and how to follow; how to look for risks, keep ourselves safe and challenge our comfort zone. We learn how to be positive role models. This is why we need camp more than ever and forever.
Give an opening to a camper of any age and instantly you get a camp story. Remember the camper who said, 'I love it here at camp!' When asked why, she said: 'At home I don't have a lot of friends and I don't do much, but at camp it's different. At camp, I think I might be cool.' Most of these stories are recalled because camp is about experiences with other people -- how you figure out who you are and what you want to become.
Any camper can tell tales of a staff member to whom she/he looked up to and remembers long after camp days are over. The memory is usually of the positive influence the counsellor instilled on our future. For example: the counsellor who took you kayaking every day because you just couldn't get an Eskimo roll, though you desperately wanted to master the skill.
My camp director often said, 'We become like the things we admire', a guideline that I have never forgotten. We use it with camp staff every year.
Our approach since 1922 at Glen Bernard is to give campers opportunities to build self-confidence and develop successful inter-dependence in a safe, fun and nurturing environment. Camp is a great experience for young people and an investment parents never regret.
Today's campers are tomorrow's role models.
"Camp this year was a life-changing experience for H. I hardly knew what to make of the confident young woman who arrived back from camp! She is secure in herself as a person. She actually said, 'I don't understand why someone would say they want to be Britney Spears. I wouldn't want to be anyone but myself.' I was floored. This is exactly the attitude I wanted her to have going into grade 7. I think it came about in large part due to the canoe trip and to the lake swim -- it astounded me that she took on that challenge.
She seems very prepared to take on the challenges and responsibilities of grade 7 and of looming 'teenagehood'. Although she has always loved camp, and we have valued it, this year was the 'big payoff'. Camp has given her so many of the tools she will need to be successful in life while being happy with herself. Thanks a million."
"Well, here I am in Vancouver, eating humble pie and glad to be doing it! B. had a fabulous time at camp and learned a lot about herself in the process. She found the program demanding, challenging, rewarding and fun. The obstacles she expected to encounter didn't happen or she dealt with them. She made some new friends in unexpected places and renewed old friendships. Thank you so much -- you were completely right to encourage her (and me) and I'm so glad you did."
"I see a broadened, more confident 13 year old at peace in her skin and joyously just K. What more could a parent wish for?
It was a challenge for her to embark on the camp adventure all alone, so far away (and for me!). We felt she was ready and the K. that returned home proved us right."
"I just finished dinner and sang one song. I just can't stand how much fun camp is! So far I still think that this is the best camp in Canada. Every two cabins have a song to sing at dinner. I love this camp! I want to come back!"
"This summer I discovered that I didn't have to worry about what people thought about me, I could just be myself. My counsellor and AC helped me to know that people loved me for who I was, not anything else. I met so many nice people who I still keep in touch with. I learnt so much, not only how to be a nice person but a lot of skills that will always come in handy.
My parents tell me that if my marks improve I can go for five weeks this coming summer, so I am trying my hardest. I'd love to have another worry free summer of camp!"
I'm writing to thank you for sending me to camp. I guess I never thought about it, but I take camp for granted. I love it so much I don't know what I would do if I wasn't here. So thank you so much and I love you lots."