Frequently Asked Questions
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[expand title="What is Camp Cherith - Lanark?" tag="h6"]
Camp Cherith – Lanark is a non-profit, non-denominational, co-ed Christian summer camp located in Lanark, Ontario, about an hour from Ottawa. We are one of many camps called “Camp Cherith” in North America, affiliated with Pioneer Clubs, a mid-week church-based children’s club program.
Camp Cherith – Lanark gives campers an experience of living out of doors, making new friends and learning and developing new skills. We provide a variety of skills-based activities (such as archery, kayaking, woodworking, movie making, and much more) and also music, games, campfires, and other structured programming. Our Christ-centered program also includes Bible Exploration and Morning Watch devotionals designed to help children and youth learn about how Jesus Christ is more than just a name in a book, but someone who relates in every aspect of life!
[expand title="How long has Camp Cherith - Lanark been operating?" tag="h6"]
Our history of summer camping in the Ottawa region dates back to 1948. Our first summer camp as “Laurentian Camp Cherith” was in 1969 from a campsite in L’Orignal, Ontario. From 1970 to 2008 we rented a campsite called Camp Kalalla in Alcove, Quebec. In 2008 we bought our current property in Lanark, Ontario. We ran our first summer camp on this property in July 2009. We rebranded to “Camp Cherith – Lanark” in 2014 to reflect the new location.
You can read more about our camp history here!
[expand title="Isn't Camp Cherith located in Walkerton?" tag="h6"]
In fact, yes! There are actually two Camp Cheriths here in Ontario! Our sister camp, Camp Cherith – Ontario, is located in the Hanover-Walkerton area and is a great choice for campers from sourthern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We are Camp Cherith – Lanark located in the Ottawa Valley, closer to Ottawa, Perth, Almonte, and other areas of eastern Ontario and Quebec. Both of our camps adhere to the same set of core values and offer the similar camp programs. Whichever camp you choose, you will love it!
When contacting Camp Cherith – Lanark, please ensure you’re corresponding with the right one! Our camp has a 613 area code and a mailing address in Lanark, Ontario.
[expand title="Is Camp Cherith - Lanark associated with a church or denomination?" tag="h6"]
Camp Cherith – Lanark is not affiliated with any particular church or denomination. Our Board of Directors and our staff represent many different church backgrounds: small churches, large churches, Catholic, Protestant (including Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and others). All our staff are asked to affirm a common set of core values and Statement of Faith, and we encourage our staff to draw unity from the basic beliefs that we all hold in common.
All campers are welcome regardless of what church you attend, if any.
[expand title="Who owns Camp Cherith - Lanark?" tag="h6"]
Camp Cherith – Lanark is a non-profit organization which is owned and run by a volunteer Board of Directors. We were incorporated in 1969. The Board of Directors consists of a Board President and 8-10 officers who serve camp in various areas. It’s a fancy title for a group of volunteers who love camp and are passionate about summer camping ministry!
About Our Summer Camp
[expand title="How many campers are there in a typical week? How many staff?" tag="h6"]
A typical week at Camp Cherith – Lanark includes about 60-80 campers, and 25-30 staff (including cabin leaders, cooks, activity staff, waterfront and support staff). In the cabins, we typically place eight campers with two leaders for a staff-to-camper ratio of 1:4. We feel this is a great overall camp size — large enough for variety and fun large group activities, yet still small enough to foster a family-like atmosphere in cabin groups.
[expand title="What age are the campers?" tag="h6"]
Our program caters to boys and girls ages 8 to 17. Campers are grouped by similar age in cabins and cabins of boys and girls are grouped into co-ed Junior and Senior divisions — the exact mix may vary depending on the programs offered and the actual enrollment of each week of camp.
In addition to the regular camp program we also offer a Service Team and Camper In Leadership Training (CILT) program for older teens, and a youth-oriented Teen Breakaway camp late in the summer.
[expand title="Who are the camp directors?" tag="h6"]
Each week of camp is run by its own camp director. The Board of Directors is responsible for selecting the camp directors from a pool of experienced and trained staff. Staff with an interest and aptitude for directing are given the opportunity for training and mentorship. Our camp directors are energetic men and women who have many years of Christian leadership experience, show a high degree of administrative skill and business acumen, and are actively involved in their own churches or communities.
[expand title="Who are your staff? How old are they? Are they well trained?" tag="h6"]
Our staff members are Christian volunteers, 18 years of age or older. (Applicants 16-17 years old may be considered if they have completed our Camper In Leadership Training program.) Our staff represent a wide age range and come from all walks of life: students, parents, retirees, and working professionals. Staff members have backgrounds in high-tech, medicine, law enforcement, education, administration, pastoral care, and more. Many are parents who come to camp with their children. We feel that this variety adds tremendously to the “family” atmosphere at camp.
Staff members are all volunteers; while they do not receive a salary, they receive room and board at camp as well as a discounted registration fee for their children.
All staff are interviewed by the directors, provide a police background check, and are given at least two weekends of training each year. Staff in safety-critical roles are required to have appropriate qualifications (i.e. lifeguards, Health Care Worker).
[expand title="What is a typical camp session like?" tag="h6"]
Our camp sessions are one week long. Campers arrive on a Sunday afternoon and depart the following Saturday morning. All our camp sessions are co-ed (both boys and girls) and include divisions of campers from different age ranges.
Campers select three elective activities which they will pursue all week. There are also many other planned activities including games, contests, songfests, campfires, free swim, tuck, and much, much more!
Our Teen Breakaway youth camp takes place from Wednesday evening to Sunday afternoon (TBD). It is similar to our traditional camp sessions but offers a more relaxed, retreat-like atmosphere where you can chill with friends, engage in challenging group discussions, sign up for new activities each day, and stay up late each evening!
About Registration and Fees
[expand title="Sounds great! How do I register?" tag="h6"]
You can submit a camper registration, or apply to volunteer as a staff volunteer, right from our website! Click here to see online registration instructions. You can pay online using your Visa or Mastercard, or if you prefer, you can mail in a cheque.
If you are unable to use the online registration system, contact our registrar by phone and we can walk through the registration process with you.
[expand title="The activity I want isn't showing up on the registration form." tag="h6"]
Some of our activities have a maximum class size. For example, there is no limit to the number of people we can take hiking, but we only have, for example, 7 bikes available for mountain biking. Class sizes are based on staff supervision, safety guidelines, and available equipment. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Our online registration system keeps track of the class sizes automatically, and doesn’t show you options that are not available. If you don’t see an activity choice, it’s because the class is not offered that week or is full.
Also, sometimes activity periods have to be cancelled due to low enrolment or if no instructor is available to teach the class.
We suggest that you apply for camp early to get the best activity selection. We apologize if your favourite activity is full or not available. However, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to try something new and different!
[expand title="I'm on a waiting list! What now?" tag="h6"]
Our online registration system automatically keeps track of available space in the cabins and divisions based on your child’s age/grade. If no space is available, the system will offer you a spot on the waiting list. Do not fret! If a particular division is very popular, we may (at the camp director’s discretion) open up an additional cabin or otherwise rework the cabin/division assignments to best accommodate the demand. Also, spots can open up due to cancellations. Our camp registrar will contact you to discuss your options.
Please note that our registration system operates on a first-come, first-served basis. For the best results, register as soon as possible!
[expand title="How are registration fees determined?" tag="h6"]
Because we are a non-profit organization and rely 100% on volunteer staff, we are pleased to provide what we feel is an extremely competitive registration fee. Our fees are calculated by totalling all of the costs of running our summer camp program, such as property expenses, groceries, insurance, activity supplies, maintenance, and office administration. Then we budget based on a projected 75% overall occupancy for each week of summer camp.
So where do we get the funds to build projects like our cabins and the Wilkie Memorial Pavilion? We are a registered charity, and much of our ministry is made possible by generous donations from people like yourself! Any proceeds from camper fees, once our operating costs are covered, are also applied toward capital projects.
So how much are the fees? Visit our Dates and Fees page for up to date information. Remember, as our way of thanking you for your time and efforts at camp, we offer a discount for each of your dependent children if you volunteer as a staff member at camp!
[expand title="Do you offer rate subsidies?" tag="h6"]
We understand that due to a variety of situations, it can be difficult for families to fit camper registration fees into their budgets. It is our desire that financial constraints not be a barrier between children and the camp experience. We do receive donations from people who specifically request that the funds be used to help send someone to camp. Please speak to our camp registrar and we’ll see what we can do to help.
[expand title="Can I earn high school volunteer hours?" tag="h6"]
Yes! If you are registered in the CILT or Service Team programs, or if you volunteer as a staff member, you can earn volunteer hours toward your high school diploma requirements. You can also earn hours by volunteering with camp during other times, such as our spring and fall work weekends!