(parent's list is below)
What do I bring?
Well it depends... Which camp you are coming to? Click HERE to find out what you should bring.
Can I be in the same cabin as a friend of mine who is coming to Hidden Acres?
If you list on your registration form that you would like to be in a cabin with another camper and you are registered for the same week of camp, we do everything we can to place you with your friend! We do ask is that you limit your cabin mate request to only 1 person.
Where will I sleep?
All of our campers stay in cabins with 5-8 other campers and 1-2 Cabin Leaders. Your Cabin Leaders will have a nickname that may sound funny, but they are there to make sure that you have a great time at camp so don’t be afraid to ask them anything. When you get to camp, you get to choose a bunk in your cabin but don’t get too comfortable though because you’ll be so busy you won’t spend much time there!
What will I do at Hidden Acres?
Each day is filled with all kinds of fun things for you to do. There will be some things that all of the campers will do together and times where you will be in smaller groups. There is a fun time called “Focus” where our Camp Pastor will share about our theme for the summer through games, songs, skits and other activities. There is also time during the day when you will go to “Streams”. During Streams, you and a group of other campers get to go rock-climbing, canoeing, hiking through our nature trails, make crafts and lots of other activities. There will also be some time during the day where you can choose your activity. At these times you can go swimming, make more crafts, play Gaga Ball, do archery and lots more. Your Cabin Leader will help you to know what you are doing next. In the evening the whole camp will play some games like Capture the Flag or Smugglers and Spies and then we’ll end the day with a campfire and snack.
What will I eat?
Hidden Acres always has three or four cooks cooking away in the kitchen to make yummy and nutritious meals for you! Meals are different every day but each day you will have breakfast, lunch, supper and a snack before bed so you definitely won’t go hungry! Some of the camp favourites include: Pancakes, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Soup, Macaroni and Cheese, Taco Salad and Burgers on Fridays! These are just examples of all the tasty meals you might have during your week at camp.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements you can let us know on your health form. We do our best to accommodate these and generally can quite well. However, if you have any questions or concerns about what you will eat, please contact us.
What’s Campout? (Only applies to Children’s Camps 1 - 4)
One night during the week you and your cabin group get to go on a short hike to your campout spot, pitch a tent and enjoy a night of connecting with nature and camping with your cabin. You will play some fun games, cook supper and breakfast on a “survival stove” and maybe have a campfire. You also get to enjoy some of our famous “campout cookies!”
What if I miss my parents?
Missing your parents is natural! Everyone gets homesick at some point in their life, regardless of how old they are. Our staff will work really hard to help you work through your homesickness and help you get involved, make friends and have an awesome time at camp! You could also bring some paper, an envelope and a stamp so you can send a letter home to let your parents know how everything is going at camp and all about the different activities you get to do.
Will I have fun?
YES!!! If you are coming to Hidden Acres, be prepared for an incredible, amazing, awesome, time!
Does my child need to bring some money along?
Hidden Acres does not have a tuck shop so your child does not need to bring any money along. We will have T-shirts, water bottles, sunglasses, sweatshirts, etc. for sale when you drop off and pick up your child.
How do you deal with lost and found items?
Staff work with campers to locate their lost items while at camp, but sometimes we do not find everything. Once the campers go home and staff are cleaning up and getting ready for the next session, they often come across left behind items. All items are collected and put in our lost and found box. We keep these items for three months following the end of camp in case families call looking for items. After that time we donate lost and found items to the New Hamburg Thrift Store. To help us ensure all of your campers' items make it back home with them, please label everything clearly with your camper's name. If a good ol' fashioned sharpie won't cut it for you and you need some label ideas, click HERE.
What time may I drop off and pick up my child?
Most weeks of camp have different arrival and departure times.
Here are the times for each of the camps:
- Children’s Camps 1-4 – camper registration is at 6 p.m. on Sunday (supper is not served) and campers need to be picked up promptly at 3 p.m. on Friday.
- Day Camp – campers may arrive each day at 8:30 a.m. and picked up at 4:30 p.m.
- SYAC – camper registration is at 7:00pm on Sunday (supper is not served) and campers need to be picked up at 7:00pm on Wednesday
- Mini-Camp – campers and their families are invited for a Family BBQ on the Sunday at 4:30 and campers need to be picked up at 4:15 on Wednesday.
- Watsa Basketball Camp – camper registration is at 6:00pm on Sunday (supper is not served) and campers need to be picked up at 2:45 on Friday.
- LIT Program – For arrival and departure times please contact the camp.
What if I want to contact my child while he/she is at camp?
We welcome you to send letters, packages or emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) to your child while he/she is at Hidden Acres. Mail call is a fun mealtime event and children love to receive letters at camp.
May I register for more than 1 week of camp?
It is the intention of Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp to provide a camp experience to as many campers as possible. With this in mind we encourage campers to register for one week of camp and if they wish to come to camp for an additional session contact us and ask to be placed on our waiting list for the second week. You will be notified three weeks prior to camp should there be a space available. As always, you are welcome to contact us at any time if you have any questions.
What if my child is homesick?
It’s natural for children to get homesick at some point in their life, regardless of how old they are. Our staff are really good at helping children work through their homesickness and in helping them have an awesome time at camp! If nothing is working, our director will contact you and we will work with you to determine how best to assist your child.
What happens if I cancel after I have registered my child?
Our policy is that we require a $100 non-refundable deposit at registration time for each child registered. Should you choose to cancel, we will not refund this deposit but would reimburse all other paid fees.
How long has Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp been operating?
Hidden Acres has been offering summer camp programs since 1962. We are also a year-round retreat centre and offer our facilities for group rentals throughout the year as well as outdoor education programs for schools.
Where do you get your staff?
We hire and train staff who care about children and are committed to providing a fun, healthy, stimulating and safe experience for your child. Many of our staff have been campers at Hidden Acres, participated in the Leader-in-Training program and now return as staff. We generally have a staff return rate in excess of 50 percent. Other staff are referred by their friends who have worked at camp and some are recruited through local colleges and universities. We check references on all of our staff (returning and new) and all are interviewed before they are hired. Staff are also required to submit police record checks and participate in a week-long orientation.
Where are your campers from?
Most of our campers come from homes within a one hour drive from Hidden Acres. Some hear about it through friends who have been to camp before, from their church or from their school. Although we are affiliated with the Mennonite Church, children come from a variety of church backgrounds, or with no church background at all. Some of our campers are also referred to Hidden Acres from social service agencies. All of this means that our campers come with a variety of backgrounds and all are welcome.
So, Hidden Acres is a Mennonite/Christian Camp. What does that mean?
Being a Mennonite/Christian camp means that our foundations are based on the Christian faith. The Mennonite part comes from our founders and their vision of creating a camp with Mennonite and Anabaptist roots. This can be seen at camp in a variety of ways:
1. The values of love, kindness, generosity, respect, both for people as well as for the environment, are demonstrated daily by the staff in their words and actions. Campers are encouraged to demonstrate these values while at camp, but also as they head back into their communities.
2. Each summer, we focus on a specific theme that comes from the core concepts/theology of the Anabaptist tradition. They are biblically based and provide opportunities to explore how we can make a positive impact in our community, care for the environment and be peacemakers in the world. These themes are explored using songs, skits, games, crafts and sharing by our Camp Pastor during Morning Watch, Focus and the evening Campfire. There will always be an opportunity to chat with Cabin Leaders or other staff if a camper has a thought or question.
Do you have to be a Christian to come to Hidden Acres?
No, not at all. Hidden Acres aims to be open and welcoming to all campers regardless of their backgrounds and experiences with religion and faith. It is a safe space for campers to come, have fun and explore faith in an accepting, respectful, non-threatening environment.
Is there financial aid available?
Individuals, church groups, and other organizations donate towards our Camper Subsidy Program, allowing us to provide financial assistance to those who require it. If you are interested in sending your child to Hidden Acres and are unable to pay the full fee call the camp in order to discuss financial assistance.
What if my child has special needs?
Children with a variety of special needs are included in the program at Hidden Acres. If your child has any special needs that we should be aware of, you must indicate this on the registration form. This will let our Inclusion Program Facilitator know that they should contact you. Usually, through phone calls and a home or camp visit, you and the Inclusion Program Facilitator will try to determine if Hidden Acres is a good fit for your child and if they will require any extra assistance to have a successful week of camp.
What safety standards do you have to meet?
We are governed by the Ministry of Health standards. These standards cover all aspects of the camp including: health, waterfront safety, facilities and more. The Perth District Health Unit inspects our site regularly. Additionally, we are members of the Ontario Camps Association (OCA), Christian Camping International – Canada (CCI-Canada) and the Mennonite Camping Association (MCA).
How can I find out more?