At the heart of camp is Lake Ton-A-Wandah, ten acres of sparkling, pure mountain water. Waterfront activities are an integral part of Ton-A-Wandah’s curriculum and a high point in each camper’s day.
The swimming dock is a central point in camp. It provides endless fun activities for campers of all abilities and ages to enjoy. The first rule of all camp activities is “Think Safety,” a motto that takes on added meaning on the waterfront. Camp Ton-A-Wandah’s waterfront is only open to campers and staff during regularly scheduled swimming periods, with all waterfront activities supervised by American Red Cross certified lifeguards and taught by experienced and qualified instructors, who undergo an extensive training program prior to the start of camp. Lifeguards are constantly evaluated on their skills to maintain the highest safety standards, participating in in-service training sessions throughout the summer to maintain, advance and develop their rescue and surveillance skills.
All campers are required to take a water competency test on Opening Day to assess their swimming ability. This entails a 40m swim of freestyle, backstroke and breastroke, followed by 30 seconds of treading water. Campers who can successfully complete the water competency test are permitted to swim without a personal flotation device in the designated swimming area. Campers unable to complete the water competency test must wear a personal flotation device in the designated swimming area. In addition to this, ALL campers and staff must wear a personal flotation device in any area of the lake outside of the designated swimming area and while on or using all aquatic play structures and boating equipment. To ensure camper safety, the waterfront also uses a check in and check out system for all activities and lessons, in addition to a ‘buddy’ check system.
Campers participate in swimming lessons every second day which are scheduled based on their age and ability. Lessons are tailored to meet the needs of the group which allows campers to develop their skills at a comfortable pace in a fun and supportive environment. Lessons are designed to build a camper’s confidence in the water and to provide an understanding of water safety. Campers are taught basic aquatic skills such as freestyle, backstroke, breastroke and proficient swimmers are introduced to butterfly. Water skills such as floating and push and glide are also taught and practiced by both beginner and advanced swimmers. Guided play and games are introduced for younger campers and experienced swimmers will practice stroke refinement and turns in the water in order build endurance. Waterfront staff are actively involved in the swimming lessons, providing demonstrations, feedback and encouragement which helps campers understand, practice and develop their strokes. Campers are also able to compete for their tribe and showcase their swimming skills in the Ton-A-Wandah swim meet.
‘General Swim’ on the waterfront is a daily treat for all campers and a chance to enjoy the three-lane water slide, the trampoline and the legendary Ton-A-Wandah Blob! This time allows swimmers a chance to perfect their strokes, delight in unstructured play and cool off after morning activities. General Swim is also the perfect opportunity for campers to enjoy paddle boarding and canoeing with their friends and counsellors. Ton-A-Wandah also offers an additional ‘SPLASH’ class for those campers who just can’t keep away from our beautiful lake. During SPLASH class, campers can dive, race down the waterslide, bounce on the trampoline, fly off the blob or simply play in the water with their friends.
Laurel Life Guard
Campers entering their final ‘Laurel’ year are presented with the opportunity to become American Red Cross Lifeguard certified, which also includes First Aid/CPR and AED Training. This challenging course is an excellent opportunity for campers to develop not only their Lifeguarding and First Aid skills, but also their teamwork, communication and leadership skills. Laurel campers can sign up to ‘Laurel Lifeguarding’ classes which occur every day, where they will learn practical skills and lifeguarding theory.
Canoeing, Paddleboarding, & Kayaking
Canoeing is an ever-popular sport at Ton-A-Wandah. Our lake is large enough to be a challenge to experienced canoeists without being too intimidating to the novice. Campers can take both paddleboarding and kayaking classes where they can receive instruction and teaching, however there is also the opportunity for them to paddle freely during General Swim. We can’t forget Ton-A-Wandah’s canoe meet, where the girls can compete for their tribe and demonstrate to their fellow campers the new skills they have learnt.