Traditional Summer Camp
For campers aged 6 - 14, our traditional sessions are the perfect blend of classic camp activities with opportunities for individual growth and group development. Our 1-week programs (Horizons) are a great starting point for the first time camper of any age, while our 5-day program (Little Dippers) is especially for adventurous 6 – 8 year olds who are ready for their first taste of summer camp. Our most popular program is our 2-week session, which gives campers the opportunity to experience everything CQE has to offer including an overnight camping trip. This year we are introducing a 10 night camp at the end of August. It will offer a condensed version of our two week camp. A great way to wrap up the summer!
Find out more about Camp Life.
During each 2 week and 10 night session, each and every cabin group goes on a camping trip in the surrounding area. Outtripping is a powerful experience for campers of all ages: it allows them to develop a deeper appreciation for our relationship with the natural world; it encourages teamwork, builds confidence and develops leadership skills.
Types of Trips
Camp Queen Elizabeth’s tripping philosophy is to provide trips that match the age and ability of the campers in the cabin group. The trips are progressive: younger campers head down Beausoleil Island for a hike, while our oldest cabins head out on a 5-day canoe trip (sometimes longer sometimes shorter based on cabin skill level, comfort and canoe route). There is no set arrangement for certain cabins to go on specific trips; trip destinations are determined on the first day of camp by our outtripping manager in consultation with each set of counsellors in order to create an age and ability appropriate experience.
Cedar Springs Hike
A two hour hike from CQE, Cedar Springs is designed as an introduction to overnight camping. The campers hike to Cedar Springs while the majority of their gear is transported by boat. Tents, a campfire and dinner are prepared for the campers for a memorable evening in the woods. Campers eat a hearty campfire breakfast before their hike back to CQE the following morning.
McCrae Lake is about an hour and a half paddle northwest of CQE. The lake is a beautiful and pristine wilderness area free of cottages and motarized boats.
Musquash River and Three Rock Chute
Located 12km north of Camp Queen Elizabeth the Musquash River was the site of a lumber mill back at the end of the 19th century. As you paddle up the mouth of the river, there are several campsites close to small sets of swifts that dot the river. Further up the river is Three Rock Chute, a beautiful set of rapids with large campsites nearby.
Located on the southern tip of Beausoleil Island, Beausoleil Point is a large group campsite maintained by Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Beausoleil Point can be reached by either hiking down the island, or by paddling the island shoreline.
The Bala trip is one of the options for our longer trips, which can be a 4-day to a 6-day trip, depending on the route taken. The trip starts in the cottage-country town of Bala, and follows the Moon and Musquash River through Go Home Lake and down into Georgian Bay. The trip is a mix of river and lake paddling, allowing older campers a more advanced camping experience.
The Massassauga Provincial Park
The Massassauga is another trip option for our oldest cabins. This Park is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems in the Ontario Parks system. The Park is located just south of Parry Sound, and comprises a group of small lakes and islands on the coast of Georgian Bay. Cabins are driven in one of our Camp vans to their drop-off point where they set off to explore the park.
Food on Trip
The food that is prepared on trip is largely dependent on the length of the trip. Perishables (meat, fresh fruits and vegetables) are used on the first few days of trip, and non-perishables (dehydrated foods, grains, pasta and canned foods) are used more as the progresses. Portion sizes are adjusted to fit the age-group on trip. Since the group must carry all of their food, there is of course a limitation on the amount of food that can be brought – meals are selected that will provide the energy needed to sustain a high amount of activity throughout the day.
Each week campers select two activities to participate in throughout the week. We have a wide range of activities, designed to promote teamwork, positive group play and to build confidence.
Each day brings a different water-based activities designed to encourage a love of swimming and to improve campers’ water skills. Typically activities include: snorkeling, water polo, synchronized swimming and a morning learning water safety with the Canadian Coast Guard.
Step to the line, nock your arrow, fire at will! At CQE’s Archery Range campers can hone their archery skills. Instructors will provide basic skills and tips to help campers get a bullseye.
Arts & Crafts
The Arts & Crafts program at CQE brings out the creative side of every camper. Each summer we offer a mix of traditional camp crafts such as beading, candle making, painting, bracelet-making and tye-dying, as well as new creative activities each summer. Join the fun and create camp crafts that will stay with you all year long.
Cando is a grab bag of fun, challenging, cooperative games and activities which include Capture the Flag, initiative tasks, kick-the-can, raft-building, and a wide variety of other imaginative activities which everyone ‘can do’. The focus of all of the activities is on using active games to build confidence, cooperation and teamwork in campers.
Canoeing is the cornerstone of traditional camp activities at CQE, and is an invaluable skill to learn as a camper. The canoeing program consists of four levels, progressing from basic strokes, to learning how to stern a canoe, to advanced soloing techniques. Campers will have the opportunity to paddle a variety of canoes, from the durable Grummuns to our Nova Craft and Swift canoes. The goal of our canoeing program is to develop the skills that will enable campers to be comfortable and have confidence in a canoe, whether on an extended paddling trip in Northern Ontario or out for a leisurely paddle with family and friends
Creative Arts is Camp Queen Elizabeth’s theatre and drama program. Campers in this program have the opportunity to be involved in performing a play for the entire camp at the end of the session. Daily activities include improvisational games, theatre sports, communication activities that increase confidence and self awareness.
Fishing is the most recent addition to the activities offered at CQE. Campers learn how proper technique and safety procedures as well as information about the various species of fish found in Georgian Bay. Each day campers have the opportunity to fish in a different location around camp.
Guitar* & Ukulele
Camp Queen Elizabeth’s guitar and ukulele program is designed as an introduction to these timeless campfire instruments. Instruction includes learning the parts of the instruments, basic chords and chord changes, and learning to play some classic songs.
CQE offers four levels of flat-water kayaking. Level one focuses on straight line paddling and becoming comfortable in the boat. In level two, campers build more strokes into their repertoire and begin to learn bow rolls. In levels 3 and 4, campers learn advanced paddling techniques such as high and low braces, as well as advanced kayak rolls such as the screw roll and the hand roll.
Plan, develop and construct items from clay with the use of our pottery wheels and creative lesson plans. Campers have the opportunity to create pottery pieces to bring home after camp!
Art Lochead Sailing School
Sailing is consistently one of the most popular activities at CQE and consists of four progressive levels. Level 1 (Crew) is designed to build confidence and comfort in a sailboat. Campers learn basic theory, knots, and get to sail with one of our experienced instructors. Level 2 (Mate) focuses on learning how to sail with another sailor, and introduces campers to steering and rescue techniques. Levels 3 and 4 (Mate-Skipper and Skipper) are a mix of advanced sailing theory and learning how to skipper boat in a variety of conditions.
Activities developed to focus on improving swimming skills and comfort in the water. Instruction is designed to be suitable for swimmers at all levels. Camp Queen Elizabeth levels are based on YMCA swimming categories and campers can work towards a badge to take home.
Wilderness Pursuits or “W.P.” is a must for campers who want to develop their outdoor living skills while heightening their awareness of their natural surroundings. Activities include fire building (using a variety of traditional and modern methods), outdoor cooking, shelter building, understanding weather patterns and environmental camping practices.
CQE offers three levels that provide a different sort of sailing challenge for campers. Level 1 orients campers with the basic theory needed for windsurfing, and gives plenty of time to become comfortable on the board. In levels 2 and 3, campers learn how to successfully maneuver in a variety of wind conditions as they sail around Goblin Bay.
*Age or size restrictions may apply
On the first night, the entire camp joins together at Master Campfire to sing songs, meet the staff, and have a good time.
Camper Entertainment Night
Each cabin puts on a performance for the rest of the camp to display their creativity. Skits, songs, dances are among the performances that we see throughout the evening.
Big Day (2-week & 10 night camps only)
On the middle Saturday of our 2-week sessions, the whole camp participates in a theme-day filled with heroes and villains, games and excitement, and a delicious outdoor BBQ for dinner.
Psychedelic Sunday (2-week & 10 night camps only)
The middle Sunday at camp begins with sleep-in, followed by a big brunch to get everyone going for the day. We then take some time to think about the past week and the week to come at Reflections. The afternoon is filled with various activities throughout camp, followed by a theme dinner for the entire camp. We cap things off in the evening with Camper Campfire, where each cabin performs their favourite campfire song.
A fun-filled evening that begins with a wide range of games, activities, and dancing followed by a hilarious set of skits and performances by the CQE Staff.
Every Session at CQE concludes with our final campfire. It is a special night for everyone to gather together one last time and celebrate all of the memories and friends that were made over the course of the session.