Four activities a day that you choose yourself, and creative evening programs designed by our dynamic programming team! Learn more about what happens on a day-to-day basis at camp...
When campers return home, they usually rave about two things: their newfound friendships, and the amazing food they have eaten. Sticky buns and salad bar? Oh my...
Where do I sleep? Who will I live with? How do I make friends with someone who doesn't even speak my language? Don't worry, we've got you covered...
Activities at Ouareau
Choose your own activities: A personalized Schedule
Camp has four activity periods per day. Many of the activities have achievement-based levels giving campers the option of challenging themselves without competing against their peers. We encourage campers to set goals for their session at camp, and choose activities based on these goals.
Campers change their activity schedule every three days. Each camper chooses six activity options, and lists them in order of preference. From this, they are assigned a daily activity schedule. Swim classes are available at the request of parents, up to Red Cross level 10. Language classes (“Understand”, “Speak” & “Extended”) are assigned to campers until their French and English are evaluated to be functional for daily camp life.
Each session of camp has a different calendar of events to ensure that every week contains a variety of activities to appeal to all age groups and personalities.
At Ouareau, we don't shy away from the idea of a healthy competition. Instead, we use it as a learning tool to promote both self-respect and respect for others: the goal isn't about winning, it's about trying your best and applauding those who do the same, whether they're your teammates or rivals on the field!
As well, our games are never just about running really fast, capturing the flag, and having your solo moment of glory. Because there are multi-faceted goals to each game, it means there's a role for everyone in the overall strategy.
Campers stay on the same team for the entirety of their session at Ouareau, either Matanak ("Mountain") or Sakhikan ("Lake"). These names were chosen from the Atikamekw language (for the Native Canadian tribe that once inhabited the land that Ouareau is on) to honour the beautiful natural environment that surrounds us.
Throughout their stay at Ouareau, campers can gain points for their team by passing levels at activities, participating in our morning Polar Bear dip, or winning camp-wide games. The competition remains heated throughout the summer, but at the end of each session we make sure to wrap things up with epic camp-wide games and a tabulation of the points to see which team gets the "bragging rights."
A number of times in a week, the camp will divide into its three age groups for the evening: Dekopi, Chipka, and Senior. The activities range from high-energy running games, to evenings with demonstrations of musical talent, to creative gameshows. Having the units divided for the evening means that campers get a chance to experience events that are a bit more tailored to their age level.
We still have many activities and ceremonies at Camp Ouareau that date back to its inception in 1922. At the opening and closing of each session, the whole community gathers around a campfire, either in our Lodge, as old as camp itself, or at our outdoor Magic View where we can enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake.
To open the session, all campers receive a crest with an emblem of Ouareau to represent the number of years that they have been with us, making them all members of the Ouareau community. To close, the best memories of camp are shared to help all of us remember the incredible time that we have had together.
At the beginning of each session, and once a week after that, campers get an opportunity to spend time with their bunk group, doing an activity prepared for them by their own counsellors. Whatever the activity, it is assured that much energy and thought has been put in by our staff to make sure that it is engaging and fun!
Rainy Day Events
A Ouareau girl is built to withstand the elements, so a little bit of rain will never deter her from the daily activities. Our programming team, however, is always secretly hoping for the day when the rain or thunder keeps us from the usual routine, because it means that they are able to present fantastic camp-wide activities to keep the campers and staff entertained indoors. Our Lodge and Dining Room provide ample space for the entire camp to participate.
Campers Rave about our food!
When campers return home, they usually talk about two things:
their newfound FRIENDSHIPS, and the amazing FOOD they have eaten.
Not only is the food delicious, but the dining room atmosphere is intentionally created for language learning, friendship making, and most importantly – fun! Meals are served at the table "family style" (where food is brought to the table and served by the staff, unlike a cafeteria), but campers eat with a mix of campers their own age, not necessarily their bunkmates, giving them an opportunity to meet and converse with new people every week. They sit alternating by first language, with an Anglophone sitting between two Francophones, so that conversation is encouraged to unfold in the Language of the Day. Our dining room is a fun and exciting experience, with tables breaking out into songs and games.
FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR DINING ROOM:
Our chef: Joe Morselli has been cooking at Ouareau since 1998, and his meals have become legendary. He believes in the value of home-cooked meals, and prepares fresh bread every morning.
Our famous meals: While we do have a wide range of summer camp favourites, we also have some specialties that Ouareau is known for, for instance, the daily variety on the salad bar, or our Sunday cinnamon "Sticky Buns!"
Our first night: On the first night at camp, dinner includes pizza on a hand-made crust, salad bar, and some tasty fruits for dessert!
Our options: Whether you're vegetarian, lactose intolerant, or a particular eater, there are always options available for every meal. Special dietary restrictions may be accommodated – click here to ask a question about your daughter's needs!
Where do I live?
Campers sleep in Yukon tents and wooden cabins surrounded by trees. Camper cabins and tents do not have any electricity, to maintain their closeness to nature. Living spaces are equipped with camp beds and shelving for each camper, and space for some items to be hung up on hangers. Cabins are traditional in style, and designed to fit in with the rustic beauty of the campsite. They have screen windows and are usually built for four or six campers. The waterproof tents are pitched over wooden platforms raised from the ground, and are made of industrial canvas. One of the best parts of living in a tent is listening to the raindrops on the roof, or rolling up the tent walls to catch a breeze on a hot day. Tents are built for four campers.
To allow our girls a sense of independence, while giving them a chance to experience community living, counsellors at Ouareau sleep in nearby cabins instead of in the same space as their campers. At nighttime, a team of staff walk around the camp until the girls have fallen asleep. Counsellor cabins are close enough that they can hear whispers from the campers next door, and if a camper needs anything during the night, they can go to a staff cabin.
Bring a friend, make a friend
Sometimes it's easier to come to a new environment with a friend already in tow – we get it! But Ouareau is also a wonderful place to make new friends; where you can cross the language barrier and meet people who have similar interests or who might introduce you to something you never knew you could love. To encourage the mixing and mingling of all our campers, we recommend that if you are coming to Ouareau with a friend, you don't necessarily request to live in the same bunk with them. You could instead request to live in nearby bunks, be in the same "group" and share counsellors, or you could sit at the same table in the dining room, or even ask to share a couple of activity periods in a day. That way, you get to spend part of your day with your friend from home, but take the opportunity to make a bunch of new friends through the rest of your time at camp!
Partnering with Parents
Giving you peace of mind is an important part of a successful camp experience. We know that trust must be earned – that is why we like to work with our parents before, during, and after camp. We want you to feel as though we have all the bases covered, all the i's dotted and t's crossed, and we understand that the best way to do that is through a close partnership with parents throughout the camp experience. That's why we have a dedicated directorial team available to answer your questions and take care of the details, because it's the little things that make the biggest difference at camp!
Jacqui recently celebrated her 40th year at Ouareau, and as Executive Director maintains a strong hands-on involvement in the day-to-day running of camp. She's always available to spend time on the phone with a parent to talk over their questions about camp!
If you're looking for inspiration in girl empowerment, team building, or leadership, look no further than Director Gabz. She takes the lead in our staff hiring and training, and guides the daily problem-solving opportunities among staff and campers alike.
Families receive a detailed guide to camp, as well as a series of email newsletters that contain helpful tips & tricks to let you get to know camp before you arrive at camp.
Jacqui and Candice at the main office are both fountains of knowledge and are more than happy to chat about any of your questions.
We call all first-year camp families to talk about the progress of their child. Ouareau has a service that allows you to send e-mails that we print and deliver daily to the campers. Campers can also send a hand-written note – that we scan and e-mail to you – once a week.
We send all of our campers a keepsake package where they’ll find their activity awards, camp photos on a DVD, messages from their counsellors and peers, and a picture of their bunkmates. This allows campers to show and share their camp experience with everyone!
Ouareau parents say...
"I didn't know anything about Ouareau, really, but from the very first moment we arrived, I thought to myself, 'This is exactly what a summer camp should be. It's like in the movies!' We could already feel the warmth, watching the staff welcoming the campers. We really felt like they wanted to have fun with them."
–Robert Quintal, Ouareau Dad since 2008
"Maya came back from her first year at camp and... there was something so profound about the change that had happened in her... and it was partly about being more independent and more autonomous, but it was also just some sort of self confidence..."
–Liz Warwick, Ouareau Mom since 2008
Looking for more information on camp? You can download our camp guide here: