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YMCA John Island Camp Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Procedures

We are awaiting COVID-19 procedures from our local public health unit. Below are some general procedures to expect for the 2021 season. For more information see our video: John Island Camp Update

  1. Screening and Wellness Checks – Screening will happen prior to entering the site. Wellness check will take place while at camp.
  2. Testing/Vaccination Records – Testing will be required in some capacity, vaccination records may also be required.
  3. Cohorting – Campers will be cohorted into groups that will not interact with other groups.
  4. Physical Distancing – Cohorts will physically distance from one another. Drop off/pick up and other activities will allow for physical distancing.
  5. Increased Cleaning and Sanitization – There will be increased cleaning and sanitization to our facilities, equipment, and high-touch   surfaces.

Cancellation Policy

To be more accommodating to participants, we have updated our cancellation policy for the 2021 season.

Refund, Cancellation & Returned Payments Policy:
All cancellations will be returned in full, if made before June 1, 2021. Any cancellations made after June 1, 2021 will only be refunded, less a $75.00 administrative fee if the registration space is filled from a waiting list or a medical letter for the camper is submitted. Refunds are not issued if a parent/guardian withdraws the camper from camp early or if the camper is sent home for misconduct. All payments returned, which includes pre-authorized payments and credit cards, will be subject to a $30 administration fee.

If John Island Camp is required to cancel your registration due to extenuating circumstances, this will result in a full refund without penalty.

Fees and Financing

  1. Transportation fees are now included in the price.
  2. New price accommodates for new Covid-19 procedures: additional staffing, cleaning equipment and products, and facility adaptations.

Financial assistance is available through our Campership Program, more information found  here:

Before Camp

This will depend on our Covid-19 procedures that are in the process of being developed.

Our full packing list can be found on our website at We suggest that you pack your belongings in a duffel bag or plastic storage containers that can be sealed with a lid. Rolling suitcases are not easily carried over the island grounds. There will be help for those who need a hand carrying their bags to and from their cabins.


Please see transportation options below. Campers can also be picked up from Sudbury’s Ontario Northland or from the Sudbury Airport for an additional fee.

Sudbury – James Jerome
Sports Complex Parking Lot

Bus departs to camp:
12:00 PM
Bus arrival from camp:
5:00 PM

Espanola – HWY 17/Hwy 6
Tim Hortons and Wendy’s

Bus departs to camp: 
1:00 PM
Bus arrival from camp:
4:00 PM

Spanish, Ontario – Parking Lot across from General Outdoor Store

Bus departs to camp: 1:45 PM
Bus arrival from camp: 3:30 PM

Blind River – Visitor Information Centre

Bus departs to camp: 12:45 PM
Bus arrival from camp: 4:15 PM

Serpent River- 5165 Hwy 17, Visitor Centre

Bus departs to camp: 1:30
Bus arrival from camp: 3:30

If you need to change your transportation selection after registering, Please Contact The Camping Office at 705-674-6171 or Toll Free at 1-800-465-9622.


All of our staff go through a week long on-site training that prepares them to respond to emergencies and successfully support campers through a variety of issues. There is a certified National Lifeguard in every cabin and all of our counsellors are Standard First Aid and CPR-C certified. Staff is trained to lead all of our camp activities, and most staff are graduates of John Island’s 2 year leadership development program.

John Island Camp hires a Wellness Manager who is in their 3rd year of a university nursing program and has practical health care experience. For medical emergencies, the Elliot Lake Hospital is less than one hour away. In addition, we have a Sudbury doctor on call to answer specific questions and work with our staff.


You can send emails to your child while they are at John Island Camp through the Bunk 1 service. Please see the Bunk1 section of the parent package for details.

You can also keep in touch through the mail. We suggest sending your child with pre-addressed and stamped envelopes. See address below:

Camper Name and Session
c/o YMCA John Island Camp
Spanish, ON
P0P 2A0

Please note that for shorter sessions you may need to send mail before your child leaves home in order for it to arrive while they are at camp. When signing in your child at drop off you may also leave a letter/package with the camp stamp to deliver at your desired time.

The best way to keep up with what is happening at camp is to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or join our alumni newsletter mailing list! Please note that we do not post on social media any photos of children that are at camp until after the session is over.

There are some circumstances that will result in a call from camp. Some reasons you might receive a phone call from camp are:

  • If your child is unable to participate in programming due to injury or extended illness
  • Concerns regarding bullying or challenging behaviors
  • Questions regarding medications

Yes! If you would like to talk to one of the directors please do one of two things:

  1. when registering for camp click yes to the directors consult option and we will reach out to you to set up a time OR
  2. Contact the Camping Services Office at 705-674-6171 or toll free at 1-800-465-9622 to set up a camp director consult or ask our knowledgeable office staff


Our kitchen is able to accommodate most allergies or dietary restriction. We work very hard to make sure we have food available for all campers regardless of what they can or cannot eat. For those with more severe allergies or dietary needs, we encourage you to contact us to discuss how we can best accommodate your child’s needs.

John Island is a Nut Aware Facility. We have so many people visiting our site that we cannot guarantee that it is always 100% nut free. However, we do ensure that no nut products enter our kitchen and our site is cleaned and sanitized between each group. Epi Pens are located throughout camp and our staff are trained on how to respond to an allergic reaction.

At John Island Camp we encourage campers to try new things, but we also plan our menu to be child friendly. Each meal offers one main dish and a few side options. We always have our toast station set up and fresh fruit is available between meals.

Please see an example of a 2 day menu below. We plan our menu’s on a 2 week rotation in order to add variety to the meals.






1. Oatmeal
Juice, Water, Milk
Grilled Cheese
Tomato Soup
Veggie Sticks & Dip
Juice, Water
Garlic Bread
Caesar Salad
Milk, Water
2. Oatmeal
Fruit Salad
Scrambled Eggs
English Muffins
Juice, Water, Milk
Veggie Sticks & Dip
Juice, Water
Chicken Stir Fry
Garden Salad
Milk, Water


8 to 10 campers are placed in a cabin with 2 staff members. We place our campers in cabins with children of the same gender that are within 1-2 years of each other. You can request cabin mates at time of registration. For those requesting a cabin mate that is older/younger than each other we typically put the two in the younger cabin. We request that you not make cabin mate requests that are greater then two years as childhood development can very significantly with larger age gaps.

Please note that John Island Camp Staff cannot tell you who is attending what session due to our Child Protection Policy.

Campers will have the option of trying a  variety of activities while they are at camp. All Youth Camp campers will participate in a out-trip, these will vary from an out-lunch to a three night out-trip. Adventure Camp campers will have the option to opt into a overnight out-trip. See the list of activities below for an idea of some of the programming offered at John Island:

Water: Canoe, Kayak, Sailing, Windsurfing, Boogie Boarding

Land: High Ropes, Climbing Wall, Archery, Outdoor Living Skills, Landsports (i.e. soccer, kickball, dodge-ball, etc…)

Creative: Arts, and Crafts, Guitar, Drama

The Tuck Shop is our camp store. Every 2nd day children have the option of purchasing John Island items such as flashlights, hats, postcards etc., or treats. We suggest sending $25 per week spent at camp. All campers receive a free camp t-shirt!

Issues at Camp

Bullying is something that is not acceptable at John Island Camp. No one should negatively affect another camper’s experience. Those who are negatively affecting others’ experience will have varying degrees of consequences including the possibility of being removed from camp.

To find out how staff are trained and how we deal with bullying, please refer to our Parent Handbook.

We realize that for many campers John Island Camp may be the first time away from home. Counsellors are trained on how to identify early signs of homesickness as well as how to help campers adjust to camp life and enjoy their stay with us.

For more information please consult our Parent Handbook.

All of our staff are trained in First Aid and have specific training in how to respond to a medical emergency at the camp. The Elliot Lake Hospital is a 45 minute drive away and local EMS are notified at the opening of our camp season in case of needed support.

After Camp

Lost and found is sent in to the Sudbury Branch of the YMCA. Clothing is washed after each session and bagged. If you believe you have left something at camp we will be holding two evening events for parents to come to the branch and check for their child’s belongings. These sessions will take place on August 6th, from 4-6pm for July campers and on September 10th for August campers. Parents are encouraged to email or call the Camping Services Office if they are missing a particular item and we can take a look for it. After the lost and found event all items will be donated to local charities. For those who live out of town we can mail your items to you at your expense.

We find it very helpful to label everything you send to camp with your child.

We take feedback very seriously at John Island Camp. It helps us to grow and to continue to provide the best service possible. Please fill out our online survey (link to be emailed) to share your child’s experience. We encourage you to fill out the survey with your child at the computer with you.

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