Penny Lane - working at camp

PennyLane’s Story – The Positive Impact of Working at Moorelands Camp

“Working at Moorelands Camp has been one of the biggest positive influences in my life “

PennyLane, Moorelands Camp staff.

PennyLane has worked at Moorelands Camp for the past four years and is excited to join us again as camp staff on Kawamaga Lake this summer. Here she shares her experiences of working at Moorelands Camp and describes the positive impact it makes, not only in the lives of the campers, but in the staff too!

“When I first came to Moorelands Camp, I was 17. The camp I spent my childhood at, as a camper, did not hire me as there were too many people applying for only a few spots. I was devastated, that camp had been a central part of life and was something I always looked forward to. It was where I made friends who I felt I could fit with, taught me so many relevant skills, and provided a sense of stability, confidence, and grounding in my childhood / pre-adult city living life. However, I knew that I still wanted to work at a camp and so I applied to Moorelands. Little did I know, at the time, that Moorelands would come to matter so much more.

“Working at Moorelands Camp has been one of the biggest positive influences in my life.

working at Moorelands Camp
penny lane - working at Moorelands Camp

“The things I learned and the friends I made, have stayed with me, and I believe will stay a part of my life forever. I study Environmental Geography at the University of Guelph, and honestly while I’m passionate about it, it is eye opening. Sitting in class, I hear about the issues with food sustainability, and how too many people live in food insecure homes. I study how climate change is already displacing people around the world, and how those who are currently the most negatively affected are those who live in poverty. I learn about how much our current system disadvantages many because of the unequal distribution of wealth. To put it simply it makes me sad, and then overwhelmed, because I want to find a way to solve all of these problems and obviously that’s a lot more than I can chew.

“This may sound corny but Moorelands is a light amongst a lot that is troubling in the world.

Working at Moorelands Camp
working at moorelands camp

“Kids are the future, being a kid is tough, and every child deserves the chance for equal opportunity no matter what their background is. The sense of togetherness and community that Moorelands Kids provides, and the fact that you can see the positive impact that the camp has on some kids, even if it is just to get them out of the city and in nature, is what makes it so full of that warm light. In an ideal world, the whole world would operate with the same sense of community that Moorelands emphasizes, but I know that is a dreamy thought. Moorelands is something, however small in the grand scheme of things, that is helping solve those overwhelming problems, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Grateful to have grown immensely from my experience, and still apply everything I learned to life outside of camp. Grateful that it has confirmed that I want to be a teacher and continue working, with, and being a positive role model for kids. Grateful that it exists, and that I have been, and hope to continue contributing, to the positive impact that Moorelands has.”

Apply to work at Moorelands Camp and be a part of the positive impact Moorelands Kids has!

visitors' day 2018

Visitors’ Day 2018

Please join us for Visitors’ Day 2018 at Moorelands Camp on Friday, July 13th.

Park your car at Old Mill Marina (near Dorset) and take the boat across beautiful Kawagama Lake to see our programs in action. The marina is located at 1652 Russell Landing Rd., Dorset, ON, P0A 1E0.

Lunch will be provided and we encourage you to meet our children and take part in the celebrations at camp. Please note, our camp is boat access only.

Visitors' Day 2018 Schedule:

  • Boat pickups start at 10:30 am
  • Tours go from 11:00 to 12:30 pm
  • Lunch is 12:30 to 1:30 pm followed by relaxing by the beach.
  • Boats return you to your car between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. to have you back to the city between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by July 3rd to 416-466-9987 ext 312 or  We hope to see you there!

Getting to Visitors' Day 2018

  • Take Hwy 400 north to Hwy 11.
  • Just north of Bracebridge take Hwy 117 east to Hwy 35.
  • Turn north (left) on Hwy 35
  • Turn right on Kawagama Lake Road.
  • Take first right, Country Rd #8 and follow the signs to Old Mill Marina. There is a ‘Y’ in the road, keep to the left!
  • Keep driving past the first marina you come to (Mountain Trout House Marina) and drive all the way to the end of the road until you can go no further. This is Old Mill Marina where you should park and wait for the boat.
  • Moorelands Camp 705-766-2916

At Moorelands Camp:

We believe that all youth have strengths, regardless of their background or life situation.

We believe that children and youth can grow and flourish when their strengths are aligned with the benefits of our intentional, quality programs.

We focus on understanding, educating, and engaging children and youth in productive activities rather than fixing, curing, or treating them.

Moorelands Camp Objectives are to provide:

  • Opportunities for campers to build self-esteem and confidence through fun recreational activities
  • Opportunities for campers to build life skills including problem solving, goal setting, decision making, team work and friend making
  • Opportunities for campers to learn practical camp related skills and experience success
  • Positive role models and opportunities for campers to learn and practice positive character qualities
  • The experience of good relationships with peers and a mentor
  • Positive memories of the camping experience

The Moorelands’ Mission Statement

At Moorelands, we recognize the inherent value of all children and youth. We work with Toronto’s children and youth affected by poverty, to provide them with positive and fun experiences to help strengthen their confidence, competence and character.

Moorelands early registration - Apply For Camp 2018

Early Registration Open for Moorelands Camp 2018!

Early registration is open for Moorelands Camp 2018! We already have 24 applications in for the upcoming summer, so don’t delay.

And don’t forget, we’re running our “early bird” contest again this year: get your *completed* application in by January 26th and be entered into a draw to win a family night out! ($50 cineplex gift card and $50 restaurant gift card).

Moorelands Camp is calling!


Apply Online


Need more info? Check out our camp page.

Still got questions? Send us a message below!



Back home, in the City, Chloe has always had trouble fitting in.

She arrived at Moorelands Camp, aged 8, in a flurry of hyperactivity.  Right away, camp staff realised that she needed help making and keeping friends.  Chloe was loud, impatient and often interrupted campers and staff mid-sentence.   It was clear that she was desperate to make friends and yet her behaviour kept other kids away.  She felt left out, alone and angry. It was the story of her life she told camp counsellor, Lynx.

But something happened to Chloe at camp. She started to see that not everyone was against her. The inclusive atmosphere had an immediate impact. As she participated in activities and worked as part of a team, she started to build confidence in herself and then build friendships.

She told Lynx it was the first time in her life that people were kind to her; that other kids didn’t make fun of her or exclude her from the group.  With support from staff, she learned to respect others and let them have their say.  She learned that while she didn’t have to be like everyone else to fit in, she did have to treat others with respect.

Now aged 11, Chloe came back this summer for her third year at camp. She’s proud to have taken the lessons she’s learned back home and things are getting better there.  But she still looks forward to camp all year long. It’s the one place, she explains, that she can be herself and everyone will accept her for who she is.

Chloe is from a low-income background. Without the sponsorship of generous donors, she would not be able to attend camp. Please donate and provide Chloe with the skills and life-lessons she needs to succeed.

Our Moorelands’ campers’ names and images are changed to protect their identities.

campfire confidence


“Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Make a donation before the end of the year to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.”

Natalie's Story

I’d like you to meet Natalie. She’s just one of the 133,000 children who are living in poverty in our city, right now.

Natalie was going through a tough time when I first met her.

Our BLAST leaders told me that she had been a victim of bullying at school and her self-esteem was at rock bottom. I watched her interacting with the other children at BLAST and I could see that, although she was struggling, the positive environment based on respect and caring was helping her, slowly but surely, come out of her shell.  It became clear to me that this was a child in need of the year-round support that Moorelands can offer. I determined, right then and there, to get Natalie to camp.

Fast-forward to this summer at Moorelands Camp where I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie again. This time around, it was like meeting a different person.  I saw her beaming with confidence as she sang camp songs with a group of friends around the campfire. As the campfire came to a close, her cabin group passed by. There she was, right in the middle, laughing and filled with joy as she recounted her time at camp and all she’d achieved. When I asked her what she had learned over her time at Moorelands she said;

“Moorelands has taught me how to be strong and think positively. From what I’ve learned here, I can teach others to be more confident like me.”  – Natalie, Age 10.

At Moorelands Camp, kids like Natalie get the opportunity to develop self-esteem and resiliency and to form positive, enduring friendships – the tools they need to overcome bullying and many other life challenges.

Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Donate before December 31st 2017 to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.

Thank you!


Mike (right) as a volunteer at camp

Mike Kim Shares His Moorelands Story

“I grew up in a loving family. For many kids it’s not like that. Moorelands taught me to be aware of more than just what’s in front of you.”

Mike's Story

Mike as a staff member at Moorelands Camp
Mike at Moorelands Camp

Mike “Squeak” Kim started working at Moorelands Camp in 2004 and went on to be a Section Head and then the Assistant Manager of our City Programs. Although he officially left in 2009, he continues to volunteer regularly.

For Mike, one thing that stands out about Moorelands’ approach is the focus on creating “the best environment possible” for the kids we serve.

Leadership for Staff and Kids

“Staff here are pushed to do more.” He explains, “It’s more than just playing or babysitting –there’s a strong focus on developing leadership skills in both the kids and the staff.”

Working at Moorelands made a huge impact on Mike’s life.  He credits Nemo and Lost with helping him overcome his fear of public speaking, but he also learned so much from them about how to lead, develop staff and empower kids: Everything I learned at Moorelands I now model in the way I conduct myself as a social worker.”

Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike with fellow Moorelands staff member Katie
Mike with fellow Moorelands office staff member Katie overlooking Kawagama Lake

A Sense of Community and Citizenship

Today, Mike works at a homeless shelter for youth and helps youth find and keep employment. When working with these kids, he uses Moorelands strategies – such as fostering a sense of community and citizenship – and makes sure never to label anyone as a “bad kid.”

“Moorelands taught me that I can be the person who reinforces the negative stereotype a kid holds of themselves, or I can show them that they are a person of value who can do great things. That’s a game changer.”

An Experience like Moorelands Can Make All the Difference

At work, he’s always struck by just how different things might have been for his clients if they’d had an experience like Moorelands.

Now, I see youth at the worst time in their life. They have been neglected; they’ve run away from home. They often ask me, ‘Where was someone like you when I was younger?’ I really believe when you invest in kids at a younger age – like Moorelands does – it negates the bad influences.”

One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
Mike at Camp
Mike at Camp

Mike is so proud to continue to be a part of Moorelands: “It takes a community to help these kids. Things don’t change over-night; it’s a long-term investment.

 The work you make possible is so influential. The friendships and connections kids make at Moorelands – they continue to support us long after camp.”

Thanks, Mike, for being a part of the Moorelands’ community! We’re so glad to have you as part of our world!

Lee at Moorelands Camp

Moorelands’ Camper, Lee, Gives Back

Growing up, sometimes the only gifts we got came from the people supporting Moorelands.”

Lee's Story

Meet Lee, a hardworking and determined young woman working in the city of Toronto at the popular Broadview restaurant, Eastbound Brewing Co.

Lee first came to Moorelands at the age of 9, when a friend from her St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood invited Lee to come to camp in the summer of 2000. “Right away, Moorelands became the definition of summer for me. I knew I was happy there – it was a freeing place to be.”

Moorelands Camp was such a gift

“My family and I lived in downtown Toronto. Mom always worked but it was hard for our family. Mom was dealing with health issues which dominated our world. Coming to camp, having a plan for the day, eating on schedule, not having to parent my younger brother – this was such a gift. It gave me time to focus on me.

Lee got back to camp during this summer’s Alumni celebration, Camp’s 100th Birthday. “It hadn’t changed at all. Moorelands was always a place where you could learn about yourself. I was never any good at public speaking. Moorelands taught me to enjoy challenges and to push through obstacles, be it on the ropes course or on a bog walk. So when LT asked me to make a speech in my final year as a counsellor, it was just one more fear I learned to let go of at Moorelands.

Lee and Jumpah
Lee (left) and Jumpah on Alumni day
Lee taking part in songs in the dining hall
Lee (right) at Alumni Day
Lee, right, as an ACE camper
Lee, right, as an ACE camper
Lee as a counsellor in 2010
Lee as a counsellor in 2010

From Camper to Counsellor

At Moorelands, campers learn to dig deep. You learn you can achieve that impossible goal you set for yourself. When times get hard again, no one can take that away from you.

I asked Lee what she learned from her time at Moorelands, both as a camper and as a returning counsellor, mentoring other young people from this city, between 2009 and 2012. “My time at Moorelands convinced me I want to work in a leadership education role.  I want to work with youth, and give them those skills I learned at camp.” Moorelands is so structured – we come in with a plan about how we want to empower the kids.  We value them for who they are and we see who they could be if given the chance.”

Skills that Last a Lifetime

Lee wants to give back to youth – to help them find the joy she found at Moorelands. This year, Lee applied to the Outdoor and Adventure Education program at Fleming College. Graduates of this diploma course will be able to lead, facilitate and instruct children, youth and adults in a wide variety of activities as they develop self- confidence and achieve personal and group goals while ensuring the personal safety of participants.

I found you make the best connections when you’re tripping. At Moorelands you put a lot of trust into the people with you on the trip. I have a lot more empathy. Moorelands taught me how important it is to understand others, to focus on them before you.  Knowing that about yourself makes you stronger. I’m more open and can advocate for myself. I learned to make better decisions.  All that character stuff actually stuck!”

Lee with fellow camp staff in 2009
Lee (2nd left) with fellow camp staff in 2009
Lee, as a counsellor, with campers
Lee, as a counsellor, with campers
Lee and her brother meet santa!
Lee and her brother meet santa!
Lee and her younger brother open presents from their Christmas Sharing sponsor.
Lee and her younger brother open presents from their Christmas Sharing sponsor.

Christmas Sharing – a chance to give back

I asked Lee why she decided to adopt a Moorelands family this Christmas.

“All my childhood, my family were adopted by others.  I knew firsthand the difference it makes. Some years the only gifts we got were from Moorelands donors. I’m making my own way now and I want to give back to families in this city too.  Moorelands is doing a great job; they’re growing with the times. But I wish I could get more people involved – word of mouth is great but a lot of people still don’t know about Moorelands or what a difference it can make to a child.  I would ask anyone reading this to spread the word. Let’s get others involved in Moorelands.”

Lee is doing a great job too. Toronto heroes don’t need to wear a cape or have a super strength. Like you Lee, they just need to decide to take an action to make life better for a child in this city.

To all our Moorelands’ heroes this Christmas, Merry Christmas, thank you!

#GivingTuesday is November 28th! Take 2 minutes to change a child's life...

This #GivingTuesday your support can give even more kids the opportunity to build some “campfire confidence” at Moorelands.

Giving Tuesday 2017

One of our amazing donors has offered a MATCHING GIFT! If we raise $3,600 on November 28th, this generous anonymous donor will match your gifts and double your impact!

Visit: to learn more about how you can give back and spread the word about Moorelands on November 28th!


Countdown to #GivingTuesday…

GivingTuesday Countdown
St. Timothy's Work Weekend

St. Timothy’s Work Weekend 2017

“When I see pictures of kids at camp – on benches we have made, enjoying the archery area, the PFD’s hanging to dry, the faces of the campers, and the stories of a campers growth… I’m proud to know we have had a small role to play in this place.”

St. Timothy’s Anglican Church Volunteers


At Moorelands, we teach our kids about the importance of service leadership – the idea that a leader exists to serve and help others be the best they can be.  One great example of this is the St. Timothy’s work weekend.

Members of St. Timothy’s congregation have been coming up to Moorelands Camp to volunteer for over 20 years.  Over this year’s weekend, these fantastic volunteers donated more than 200 hours of labour. Not only did they build, repair, paint and clean up but they got to spend some good church-family bonding time.

We’re so in awe of the age range of volunteers – from toddlers to seniors – everyone pitched in to help!

Jane Hutchinson, who organizes the weekend along with Christie Stevenson, has been coming up to help since 1997. She explains that the idea to volunteer at Moorelands first came about as part of the church’s outreach and fellowship and it continues to be a multi-generational project with around 40 volunteers each summer.

She fondly remembers coming up to camp with her daughter, Rachel, 20 years ago and sleeping in a wilderness cabin with no electricity… a cabin which they ended up sharing with a family of chipmunks!

Jane and Rachel have witnessed many changes at camp over the years but also appreciate how the camp changed them too:


“Our first project was to build a cabin with wood siding – we had no idea that we could do it! But we all encouraged each other and learned. It was amazing. Skilled volunteers showed us how to use the tools and we developed confidence in ourselves. It’s one of the things that’s brought us back to volunteer year after year.”
Today, she and Rachel continue their support and are now joined by Rachel’s nieces and son!

Jane is grateful for the opportunity to “help a worthy cause and spend time enjoying the scenic setting and fresh air. I appreciate the community spirit and the knowledge that we are doing something that is of benefit to Moorelands…

“I know that everyone is so thankful that we can help provide a camp experience to children who can’t afford it. I personally feel blessed that my own children didn’t have to strive for that. I’m happy that I can help other children have opportunities that my children were able to have.”

Christie adds, The goals and values of Moorelands just seem to make such good sense: Providing opportunities for kids to grow and develop as responsible citizens. Through volunteer opportunites, I’ve met kids who were campers/leaders, and are now educated and working and giving back. Proof that Moorelands works! I feel this is an organization I want to support – and it is brilliant to be able to contribute in tangible ways.”

Over the years, the congregation of St. Timothy’s have supported Moorelands’ children in many other ways – from financial donations to participating in Christmas Sharing. We’re so thankful to our friends at St. Timothy’s for all that they do. And a big special thank you to Christie and Jane for providing leadership and planning a great event for all.

Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

#GivingTuesday is November 28th!

This #GivingTuesday, your support can give even more kids the opportunity to build some “campfire confidence” at Moorelands.

Giving Tuesday 2017

One of our amazing donors has offered a MATCHING GIFT! If we raise $3,600 on November 28th, this generous anonymous donor will match your gifts and double your impact!

Visit: to learn more about how you can give back and spread the word about Moorelands on November 28th!


Countdown to #GivingTuesday…

GivingTuesday Countdown
Christine and Carole Alumni Day

Christine and Carol Share Their Story

“It was like a dream come true to go to Moorelands Camp and escape from the traffic noise, pollution and congestion…”

Christine and Carol's Moorelands Story

Christine and Carole at Alumni Day
Christine and Carole at Alumni Day

At Alumni Day 2017 (July 15th) we got the chance to catch up with two campers from the 1960s, sisters Christine and Carol. Here, Christine tells their story:

“Moorelands Camp at Beaverton first came to our attention through Constance Hood who of St. Stephen’s-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, and through her, we joined this church shortly after moving to Toronto.  She also happened to be one of the directors of the DCA and a well-known leader at the camp.  I attended the girls’ camp for 5 years in the early ‘60s and my sister, Carol, attended for 3 years starting in the late ‘50s.

Moorelands Camp at Beaverton

“We have great memories of Moorelands Camp which was situated on a very picturesque area of land overlooking Lake Simcoe. There was a fair bit of lawn all through the camp, so it was not a rustic setting by any means.  The three long dormitories for the campers were named:  Sunset (the yellow one), Lakeview (green), and Woodlands (brown), and there was also this lovely quaint chapel at the far end of camp that had this lovely pine smell as you entered.

Bishop Hunt, Constance Hood & Beatrice Thorne circa 1962
Bishop Hunt, Constance Hood & Beatrice Thorne circa 1962
Carol in 1961
Carol in 1961

Memories to Last a Lifetime

“The swim lessons were invaluable in helping to overcome my fear of water.  My first year, the biggest thrill was being awarded a copper cup for most improved swimmer.  Carol’s most memorable highlight was winning the reward for having the neatest dorm.  She was so motivated to win that she and her roommate ended up cleaning some of the other campers’ rooms!  In the end, it was worth all their hard work.

“Meal times were fun. We sang and clapped to the “gilly gilly wash wash” song, with each table shouting out the names of various tribes assigned to us.  The food was excellent and nourishing. As there was no automatic dishwasher back then, an adult volunteer washed the dishes and the campers took turns in groups, drying them – a somewhat daunting task – but there was also a sense of accomplishment and relief when we finished.

Looking Back at How Camp Was

“Nightly entertainment in the rec hall for skits, songs, and games was so enjoyable.  The variety of crafts, the tuck shop, mail time, and the long walk to the town of Beaverton also stand out.  Then there were the flag raising/lowering ceremonies.  Each morning three campers were assigned to hoist the flag up the pole and each evening three more would lower it.  We always felt a bit nervous hoping we wouldn`t mess up!

“The evening campfire was something we all looked forward to.  They always started out with “Fire’s Burning” and ended with “Day is Done”. Although there was no archery, kayaking or canoeing, there was plenty to keep us busy.

“After Moorelands, I attended Camp High Adventure on Sparrow Lake for two years. We both started full-time work right after high school as money was tight back then.  Apart from raising our own families, Carol has been, and is still, heavily involved with her Anglican Church for the past 40 years, lending her time and support where needed.  I went back to college 15 years ago, completing a legal diploma program, while also doing volunteer work at a retirement home.

Christine in Toronto, 1966
Christine in Toronto, 1966
Christine at Camp in 1966
Christine at Camp in 1966
Christine and Carol relive memories at alumni day
Christine and Carol relive memories at alumni day

The Importance of Giving Back

“Moorelands taught us early on about giving back to the community in the same way we were helped.  We are grateful to Mrs. Hood and the DCA to have given us this opportunity as we lived in one of the busiest streets in downtown Toronto, and right across from a busy car wash at that, so it was like a dream come true to escape from the traffic noise, pollution and congestion!”

Share YOUR Story Too!

We love reading the stories of those who have been to Moorelands – either as participants or staff. Alumni, why not share your own Moorelands story too?

Don’t forget to sign up to join our Alumni Group to keep up to date with alumni news and events and opportunities to get involved with Moorelands.

Look how much good your gifts to Moorelands can do

Look How Much Good Your Gifts To Moorelands Can Do

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands this year!

So far this year, your gifts to Moorelands have already made an amazing impact in the lives of Toronto kids in need.  Check out some of the ways your support in the Send a Kid to Camp campaign made a BIG difference this summer.

Your gifts to Moorelands - Camp girls hanging out

A Safe Space

YOU gave 518 campers a safe place to just be kids and explore nature away from the pressures of the city. Grace, age 10, told us she loved her time at camp because “I learned that one of my strengths is trying new things… and now I am (sort of) not afraid of spiders…!”

your gifts to Moorelands - proud boy with staff with character badge

Positive Role Models

YOU provided campers with 50 well-trained staff. 93% of campers reported that they had strong connections to positive staff role models. Ryan, age 8, told us: “I learned a lot from my cabin leaders and I can surely use respect and teamwork in my daily life to keep a good reputation. Thank you!”

your gifts to Moorelands - girl learning to swim

Water Safety

YOU gave 179 non-swimmers the chance to learn how to swim. Sara, age 12, told us: “The only chance I get to swim is at camp, and I love it so much! The water is amazing!”

your gifts to Moorelands - older boy helping younger girl on high ropes

Leadership Skills

YOU provided the opportunity for campers to improve their leadership skills: 91% said they are more responsible because of camp. Brayden, age 13, told us: “Because of camp I feel like now I care for others more. I can use this to be more respectful and responsible at home.”

Your gifts to Moorelands - boy by the frogpond

From Camp to Community

YOUR efforts through the Send a Kid to Camp Campaign paid the fees for 219 Moorelands campers. Mark, age 13, told us his time at camp will help him at home: What I learned at camp can help me outside of Moorelands because I can help spread positivity in my community.”

A special thank you from a camper parent:

“Just wanted to say this year at Moorelands was absolutely fantastic and a huge success. I know you always do your best for the kids but this year was special. The counsellors were absolutely phenomenal. Both my boys were thrilled… Keep up the very good job. Way to go! BRAVO! And a huge thank you to those who helped us get to camp,  from the bottom of my heart! :)”

THANK YOU for your gifts to Moorelands!