Our caring staff are trained to help the first time campers to ease the pain of being away from home. There is a space provided on our registration form that gives us a head’s up that your camper may be away from home for the first time. That way, the counsellor will know to be extra sensitive and put to use some important skills they learn in their training. Homesickness is a natural reaction when going away to camp however, from the moment campers arrive at camp, they are immersed in activities and kept very busy right up until the end of their stay.

Where is Latona?

In Vancouver’s Howe Sound, the southernmost network of Fjords in Canada, Camp Latona sits on 118 Acres of pristine rainforest oceanfront on the North end of Gambier Island near “Ekins Point”. Latona beach is still used as a tide station for measurements in the Howe Sound as a throwback to its early maritime origin.

Can I have more information about Gambier Island and the Howe Sound?

Gambier Island is an island located in Howe Sound near Vancouver, British Columbia. It is about 17,000 acres (69 km²) in size and is located about 10 km north of the Horseshoe Bay community and ferry terminal in westernmost West Vancouver.

A rugged and sparsely populated island, it is far quieter than its neighbour Bowen Island, which is popular with day-trippers and summer vacationers. Gambier Island is accessible only by B.C. Ferries passenger service,water taxi or other boats. There is no central road network on the Island. .

The spectacular Howe Sound is North America’s southernmost fjord, located northwest of Vancouver and extending from West Vancouver north to Squamish. Surrounded by towering peaks that rise straight out of the sea, Howe Sound is Vancouver’s playground for sailing, diving, camping, hiking, and a host of other recreational activities.

Families travel from around the world travel to the Pacific Northwest to explore, camp and enjoy the area. For us, it is our backyard.

What are the origins of Camp Latona?

Camp Latona was originally founded as a navy sea cadet camp, and scuba training facility, then in 1959 was taken over by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver who operated camps for many children and youth in the Lower Mainland for over 40 years. Latona Beach was sold in 1999 to an American Christian organization that continued to use our camp in the summers. The camp ceased to operate as a children’s summer residential camp and became a destination rental resort.

In 2007, our camp was privately purchased to return it to the original vision of establishing an inclusive summer camp for children. The Camp Latona Society leases the Latona Beach site and have returned it to its fundamental origin as a summer camp. The Camp Latona Society is a non-profit organization comprised of campers and staff who remember and are thankful for the many ways our lives have been shaped by Camp Latona.

Since then we have been working hard to develop excellent, intentional programming for future generations to enjoy.

Tibi!

Why should I send my child to Latona?

Trying to explain Camp Latona’s appeal to generations of campers and staff is no easy task. Yet it would be fair to say that Latona has always been known for its staff’s enthusiasm, professionalism and creativity. While the location and camp has remained largely unchanged, the spirit of Latona has always been the intangible quality of care and character development among the camp family. At Latona we take pride in our camp family, and are privileged to call them our own!
At Camp Latona campers will be exposed to new experiences such as challenge courses, kayaking, tubing, archery, and team activities, with support by friendly and encouraging counsellors to try new things helps the child build self-confidence. True self-esteem comes from doing something new and difficult and succeeding. Living and working with others at Camp Latona gives children a chance to learn respect for others, teamwork, kindness, and honesty and they have fun while they learn! Skills learned at camp are then transferred to the classroom, sports team and family life during the regular academic year.

What about the Staff? Who are they?

Our staff is primarily composed of university aged students, many of whom are former campers, outdoor leaders or new faces involved with education and recreation. They come from across Canada and around the world. They are rigorously screened through application, reference checks and personal interviews with our leadership team. Our staff is diverse and frequently come from around the USA and Canada, as well as from Europe.

Our staff is held to the highest standard of education, training and qualification in their specialist fields and are brought together through a 3 month process of development. Our Orientation and Staff Development is comprised of online learning, in town training and onsite exploration at Camp and further afield.

Who are the campers?

Our campers are boys and girls aged 5-17; who join us for a variety of different programs. Our traditional week-long overnight sessions typically see 40-60 campers join us aged 8-15 from across B.C., many other provinces in Canada, across the US and The rest of the world.

What does a week at camp look like?

Two of the four daily activity periods are organized in cabin groups, as are the outtrips. The two activity periods in the afternoon are for campers to explore their choices and interests at camp. This approach provides every camper equal exposure and access to each camp activity, giving the opportunity to “challenge by choice”. “free wharf” free time periods are before lunch and dinner. Our youngest campers are given more direction and supervision in the use of their free time approached on the Structured-Unstructured time philosophy.

What about the activities at Latona?

Each of our activity areas are intentionally designed to empower children and youth toward their personal growth and development. Each have elements of learning new skills, team building and room for initiative growth. Please visit http://camplatona.com/camp/activities/ to go to our Activities page.

What about the food?

One of the most consistent “WOW’S” that we receive at camp is how great the food is. Camp Latona prides itself on making fresh from scratch homemade bread, pizza dough, cinnamon buns and muffins.

All our meals are prepared by our professional cooks and staff are certified under the provincial Foodsafe program. Our meals are served family style. Our kitchen can accommodate most allergies/ dietary restrictions with advance notice and we are a “peanut aware” camp.

· Breakfast: French toast made from our homemade fresh bread, sausages, fresh muffins, fruit platter and of course hot coffee and tea for the teachers and leaders.

· Lunch: Our 5 cheese Mac-n-cheese is made from a recipe that has been handed down for generations. It is made from scratch and is traditionally served with fresh biscuits and a green salad.

· Dinner: BBQ chicken with our homemade BBQ sauce that keeps you coming back for more, fresh veggies, roasted potatoes and a green salad.

· Dessert: If you still have room left then you are going to want to try our homemade fresh berry Shortcake with seasonal fruit and whipping cream.

What about the campers medical needs?

At Camp Latona, the health of our children is our top priority. We have a licensed paramedic on site during our sessions, after every meal they are available for questions, concerns and some basic TLC. Trained medical staff is on site 24 hours a day.

All of our staff is required to be trained in first aid, emergency procedures and demonstrate their competency during mandatory staff training sessions. All activities that occur off of our primary campsite is equipped with a first aid kit and radio. The town of Gibsons is a 20 minute boat ride away. In case of an emergency, Latona is also accessible by hovercraft and helicopter as part of our standard emergency procedures.

Life at Camp

At Camp Latona, children are divided up by age and gender into smaller cabin groups. A counselor, with help from our CIT team, care for each cabin group. The cabins are just a short walk from the mess hall, washrooms and the centre of camp.

As a cabin group, campers will attend activities together during the morning and early afternoon. A program specialist, who has extra skills and talents in a particular area, leads most of these activities. Free Wharf is held each afternoon giving the campers a chance to try some of their favorite activities and interact with the other campers at the session. Arts and crafts, water activities and sports are just some of the things to try at Free Wharf!

The whole camp comes together for all meals and for an evening activity. The nights conclude with songs and stories around the campfire before cabin groups separate and turn in for a healthy night’s rest.

Risk Management

Here at Camp Latona, we place the utmost priority on making effective and successful risk management choices as an organizational responsibility. Every member of our team plays a vital role in our risk management process and is fully trained and experienced in their area of work and emergency procedures.

We are exposed to risk taking behaviors and opportunities on a daily basis. Camp Latona’s programs allow participants to learn how to recognize risk and adjust their level of response appropriately. Our role is to facilitate a supportive environment where the foreseeable risks are managed so we are prepared for the unforeseeable..

Accommodation

Our campers are split into cabin groups of 6-10 people with 2-4 counsellors and activity specialists based on age, grade and gender. These groups are primarily housed in our wooden cabins with traditional camp bunks.

In the Spring of 2009, our lodges and cabins began their full renovation. They are now beautifully furnished with reclaimed timber, board and baton siding highlighted with local cedar. Our cabins are equipped with both electricity and wood burning stoves. The shower and washroom facility called “sanitation” is centrally located with separate facilities for boys and girls.

Does Latona observe any religious traditions?

Camp Latona is non-denominational camp welcoming children and youth to our family from all creeds and ethnicities. Each night before bed the campers take part in reflective sessions about their days and their time at camp. These times are meant to build relationships with their cabin groups and encourage social communication and development.

Is Latona an accredited camp?

Camp Latona is an active, and accredited member of the British Columbia Section of the Canadian Camping Association, the British Columbia Camping Association (BCCA). Latona’s leadership are accreditation inspectors for the BCCA.

What is happening at Camp Latona this summer?

June 29th – 2015 Staff Orientation and Development

July 3rd – July 10th – Outdoor Leadership – Grade 11 and 12

July 5th – July 10th – Session #1 – Age 7 – 16

July 19th – July 24th – Session #2 – Age 7 – 16

July 26h – July 31st – Marine Explorers #1 – Age 7 – 16

July 29th – July 31st – Intro Camp – Age 5 – 8

July 31st – August 3rd – FAMILY CAMP – August Long Weekend

August 9th – August 15th – Children’s Organ Transplant Society & Kidney Foundation Camp

August 23rd – August 28th – Session #3 – Age 7 – 16

August 30th – September 4th – Marine Explorers #2 – Ages 7 – 16

At Camp Latona, children are divided up by age and gender into smaller cabin groups. A counselor, and sometimes a counselor-in-training (CIT) care for each cabin group. The cabins are just a short walk from the mess hall, washrooms and the centre of camp.

As a cabin group, campers will attend activities together during the morning and early afternoon. A program specialist, who has extra skills and talents in a particular area, leads most of these activities. Free Wharf is held each afternoon giving the campers a chance to try some of their favorite activities and interact with the other campers at the session. Arts and crafts, water activities and sports are just some of the things to try at Free Wharf!

The whole camp comes together for all meals and for an evening activity. The nights conclude with songs and stories around the campfire before cabin groups separate and turn in for a healthy night’s rest.

Camp Latona monitors all foodstuffs coming onto our camp. We are a Nut Aware facility. Please do not bring food to camp.

Camp Latona operates a lost and found during the weeks at camp. We then collect items that stay at Camp after their owners depart where every effort will be made to get these back to you. Please get in touch with our camp office if you think something has been left at camp. After September 1st, any remaining articles will be donated to charity.

Still have questions? Feel free to fill out this form with your questions and we will get back to you with the answers!

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