Visitor's Day

Visitor’s Day

Sunday July 21st, 12pm – 4pm

We are so excited to see you this Visitor’s Day! The weather forecast for the weekend is calling for some hot weather! Please remember to pack a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle! Below is some general information about the day for those that are new and returning.

Why a Visitor’s Day?

On our younger side of camp, it is a chance for the many families who have never stood on Walden soil to visit the property. And as many of our older full-season campers get used to being away from home, Visitor’s Day is an important halfway-point milestone. For everyone… even those 2- and 4-week campers leaving just a few days later… Visitor’s Day is the pride felt by children showing their parents a new skill like getting up on water-skis. Or the pride felt by parents hearing that their child is the “best cleaner” in the cabin. Visitor’s Day is an opportunity to eat delicious food, by a gorgeous lake, with your equally gorgeous family.

Parents have always been our partners in delivering this experience and transparency a fundamental tenet of the Walden Way. Even with all the pictures, letters, MASH and tracking calls, Visitor’s Day is also a time for parents to size their children up and down, and to check up on their camper both physically and emotionally… to ask them how they are getting along with friends… how they’ve adjusted to camp life. We can more confidently enter the second half when you agree that your campers are doing great!

Thank you again for trusting us with your children. It has been our joy and honour to “cherish our time in paradise” together. We do understand that it is a long drive for a short day (and for some just a few days before 1st month campers go home) but we have heard, and hope you will agree after-the-fact, that the visit is worthwhile.  We are so proud of our beautiful setting and our amazing staff (not in that order) and we hope you enjoy every minute of your camp experience!

Preparing for your visit

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Lunch

Many parents love to bring a full picnic with their camper’s favourite foods from home.  And there are 100 picnic tables and 100 other beautiful venues around camp.  We put out a nice spread for you too!  There is a line that will move quickly, and we do have foods to accommodate special diets for you and your camper.

Our usual Visitor’s Day spectacular lunch will be served from approximately 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.!  And this year, seating will be available in the Dining Hall and outdoor Patio!  When the announcement is made, please enter through either the Colour or Seeker door.

The Tuck Shop will be open from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. with snacks.

Cabin sweatshirts

You know it is a good summer when we are talking about cabin sweatshirts (and not the camp cold!)  We have received several emails from parents about cabin sweatshirts!  “Are they allowed?”, “How many kids in the cabin?” etc. 

Our official position on this is: There is an ABUNDANCE of stuff here already.  Our kids are so privileged.  Camp is paradise.  They don’t need more.  Cabin sweatshirts can create inequity, between cabins, and for campers or staff added to the cabin.

While our position on this will be stronger next year, at this late stage, for 2023, sweatshirts are not banned on Visitor’s Day.  Having said that, please consider making this an “at home” gift at the end of the season or at the very least making sure you are ready to make a few extras if campers or staff are added to the cabin.

From what we can tell, the majority of cabins are not making sweatshirts.  If you are reading this and thinking, “what is Sol talking about?”, please feel free to ignore and read on!

Packages

Unfortunately, the camp has received some packages that do not meet our package policy during the first three weeks of camp.  The contents of these packages have been returned to sender or collected in our Tuck Shop.  We wish to remind you that packages can only be given to campers on their birthday.  Please do not send packages of any kind, food or non-food – this includes books, comics, and magazines.  Our “Do Not Pack List” is included again for your information.

  • Banned items that were collected on our “amnesty night” have been placed in storage and will be returned to campers on their last day of camp. Please don’t ask for them. They are in a secret location in Toronto.
  • Parents may leave a maximum of one small grocery bag of food & drink per camper today only. Products containing peanuts in the ingredients, or that require boiled water for cooking, bottled water of any kind, and cases of pop are strictly banned and will be confiscated.

What to pack

There is very little need for anything beyond the Packing List. In fact, it can be damaging to the camp experience when other items are sent.

The magic of camp is greatest when campers are free from the pressures of inequity. In school, students are segregated by their academic performance, the groups they move with, and the “stuff” they have in their possession. Camp is unique because it is often the only time in a child’s life when they can begin an experience with other children on a truly level playing field.

There is another very real reason not to send items beyond those listed. So much effort has been expended to ensure that camp is a safe environment. Many items, particularly electrical appliances, although seemingly harmless, can pose a risk to the safety of campers.

We hope you understand that this policy is re-examined regularly and formulated with the assistance of experienced camp and safety professionals including our local fire department.

Parents can control what is sent to camp. Camp staff can control what is kept at camp.

Please share in this responsibility of making camp a safe and productive environment by ensuring that only items that appear on the Packing List are sent.

Other helpful hints

  • New Walden Clothing and some unlabelled Lost and Found will be on display on the back deck of the NEW CL.  Please note that quite a bit of Lost and Found is collected after Colour Wars and gets cleaned and distributed on Monday.
  • Our staff work as a team.  Please do not tip camp staff.  In our experience, kind words and an appreciative handwritten note go further than any gift.
  • Many of our specialties are open between 12:15 – 3:30 p.m.
    • All camp boats and our Walls facilities are to be enjoyed by campers only.
    • The use of the swimming facilities is available to campers throughout the day.  Non-campers may use our “1st Area” only.
  • Please help keep Walden clean by placing garbage in the appropriate receptacles and paper, cans, or bottles in camp’s recycling bins.
  • Thank you for keeping your dog on a leash and providing any necessary scooping of poop!
  • We ask that you respect our end-time of 4:00 p.m. SHARP and begin your goodbyes at 3:40 p.m. so that we can resume our regular camp programs for your camper comfortably.  Although there may be a few tears, our staff are trained and well equipped to ease the transition back into camp life.  If you need some assistance with your goodbye, please meet the Trackers in front of the office.

Riverview Motel
9261 Combermere Road, Combermere, Ontario K0J 1L0
Tel no.: 613-756-3633
On the scenic Madawaska River close to local shopping, Mastercard & Visa accepted.

Stevenson Lodge & Marina
1840 Lower Craigmont Road, Combermere, Ontario K0J 1L0
Tel no.: 613-756-3505
Year round, boat, motor & canoe rental, small marina, fuel & repair service, restaurant.

Wingle Inn
275 Wingle Road, Regional Road #2, Palmer Rapids, Ontario, K0J 2E0
Tel no.: 613-758-2072
Peaceful & quiet Bed & Breakfast, family restaurant, good quality food, nice view of Ottawa Valley.

Benaaron Guest House
5281 Boulter Road, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
Tel no.: 613-332-0892
info@benaaronguesthouse.com

Brides’ Gate Inn & Grail Springs Spa
2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
Tel no.: 613-332-0154

Best Western Sword Motor Inn
146 Hastings North, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
Tel no.: 613-332-2474

Swiss Inn Motel & Restaurant
Highway 41, Denbigh, Ontario K0H 1L0
Tel no.: 613-333-2221

Piper’s Rest Bed & Breakfast
15 Slate Falls Road, Denbigh, Ontario K0H 1L0
Tel no.: 613-333-9462

Mountain View Motel
18508 Highway 60, Barry’s Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0
Tel no.: 1-800-363-6936 or 613-756-2757

Ash Grove Inn
42524 Combermere Road, Barry’s Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0
Tel no.: 1-888-756-7672
Located opposite beautiful Kamaniskeg Lake – every room comes with a view of the lake and breathtaking sunsets.

Chippawa Cottage Resort
835 Chippawa Road, Regional Road #1, Barry’s Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0
Tel no.: 613-756-2703
Some housekeeping cottages, boat & motor rentals, restaurant.

Opeongo Trail Resort
262 Ohio Road, P.O. Box 220, Combermere, Ontario K0J 1L0
Tel no.: 613-756-3509
opeongotrail@mv.igs.net
Housekeeping cottage rentals on scenic waterfront lots, fully-serviced tent & trailer sites, showers, washrooms, dock and sandy beach.

Dreamer’s Rock Bed & Breakfast
35556 Highway 28 East, McArthur’s Mills, Ontario K0L 2M0
Tel no.: 613-332-2350

Little Mississippi Inn
35556 Highway 28 East, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
Tel no.: 613-332-2350

Parking

A message from the Parking Master:

Dear Visitors,

Sun in the city, and even more sun at camp. The weather this summer has been hot with quick rainstorms to keep the grass green!  We are not complaining!  Hot weather is wonderful for encouraging kids to go swimming and stay involved!

Once your car is parked, we ask that it remain that way until you wish to leave camp.  To preserve the safety of your children and our visitors, cars are not to be driven anywhere around camp certainly not to a camper cabin.  You may notice that some areas are blocked off with chains, white traffic barriers, picnic tables, canoes, or garbage cans – please do not try to cross these lines as they demarcate “No Driving Zones” at camp.

Please be patient with our parking process.  We do not promise to be fast, but we do promise to be fair and safe.  Our gates open at approximately 11:00 a.m. and we hope to have everyone parked before noon.  Families that arrive at 9 am will see their kids at noon… and families that arrive at 11:15 will also see their kids at noon.

Please follow the directions of our camp greeters and parking staff.  One year, a staff member was almost hurt by an impatient parent.  Please don’t rush!  The campers will not be let out of the buildings before noon and I hope your child will be a staff member one day.

There are three types of staff that will be giving parking directions: OPP Officers, Local friends of Walden, and Walden Staff.  Please thank them and give them your attention and respect.  Some of these men and women are our local reserve firefighters!

For many years, Walden Visitors lined up on the opposite side of the road.  In 2018, our friends at the OPP asked us to find a better way so as not to hold up through traffic on an increasingly busy Highway 28.   We implemented a new system with success!  And so, with their help, and the help of our neighbours, we are keeping the changes we made last year to the ways in which we park cars on Visitor’s Day.  The “new” plan is detailed on the next page.

The very first cars to arrive will be parked in the staff parking lot.  These families will have to wait in the staff parking lot until 11 am.

Please ignore the unpleasantness of seeing some extra cars around camp.  We have tried to keep them out of site but sometimes that isn’t possible.  Camp is cleared of cars on all other days of the summer!

Thank you for your cooperation on this great day,
Seth Cole, Parking Master, 41st Summer at Camp Walden

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Meeting your camper

Campers are excited to see their families!  If you have any difficulty finding your camper amidst the excitement, please come to the office where you will be connected with them.

Colour and Comic campers can be collected just outside the building called OMNI.

Zodiacs Boys will be in the Warehouse.

Zodiacs Girls will be in the Zodiac Unit.

Do not enter unit until noon.

Seekers will be in the Seeker Unit.

Do not enter unit until noon.

CITs will be in the Halfway House.

Meeting us

The following members of camp’s Leadership Team will be available outside the main office for most of the day.

Sol Birenbaum
Sol Birenbaum (Camp Owner)
Jen Birenbaum
Jen Birenbaum (Camp Owner)
Sari Grossinger
Sari Grossinger (Camp Owner)
Howie Grossinger
Howie Grossinger (Camp Owner)
Ben Fagan
Ben Fagan (Head Counsellor and CIT Tracker)
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Alicia Krumholz (Seeker Camper Tracker)
Nadine Collins
Nadine Collins (Comic Camper Tracker)
Bethany Wright
Bethany Wright (Comic Camper Tracker)
Melanie Offman
Melanie Offman (Zodiac Camper Tracker)
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Lexi Reiken (Zodiac Camper Tracker)
Danielle Zelikovitz
Danielle Zelikovitz (Colour Camper Tracker)
Sharon Cole
Sharon Cole (Colour Camper Tracker)
Marlie Clark
Marlie Clark (Colour Camper Tracker)
Seth Cole
Seth Cole (Associate Director)
Matt Sherman
Matt Sherman (Program Director)
Jamie Collins
Jamie Collins (Program Director)
Lyndsay Cloughley
Lyndsay Cloughley (Dining Hall Manager)

Associate Director, Seth Cole, and Program Directors, Matt Sherman & Jamie Collins, will be circulating around camp throughout the afternoon to answer any questions you might have about our skill development programs.

Dining Hall Manager Lyndsay Cloughley will be eager to discuss any Food Questions or Special Diet Questions with her fellow Kitchen Heads in the Dining Hall.

Lauren Horowitz, our Head of Camper Relations, will be available near the office throughout the day.

Health Coordinators, Josh, Mel, and Cassidy will greet you at MASH during the afternoon.

Amanda, Ashton, and our other office staff will be in the office helping your experience be as wonderful as it can be!

Extending your camper’s stay at Walden

Before you read on, please note that: the price is the price (see below). As we communicate throughout the year, extension rates are flat rates. That is to say that sibling, alumni, cheque, and other discounts do not apply. The cost is: more than if you had registered for this length of time originally, but less than the cost of the session sold separately. Accommodating late requests for extensions are wonderful but do cost camp more.

If you thought JULY was a blast, wait until you hear about what happens at Walden in AUGUST!!! There are lots of campers registered for August and there are still spaces available in all units. The List is way too long but here are some of the highlights of our August programs:

  • Awesome singsongs
  • Camp-wide Waldenstock
  • Seeker Canoe Trips
  • The Dance Show, the Video Show, and… duh duh duh…
  • THE WALDEN GAMES! Closing out the summer with participation in the Walden Games will surely be a lasting memory for your camper.

Extension rates

The following extension rates are for all campers including both July and Home and Away:

Zodiac, Seeker and CIT Campers

Add 3 more weeks: $4972 ($4400 +13% HST)

Colour and Comic Campers

Add 2 more weeks: $4068 ($3600 +13% HST)

Add a 3rd week: $1695 ($1500 +13% HST)

If you are interested in extending your child’s stay at camp, please visit the Camp Office.  There are openings in many cabins.  Please understand that placing your name on the Extension List indicates a commitment on your part.  Please also be aware that although we ask you for your commitment today, we cannot guarantee to you whether a spot is available until Tuesday!  We cannot make promises about cabin grouping at any time.

Alternate Visitor’s Day

Saturday July 20th, 12pm – 4pm

We recognize that Walden campers come from various family structures that may require alternate arrangements around Visitor’s Day. We also know that there are some families who have children at multiple camps with conflicting Visitor’s Days. Regardless of the reason, we are happy to work with your family to help make accommodations for a successful visit with your camper(s)!

We typically recommend the day before Visitor’s Day for alternate visits though other dates can be worked out if that date does not work for your family.

Please note that there may be camp-wide programs, unit field trips, or cabin canoe trips in the days before or after Visitor’s Day that your child may not want to miss, so we recommend consulting with our office before solidifying a date for your visit.

Waterskiing

Campers have had a wonderful summer at ski! Over 100 people asked to show off their skills at ski and a random selection of campers was made! A schedule has been created and is posted in the dining hall, at ski, and the cork boards by the office. Everyone is invited to come watch the skiing but only those on the list should ask to ski.

If siblings are both participating, you should find that they will be scheduled consecutively.

  • Families should arrive at the docks 20 minutes before the camper is scheduled to ski.
  • On arrival, please identify yourself to the dock manager and sign in.
  • Once signed in, please stay at the docks.
  • While waiting, please stay behind the green line painted on the docks until your family is called.
  • A maximum of 2 adults and 3 children are allowed into the ski boats to spot/watch/video a camper. 
  • Everyone must wear a lifejacket while in the ski boat.
  • Please come dressed and prepared to listen to the directions of the ski staff to help us ensure a smooth afternoon.

Please understand that skiing and fun is very important but your safety is paramount!  Jess & Zane, our wonderful heads of ski, may make changes to ensure the integrity of the ski program and the safety of all participants and observers.

Happy Skiing!

Map of main camp

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Browse the Guidebook

Only 31 days left until camp!

New to Walden? Have a look at our Information Sessions or find out about our Discovery Programs.

Already registered? Make sure to fill out our Spring Registration Form so we have all of your up-to-date information.