What does 'accredited member' mean?
You have probably noticed our statement that we are an Accredited Member of the Canadian Camping Association (CCA), the Quebec Camps Association (ACQ) and the Ontario Camps Association (OCA).
These associations are the only bodies which set overall standards for children’s camps in Canada and monitor the application of these standards. Our camp receives an official standards review every three or four years to ensure the ongoing quality of our facility, staffing and program. We are proud to have earned our accreditation and work hard to maintain these standards.
Beside the standards inspections by the camping associations, our kitchen and dining hall are inspected annually by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ); our facilities are expected every two years by the Quebec Tourism Industry Corporation (CITQ); and the Ministère de développement durable, environnement et parcs du Québec (MDDEP) tests the lake water in our swimming areas twice each summer and our drinking water every two weeks.
Will my child be safe? Will he eat proper meals? Will he be well-supervised?
At Nominingue, we have a 1:3, staff to camper ratio. This ratio is part of the effort we make to ensure that your son’s experience at Nominingue is safe and happy. For our youngest campers and frequently for campers up to 12 years of age, each tent group of 5 campers will be supervised by a counsellor and a junior counsellor. Most of our counsellors have previously been campers or staff at Nominingue. They know the Nominingue program and we have gotten to know them quite well. All of our senior staff must also complete a police background check, as a further measure to ensure the safety of your son.
In our dining room, most of the campers sit with their tent group and their counsellors. Each camper is served by a staff member at their table. When a camper is not eating, his counsellor is the first to know. One task for the counsellor is to encourage each camper to eat a balanced diet.
An accredited camp has been thoroughly examined by an experienced person, using an extensive set of standards and requirements. Camp Nominingue receives this accreditation from both the Quebec and Ontario Camp Associations. This accreditation is just another way that Nominingue works to ensure the safety of your son while he is in our care.
How are the campers organized in their tent groups?
At Camp Nominingue, there are four sections into which all campers are divided: 7-10 year olds are in lower camp; 11 and 12 year olds are in middle camp, 13 to 15 year olds are in upper camp and the leader-in-training (LIT) program is for 16 year old campers. Within each section, campers are grouped in tents. Campers are grouped according to their age and their grade in school. Campers will not find themselves in a tent with much younger or much older campers. Only in section 1, where 7 and 8 year old campers might be in the same tent, and in section 7, where 14 and 15 year old campers might be together, might two age groups be placed in the same tent.
Can I ask to have my son placed in the same tent as a friend?
Camp Nominingue places a great deal of emphasis on tent placements: mixing new and old campers from different locales and teaching them the importance of living together as a close unified group. The camp experience is compromised if a tent consists exclusively of previous friendships. You may list two tent mate preferences (we can not consider more) and we ask for your cooperation and faith in our ability to make the best possible tent assignment on your camper’s behalf. For us to consider this request, it is important that both families or both boys make the request.
This is my first year coming to Nominingue. Is it best to come with a friend?
Each summer, we have campers who come to Nominingue for the first time without knowing other boys. At the same time, some boys and families feel more comfortable sending their son with a friend. Neither approach is necessarily better. A camper arriving on their own often finds it easier to make new friends, not having a friend from the city to rely on. Boys arriving with a friend might take longer to step outside their comfort zone and reach out to other campers in their tent. Your decision should be based on your objectives for your son’s camp experience and this is definitely a personal choice.
I want my son to have the opportunity to practise his English. Is Nominingue the right camp for him?
Camp Nominingue operates in English and a majority of our campers are anglophone. About 60% of our campers come from Quebec, 20% from Ontario and another 20% from outside the country. 15% of our parents say that their son speaks little or no English and choose Nominingue as an opportunity for English immersion.
Many francophones choose Nominingue to give their son the opportunity to practise his English. Our counsellors encourage non-English speaking campers to practise their English as much as possible. In setting up the tent groups, we try to ensure that all non-anglophone campers have English-speaking friends in the tent. We also hire an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) instructor who offers small-group English classes once a day, six days a week. The aim of these classes is to give non-anglophone campers another opportunity to practise their English, while focusing on camp expressions and vocabulary. This class is quite different from anything found in school. Our instructor makes use of the unique Camp atmosphere and environment in the lessons. There is a no charge.
I am not looking for a French camp, but does Nominingue offer any opportunities for my son to practise his French?
Due to our location north of Montreal and to the Francophone campers who choose Nominingue to practise their English, we are able to offer opportunities for English-speaking campers to practise their French. We can place an English-speaking camper in a tent with a couple of Francophones among his tent-mates or arrange for your son to have a French-speaking counselor. We hire an FSL instructor who will offer French language practice once a day for interested campers. This instruction will take the form of a small group activity, where language will be learned while playing.
Can I bring a cell phone, an iPod type player or handheld game to Camp?
No! It detracts from the whole experience of being in nature and appreciating one’s surroundings! We feel there is value in living an “unplugged” experience while at camp.
We do not allow campers to use laptops, cell phones, blackberry/iphone, iPods, electronic games etc…. at camp. If you arrive at camp with these items, they will be stored in the camp office for safe-keeping during your stay and then returned just prior to departure.
The camp does not accept responsibility for belongings which become lost or damaged while kept in the tents. The best idea is simply to keep all expensive and /or fragile jewelry, clothing, shoes or equipment at home.
How is the food at Camp?
Great! Although institutional cooking can never be the same as home cooking, we receive many compliments from the boys on the quality and quantity of the food we serve. There are usually second helpings of everything on the table. Fresh fruit is served at meal-times on a daily basis. At mid-morning each day, we also offer a fruit snack to the campers. A salad bar and vegetables are included at every lunch and supper.
Our menus are approved by a licensed dietician. Our kitchen staff is carefully chosen by Lakeside Catering, the catering service that has been providing our meals for the last three summers. The kitchen staff is supervised by an experienced head chef. Since 2011, we have been nut and peanut free, both in camp and on our canoe trips. A vegetarian menu is available for boys who sign up for it and the kitchen staff is able to handle a wide variety of food allergies and intolerances.
Does the Camp have medical staff on the Camp site?
Our well-equipped infirmary is open 24-hours-day and is staffed by two caring first-aiders. Usually, there is a doctor on site throughout the summer while there are campers at camp. Clinics are held three times a day for medication dispensing. A general hospital with an emergency room is located a 15 minute drive away.
Does the Camp charge fees for medical expenses?
For Canadian citizens, all medical services are covered by the Canadian Medicare systems, whether the service is provided at camp or at the local hospital. It is therefore necessary to have each camper’s Canadian Health Care number, including an expiry date, on file at Camp.
Campers from outside Canada will be charged for the purchase of emergency medical insurance unless he has private medical insurance. This insurance will cover the cost of services rendered by the Camp doctor, for the purchase of any prescriptions and for treatment at the hospital, such as an x-ray. In 2015, the cost of this insurance was $3.50/day.
If a camper from outside Canada has private insurance, the purchase of emergency medical insurance is unnecessary. Medical services provided by the camp doctor will be charged to a camper’s account. Any charges incurred outside of camp (if a trip is made to the local hospital for example) will be charged to your credit card. All medical attention received by the camper will be documented and the bills will be forwarded to you with the final statement.
If you prefer using your own private insurance, please complete the Campers with Private Insurance form.
How should we label our son's belongings?
All clothing and equipment must be marked with the campers’ name in a visible spot, either with cloth name tape or indelible ink.
A “Laundry marker” ball point pen can be purchased at most stationary stores. Please pay particular attention to shoes and pocket knives. Use a waterproof felt marker on the inside of the shoe. A name in nail polish on a knife handle can withstand a lot of handling, but sometimes the only effective method for marking is to scratch or engrave the name onto the handles. A list of all clothing and equipment taped to the inside of the trunk lid is useful as a check-off when packing to return home.
The Label Shop is the official supplier of the ACQ and you can download and print out their order form to order your labels.
Is my son ready for camp?
There is no magical age when a child is ready for camp. Each child is different, each family operates differently. Nominingue accepts boys starting at the age 7. We offer an 8-day session for 7 to 9 year olds, but a number of 7, 8 and 9 year olds come for longer sessions and do really well. It is not enough that your son wants to go to camp. It is also essential that you, the parents, be ready for this experience and believe that the camp is extremely valuable for your son. When both child and parents are ready, the camp experience has every chance of being a successful one!
What about homesickness?
Our experienced camp staff is trained at both detecting cases of homesickness and to follow certain procedures with any camper who they feel might be suffering from even mild homesickness: making them feel welcome and included; getting them “excited” about camp and the fun to come; keeping them active and busy; providing support throughout the camp experience; and the teaching of “coping” strategies.
Statistics say that more than 95% of all campers report having some homesick feelings on at least one day of their camp stay. Campers and parents need to understand that this is normal! Only a small percent experience any kind of symptoms of depression or anxiety along with their homesick feelings.
There are a few things that you can do to help your son with feelings of homesickness and to ensure a successful stay at camp:
- Help prepare your child prior to the summer: Watch the camp video; talk with the camp director; attend a camp information night; talk with other parents or other campers
- Ensure that any issues that might be worrying to your son have been addressed, in consultation with the camp staff and director, prior to his arrival at camp
- Avoid providing an easy out for your son, for example promising that he can phone home or come home if things go badly
- Keep in touch by mail and e-mail. Keep the communication positive, focused on what is going on at camp
Overcoming feelings of homesickness can contribute greatly to your son’s self-reliance, his ability to handle change and the development of his self-esteem, which is what camp and life are all about!
How do we keep in touch with the Camp office?
Our office is located at the city (winter) address until the beginning of June, at which time we move to the Nominingue address for the summer. Our addresses and telephone numbers are located on the contact page.
Should I write to my son while he is at Camp?
Yes. Campers enjoy receiving mail, but do be careful to avoid statements which might cause feelings of homesickness. Mentioning how much you miss him or how much fun he is missing at home, or even how much his dog misses him can cause unnecessary distress. Perhaps you could write about how fortunate he is to be at camp and how the family is looking forward to hearing about all of his experiences. Please be advised that candy or food that arrives in the mail will be disposed of! Magazines or comics are a great alternative!
To email your son, please access our e-mail service through the online portal. We do not distribute e-mails sent to the camp e-mail address.
Should I telephone my son?
We request that you do not phone your son unless it is a matter that cannot be handled by mail or email. The Camp’s only telephone is located in the Business Office with night-time extension to the Director’s Cottage. To contact us by phone, it is best to call during the hours when the Business Office is open, namely, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 1:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Will I be receiving letters from my son?
We encourage campers to write home but we do not force the campers to write. Notepaper and postcards are supplied free of charge by the Camp, but he should have a pen or pencil as part of his kit.
If you will be travelling while your son is at Camp and wish your mail to be sent to various addresses, simply provide him with already-addressed envelopes marked with the date on which they should be mailed. International Campers are permitted to write one letter home a week, which the office will scan and email, if requested by you on the enrolment form.
How is the Camp Nominingue Canoe Tripping program set up?
We are proud of our reputation and our expertise in the field of canoe tripping. We have carefully set up a program to challenge the campers but not to overstep the boundaries of health and safety. On three-day trips to nearby Parc Papineau-Labelle, campers are required to carry a 14 to 18 kg pack over two or three portages out and back. For this reason, our 7 to 9 year-old campers do their first “camping out” on our home lake, Petit Lac Nominingue. We have the use of a small private beach at the far end of the lake behind some uninhabited islands. It is a beautiful site, almost out of sight of the relatively few cottages on our lake.
We believe that it is important to keep the canoe trip group small in order to maximize a camper’s appreciation of the wilderness experience. For this reason, most of our canoe trips include two staff members and five campers.
The 10 and 11 year-olds travel into Parc Papineau-Labelle for their first canoe trip: 10 year-olds to Lac du Sourd and 11 year-olds to Acapulco on Lac de Sept-Frères or the Falls on Lac St-Denis.
When a camper reaches 12 and 13 years of age, he is eligible for a 5 day trip in Parc Papineau-Labelle.
At 14 and 15 years, campers can sign up for a 7 or 8 day canoe trip in Parc la Vérendrye. These groups are driven 150 to 250 km north of the camp where they are dropped off at one of several starting points. They spend the entire trip in the park and are picked up at the end of their journey, many kilometres from their starting point.
When we have a group of enthusiastic and experienced 15 year-olds, we will organize a 10 day trip to the northern part of Parc de la Vérendrye, where fewer canoeists travel.
All of our tripping is done in wilderness country where there is little habitation and the lakes are clear and clean. Despite this, we purify all of our drinking water while out on a canoe trip. Every summer, many of our parties see wild moose, deer, beaver, muskrat and an occasional bear. Great blue herons and loons are seen and heard several times a day. It is a typical Canadian wilderness experience, where true adventure can still be found.
We feel that every camper should undertake a canoe trip. It is the essential Canadian experience! However, we also feel that it is important that campers make the choice and choose to go on a canoe trip. About 80-90% of our campers choose to sign up for a canoe trip.
As in all of our activities, safety is our first concern. Today’s campers and staff benefit from the experiences handed down through over 90 years of canoe trips. Since 1925, we have recorded every one of our over 4500 canoe trips, all of have gone out and returned safely. Our staff is trained continuously in the techniques of safe and sensible canoe camping. Our staff members are required to have first aid certification, with many having a wilderness first aid course. Each canoe trip has a staff member trained in lifesaving with bronze cross certification. The staff:camper ratio on a canoe trip is 1:3 or better.
Besides today’s campers, countless former-Nomininguers are enjoying this uniquely Canadian experience using the methods and knowledge they learned while canoe tripping at Nominingue.
What about rainy days at camp?
Our tents are all equipped with a fly, which ensures that, even if campers touch the tent while it is raining, the tent will remain dry. A little rain doesn’t usually affect the program too drastically. We have rainy day locations for each of our morning instructions, so in case of rain, our instruction program proceeds as usual. If the rain is light and intermittent in the afternoon, we will often go ahead with scheduled program. If we do get heavy rain, we have indoor facilities which we put to use, running programs in the theatre, the main lodge, the intermediate lodge, the trip lodge and the craft shop.
We have a family cottage. Why would we consider sending our son to a residential summer camp?
There is no doubt that there are a lot more summer options for boys aged 7-16 in 2016 than existed in 1950 or 1990. We still believe that a traditional summer camp experience provides an essential experience that will contribute to a child’s self-esteem and the growth of his sense of independence.
At Nominingue, campers live in tents. From their arrival to the time of their departure, campers are immersed in a beautiful natural setting. Cell phones, I-pods and computer screens get left at home for one, two, three weeks or more and campers have the opportunity to re-connect with nature and to forge friendships, without the interference of technology.
At Nominingue, we believe strongly that self-esteem and confidence grow as boys learn new skills and develop skills that have been learned previously. Our instruction program offers training in a number of outdoor, life skills. For every instruction, there are various levels that are age appropriate and tailored to the skills of the campers that come to Camp. Each camper has to choose their instructions each week, ensuring that boys are interested and excited about the instruction they take.
At Nominingue, we believe in the importance of choice in the development of independence among children. In addition to choosing their instructions, campers choose whether to go on a canoe trip. Frequently, campers will have also have a choice of afternoon or evening programs. Twice a day, at morning and afternoon free swims, campers will have a choice as to how they spend their free time: swimming, sailing, playing tennis, working on a project at the craftshop, playing a quiet game of chess in the tent line, a competitive game of tether ball or simply reading a good book.
It would be highly unusual for a family cottage to offer the wide variety of activities, games and canoe trips that one finds at Camp Nominingue. Life at Nominingue is unique in that it is a 24-hour-a-day program planned specifically for boys by our large professional and highly qualified staff.
Is there hot water for a shower?
Yes, there are twelve showers with hot water in the shower building located in the tent-line at the edge of middle camp. The shower building is open during the day and campers are welcome to take a shower every day. We do ensure as well that all campers take a shower – twice a week, the section director will ensure that campers in his section take a shower.
There are two washroom units: the junior parliaments located behind middle camp with 14 toilets and wash stands with cold-water taps outside for hand-washing and teeth-brushing. The senior parliaments are located next to upper camp. Here there are 10 toilets, urinals and another wash stand.
Is there a laundry service at the camp?
Yes, it is included in the fees. The laundry is done once a week, returning in two or three days.
My son wets the bed occasionally. Do you have any suggestions?
It is important to inform us of the situation so that his counsellor can help your son during his stay at camp. One possibility is having his counsellor wake him up during the night to bring him to the toilet. We will also wash his sleeping bag as needed. If your son wets the bed regularly, we recommend that you send two sleeping bags to camp. Another choice might be to provide a sheet that goes inside his sleeping bag. The “Bedwetting Store” sells a sheet sleeping bag that might interest you: http://bedwettingstore.com/waterproof-sleeping-bag-liners.html.
What type of sleeping bag can you suggest for a camper?
For rugged use by children at summer camp we recommend a rectangular shaped sleeping bag with a synthetic fill and a liner of “Rip-stop” nylon or equivalent, rated for temperatures down to about 5°C. (40°F). You should be able to buy a bag of this type in the $75.00 to $100.00 range.
What should we pack all of our son's belongings in for his stay at Camp?
Although you have many options, and our campers do arrive with knapsacks, hockey bags, suitcases and plastic bins, trunks have been the best choice for campers at Nominingue since 1925. A trunk will protect a camper’s belongings against the elements and the rough-and-tumble world of camp; a trunk provides a great seat in the tent; and it is easier for most campers to keep their belongings organized in a trunk. We recommend a small trunk (about 30″ X 20″ X 14″ high) that will hold all the clothes. The 14 inches height will allow the trunk to slide under the cot when not in use. We can, however, put blocks under the cot legs to accommodate trunks up to 16 inches high.
If you do not wish to purchase a trunk for this one occasion, you will probably find that the largest size suitcase, together with a large duffle or sports’ bag, will be sufficient. In either case, a hockey-type bag is usually necessary to hold the bulky items, such as shoes, sleeping bag and blanket. When packing, it is best to fill the trunk completely and thus avoid having loose, fragile items broken during handling.
Trunks can be purchased from Schreter’s in Montreal, Camp Connection in Toronto or C & N Footlockers in the United States. Don’t wait until the last minute as stock could run out. Also, be sure to ask about delivery costs, as this can be quite expensive especially when purchased in the United States.
What about sun protection?
Counsellors will remind campers to protect themselves from the sun, by wearing a shirt, putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat. We also try to keep the campers out of the sun at the warmest time of the day, over lunch time and quiet hour.
We do have bulk sunscreen dispensers along our waterfront and at other key spots around camp, but please send your son to camp with his own personal bottle of sunscreen lotion and an adequate sun hat. Boys that set out on a canoe trip must have a hat. If they do not have one, they will be sold a hat from the tuck shop.
What do I do if my son loses something while he is at camp?
If you are missing some clothing when your son returns home, rest assured that if we find it and it has a name on it, we will let you know some time in September. Every autumn we spend several days sorting and laundering many items of clothing, which have been left behind despite our best efforts. It is always best to send older, well-worn clothing to camp. Unmarked items will be held for a short while before being donated to local shelters and charities.
It is very important that all items that your child brings to camp are clearly marked with his full name.
Why is it mandatory for campers to bring a coloured blanket to Camp?
The boys must have a blanket to participate in our Council Ring, a weekly tradition at Camp Nominingue since 1925. The blanket can also be used as an extra cover for cool nights.
Should my son bring spending money to camp?
No. Your son’s Tuck Shop Deposit indicated on your statement covers such miscellaneous expenses as postage, toothpaste, toothbrush, batteries, film, chocolate bars, and craft shop materials. If any boy does arrive at Camp with extra money, they are required to deposit it in the Business Office. The balance of this deposit will be refunded at the conclusion of your son’s camp session.
What about the Camp’s feather shield?
Returning campers should not forget their feather shields. New campers will receive theirs at Camp. The cost of the shield is included in the Camp fees.
If I want to drive to camp, how do I get there?
The distance from Montreal to Camp is about 125 miles ( 200 kilometres) and takes about two hours and fifteen minutes to reach your destination. Follow the Laurentian Autoroute (Route 15) and Highway 117 to the town of Rivière-Rouge / L’Annonciation, which is about 30 miles (48km) past Mont-Tremblant (St-Jovite.)
There is now a four-lane by-pass of Rivière-Rouge. There is a traffic circle at each end of the by-pass. Take the by-pass around Rivière-Rouge. At the second traffic circle, turn left onto Route 321 South towards Nominingue.
You are now 8.7 miles (14 km) from camp. You will pass Grand Lac Nominingue and cross over a concrete bridge. One mile beyond the bridge, as you pass the Nominingue Golf Course, look for our sign and turn left onto chemin des Mésanges. About 1/2 Mile (1 km) down this road you will see our entrance gate on the right. The camp is located on the north shore of Petit Lac Nominingue.
The shortest route from Ottawa to Camp is about 125 miles (200 km) and takes two-and-half hours. Travel from Ottawa to Montebello on Route 50 and then follow Route 323 to St-Jovite /Mont-Tremblant. Reaching Mont-Tremblant, turn north on Highway 117 to Rivière-Rouge, following the same instructions as you would coming from Montreal.
Is there a place to stay overnight near the Camp?
Suitable accommodation in the Nominingue area is quite limited. We can recommend L’île de France, where the food is great and the welcome is always warm, 819-278-0364, Le Provincialart, a gourmand’s delight B&B at 1-877-278-4928, l’Hôtel du Golf Nominingue at (819) 278-3836. Villa Bellerive, a small attractive hotel, is another option at 1-800-786-3802. We strongly suggest making advance reservations so as not to be disappointed. There are many options available in Mont-Tremblant, which is a 45-minute drive from camp and on the way from Montreal.
I also have a daughter. Do you have any girls’ camps to recommend?
There is one girls’ camp in Quebec. Camp Ouareau is located about an hour and a half from Nominingue and is the same distance from Montreal. The director, Jacqui Raill, can be reached by phone at (819) 424-2662 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Information about the camp is located at www.ouareau.com.
About three hours west of Montreal is another girls’ camp, Camp Oconto. The director, Lisa Wilson, can be reached by phone at 877-292-0630 during the winter or 613-375-6678 during the summer or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the camp can be found at www.campoconto.com.