Are all of my meals and snacks included? For the most part, yes! Your camper fees include all 3 meals each day, plus a morning and evening snack. The only snack not included is afternoon tuck, when a variety of snacks and drinks are available to purchase; all proceeds from tuck go to the Alison Stewart-Patterson fund, to help campers who can’t afford to pay the full camp fee.
Is the food actually good? YES! Most meals include a few options, so even the pickiest eaters should be satisfied!
I have allergies/dietary restrictions; can these be accommodated? Yes, Camp Tamarack will do as much as possible to accommodate allergies and dietary restrictions. The kitchen staff at Tamarack are used to dealing with different allergies and dietary needs throughout the summer, so they should be able to keep you well fed through the week. In addition, the camp kitchen is a nut-free facility, so those with nut allergies should not need to worry. If you have dietary needs please note them on your registration form, or contact the registrar to discuss your needs further. If you have very severe food allergies or multiple dietary restrictions and wish to bring some of your own food, a fridge is available in the dining hall for storage; just make sure everything is very clearly labeled with your name.
What are the cabins like? There are several different styles of cabins at Camp Tamarack. Most of the cabins available are large dormitory-style units that would usually sleep about 16 campers (per side) on bunk beds during Tamarack’s regular summer program. We usually assign one family to each side of these cabins so there’s plenty of space. Most of these larger cabins do have a wall to divide each side, but some of the older cabins may not; if there’s no dividing wall we try to be mindful of assigning those cabins to families who either know each other or have asked to share a large cabin together. All of the cabins have electricity, and some of these larger cabins have toilets and sinks as well.
In addition to the dormitory-style cabins, there are also smaller cabins available that are used by Tamarack staff through most of the summer. These cabins range from 2 – 6 person cabins with bunk beds to cabins with a single or double bed that only sleep 1 – 2 people. All of these cabins have electricity, as well as a variety of potential bathroom set ups: some of these cabins have a toilet and sink, some have a full bathroom with shower, and some have neither. These cabins are usually assigned to couples or campers who come to PMC without other immediate family members.
There is also a site for any campers who wish to bring their own tent or trailer for the week, but please note there are no service hookups available.
Do I have to stay with my family? If you’re under the age of 13 (and won’t turn 13 before the end of the calendar year), then yes, you will need to stay with the parent or guardian who is with you at camp. For campers aged 13 – 19 we have male and female teen cabins available. For campers 18 and older, male and female young adults cabins are also available.
What if my cabin doesn’t have a washroom or shower? There are washrooms and shower houses in several locations across the camp site, so no one should have to go far to find facilities. Shower houses have been renovated in recent years to provide single person shower stalls and changing spaces.
Is the site accessible? The Camp Tamarack site is spread out and there is a fair amount of walking required. That being said, many campers bring their bicycles to get around more quickly, and campers with mobility issues do sometimes chose to drive themselves from one end of the site to the other.
What other amenities are available at Camp Tamarack? In addition to the sleeping cabins and dining hall, Camp Tamarack has multiple program buildings that PMC uses for our workshops and morning and evening programs. The camp site also has a large beach front and swimming dock, soccer and baseball fields, and plenty of natural space to enjoy.
Do I have to take a workshop in every period? Absolutely not! Some campers like to sign up for 5 workshops and have a full day, other campers take just a few of their favourite workshops, and some campers come just to enjoy being in the natural setting and spending time with friends and family. It’s entirely up to you how many workshops you want to take.
Can I take different workshops on different days? No, unless a workshop is specifically organized as a “drop in” (like crafts), most of the workshops offered are designed to build each day, so dropping in for just one day is discouraged. Of course, if you sign up for a workshop and find that it isn’t the right fit after one or two days don’t force yourself to stay; this just means you’ll end up with a free period, which isn’t always the worst thing!
What about programming for kids? There are lots of options for our younger campers. Each morning children’s choir and children’s games are available (usually for ages 6 – 12), and in the afternoon there are a number of beginner-level workshops, crafts, and swimming to keep everyone busy. For our youngest campers (up to age 5) a program is available through the morning with music, games, and other activities.
Do I have to participate in the camp-wide activities? We encourage all campers to fully participate in order to get the full PMC experience and integrate into our community, but attendance at activities like devotions and evening program is not mandatory. If you chose not to attend a camp-wide scheduled activity we do ask that you not create a disruption for those who are taking part.
I’m not Presbyterian; is that okay? YES! PMC is a welcoming environment for members of any faith, campers who might be questioning their faith, or campers who do not have any religious affiliation. Our camp is Christ-centered, and there are religious aspects to every day at camp, but this doesn’t preclude anyone from coming to PMC. We have some traditions that aren’t strictly Presbyterian, but if you’re new to camp or not familiar we are happy to fill you in!
Someone in my family has special needs; can they still come to camp? Absolutely. PMC has had several campers with various special needs and they have always been included in our community. If a camper has special needs that require assistance (such as a full-time caregiver) they will need to bring someone to camp with them to help, and that person will need to register and pay for PMC; bursary help may be available to help cover the cost of a care-giver for a camper with special needs.
Is the camp LGBTQ-friendly? Yes. Everyone is welcome at camp, we are completely inclusive. We also ensure that a gender-neutral washroom and showers are available.
I don’t know if my musical skills are good enough; should I come to camp? We would love to have you at PMC, no matter your musical skill level. We have campers who are professional musicians, music teachers, and choir directors, campers who are just learning to read music or have picked up an instrument for the first time, and campers who can’t carry a tune but love listening to music and being in a musical environment. All are welcome and all have a place at PMC. While most of our workshops are music-focused we do have several options every day that are non-musical as well, so don’t let this stop you from coming! For our musical workshops we offer a variety of skill levels, so everyone from beginners to advanced musicians will have somewhere that they fit in.
I found PMC online and want to come, but I won’t know anyone! Not to toot our own horns, but we are very welcoming! Everyone was a new camper at one time, whether they came with a parent or friend or just thought PMC sounded great and came by themselves. There’s a place for everyone at camp, and new campers have always found a group to socialize with.
Is there any financial assistance available? We have 2 bursary funds available to help campers who need financial assistance. The Alison Stewart-Patterson fund offers a bursary to cover about half of the camper fees for any camper who is not able to pay the full amount. The Tom Gemmell Bursary fund is available to cover the camper fees of one member of the clergy or certified student, and one music director each year. More information about these funds, as well as guidance on how to apply, is available on the registration page.