YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth Info Guide

A place of caring, growing and belonging since 1953

Welcome to the Camp Queen Elizabeth (CQE) 2024 info guide! We hope it answers all the questions campers, parents and guardians might have, so campers arrive at CQE this summer ready to let their lights shine!   

The links below will take you to: 

  • Forms that need to be filled out before campers arrive at CQE
  • Maps & directions to bus stops and to Honey Harbour (loading dock for CQE!)
  • Access to social media sites, such as CQE’s Facebook page and Instagram

To help prepare your camper, we recommend looking through this guide together. That way everyone has an idea about what to expect on a typical camp day and together you can look forward to the new friends and adventures ahead!

If you have questions or want to connect ahead of time, you can always reach out by email cqe@swo.ymca.ca or phone 519-453-8858 (from October to May), or 705-756-8300 (from May to September)

See you this summer!
The CQE Team

At CQE, our programming and staff reflect and represent the mission and core values of the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. 

Mission: The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario is a charitable, not for profit organization dedicated to individual growth in spirit, mind and body and to meeting the changing needs of the community. The programs at the Y are available to everyone regardless of race, gender, creed or economic circumstance. 

Core Values:  Honesty • Caring • Respect • Responsibility • Inclusiveness.

Each summer, Camp CQE welcomes more than 1,000 kids and teens aged 6-16 to its sun-kissed shores on the glistening Georgian Bay. We’re located about four hours (drive) from London, ON, and two hours from Toronto. We’ve been around since 1953, and we love to see returning and new CQE community members every year! CQE is a summer camp that values honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and inclusiveness. And our engaging outdoor programs aim to illuminate these qualities in every camper.

We know that CQE is a second home for our families who return year after year. Past campers will tell you they have made lifelong friends and overcome many challenges at CQE. We love being the place that provides a high-quality camping experience and the skills, opportunities and support needed to ignite each camper’s full potential.

Our programs — which are based on YMCA Camping Quality 8 Recommended Practices — reflect our mission and core values. And we select camp employees based on their skills, expertise, and their commitment to representing our values as role models. 

The Quality 8 are a set of principles that shed light on what you can expect from a YMCA Camp. They inform our camp programs and operations and are designed to ensure that the Quality 8 are an integral part of every camper's experience.

  1. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth is fun.
  2. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth is safe socially, emotionally and physically.
  3. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth is a place of friendship.
  4. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth is a place of caring, belonging and responsibility.
  5. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth participants learn and are challenged.
  6. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth treasures the natural world.
  7. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth meets personal life needs.
  8. YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth is a place to return to. 

We encourage you to take advantage of the following opportunities to stay connected with CQE throughout the year and keep informed on what’s happening this summer!

Virtual camp information nights  
*Links will be emailed to all registrants! 

New camper and family information night: March 26 and April 9, 2024, from 6 – 8 p.m.

  • Join us virtually to learn all about camp! To help prepare you and your camper, we’ll take you through a typical day at camp, share CQE photos and answer any questions you may have!

Outtrip Info Night:  April 2, 2024, from 6 – 8 p.m.
*We highly recommend all first time outtrip program participants and Leadership 1: Developing Excellent Leaders (DEL ) attend.

This virtual session is designed to ensure participants are prepared for their outtrip experience. We’ll provide program information and trip-specific gear descriptions. 

Leadership Info Night: April 4, 2024, from 6 – 8 p.m. 

* We highly recommend all first-time leadership program participants attend.

This virtual session aims to help prepare incoming participants of our leadership programs for campers aged 14-16. It will include highlights for Leadership 1: DEL and Leadership 2: LIT (Island and Venture) programs, including information about extended canoe trips and high school credit opportunities. We’ll also talk about YMCA Camp Henry’s leadership program. 

Note: For all virtual events, we’ll send a registration link to all registered families

In-person information events

Annual CQE family open house: Saturday, June 22, 2024 *Registration required! 
Where: Honey Harbour/Beausoleil Island, ON 
When:  Arrive at Honey Harbour Boat Club, 2709 Honey Harbour Road 

Whether it's your first or fifth time, join us for a one-hour tour of the campsite. You might have time for a quick paddle! Our annual open house is a great opportunity to see the facilities, meet our radiant staff, and experience a taste of camp life as a family. It's the perfect introduction to the summer camp experience.

Please read if you are planning to attend:

  • Before June 1, 2024, please register and select your time slot - link to be shared soon
    Note: we have a limited capacity for each slot, and registration is first-come-first-serve. 
  • Once you sign up for a boat to the island, you are automatically scheduled for a return boat, one hour later. This ensures that everyone will be able to visit the island and not have a long wait for the boats. 
  • We’ll send your arrival details after June 1.
  • Pets are welcome, if you plan on bringing yours, please email their vaccination details to cqe@swo.ymca.ca and ensure they are leashed the whole time.

Email anytime: cqe@swo.ymca.ca

Email is the fastest way to reach CQE. We strive to respond to all emails within 24 hours, please ensure your subject line is clear to help facilitate a quick response. 


During the camping season, (May to Sept), you can reach us at CQE:  705-756-8300 

Summer business hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition, during camper arrivals and departures, there will be someone in the office to respond to any inquiries or transportation changes. 

Off-season, you can reach us at our London administration office: 519-453-8858 

*If you get voice mail, please leave a message and we’ll return your call as soon as possible. 

Mail: Campers love hearing from home, and we love seeing our campers light up when they receive mail! To send your camper a letter or package in the mail please use the following mailing address:

Attn: Camper Name and Cabin number 
c/o YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth PO Box 249 
Honey Harbour, ON
P0E 1E0

Some notes and tips on mailing and writing to your campers! 

  • Send mail early for your camper to receive it during their stay. We pick up and drop off mail every weekday, but it may be slow to reach Honey Harbour. Use Canada Post Priority Post for quicker delivery. And please avoid private couriers — they can't reach us on the island! 
  • Keep letters and emails bright, positive and upbeat. Kids love reassurance that you care and want them to have fun at camp.
  • If you receive a concerning letter, try not to panic. The issue may be resolved with the help of the counselor or camp staff. If you have concerns, call us. We aim for a positive experience for campers and parents.
  • If family circumstances change during the camp week that may upset your child, let us know. We can discuss the best way to inform your child. While phones aren’t for campers, we will make exceptions in extenuating circumstances.
  • Please don’t send food packages. Due to allergy risks, packages with food won't be opened at camp. Also, food in cabins can attract animals. Don’t worry though, campers get a healthy diet and plenty to eat! You are welcome to send care packages with magazines, cards, crossword puzzles, etc..

Email: Families may email their campers by filling out THIS FORM - to be linked soon. Emails will be printed once a day after breakfast, and campers will receive them in the afternoon after lunch. 

* We strongly encourage our campers to write home and we set aside time for that. However campers may not reply every day, as they may be on outtrip or immersed in camp life. 

Writing Back: Campers can get blank pages for handwritten letters from the office or dining hall. These letters will be scanned and sent back to you within 48 hours. Please be sure to provide your camper with the email address you want replies sent to, as you would a mailing address. 

At CQE we focus on unplugging from technology, reconnecting with nature and making real-world connections within the camp community. While we understand that cell phones are a common way for young people to communicate, we consider them distracting from our focus on providing these experiences. All campers including our leadership and outtrip participants will not be permitted to have their cellphones at camp. Any cell phones that do come to camp will be kept in the office and returned on the last day.

We want all our campers to shine! And we’re committed to providing a safe and comfortable experience for our entire camp community. To help keep everyone safe, our programs follow all current provincial and local public health regulations and guidelines. When adjusting our policies and procedures in response to the emerging circumstances in our communities, we will communicate with all our campers and families to share what to expect. 

Please note: Inclusivity is a core value at CQE. We want everyone to feel a sense of belonging, and therefore we ask all participants to be mindful and respectful of others’ space and preferences. Masks are generally not required for indoor use, but we will have masks available in common areas if anyone wishes to use them.

If you have any questions leading up to the camp experience regarding health or safety concerns, please get in touch with us at 519-453-8858 or cqe@swo.ymca.ca.

The Health History form will assist us in ensuring your child’s well-being, and provide us vital information in case of illness or accident. This form must be completed and submitted before your camper arrives and it will become available in June on our registration portal . When it’s available, we’ll email all families to let you know. Please wait to fill out this form within a month of your camper’s session to ensure we receive the most up to date information. 

Our counsellors will go with your camper to meet the doctor/nurse on the first day of camp, where they will review any information on this form, and the Health History Form will be kept in the Wellness Centre during your child’s stay at CQE.

The new Camper Success form helps our staff learn more about your camper and how to ensure they are set up for success so that we can help ignite their potential. This form will become available in June on our registration portal  at the same time as the health history form. Please complete these at the same time. 

Please label any medications with your camper’s name and usage instructions. All medication must be in its original packaging. It will be stored in our wellness centre. Campers who require medication will meet with the doctor or nurse on the first day to discuss administration. We will record any administration of medication throughout your child’s camp stay. 

At CQE we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. Some of our campers have severe or life-threatening nut allergies. Because of this, we try to avoid nut products in our space. However, please note we do carry some products that may contain traces of nuts. 

Our anaphylaxis policy and emergency protocol is designed to ensure CQE staff know which campers have severe allergies and can help prevent those campers from having any contact with allergens. The food service team and camp director will adjust menu plans, ingredient lists, and products to make sure potential allergens are removed from your camper's meals.

If you have concerns about a specific food allergy or dietary restriction, please reach out to us at any time by email, cqe@swo.ymca.ca or phone ( June 24 – Sept. 4, 705-756-8300) (May, June & September, 519-453-8858).

  • CQE has certified lifeguards on site.
  • All CQE employees have First Aid and CPR training. During camp activities, staff carry first aid kits, to be able to immediately take care of bumps, scrapes and bruises.
  • As mentioned, campers will have access to volunteer physician or nurse who will be available in the Wellness Centre most days. We are so appreciative to these volunteers, who each agree to join us for an entire week at a time. Many of them are CQE alumni or families of CQE campers! Please note that on the rare occasion that a nurse or doctor is not on site, there will always be one available over the phone.

*Please note: We may decide it’s necessary to contact parents or guardians. Please review the “Why we might call home ” section for more information on that decision process. 

*If your camper is sent home due to injury or illness, a refund will not be issued. 

If your child requires medical care (except for minor injuries), our team will arrange transportation to either Midland’s Georgian Bay General Hospital or Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital. In addition, Beausoleil Island is located minutes from a Canadian Coast Guard station, and CQE always has the support, resources, and expertise of Parks Canada and the OPP. 

We'll try to reach you promptly if medical treatment is needed for your camper, and we will stay with them until it's resolved.

If a doctor prescribes any medication we don't stock, we'll contact you, and you'll be billed once the prescription is picked up.

Campers will have close contact with their other cabin mates. If your camper contracts a communicable illness or condition, or lice, before camp, please contact CQE. We may ask campers with communicable illnesses to delay their arrival at camp. If the situation emerges while at camp, the camper may be required to leave camp.

If a camper shows symptoms of a contagious illness, such as those listed below, we will contact the family to ask that they be picked up. While we will require the camper to isolate while waiting to be picked up, our site has limited space for proper longer-term isolation and recovery. 

Please ensure a parent, guardian or emergency contact is available to pick up a child at any time, if needed. Campers who are ill are not be able to return until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours (48 hours for those with gastrointestinal symptoms). Please note that if your camper is sent home due to injury or illness, a refund will not be issued.

The following communicable illnesses or symptoms requiring pickup from camp: 

  • COVID-19
  • Influenza symptoms for more than 24 hours 
  • Chickenpox/shingles
  • Persistent diarrhea, vomiting or respiratory symptoms lasting more than 24 hours
  • Strep throat 

The following communicable illnesses do NOT NECESSARILY require immediate pickup, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Families will be notified.

  • Impetigo 
  • Pink eye 
  • Herpes simplex HSV-1 (cold sores)
  • Hand foot mouth 

Our campers’ mental health is as important to us as their physical health. We know some  campers may require additional mental health support. We can provide:  

  • Scheduled phone appointments with a professional 
  • Scheduled check-ins with our volunteer camp doctor or nurse 

Please note tools or strategies that can help your camper be successful and stay mentally healthy on their camper success form or email the camp prior to the beginning of your session at cqe@swo.ymca.ca. We encourage you to send these tools or strategies along with your camper.

While it is our goal for every camper to have a successful and fun time at camp it is important to note that we are not mental health professionals. We do reserve the right to send campers home early if we are unable to support the camper’s mental health needs and/or if it is determined that camp/outtrip is no longer a safe space for the camper. Dismissals and refunds are handled on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the camp director and management.  

While camp is an exciting and fun-filled place full of new friends and adventures, it is also different from home. It’s reasonable to expect campers (even returning ones) to experience some homesickness until they adjust to the camp environment. Missing home is a natural feeling, and we work with campers to help build the skills to overcome this and develop their independence and resilience.  

Our camp staff are trained to detect early symptoms of homesickness and to respond to kids’ individual needs when it comes to feeling comfortable at camp. CQE employees are caring people who enjoy being with kids and take the time to listen. Campers are not typically permitted to call home (doing so often increases homesickness). If there is a situation at camp that requires a phone call, we will contact you immediately.  

A big part of the first day of camp is meeting your cabin mates and counsellor and setting a YMCA “full value contract.” These contracts are a tool we use to emphasize our core values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and inclusiveness and to set the tone for everyone's time at camp. Full value contracts allow our campers to set the cabin rules that they feel are important to feel comfortable and safe at camp. 

During this first meeting, our staff will highlight CQE opportunities and supports to help campers care for their emotional and physical health, and review the practices in place to keep everyone safe. 

While camp offers opportunities for close friendships and new group skills, young people can react to these changes in many different ways. Our goal to provide a safe, comfortable and supportive environment for each individual. CQE is a positive space, where people of any background, belief, ability are welcomed and respected. Our staff are trained in providing high quality care for our campers and ensuring that the needs of each individual are met. 

New this year: We have introduced a child guidance policy that follows a green, yellow, orange and red-light process to help outline standard camper behaviour(green), behaviour that would warrant a call home (yellow/orange), and behaviour that would require a camper to be picked up from camp (red) . The child guidance policy also outlines how we support campers through the different levels of behaviour management and when we contact parents/guardians.

Note: In rare cases, a camper may be immediately removed from camp if their behavior poses a safety risk, involves illegal activities or includes substances like drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or cannabis. No refund will be provided if a camper is sent home early due to their behavior.

View the full policy here 

We want to make sure campers know what to do if they encounter a problem or need to talk to someone. Please go through the following with your camper before camp to make sure they understand the problem-solving process.

  • If campers have a problem they don’t feel they can handle, they can speak to their counselor. The sooner they tell their counselor, the quicker they can work together to find a solution.
  • At the end of each day cabin counsellors will check in with each camper and fill out the Buddy Journal that counsellors keep to document how campers are feeling emotionally and physically. These check-ins provide a regular opportunity for campers to ask questions and let their counsellors know how they are feeling. 
  • If campers don’t feel their counsellor can help with the problem, they can talk to another staff member (i.e. a roving counsellor, camp doctor or counselling manager, etc). 
  • And at any time, campers can always go directly to the camp director. 

Important note: We want all campers to know that the camp director and all staff are work at CQE because they they care about kids. To get hired at CQE, all employees must first complete an extensive application process and First Aid and CPR training, and they must prove they have sought out leadership experiences throughout the year. It’s CQE policy that no matter how busy they are, staff must make time for a camper who has a problem. They are expected to listen closely and with compassion.

Throughout the week, we may need to give you a call. Please make sure we have accurate and current phone numbers for you in our registration system.  

Reasons we might call you include to ask: 

  • a question about missing health history information
  • your advice on helping your child to adjust to camp

Or to let you know: 

  • your camper is missing more than half a day of activities due to illness or injury
  • your camper has an illness requiring prescription medication 
  • your camper has symptoms of a communicable illness and needs to isolate or be removed from camp
  • your camper has a cabinmate who has been picked up from camp because of a communicable illness 
  • your camper has an injury or illness requiring a visit to hospital 
  • your camper has reached an orange or red light in our child guidance policy  
  • your camper has been significantly impacted by someone else reaching an orange or red light in our child guidance policy

Or we might call to share and celebrate your camper’s success at camp!

When packing, keep in mind that campers will spend a lot of time outside and camp activities can be tough on clothes – in other words, avoid sending expensive ones! We recommend durable, simple items that will prepare campers to be outside in all conditions. Remember that the weather can vary widely from day-to-day and our programs usually continue on rainy days – so good rain gear is essential.

Campers are responsible for all of their items. Counsellors and staff can help to manage and supervise what your campers bring and leave with, but we are not responsible for lost or forgotten items. (Pro Tip: Pack with your camper, so they are aware of what items belong to them.) 

Below you’ll find a packing guide and tips to help pack for classick summer camp (Sessions A, B, C, Horizons 1 & 2, Little Acors and Island LITs). Remember, this is a helpful guide, but you don't need to include every item. 

* Outtrip program participants and DELs please see the Trip Packing Guide following for a trip specific packing list

Mandatory Items  
o    Sleeping bag  
o    Pillow 
o    Bathing suits 
o    Towel 
o    Water bottle 
o    Hat for sun protection 
o    Rash guard/sun shirt for sun protection 
o    Biodegradable soap and shampoo 
o    Toothpaste and toothbrush 
o    Clothes (see table below for recommended items and amounts)

Horizons 1 & 2  
Little Acorns 1 & 2

Sessions A, B, C

Clothing items



Adequate supply of socks and underwear (long-johns may be handy)






Pants (at least 1 pair not denim)






Light jacket or fleece



Long-sleeved shirta (one will be worn in the water during the swim test)






Rain gear (jacket and pants are best)






Sturdy running shoes



Bathing suits



Sandals with backstraps *Crocs are NOT recommended as their backstraps are unreliable and their soles do not hold the traction required for our terrain



Watershoes/sandals that can go in the water for outtrip

All campers in AUGUST

We recommend extra sweaters, a fleece, long underwear and a toque


Optional Items: 
Hairbrush ● Insect repellant (less than 10 per cent DEET. No aerosols) ● Flashlight with extra batteries ● Blanket ● Nicer set of clothes for our end of session banquet dinner ● Camera ● Journal and pens/pencils/markers ● Sunglasses ● Paddle ● Cards Dry sac ● White T-shirt for tie-dye ● Twin-sized fitted sheet ● Small portable fan (plug in or battery) ● Small boardgame ● Crafts ● Tissues

Prohibited Items: 
The following items are not permitted at YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth:  
Electronic games ● cell phones (see policy above) ● laptops ● matches ● firearms ● knives ● hatchets ● nicotine or cannabis products ● vapes or e-cigarettes ● alcohol ● offensive material ● non-prescription drugs ● food ● candy ● gum.   
Please note: Campers found with prohibited items will be asked to hand them in to the camp office for the duration of their stay. If a camper has an item that is illegal or deemed to pose a threat to the safety of the campers and staff at CQE, the camper may be dismissed without warning. CQE will not be held responsible for any costs associated with a camper dismissal and will not provide a refund.

Strongly discouraged items: iPods/MP3 players/other electronic devices, hair appliances

  • 30 Litre Dry Bag for sleeping bag and clothes or 2 20 Litre Dry Bags
  • 5 Litre Dry Bag for persona litems (e.g. book, sunscreen)
  • Small Packing Warm Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • 1L High Quality Water Bottle
  • Hat
  • Rain Coat and Rain Pants
  • 1 x Fleece or Wool Sweater/Jacket
  • 1 x Long Pants (non-denim)
  • 1-2 x Shorts (non-denim)
  • 2-3 x Short Sleeved T-Shirt
  • 1 x Bathing Suit
  • 1 x Long Underwear – Shirt and Bottoms
  • Underwear
  • 1 x Sandals – must have a back strap
  • 1 x Dry Shoes with closed toes (Running Shoes/Hiking Boots)
  • 2 x Wool Socks
  • 1 x Cotton Socks
  • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
  • Lip Balm/Chap stick with SPF 15 or higher
  • Flashlight and Spare Batteries
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Optional: Sunglasses, Camera, Book/Journal, Mosquito Repellent or Bug Jacket)

We have extra life jackets at camp, but we recommend campers bring their own if possible because life jackets will be used for all boating activities. We strongly recommend a vest-style government approved PFD/life jacket to allow free arm movement for canoeing, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. 

*If your camper does bring a PFD/life jacket, please label it with their name and have it easily accessible for your camper when they arrive at the bus or boat club. The camper will need to wear it on the ride to camp. 

All soap products used at CQE (shampoo, soap and conditioner) must be 100% biodegradable. We wash in the lake and all water used at camp must be treated and returned to the lake. Even small amounts of soap can harm the ecosystem of our bay. 

Biodegradable soap products are available at most pharmacies and camping stores. A recommended brand is Live Clean or Green Beaver.

It can be frustrating to have your camper return home without their belongings. The tips below can help reduce the likelihood of your camper leaving items behind:

  • Label everything. Labelled items can be easily returned to campers before they leave the island. CQE partners with Mabel’s Labels, which makes personalized, durable, waterproof labels. To shop, visit camps.mabelslabels.com and select YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth (London). 
  • Pack with your camper. It’s easier for kids to keep track of their belongings if they know exactly what they brought to camp with them.
  • Ensure all your camper’s items fit into their bags. Using a bag with a bit of extra space can help prevent overflow items at the end of their camp session. 

After each session, we will post photos of all unlabelled clothing and equipment found at camp to the YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth Facebook page. If you see a picture of your camper’s belonging(s) on our Facebook page, OR if your camper is missing any item when they return home, cqe@swo.ymca.ca to let us know. Arrangements can be made to:

  • Have families pick up lost and found items at our London office or at one of our bus stops during the summer. 
  • Have items mailed home (we will charge it to the card on file).

Please note: We will discard all unclaimed socks and underwear at the end of each session. All other items that have not been claimed two weeks after their session ends will be donated.

Camp luggage does not need to be fancy. Duffle and hockey bags work well. As with other items, please label luggage. If sleeping bags are tied, please make sure they are waterproofed and tied securely with a strong cord. The boat ride to camp can be damp, so pack clothing in water resistant bags. Luggage has to travel by car or bus, by boat and then be carried to the cabin, so pack only what is needed for your child to feel comfortable while at camp.  

Rain gear 
While the sun often shines on CQE, good rain gear is important. Camp programs continue despite the occasional rainy day and your camper will be more comfortable if they are prepared for the weather. Please note: Windbreakers are not generally waterproof and are ineffective as rain gear. 

Sunscreen etc.
Due to our location and the amount of time that campers spend outdoors at CQE, we recommend a waterproof sunscreen with a SPF 60 (sun protection factor 60) or more and UVA and UVB protection. Camp management receive the SUN AWARE Sun Safety Certification with Melanoma Canada to support our counsellors and camp doctor or nurse  ensuring adequate sun protection at camp. We encourage campers to wear hats and sunglasses and drink water as much as possible during their stay, especially while on their outtrip. 

*Please talk to your child prior to their departure about the importance of sun safety at camp. 

CQE does not operate a tuck shop during the summer. A well-balanced diet along with snacks is provided to keep every camper satisfied. To prevent problems with animals, no food is allowed in the cabins. Should your camper run out of a necessary item like shampoo or toothpaste, we can provide some.

Bugs are a part of camp life in any part of Canada and learning about them can be a fun part of camp. That said, we ensure our staff and campers are informed about the various insects that may disrupt our experience. All of our CQE staff will be trained before campers arrive to be sure we are able to prevent discomfort as much as possible. For example, staff will encourage campers to wear socks, long pants and long sleeves when outside at dusk, as well as during forest activities. Campers are welcome to bring insect repellent to camp. Health Canada recommends a DEET percentage of 10 per cent or lower for children under 12. 

Through our staff training and camper orientation each arrival day, we will inform our CQE community on how to best protect themselves from ticks. We also implement the following tick prevention measures: 

  • Daily Tick checks: Campers are taught how to check for ticks on the first day, and nightly checks are conducted during bedtime routines.
  • Information posters about ticks and tick-checks: They are displayed in cabins and various areas at CQE.
  • Collaboration with National Parks staff: Camp staff collaborate with National Parks staff for preventative measures against ticks and other insects.
  • Hiking guidelines: Campers are encouraged to wear long pants and high socks during wooded trail hikes in Georgian Bay Islands National Park.
  • Water activities: Numerous swim activities throughout the typical camp day provide opportunities to remove ticks before they bite.
  • Notification and Medical Attention: If a camper is bitten, parents/guardians will be informed, and the camper will see a medical professional.

Please note: Exposure to an embedded tick for under 24 hours is considered low risk for Lyme Disease. Further details on ticks and Lyme Disease can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/lyme-disease.html.

In an effort to be proactive with our camping facilities, it is important for us to recognize the increasing presence of bed bugs in our communities across Canada. Although not known to carry any blood borne diseases or pose any serious health risks, bed bugs are a pest that can cause swelling and itchy welts, and we take every reasonable precaution to prevent them at CQE, including the following: 

  • During our training week, all CQE staff are informed on bed bugs and how to detect early signs. 
  • Each week when campers are offsite, our staff thoroughly cleans cabins and camp facilities. The weekly clean includes an inspection of all living areas for signs of bed bugs.
  • In order to prevent bed bugs from entering our environment, we ask anyone visiting CQE to take the following steps:
  • Consider whether it’s possible they may have recently been in contact with bed bugs.
  • If so, we request that prior to arrival, they wash all personal belongings with hot water and dry them at the highest dryer setting for at least 30 minutes. It is recommended for any other items to be steam-cleaned or placed loosely in a tightly sealed bag in a freezer for a minimum of four days at a temperature of -15C or lower.
  • Immediately upon returning home, we recommend repeating this process to prevent the possibility of spreading.

If you have questions regarding our protocols to prevent and manage ticks, bed bugs, and other insects, please contact our camp management at cqe@swo.ymca.ca

Washrooms: Flushing toilets, composting toilets and washstands are a moment’s walk from all of the cabins. All our washrooms are gender inclusive and have separate stalls.

Cabins: Each of our rustic wooden cabins includes single-bunk beds, shelving units, electricity and a sheltered porch.

Cabin mate requests: Campers and leadership participants are sorted into their cabin groups by age groupings and selected cabin preference. While we will do our best to accommodate cabin mate requests, we can only guarantee one mutual request per camper and the requested camper must be in the same age grouping.

Accommodations for campers: All campers live in cabins with eight campers and two counsellors. Campers are sorted into their cabin groups by age groupings and selected cabin preference. While we will do our best to accommodate cabin-mate requests, we can only guarantee one mutual request per camper and the requested camper must be in the same age grouping

Leadership 1: Developing excellent Leaders (DEL) participants live in a cabin with two trainers. 

Island Leader in Training (LIT) participants live in a cabin with their trainers living in the cabin beside them. When on outtrip or in an outtrip program campers sleep in a tent with other campers, while a tent with staff is nearby. 

Venture Leader in Training (LIT) participants spend the majority of their time on a backcountry canoe trip (outtrip). Venture LIT is an all-gender program and participants will share canoe groups and tent groups while on outtrip and at camp. Participants will sleep in tents with staff tents nearby. 

Upon registration, all campers and leadership participants will have the choice to sign up for an all-gender or single-gender cabin. We want our campers to be able to choose an accommodation that makes them feel comfortable and able to be themselves. 

All-gender cabins are open to everyone – they are a welcoming space for campers who want to share a space with campers of different genders, who have friends or siblings who are different genders, and for campers who identify as non-binary or genderqueer. While all-gender cabins are on outtrip, just like at camp in the cabin, campers will share a sleeping space in tents.

Our all-gender cabin option will be offered across all sessions in addition to our single-gender cabin options. The number of cabins available will be determined by demand. Every cabin group is sorted by age, keeping campers within two years of each other. Because our cabins are one open space, changing areas and privacy options are available for campers. 

Single-gender cabins: Please note that for our single-gender cabins, we aim to have two staff of the same gender (e.g. two male staff for a male cabin) for each cabin. If this is not possible, during the day the cabin may have staff of different genders. However, at night, each cabin will have two staff of the same gender sleep in the cabin. 

Outtrip programs (12-night Algonquin, French river, Killarney, 5-night Massasauga) and our Venture Leader in Training program are all gender programs. Participants in these programs will be sharing a tent with others of all genders while a staff share a tent close by. 
Our entire staff team participates in extensive training each year to help them create positive spaces for all of our campers. 

We are proud to be a camp that encourages friendship, belonging and inclusiveness, and we want to ensure that we continue to grow and support the needs of all our campers and families. 

If you have questions about our cabin options, please don’t hesitate to call 519-453-8858 or email cqe@swo.ymca.ca.

Campers are served three delicious, homemade meals, as well as mid-afternoon and evening snacks each day. Our menu is designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing, active campers with as few pre-packaged items as possible. Our kitchen is run by a caring and experienced team who love getting creative with food. If your camper has any dietary restrictions, ensure you include this on their health history form and we will share the information with our dietary restrictions coordinator.

Meals are an important part of camp: they provide time for cabin-mates to sit down together and share stories. All meals are served “family-style” meaning campers eat with their cabins. Indoor and outdoor dining spaces are available for our campers to enjoy a meal in the dining hall or out around camp. Campers help with setting and clearing tables and bringing food from the kitchen. At the end of every meal we have fun announcements, skits and songs which help prepare campers for the rest of their day!

Sample one-day menu at CQE:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and egg breakfast wraps w/ orange juice, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal bar, fruit bowl
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup w/ veggie tray and juice
  • Snack: Popsicles
  • Dinner: Stir fry with chicken, vegetables, salad bar & dessert
  • Evening snack: Goldfish crackers

* Please be aware the times below are estimates and are dependent on traffic and number of campers travelling by bus. We will email out communications to parents on departure days.

Busing Locations

Bus departure (to camp)

Bus arrival (from camp)

London: East London YMCA 2016 Dundas St. E.

10:15 a.m.

4:45 p.m.

Woodstock: Quality Inn, 580 Bruin Blvd

11:00 a.m.

4:00 p.m.

Mississauga: Mississauga YMCA, 325 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W.

12:15 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

* For personal car drop-off, campers with the last name starting with a letter from A-K must be dropped off at Honey Harbour Boat Club at 1 p.m., and campers with the last name starting with a letter from L-Z must be dropped off 1:30 p.m. on drop-off day. See below: 

Personal transportation to boat launch at Honey Harbour Boat Club, 2709 Honey Harbour Rd

Arrival to camp   
(drop off)

Departure from camp   
(pick up)

A-K 1 p.m.  
L-Z 1:30 p.m.

A-K 10 a.m.  
L-Z10:30  a.m.

*If you would like to drop your camper off by boat directory to CQEs site please email cqe@swo.ymca.ca to arrange this.

*Please note the departure and arrival times and locations for your session. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the bus is scheduled to leave to allow time to check in your camper and for loading.

Camp Queen Elizabeth is approximately four hours (drive) from London, and two hours from Toronto. 

If your camper is travelling by bus 
CQE buses do not stop on the way to or from camp, so there is no need for any spending money. Our buses are highway coaches with air conditioning and a washroom. All buses are supervised by a CQE staff member and who will be equipped with a cell phone. In the event of an extended delay, information will be emailed out to parents. 

If you’re travelling by car:
Parents bringing their children to Honey Harbour by car will be met by CQE staff at the entrance to the boat club who will have instruction for parking and checking campers in. Because we will have a lot of campers, parents will not be able to travel with their children on the boat to camp.

From London (No Toll)

  • Take the 401 eastbound to Toronto until you reach the 400 northbound.
  • Take the 400 northbound through Barrie, being careful to stay on the 400 where it branches off to become highway 12
  • Follow highway 400 until you reach exit 156 for Honey Harbour Road and Muskoka Road number 5
  • Turn left onto Honey Harbour Road/Muskoka Road number 5
  • Follow this road for approximately 20 minutes, past the Honey Harbour Library, the road will fork, turn right, and the Honey Harbour Boat Club will be on your left
  • This is where our boats depart from. Park at the top of the hill and walk down to our boats.

From London (Toll route)
Take the 407 eastbound and connect to the 400 northbound. Then follow the directions above.

From Toronto
Take the 400 northbound and follow the directions above.

Note: Whether your camper is travelling by car or by bus, please be sure to pack a lunch for the trip (including a beverage as there is no lunch served on the first day of camp. Please do not pack any peanut or nut products with this lunch.

Map to CQE
7:30 a.m. Wake-up bell 
7:30 – 7:50 a.m. Morning dip (optional). A chance for a quick swim before breakfast!
8 a.m. Table-setters’ bell
8:20 a.m. Morning gathering: Camp gathers before breakfast to honour the land.
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:15 a.m. Cabin clean-up
9:45 a.m. First activity of choice (see below for activity options and descriptions)
10:45 a.m.  Transition between activities 
11 a.m. Second activity of choice
12 p.m. Free swim
12:30 p.m. Table-setters’ bell
12:45 p.m.  Lunch    
1:30 p.m. In-cabin rest hour. Relax, sleep, read or play board games!
2:30 p.m. First cabin program
3:45 p.m. Snack! (Body break time)
4 p.m. Second cabin program (or continue first)
5:30 p.m. Table-setters’ bell
5:45 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Free choice (open waterfront, chill club or another choice)
8 p.m. Evening programs (cabin, group or camp-wide)
8:45–9:45 p.m. Bedtime prep/check-in/lights out

Every day is a fresh start! An important part of a positive camp experience is choosing great activities to start your day! CQE has a wide variety to choose from and we’ve found campers benefit from discussing which activities they’re interested in with their families before they leave for camp. See the next tab titled specific activities and programs for a list of our morning activities and descriptions.  

At the beginning of the week, each camper selects three activities, and our office admin schedules them for two of those three choices. Each morning after that, campers participate in two activities (the same activities for the entire week). Campers in two-week sessions can choose new activities for the second week.

Please note: Little Acorns campers do not sign up for morning activities. Instead, they participate in a wide range of classic camp activities with their cabin group instead.

Aquatics: Each day brings different water-based activities designed to encourage a love of swimming and to improve campers’ water skills. Each day campers will play games and learn different skills like new swim strokes, diving skills or how to tread water.

Archery: Campers have fun learning about the history and technique of the sport, while also learning to make targets, and playing games to help target practice in this classic camp activity.

Arts & crafts: Camper creativity shines at CQE arts & crafts! We offer a mix of classic camp crafts such as beading, candle making, painting, bracelet-making and tye-dying, as well as new creative activities. Campers create crafts they love to bring home.  

Canoeing: The cornerstone of classic camp activities! Canoeing is an invaluable skill to learn. CQE’s four-level canoeing program progresses from basic-strokes to ‘how to stern a canoe,’ to advanced solo techniques,  The goal is to develop the skills that will enable campers to be comfortable and confident, whether on an extensive canoe trip or out for a leisurely paddle.

Kayaking: Another classic! CQE offers four levels of flat-water kayaking. Level 1 focuses on straight-line paddling and becoming comfortable in the boat. In level 2, campers build more strokes into their and gain confidence with kayak skills and kayak rescue. In levels 3 and 4, campers learn advanced paddling techniques, as well as kayak rolls.

Musical Theatre: CQE’s theatre, drama and dance programming gives campers the chance to perform in a play for the entire camp at the end of the session. Daily activities include improv games, theatre sports and communication activities to increase confidence and self awareness

Music: This program serves as an introduction to timeless campfire instruments. Instruction includes learning the parts of a guitar or ukulele, basic chords and changes, and learning to play classic songs. There are opportunities to sing and play the bucket drum and other percussion instruments.

Art Lochead Sailing School:  One of the most popular activities at CQE, our sailing program consists of four progressive levels. Level 1 (Crew) is designed to build confidence and comfort in a sailboat. Campers learn basic theory, knots, and get to sail with one of our experienced instructors. Level 2 (Mate) focuses on learning how to sail with another sailor and introduces campers to steering and rescue techniques. Levels 3 and 4 (Mate-Skipper and Skipper) are a mix of advanced sailing theory and learning how to skipper a boat in a variety of conditions.

Wilderness Pursuits (WP): A must for campers who want to develop outdoor living skills while heightening awareness of their natural surroundings. WP activities include fire-building, outdoor cooking, shelter-building, understanding weather patterns and environmental camping practices. Campers will learn proper fishing technique and safety procedures about various species of fish found in Georgian Bay.

Windsurfing: CQE offers three levels that provide a different sort of sailing challenge for campers. Level 1 orients campers with the basic theory needed for windsurfing and gives plenty of time to become comfortable on the board. In levels 2 and 3, campers learn how to successfully maneuver in a variety of wind conditions as they sail around Goblin Bay. 

We find that activities that involve a core group of peers, such as cabin mates, encourage the development of close friendships. During afternoons and evenings at CQE, campers participate in activities with their cabin group. At the start of the session, campers and their counsellors collectively plan out a schedule so that each individual has input on the activities the cabin will be doing. Once all ideas have been discussed, the counsellors design a program that is safe, fun and appropriate to the age level of the cabin group.

Please note: At CQE, we aim to foster an atmosphere of co-operation rather than competition. When activities do include competition, we focus on challenging campers to achieve their own goals, rather than encouraging them to measure their accomplishments against others.

Free choice is exactly what it sounds like: a time each day where campers choose an activity. During this time, the waterfront is open for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Campers can head over to front point for chill club, where they can write letters home, read a book, play some quiet games or relax with friends. Or they can join a fun game, like “Gaga Ball,” or “Mission Impossible,” facilitated by the Leaders in Training (LITS).  Other passive and active programs will be offered depending on the weather, staff skills and expertise and camper interest. 

Outtrip is an exciting and special aspect of the CQE experience. All two-week campers participate in an overnight camping trip appropriate for their age and ability with their cabin group. *Options range from an overnight hike on Beausoleil Island for our youngest campers to a four- or five-night canoe trip for our eldest. Outtripping is a powerful experience that allows campers to develop a deeper appreciation for our relationship with the natural world. It encourages teamwork, builds confidence and develops leadership skills. Prior to each outtrip, staff will review the necessary skills with campers to ensure they feel prepared. At least two trip leaders will guide the campers through their outtrip experience. 

Appropriate gear is essential, so please review the trip specific packing list and let us know if you have questions. We encourage families to discuss the outtrip experience with their campers ahead of time to ensure they are emotionally prepared and looking forward to the trip. 

For more info, please visit our website: https://www.ymcaswo.ca/outtrip-programs





7-9 years old

1 night

Cedar Springs, Tonches


9-11 years old

1 night

Cedar Springs, McCrae Lake


11-13 years old

2 nights

McCrae Lake, Musquash River & Three Rock Chute


13-15 years old

3-5 nights

Bala, The Loop, Massasauga Provincial Park



*Please note: Both the length of trip and destination is subject to change due to cabin ability, space, resources, safety, weather, etc.  

5-night programs head to Massasauga Provincial Park. 

12-night outtrip programs head to Algonquin, French River, or Killarney Provincial Park. Campers will have the opportunity to learn basic paddling, packing, cooking and navigation skills with the support of our camp staff. 

Visit our website for more details on each trip: https://www.ymcaswo.ca/outtrip-programs 

At CQE, we require staff who are leading our outtrip programs to have experience canoe tripping in outtrip environments. Our staff dedicate themselves to obtain certifications relevant to their position. Our CQE outtrip leaders have their National Lifeguard, Standard First aid and CPRC, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, as well as ORCKA canoeing certifications. 

All Outtrip programs are all-gender programs. Campers will share canoe groups and tent groups while on trip and at camp. These trips are designed to give participants a true wilderness experience. Campers will paddle through some of the most scenic areas in Ontario, eat meals cooked over camping stoves, and spend nights sleeping in tents. We design our trips to meet the skill level and experience of the group. On the second last day of the program, the group will be picked up by bus or van and returned to the island. Most groups will join in the final banquet and closing campfire, depending on their arrival time back at camp.

Summer Season, May-September 
YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth 
PO Box 249, Honey Harbour, ON, 
P 705-756-8300 
E: cqe@swo.ymca.ca  

Fall, Winter & Spring 
YMCA Camping Branch – London
165 Elmwood Ave E., London, ON, 
N6C 0A8 
P: 519-453-8858
E: cqe@swo.ymca.ca 

Isabel Kennedy 
Camp Director 

Emma Hamber 
Assistant Camp Director

For more information visit us online: