CQE Outdoor Centre

In May, June, and September YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth operates as an outdoor centre offering programs and rental facilities to groups including schools, corporate groups, and private bookings.

Need a place to host a yoga or spiritual retreat? Our beautiful, wooden main hall is perfect for finding inspiration in the solitude of the natural world. 

Looking for a high-impact team-building experience? Let our staff challenge your group to learn more about each other as they play and laugh their way to a deeper understanding of their unique strengths and abilities as a team.

Whether you are looking for an end of the year trip, a team-building experience, a wilderness canoe trip, or a location for a family reunion, CQE is the perfect place for your group. Our dedicated and skilled staff are available to deliver custom-designed programs for your group’s needs. With our superb facilities and unique location in Georgian Bay Islands National Park, your group is guaranteed to have a meaningful and memorable outdoor experience.

We are lucky to be located on the rocky shores of beautiful Beausoleil Island, in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Our site offers a unique setting for your group as they navigate their way around camp on the Canadian Shield. The island is home to many different unique and threatened species and we work closely with Parks Canada to incorporate information about the island and the inhabitants into every program. Please note that this unique setting may present challenges for those with limited mobility. Please contact our office if you have any concerns. 

Our buildings at camp are all basic wooden structures, designed to be welcoming and comfortable. Our Dining Hall is one of our main gathering spots, where groups meet for all meals and large group indoor activities, and offers beautiful views of the bay from its decks. 
All participants live in cabins during their camp experience. Each cabin sleeps 10 individuals and has single bunk beds with mattresses, shelving units, electricity, and a sheltered porch. Participants are required to bring their own bedding (ie. pillow, sleep bag, single sheet). 
Flush toilets, Composting toilets, and washstands are just a moments walk from our cabins. 

Our food services team works to ensure all our participants and visitors at CQE are well fed and have the energy they need to get the most out of their visit with us. We offer a variety of delicious snacks and balanced, nutritious meals. CQE has experience accommodating a wide variety of dietary restrictions and allergies. We collect this information prior to your group’s arrival to ensure we are prepared with excellent options for everyone. Participants are served 3 delicious, homemade meals each day, and an evening snack. Meals are an important part of camp: it is a time for a group to sit down together and share stories of their day. All meals are served “family-style:” Participants eat with their groups for the entire meal. Participants help with setting and clearing tables and bringing food from the kitchen.

Allergy Awareness
At YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. With this in mind, we have a number of participants with severe food allergies and food sensitivities. We recognize that nut allergies are a common concern and because of this our camp is a nut aware site. While our camp works to limit the introduction of nut products into our space, we do carry some products that may contain traces of nuts. If your participant has a severe allergy to nut products or any other food item, we will not serve any food that contains or may contain traces of the allergen. An anaphylaxis policy and emergency protocol are in place to ensure that participants with severe allergies are identified, and the camp will work towards eliminating contact with the allergen. All participants with anaphylactic allergies are communicated to staff. The Food Service team and Camp Director will revise menu plans, ingredient lists and products to ensure that the product is removed from that participants meals. If you have any concerns about a specific food allergy or dietary restriction, please feel free to reach out to us at any time so we can answer any questions and discuss your concerns. 

The Camp Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Centre provides a unique experience for students to explore the natural world that cannot be recreated in the classroom setting. We believe that working through exciting challenges in a small group will help students develop skills in teamwork and communication.

Living as part of the camp community will teach them to promote an inclusive and respectful atmosphere with their peers at home. Our program options allow teachers, administrators, and student leaders to choose the activities that best suit their students and empower them to make the most of the outdoor educational experience. 

All our activities are linked to the school board’s curriculum, OPHEA standards, Ontario Camping Association standards, and YMCA Camping Quality Recommended Practices. Our staff work hard to promote an experience that will be fun, interactive, and educational. 

Classic Outdoor Education Pricing

  • 2 days/1 night – $115.00 plus 13% tax per person
  • 3 days/2 nights – $230.00 plus 13% tax per person
  • 4 days/3 nights – $345.00 plus 13% tax per person
  • 5 days/4 nights – $460.00 plus 13% tax per person

(Teachers and Chaperones are half price + 13% tax)

For pricing on any canoe trip programs, please contact us directly by email.  
For more information on our Outdoor Centre program opportunities please contact 519.453.8858 ext. 1107 (October to April), 705.756.8300 (May to September), or by email.

Program Options   
Small Group Program Rotations: Each program rotation lasts between an hour and an hour and a half and is designed as an introductory, experiential activity. Each school chooses the rotations they would like in their program and the rotations are done in small groups of 8-15 students. The length of the group’s stay and the other activities they wish to participate   
in while at camp, limits the number of rotations they may choose. The rotations to choose from are: 

  • Arts and crafts 
  • Orienteering 
  • Sailing 
  • Archery 
  • Canoeing 
  • Initiatives 
  • Earth walks 
  • Outdoor Living skills 
  • Kayaking 

Large Group Programming: The following are a few of our other group programming options in which your group may choose to participate:

Campfires: Staff will lead a classic campfire with songs and stories. A group activity during which everyone can relax and have some fun! We invite any participants who would like to perform to come with their own campfire songs and if anyone knows how to play guitar, we have guitars for participants to borrow too!   
Parks Canada Hike: Parks Canada staff will give a presentation on the national park and the island’s special features, followed by a guided hike around Fairy Lake.    

Swimming: Throughout each day there are opportunities for the participants (and brave teachers and chaperones) to go swimming. Although the water temperature in Georgian Bay can be cool in the spring and fall, you will be surprised at the endurance of your students!   

Sunset Paddle: Participants will work together to paddle the group canoe and explore the islands around camp while enjoying the beautiful sunset.   

Ducky Dip: Optional morning swim at the main docks with lifeguards present. This is a great way to wake up and start the morning off right with a quick swim before breakfast.  

Other group activities include: skit night, capture the flag, the Animal Game, Gagaball, and scavenger hunt. 

3 Day Schedule

TimeDay OneDay TwoDay Three
7:30am Wake up and Ducky DipWake up and Ducky Dip
8:15amTable settersTable setters
9:45-10:45amRotation 3: CanoeingRotation 7: Archery
11:00am-12:00pmRotation 4: OLSDeparture
12:00-12:15pmFree Swim
12:30pmArrival and site tourTable setters
12:45pmSnack & community meetingLunch
1:30-2:00pmSwim testFree time
2:00-3:00pmRotation 1: Arts & CraftsRotation 5: Orienteering
3:15-4:15pmRotation 2: SailingRotation 6: Kayaking
4:15-5:15pmGagaballCapture the flag
5:30pmTable settersTable setters
7:00-8:00pmSunset paddleFree boating

Program Supervision: All aspects of our program are led by our program staff. Your school will have the same program staff working with your group throughout your stay, with one senior program staff member acting as the group coordinator and some guest staff to assist with certain programs.

Teachers and Chaperones: We want you and your chaperones to have fun at CQE and we
encourage you to participate as much as possible in all of the programs offered during your stay at camp. Our staff will lead all of the programs and activities, and will be actively involved during meal times.

However, as with any field trips, the ultimate responsibility for the care and conduct of your participants lies with the teachers and chaperones. Please let your participants and chaperones know your expectations and those of the camp prior to your trip.

Free Time and Evening Supervision: There are few “free time” periods throughout the day at camp. Teachers should be aware of where their participants are and what they are doing. After program ends in the evening, it is the responsibility of the teachers and chaperones to co-ordinate bedtime and evening supervision. 

While it is up to each individual school to set their own “lights-out” times, please be mindful that there may be other schools on the cabin line as well. We ask that students do not wander around camp at night without direct adult supervision and that the cabin area is quiet by 10:00 pm.

Cabin Groups: Our camper cabins sleep 10 people. Prior to your trip we will contact you with the cabins that have been assigned to your group. If your school policy is that teachers and chaperones do not sleep in the same cabins as students you will be nearby either in another cabin on the cabin line, or in staff/ chaperone accommodations. We offer the option of all-female, all-male, and all-gender cabins.   

Waterfront Safety Procedures
CQE is an accredited member of the Ontario Camps Association and adheres to its Year-round Standards. Our policies also align closely with OPHEA guidelines. We recognize that every school board or group may have different requirements for participating in water based programs.

Please reach out to us directly if you have concerns or specific requirements and we will work with you to meet groups needs. All our free swims and boating activities take place in one of our designated waterfront areas, and always under the direct supervision of our staff. All water activities are supervised by staff holding current National Lifeguard (NL) certificates.

Swimming: Each student will be required to complete a swim test on the first day of camp. Students will wear a long-sleeve shirt while doing the test. The swim test includes continuous swimming for 50 m, treading water for 1 minutes and putting on a P.F.D. while in the water. Students who do not pass will be required to wear a P.F.D. at all times when swimming or around the water.

Some schools/groups may require their participants to complete a swim test before attending CQE programs. For groups in the Southwestern Ontario region who require a swim test before arriving on our site, please reach out to us. We have many YMCA branches across the Southwestern Ontario region and we may be able to help you coordinate your swim test at one of our branches. Please note, extra fees may apply.

Boating Policies: Life Jackets (PFDs) are provided and are mandatory for all participants while engaging in boating activities. Boating and lifeguarding equipment is checked and inspected on a regular basis to ensure safety.

Before all boating and swimming occurs, safety rules, guidelines and boundaries are explained to participants. Prior to the on-water portion of a boating activity, instructors teach basic paddling skills and review all boating safety rules.

At all times that boating activities are taking place, a qualified waterfront supervisor is present to respond as needed. The waterfront supervisor has their NL, First Aid, and CPR C certification as well as their ORCKA Canoe and Kayak Basic Instructor.

Please email cqe@swo.ymca.ca for more information and to inquire about availability.

Whether your group is looking for a two-night canoe trip or an extended wilderness leadership trip, we have a program to suit your needs. The unique environment allows participants to develop leadership, problem-solving, communication, decision making, and wilderness skills. Participants gain a sense of accomplishment when learning how to properly paddle and portage a canoe, read a map, help cook a meal, and so much more.

CQE staff members are stewards of the environment and participants learn to appreciate the natural world while leaving as little impact as possible. By being placed in challenging situations together, the group learns about interpersonal dynamics and the value of teamwork.

We have a variety of trip options that provide varying levels of challenge and adventure in the great outdoors.

  • Georgian Bay Islands and surrounding area.
    Paddle from CQE’s site on Beausoleil Island  to surrounding campsites on Beausoleil Island National Park and Crown Land in the Georgian Bay area. Please note the campsites on Beausoleil Island need to be booked in advance at an additional cost.
  • Massasauga Provincial Park
    A 40 minute drive from Honey Harbour, Massasauga area is a great introduction to backcountry camping and canoeing. Please note this trip requires permits to be purchased ahead of time at an additional cost and a group size of 9 participants per campsite
  • Temagami Lakes
    A 4 hour drive from Honey Harbour, the Temagami area offers a remote canoe and camping experience with lake hopping, portaging, and hikes on Crown Land. 
  • French River Provincial Park
    A 2 hour drive from Honey Harbour, the French River offers pristine waters and historic sites with a medium-level of challenging paddling and portages. Please note this trip requires permits to be purchased ahead of time at an additional cost and a group size of 9 participants per campsite.
  • Algonquin Provincial Park
    A 2 hour drive from Honey Harbour, Algonquin is a great introduction to backcountry camping with beautiful days of paddling, well maintained portages, and campsites. Please note this trip requires permits to be purchased ahead of time at an additional cost and a group size of 9 participants per campsite.
  • Killarney Provincial Park
    A 2 hour drive from Honey Harbour, Killarney offers crystal clear lakes, easy portages, and stunning hikes. Please note this trip requires permits to be purchased ahead of time at an additional cost and a group size of 9 participants per campsite

CQE provides all equipment, food, route planning and booking for your trip, and transportation to and from Beausoleil Island by motor boat. The cost of any Park or camping location bookings will be in addition to the group rate. CQE will organize transportation to and from the park or camping location at an additional cost (if required).

Please email cqe@swo.ymca.ca for more information and to inquire about availability.

We offer custom team-building retreats for groups looking to learn in a new and challenging environment while having the time of their lives! Our staff will meet with you to determine the needs and goals of your group and develop an intentional, interactive, and high impact program.

Incorporating expert facilitation of team initiatives, outdoor activities, and fun social events, groups come away relaxed, inspired, and ready to perform when they return to the “real world”. Groups often bring along a current project and benefit from working in our stunning natural setting that promotes creativity and innovation.

For groups looking for space to host their own event, part or all of our site is available to rent. The facilities at Camp Queen Elizabeth provide a rustic and relaxing environment perfect for retreats and special events. We host corporate groups, private groups, family reunions/parties, and more – we love the opportunity to share our site with diverse members from our community.

We have 25 cabins that sleep up to 10 people overnight accommodation. Our main hall has space for over 200 people to dine and can also be used for yoga classes, meetings, and more. We also offer three smaller breakout spaces for small group work.

If you want to get outside and play, our location on beautiful Beausoleil Island is perfect for hiking and paddling activities. We have a number of hiking trails ranging in length and level of difficulty that are accessible from our site, and our bay provides an ideal learning environment for paddling and short canoe trips.

Please email cqe@swo.ymca.ca for specific inquiries about site rental and we would be happy to provide more information and pricing.