Featured Camp: Camp Chikopi for Boys

The Wilderness Experience

Camp Chikopi is a unique mix of a traditional and competitive sports camp. We are renowned for being the first swim camp and the oldest competitive sports camp in the world. Ranked as one of the best boys camps in Ontario, we offer over 30 land, water and specialized sports and activities including open water swimming, triathlon, war canoe and canoe tripping.

Campers range from boys who just want to have fun playing sports while being outdoors to those who are gifted athletes. We have programs to fit all needs and fulfill their summer goals. Chikopi is extremely proud of its emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness. We support many nationalities, languages and customs at Chikopi. Attending our camp is an excellent opportunity for boys to be technology-free and immersed in a variety of cultures. Our wilderness location and rustic setting add to the extraordinary experience a summer at Chikopi provides.

Camp Chikopi3

Camp Chikopi

The Swim Program

Camp Chikopi’s competitive swimming program focuses on individual development. Emphasis is on fundamentals: drills, starts and turns. Through instruction and conditioning, each camper’s physical and mental conditioning improves and translates to success in the pool.

The program revolves around the principles below.

Technical Emphasis: We teach proper stroke technique, breathing, turns, positioning, grabbing, streamlining, rotating, and pressing.

Race Strategy: Swimmers will understand the tactics of racing: starts, efficient stoke technique, breathing, turns, finish, control and managing their race.

Achievement: Each camper will gain significant improvement in speed, agility, power, endurance and aerobic capacity while reducing the risk of injury.

Camp Chikopi’s recreational swimming program focuses on teaching campers the basics of swimming and swim safety.

A Camp Chikopi experience is the supreme mix of training and fun. Founded in 1920 under the directorship of University Of Michigan and Olympic swim coach Matt Mann II, Camp Chikopi is the oldest so-called swim camp in world.  Its body of alumni swimmers has graced various national, international and American and Canadian Olympic teams. Now, almost a century later, Chikopi’s competitive swimming program retains the focus of Mann’s traditional camp philosophy, namely the moral and physical development of the individual boy.

The Waterfront

The camp’s waterfront is dominated by almost a mile of Ahmic Lake shore, one of Ontario’s most unspoiled and picturesque lakes. It is the lake then that becomes the training ground for swimmers. Beyond the centerpiece 50-meter pool located along the lake shore lies the extensive reaches of the lake itself. The lake – mile after mile of pure water – not only invites but also embraces the opportunity for open water swimming, one of the primary focuses of competitive swimming at Camp Chikopi.

Beginning with daily “Early Bird” swims at 7:00 a.m., open water swimming is not only stressed for competitive swimmers but is also introduced in various swim sessions for non-competitive swimmers during the day. Distance swimming builds confidence and reliance on one’s swimming ability. The summer season is punctuated by numerous open water swims highlighted by the 12 mile Chikopi to Magnetewan swim as well as the popular Knoepfli Falls Mile Swim. Each contributes to a swimmer’s awareness of his growth and development as a swimmer. The summer culminates in a sprint for Chikopi swimmers – a 2K holiday event at the historical Kempenfest Festival in Barrie, Ontario.

Camp Chikopi2

Camp Chikopi

The competitive lakeside pool lends itself to shorter distances in which technique and fundamentals in the four competitive strokes are stressed. Understanding racing strategy – the tactics of pace, stroke control and race management – is often addressed. Given the importance of what happens at the end of pools: starts, turns, streamlining, momentum in and out, is also taught and echoed repeatedly. Since speed is the essence of competitive swimming, much of pool practice focuses on sprint-specific sets, incorporating a wide assortment of drills that apply to technique. One of the most popular competitions campers and counselors organize and participate in is the Cabin Championship Meet.

Supervised recreational swimming, for the most part, is conducted in late afternoon at the swim cove. This lovely sheltered area lends itself to all sorts of water activities, drawing the comfort of the afternoon sun to a paradise of medium shallows, a sandy bottom and the beach. All sorts of water craft are available for play: kayaks, surf boards, paddle boards, wind surfers, sunfish sailboats . . . the choices are endless.

In light of all the various swim activities at Chikopi, water safety is a MUST. Survival swimming, sometimes called “drownproofing”, is taught to all campers. The “buddy system” is adopted, especially for open water swims. Lifeguards supervise the various scenes of these activities to ensure security and safety.

Camp Dates & Enrollment

Click HERE to download camper enrollment form and to view dates and fees. All fees are in Canadian dollars.

  • One Week Taste of Chikopi: June 27th – July 4th
  • Two Week Stay:June 27th – July 11th; July 11th – 25th; July 25th – August 8th; August 1st – 15th
  • Three Week Stay: July 4th – 25th; July 25th – August 15th
  • Four Week Stay: June 27th – July 25th
  • Five Week Stay: June 27th – August 1st
  • Six Week Stay: July 4th – August 15th
  • Seven Week Stay: June 27th – August 15th
  • Seven Weeks Sons of Military & Veterans: June 27th – August 15th for a discounted fee

Click HERE to view enrollment information and camper forms.

Add-on Opportunities

Paintball, Triathlons, Niagara Falls and North Bay Regatta will only be participated in if the required minimum number is attained. Paintball has a maximum participation, first enrolled first to go, all others will be wait listed.
  • North Bay Triathlon: July 1st
  • Paintball – Day Trip: July 9th
  • Niagara Falls – Day Trip: July 30th
  • Barrie Triathlon – Overnight Trip: August 12th

Contact Information

Phone: Summer Office (705) 387-3811

E-mail: campchikopi@aol.com

Fax: (705) 387-4747

Youtube Channel: Camp Chikopi

Facebook Page: Camp Chikopi

Twitter: @CChikopi

Mailing Address: Camp Chikopi
373 Chikopi Road
Magnetawan, ON, P0A 1P0 CANADA

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Author: Kristy Kinzer

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Kristy Kinzer is a 2014 graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and served two years as an assistant coach and aquatics director for the Calvin Knights. She made the All-American academic honors list in 2013 and was a captain of the women's team her senior year. She is pursuing a master's degree at Western Michigan with an exercise physiology concentration. She aspires to start a varsity women's triathlon team upon finishing her degree.

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