Swallowdale Camp, Lake Rosseau, Ontario

Traditional Canadian Summer Camp in Beautiful Muskoka

The camping tradition runs deep within the Canadian spirit. Swallowdale Camp has been operating in beautiful Muskoka, Ontario since 1943! For generations, campers have come to Swallowdale Camp to gain an appreciation for outdoor and community living and to develop skills in various sports and activities.

Swallowdale Camp operates on the grounds of a private high school campus located directly on beautiful Lake Rosseau in Muskoka. It is the perfect choice for summer adventures and campers are sure to be impressed by the comfortable residences, modern classrooms, art studio, gymnasium and extensive waterfront. Canadian and International campers join together to develop skills in sports, arts, outdoor activities and leadership. At Swallowdale Camp, campers come to appreciate the stunning beauty of the nature that surrounds them, and the cultural distinctions that make up our global community.

Swallowdale Camp offer international campers the option to improve their English language skills through a standard ESL course, which offers 10 hours of lessons per week and is taught by certified ESL instructors.  Our extensive activity programme provides all campers with a choice of a wide variety of water sports, land sports, and specialty programmes.  Our activities are fully supervised and instructed in English.

Our specialized Leader in Training Course is ideal for senior campers aged 16 years and with an advanced level of English who are seeking hands-on leadership experience and skill development.

Join Canadian and international campers alike this summer for an experience unique among Canadian camps. At Swallowdale, you learn to appreciate not only the stunning beauty of the nature that surrounds you, but also the cultural distinctions that make up our global community.

LocationLake Rosseau, Ontario
Ages7 - 15 years, boys and girls
Leaders in Training (LIT)16 years, boys and girls
Session Length2, 3, or 4 week sessions
AccommodationShared residence rooms
ESL (Optional)10 hours per week

Dates and Fees 2018

All fees are in Canadian Dollars $CAD

July 14
July 21
July 28
August 04
August 11
August 19
August 26
July 01
2 Weeks
3 Weeks
4 Weeks
- - - -
July 08
- 2 Weeks
3 Weeks
4 Weeks
- - -
July 15
- - 2 Weeks
3 Weeks
- - -
July 22
- - - 2 Weeks
- - -

* Notarized Custodianship Fee: $100 CAD per document.

* Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Departure Fee: $75 CAD per student.

* Extra Fees may apply to students who arrive before 08:00am or after 23:00pm AND who depart before 09:00am.

*Canadian and US citizens currently residing in Canada or the United States are asked to contact CISS for domestic rates. Taxes are included. Information updated: December 4th, 2017

Leaders In Training Dates and Fees 2018

All fees are in Canadian Dollars $CAD

July 28
August 04
July 08
3 Weeks
July 08
- 4 Weeks

*Canadian and US citizens currently residing in Canada or the United States are asked to contact CISS for domestic rates. Taxes are included. Information updated: December 4th, 2017

Activities & Excursions

Optional Excursions

Select optional excursions are offered to all campers at an extra fee. Excursions offered are dependent upon session dates and duration. All excursions are fully supervised by camp staff and include transportation, admission costs and meals as required. 

Trips may be paid for upon arrival at camp or pre-paid to the representative prior to arrival at camp. 

Clients wishing to pre-pay for Optional Activities must indicate this at time of booking.

Duration       Excursion Detail Cost 
Full Day Canada's Wonderland (Amusement Park) $85
Full Day Niagara Falls (includes Hornblower boat tour)      $125

Included Excursions

We offer 1 full day trip to the town of Huntsville every two weeks.


Swallowdale Camp offers the perfect combination of a traditional Canadian camp and the comforts of home.  It is based out of the grounds of Rosseau Lake College, a private boarding school located on the shores of beautiful Lake Rosseau.  The Muskoka region of Ontario has long held a special place in the hearts of its year-round residents and seasonal cottagers. With fresh water lakes offering spectacular views, surrounded by the natural beauty of forested landscape, it is no wonder that this region holds a strong reputation as premier recreational destination.

Swallowdale operates from the beautiful Rosseau Lake College. The extensive school grounds include a large waterfront, indoor gymnasium, modern classrooms, playing fields, traditional dining hall, and comfortable residence accommodations.

Facilities include:

  • Modern Classrooms
  • Dining hall
  • 2 sports fields
  • Indoor gymnasium
  • Extensive waterfront facilities for swimming, boating, canoeing, and kayaking
  • Art Studio
  • Student Lounges

Swallowdale campers are separated by age and gender and live in one of three school residence houses.  We place 2 – 8 campers in a room, depending on the size and layout.  All rooms includes beds (or bunkbeds), desks, chairs, dressers and wardrobes and campers will each receive a clean pillow and sleeping bag.  There are full toilet and shower facilities in each residence, which are shared.  Campers must bring their own towels and toiletries.  Safety is our priority so staff live on the same floor of the residence with the campers. 

We provide you with three meals plus a healthy snack each day.  Meals are served “family style” in the school dining hall.  This means that campers will sit with their assigned counsellor at a large table and food is brought to the table and shared.  Our menu offers a variety of nutritious meals, all cooked on-site by professional staff.  Meals at Swallowdale are famous for being lively and loud – campers are encouraged to join in with the songs and cheers that regularly take place.


Each day is divided into 5 periods, plus a Free Time activities period.  Campers participate in their chosen activities during the 5 periods - 3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  All activities are fully instructed and are taught in English.  The Free Time activity period is also offered daily, allowing campers to take part in arts & crafts, land sports, swimming or woodworking. These activities are supervised, but not necessarily instructed.

English As A Second Language Programme 

Swallowdale campers who want to improve their English may choose to take English as a Second Language (ESL) lessons.  All students taking ESL are tested on their first Monday at the programme, and placed in a level appropriate class. ESL classes are 10 hours per week and comprise two of the five daily activity periods. Campers can then choose any other three activities.

The English classes taught at Swallowdale follow a curriculum that is designed to enable foreign language learners to further their fluency and accuracy in English. With a focus on communication, lessons are designed for group oral activities as well as individual tasks in grammar, writing and reading.

Leader In Training

The Leader in Training programme puts the concept of "leadership" into motion by providing participants with a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on experience in a camp setting.

Morning lessons focus on examining theories, models, and meanings of leadership. LITs learn various techniques used by educators to lead and support younger children, including strategies for different scenarios that apply within a camp setting.

Afternoons provide LITs with an opportunity to apply their new knowledge, as they assist camp staff in leading various camp activities and organizing different programmes. Participants are sure to leave the programme with new skills and experience that will serve them for a lifetime.

Program Options

Programme Ages Daily Schedule English Proficiency
Regular Camp 7-15 5 activity periods All levels accepted
ESL 10 hours 7-15 2 class period + 3 activity periods All levels accepted
Leader In Training 16 2 class periods + 3 practical training periods Advanced ESL required

Evening Programme

The evening programme is an opportunity for students and staff to do activities together. The programme is mandatory and is a combination of house-based activities and leisure options. Students from each residence house may team up to face each other in competition. Students may also enjoy camp-wide activities including the following: 

  • Campfires
  • Camp Games
  • Dances
  • In-house Videos
  • Overnight camping
  • Sports Challenges
  • Skit Night
  • Talent Shows 


Daily Instructed Activities

Whether the camper chooses to take ESL or the regular camp programme, ALL CAMPERS will have the opportunity to select and participate in general interest activities as follows:

  • Regular Programme: 5 instructed activity periods daily + Free Time activity period 
  • ESL Programme: 3 instructed activity periods daily + Free Time activity period 

At the beginning of each week, students select their activities from a wide variety of water and land sports, as well as arts and movement programming. Students attend their chosen activities for one-week blocks, ensuring that they develop solid skills in those particular areas. Students who select the ESL programme will automatically be scheduled into ESL classes comprising 2 periods daily.  

Campers select their weekly activity choices from the list below. All activities are supervised and instructed in English. Each activity period lasts for 1 hour (60 minutes) daily. 

Activity Instructors

  • Activity instructors have proven competency skills in each of their activities 
  • Lifeguards and activity instructors have certification in accordance with OCA (Ontario Camps Association) regulations

Free Time Activity Period

Period 6 is reserved for "Free Time Activities". During the scheduled free-time activity period, students may choose an activity they wish to do on a purely recreational basis. Activities include: Arts & Crafts, Landsports, Swimming, and Woodworking. These activities are supervised but are not necessarily instructed.

On Sundays and on days when optional excursions are offered, the daily programme is modified to allow for group activities rather than the typical daily choices.

    Water Sports

  •      Canoeing
  •      Kyaking
  •      Fishing
  •      Sailing
  •      Stand Up Paddle Board
  •      Swimming

    Field & Court Sports

  •      Archery
  •      Ball Hockey
  •      Basketball
  •      Soccer
  •      Vollyball
  •      Ultimate Fisbee


  •      Arts & Crafts
  •      Guitar
  •      Outdoor Survival
  •      Woodworking
  •      Yoga


  •      ESL

For Parents

What is included in the programme price

The following are included in each camper’s package price:

  • Residencial accommodation
  • Three meals daily plus an evening snack
  • Supervision
  • All scheduled activities
  • Use of lifejacket, paddles, and other sporting equipment
  • Study materials
  • 10 hours/week of ESL instruction (optional) with certificate upon completion of course
  • Shopping excursions to Huntsville
  • Full-time healthcare provider on campus
  • Laundry service once a week
  • Bedding/sleeping bags (students must supply own towel)

International students also have included:

  • Toronto airport meet & greet plus transfers to/from camp
  • Medical insurance

Does my child need a visa to enter Canada or to attend this programme?

Students who come for a summer programme (or any programme with a duration of less than six months) do not require a Study Permit. Students coming from certain countries, however, will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TVR). Please refer to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website for full details and a complete listing of countries that require a TVR: www.cic.gc.ca  

Do I need to purchase out-of-country emergency travel medical insurance for my child?

CISS provides emergency medical and dental insurance to a maximum of $100,000 CAD for international campers attending a CISS summer programme. Campers coming from the USA, however, are responsible for their own out-of-country insurance. Canadian campers should be covered by their provincial health-care plans. 

Who will receive my child when he/she arrives at the airport? 

For international campers, and Canadian or US campers who have requested transfer to/from the airport - Staff from Swallowdale Camp will meet your child in the arrivals area at the airport. Staff hold signs bearing the programme name. It is the responsibility of the student to look for this sign and to remain in the arrivals area until he/she has met the staff member. Students travelling as a group with a group leader remain together. The group leader assists the students to find the programme staff member. If your child is registered as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM), the person that CISS has designated earlier to you during the UM registration will be on hand to personally receive your child. 

How will I know that my child has arrived safely at camp?

CISS maintains regular contact with your Representative, and will immediately inform the Representative if a student has not arrived as expected. Otherwise, it should be assumed that all students have arrived safely.

What happens if my child has a medical emergency? 

Our staff is trained to handle all medical emergencies. Swallowdale Camp hires a health-care provider who is on site.  The camp is also in close proximity to hospitals and clinics. CISS will inform both you and your representative (if applicable) of any emergencies that arise and the details/treatments involved.

Do you have a clothing list available? 

Yes. Please download the Swallowdale Camp Clothing List (PDF) here.  

To ensure your child returns home with all of his/her belongings, we also recommend that all clothing and personal items be labelled with your child's name.  For your convenience, we have partnered with Mabel’s Labels, a Canadian company with all types of labels that are colourful, indestructible and fun! This company ships both domestically and internationally. To purchase labels go to www.swallowdale.mabel.ca

How could I communicate with my child? 

A. All parent communication, by phone or email, will be limited to one time per week (except in emergency situations). We strongly believe that calling home prompts homesickness.  It also interrupts the campers from their routine at camp. If you have concerns about your child, our staff is available to talk with you about it.  Rest assured that if there are any problems with your child, a staff member will contact you.

Phone Calls -  Campers are permitted to call home once a week.  Campers may use their own personal mobile devices to call home or they may use Skype® (headphones with microphones available).  Campers who do not already have a Skype® account may use the Swallowdale account and will be charged accordingly.  We ask that parents not call the camp office phone to speak with their child, except in the case of an emergency.  

Mobile Devices - Mobile phones/devices are not permitted at Swallowdale Camp. Campers who bring them will be asked to leave them in safe-keeping at the camp office. Phones/devices will be given to campers only when needed to call home.

E-Mail - Campers will have limited access to email during their stay at camp. Campers wishing to use email must have a personal web-based email address.