Our Story

Established in 1955, Camp Maple Leaf is a registered charity that has welcomed thousands of children over the past 65 years who share unique life challenges.

Since 1955, our flagship camp on our special island in the Kawartha region of Ontario has been a caring place of fun and friendship for children who share common life experiences and has welcomed thousands of children. Many are still involved with us as camp staff and volunteers today.

Since 2016, the Camp Tanamakoon Charitable Foundation has been honoured to build on this great legacy, and we are excited to be expanding to our second location in New Brunswick and welcoming even more campers and families in the summer of 2022!

We believe in the lasting positive impact that camp can have on the lives of all children, and in the significant difference it can make to children growing up with unique life challenges. For children from Canadian Military Families for example, the frequent relocations inherent in military life can challenge their ability to develop lasting friendships. They can cope with unique uncertainties such as lengthy deployments of family members, the impact of an injury to a parent, the inherent stress to families involved in military service, and for some…the impact of grief and loss.

Children growing up with other significant life challenges also face real obstacles to inclusion and can be challenged to feel that sense of belonging that is so crucial to their wellbeing. Camp Maple Leaf creates that special new place where children enjoy a fun-filled camp experience that can make all the difference in their resiliency and confidence….key assets to their ability to thrive in an increasingly challenging world.

We are grateful to our sponsors, donors, staff, and volunteers who have made Camp Maple Leaf what it is today. Their support demonstrates what can be made possible when a passionate community rallies around an inspiring idea, and we look forward to what we can continue to achieve together in the future!

Our History

Around the world, a long-standing tradition of the Canadian Military is that “Camp Maple Leaf” bases built in areas of active duty were left for the local community’s benefit when the military forces departed the area. In 1955, this notion inspired the Canadian Council of War Veterans Associations to establish Camp Maple Leaf on a 104-acre jewel of lushly forested land on Pigeon Lake.

The camp embodied the same spirit of service and caring for others that the Veterans carried with them during their years of service. It was originally created as a living memorial, paying tribute to Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for peace. It was a labour of love, developed through hard work and without government funding.

Adopted by the Camp Tanamakoon Charitable Foundation in 2016, Camp Maple Leaf has continued to build on its great tradition and is carefully stewarded thanks to the support of countless donors, volunteers, and staff members. For Kim Smith, President of Camp Maple Leaf, this legacy is especially meaningful. His father Bruce was a veteran, and as a result he strongly believes in the importance of paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for peace.

Kim is committed to continuing the work of the camp’s founding veterans by supporting military families and breaking down the barriers that may prevent any child from taking part in the camp experience we know is so important to their wellbeing. We will continue to expand on this founding vision by inviting campers with other shared unique life challenges to benefit from the fun, friendships, and special sense of belonging that will always be at the core of the Camp Maple Leaf experience.

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The Tanamakoon