5 Star Camps - Ottawa Summer Day Camp located in Carp Outdoor Leadership Camp - 5 Star Camps: Ottawa Summer Camp

5 Star Camps

Variety - Excellent - Nurturance - Trust - Adventure

5 Star Outdoor Leadership Camp – (ages 11-12)


At 5 Star Camps we believe that children today need to be outside enjoying what nature has to offer and not allow screen time to take over play time. This program will give your camper a new appreciation for the outdoors. Our 53 acres of wooded property is a perfect venue to house this type of programme. The week long experience will help develop their outdoor leadership skills today and help shape them in the future.

Our Outdoor Leadership Camp for ages 11-12 is designed to give our campers skills that help them become leaders in the outdoors. This program is delivered through experiential training. The whole program follows a hands on approach.  Campers will be introduced to higher level adventure-based endeavors using cooperative and initiative games, team challenges, low ropes course elements, which include debriefing and climbing wall belaying. This whole day program includes Intro to Orienteering, Fire making skills (includes safety practices), Shelter making, Knot tying and Tree identification!

Low Ropes Course and Climbing Wallbelaying

This course is comprised of personal and group problem solving challenges, through the use of ropes, tires, wood and cables as well as our climbing wall.  This adventure program is designed to challenge the individual and develop group dynamics. Using these elements the campers will learn co-operation skills and conflict resolution which help develop and shape their Leadership skills. Easily one of the highlights of this program, all campers remember this component and want to come back for more!

Click here to take a peek at some of our Ropes Course/Climbing wall components

Fire making  skills

Fire; since the dawn of man it’s played a vital role in our existence. From providing warmth and protection, to cooking food and providing comfort during those cold, dark, moonless fire 2wilderness nights, fire still plays a vital role in our survival – especially for those who still have that need to venture out into the wilderness.

Sitting next to the fire while camping out in the wilderness is a feeling that really can not be put into words. For a lot of us it inspires us to almost become one with nature. There is just something about fire that satisfies some deep down desire that we often forget is even there. Sadly, our modern way of living has disconnected us from our past.

These days, the skills that were once second nature to our ancestors have become something that most people take for granted. While knowing how to start a fire may not be as important to today’s modern man, at 5 Star Camps we think it is something that everyone should know how to do.

In a wilderness survival situation, knowing how to build and maintain a fire is probably one of the most important survival skills you can have.  Fire Making is one of the oldest skills known to man, its importance can never be underestimated.

Knowing how to start a fire means:

  • Staying warm in even the coldest environments.
  • The ability to boil untreated water.
  • The ability to dry wet clothes.
  • Being able to keep insects and some animals away.
  • Being able to signal for rescue.
  • Having the ability to cook Food.
  • Comfort.

Shelter making

shelter 3Most survival manuals will explain the importance of shelter. Protecting yourself from exposure is very important. It’s crucial that we understand how important your mental state is during a  survival. It is often found, that the mental attitude of a person during a survival conflict can make all the difference. Endure the situation or perish can be set in the mind. Shelter not only protects you from adverse weather, but also gives you a mental boost. Much like fire, shelter can give us hope and a sense of accomplishment. Your shelter becomes your sanctuary.


Fushelter2rthermore, a properly built shelter will help us stay out of the elements and allow us to rest. In the wilderness a shelter will increase your chances of survival. It is simple, if your hobbies take you to the outdoors, then this is an indispensable skill.  The campers will be introduced to: Location and position of a shelter, Various materials to make a shelter and Windbreak/Reflector Fire Wall and Other Tips. Our “Super Novas” (11/12 year old’s) will become familiar with terms such as Heat Transfer, Conduction, Convection, Radiation and Evaporation.


Knot Tying

Mankind’s ability to tie knots probably pre-dates human beings capacity to make fire and to talk intellectually. Our cave dwelling predecessors’ would have had many uses for a few simple knots. Knots have been around for thousands of years.

knot tyingDifferent varieties of knots would have been widely used by primitive cultures to form snares, nets and traps for capturing food. The construction of shelters and weapons, the making of clothing, the capability to move and pull heavy loads, all would have required sturdy and trustworthy knots to have been used.

Throughout history knots have played their part, from the construction of iconic structures such as the great Egyptian Pyramids and the Colosseum of Rome, to the first ascents of the worlds highest peaks and the initial descents into the depths of the worlds below.

Historically, the methods of tying some knots would have been learned at a young age and passed down from generation to generation, just like when you were shown how to tie your shoe laces. Knots were often called different names in different regions, and depending on how and what they were used for.


Orienteering offers many benefits, but its real attraction is the fun! It is a joy to explore through forests and fields. This part of the Outdoor Leadership program challenges the mind and helps the camper develop his/her skills such as problem solving and decision making. Our Leadership program covers a wide range of activities that are presented over 5 days. While we would like to spend a lot time orienteering,  in our program we are only able to offer an introduction of the use of a compass and taking bearings using line of sight objects to maintain a proper directional course.  By exposing our campers to some orienteering skills, the children will build self-esteem and increase their self-confidence as an individual or part of a team to make decisions in areas that are unfamiliar to them.

Tree identification

Campers will be given information to identify/recognize the native trees in our neighborhood. We hope that discovering the uniqueness of trees will be the first step to opening the door on the natural world, which also includes other plants, animals, insects and fungi,  which are all a  part of the ecosystems. We hope that this portion of our program will be the beginning of their explorations.

 The “Survival Game”

A real camp favourite! Kids get to learn what it is like to survive as a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, by searching for food and water and avoiding predators as they hunt through the forest. This game develops children’s appreciation for nature and wildlife, through fun and exciting wilderness adventures. Our Outdoor Leadership campers will participate in this camp wide game but they will be participating in a leadership roll.  They will be tasked with a variety of responsibilities that will help put into practice and solidify many of the skills they have learned through out the week.  Without question your children will talk about this game as one of the highlights of the program!

Outdoor Leadership Facilitator

28767-31350-2619Zachary MacNeill “Big Mac”  was a student at Venta Preparatory School and has known Papa Bear and Neats for over 15 years. He was a boarder at Venta and lived on the property for 5 years where he developed very strong ties to the school community. He was always a fantastic team player and loved the outdoors.  Zachary played a huge role in the building of our incredible fort and continues to be very involved in the shaping of the Venta/5 Star Camps property.

Zachary has a great deal of experience working in the cooking industry.  He has however decided to return to his roots at Venta Preparatory School as a full time employee and also lives on the property with his newly wed wife, Sarah.

He began to work at 5 Star Camps in 2008 running the Low Ropes and Climbing wall program with Mary Reilly (aka MiMi).  Big Mac has the natural gift of risk management and is able to relate to children of all ages, his desire to give the children at camp the positive outdoor experiences he was so lucky to have at Venta makes his job incredibly rewarding.  He is an avid climber and loves the outdoors. He is First Aid/CPR, AED, Epipen trained.  Big Mac also has Site Specific Certification on our Low Ropes Course and Climbing Wall.

Big Mac is incredibly excited to take on the responsibility of leading our new Outdoor Leadership Camp this summer and is a natural fit for this program. He enjoys the outdoors, any sport, and listening to tunes. He also does not agree with Chicken about hockey whatsoever. Go Sens Go!

Hoping to see many returning and new faces at camp this year!

Camp Calendar:

July 2017 Outdoor Leadership Camp

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1* July 3*(holiday) July 4  July 5 July 6 July 7
Week 2 July 10 July 11 July 12 July 13 July 14
Week 3 July 17 July 18 July 19 July 20 July 21
Week 4 July 24 July 25 July 26 July 27 July 28


August 2017 Outdoor Leadership Camp

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 5  July 31  Aug 1 Aug 2 Aug 3 Aug 4
Week 6* Aug 7*(holiday) Aug 8 Aug 9 Aug 10 Aug 11
Week 7 No Camp No Camp No Camp No Camp No Camp
Week 8 No Camp No Camp No Camp No Camp No Camp

Note: *Indicates short week due to civic holiday (July 3rd and August 7th)

The Outdoor Leadership Camp activities and topics are repeated each week.  Campers are always welcome to join multiple weeks, where they will gain proficiency in the skills covered, as well as experience different group dynamics.  

Star_pointWhat to Bring:

  • waterproof sunscreen (spray bottle please)
  • water bottle
  • hat
  • swimsuit, towel and flip-flops/sandals
  • running shoes
  • bug spray  (with deet)
  • lock
  • backpack

Please note we travel all day with the children’s bug spray and sunscreen in our Counselors backpack so please label these items well and we will do our best to return them at the end of the week. We recommend that you have 2 bottles of bug spray and sunscreen (spray bottle please); one to keep at home to apply before your child comes for the day and the others to give to us to keep with our counselors  This program works extremely well as we have an outstanding record of no sunburns!