POLARIS participants receive advanced instruction and certification in main Wenonah program areas; extensive canoe tripping and outdoor education (including a one week canoe trip to Algonquin Park); outdoor challenge, and leadership and group development (including workshops and group initiatives).
A team of POLARIS staff facilitate this experience with assistance from other veteran Wenonah staff members.
The POLARIS month has two distinct program focusses:
Personal Skill Development
POLARIS participants focus on the acquisition and development of skills in Camp’s main program areas.
A significant amount of time is devoted to developing skills in canoeing, kayaking (including white water, which culminates in an optional day trip to the Gull River), swimming and lifesaving, sailing, archery, climbing, and arts & crafts.
Participants strive for official national and provincial certifications in several of these areas, including provincial canoeing levels (ORCKA), national first-aid certifications (Lifesaving Society), national lifesaving certifications up to Bronze Cross (Lifesaving Society), and national sailing levels (CANSail).
Each individual participating in the POLARIS program sets personal goals during the month. POLARIS staff members, in collaboration with specialized program area heads, work with each participant to help them achieve their goals. POLARIS staff also provide ongoing support and feedback to participants throughout the month.
POLARIS participants devote a significant portion of the program to developing outdoor living skills, culminating in a seven day canoe trip in Ontario’s world renowned Algonquin Provincial Park. The trip gives each participant the opportunity to learn more about the preparation, organization and leadership of a canoe trip while gaining an appreciation for the outdoors.
Each participant takes on the role of “Leader of the Day” during their trip, where they are responsible for navigation and coordination of the trip.
Each trip group is supervised by a POLARIS staff member and alumni staff person, who provide ongoing supervision, support, and feedback throughout the experience. They also facilitate a full debrief when the group returns to Camp