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Kinark Outdoor Centre

1766 Queen's Line
Minden, Ontario, K0M 2K0
Kinark Outdoor Centre logo

Kinark Outdoor Centre  

1766 Queen's Line, Minden, Ontario, K0M 2K0

  • Type:
    Overnight camp, Family programs
  • Focus:
    Traditional (multi activity)
  • Cost:
    $1 to $2,050/week
  • Ages:
    1 to 21
  • Gender:
  • Main language:
  • Capacity:
  • Programs:
    0 available; 3 TBD
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  • Summary Profile

    Kinark Outdoor Centre answered our questions

    Who are you as an organization?

    At the KOC we offer a variety of adapted traditional camp and respite opportunities for children, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum. Camp activities are customized through a strength-based approach to meet the campers' needs; family respite weekends and family camp vacations are well supported to meet visitor needs. Community bookings are accommodated year round.

    • Special needs: Yes, specialized support.
      Most campers have special needs.

    What do you do differently or uniquely well?

    This information is not available.

    Who are your staff and counsellors?

    This information is not available.

    What do families need to know about registration?

    This information is not available.

    Kinark Outdoor Centre - profile photo

    Video Gallery

  • Programs, Rates & Dates

    Financial Aid & Payment Details

    Payment Options:

    Deposit required with acceptance Yes
    Credit card payment Yes
    Maximum installments available 255
  • Insider Reviews & Perspectives

    The Our Kids review of Kinark Outdoor Centre

    our take

    There are lots of great stories in the world of camping in Canada and KOC, frankly, is one of them. It was formed with some very specific goals, one of them being to offer respite to families of children who are on the autism spectrum. It’s been doing that beautifully since it was first opened. It also does what all camps do, which is to offer enriching, empowering, fun experiences to children within a caring, supportive, understanding environment. At Kinark children arrive to a setting that is formed around their needs, and run by staff that are well disposed to meet them. There are all the traditional activities, from gaga ball to canoeing, with barriers to participation removed. The work that the camp does is exceptional, and brings a rich, traditional camp experience to some kids who need it, and love it, yet would have trouble integrating in other camp settings. 

    Three Things: Kinark Outdoor Centre
    Hear the three things that Our Kids’ editors see when they look at Kinark Outdoor Centre

    Insider's Perspective(s) of Kinark Outdoor Centre

    Amy & Steve Gallant, Parent

    • 00:26 - What was unique about the program at Kinark Outdoor Centre that made you want to enroll your child there?
    • 01:50 - After sending your child there, what would you highlight about the camp's program or teachers?
    • 02:51 - What do your children like best or find most exciting about camp?
    • 04:16 - When and how did you know that the camp was the right fit for your children?
    • 05:31 - Was there any change or noticeable personal growth you saw in your children after their time at camp?
    • 09:00 - How can you as a parent support your child to get the most out of this camp?
    • 09:57 - How would you describe this camp to another parent?
    • 10:51 - What do your children say about the camp, either to you, or that you may have heard them say to friends or others?

    Review(s) of Kinark Outdoor Centre

    Parent (Parent)Family Respite review

    My family and I went to the kinark respite camp on October 16-18th. It was the most wonderful experience we have had as a family since we started on our journey into the world of Autism 4 years ago. Of course, it was so beautiful, and Jonny loved the giant play room you have. I couldn't have designed a room that he would like better myself. He didn't want to leave that room! We felt safe, we felt included, we felt happy, and your staff was amazing. The two workers that were placed with Jonny, and with his brother Andrew for the sibling program were really nice. It was nice to have someone sit with us, and chat with us. We got really lucky because the cabin we were in had everything we needed for Jonny (because I brought his meals and milk bottles); we had a mini fridge and microwave. And the kitchen staff provided vegetarian options, and that was so amazing. I just wanted to say on behalf of our family, thank you, thank you, thank you. I cried all the way home, because I hated to leave that positive feeling we had while we were there. ... Read More

    Mother (Parent)Family program review

    We are spending a 5 day respite and training with the camp in minden. I have nothing but amazing things to say about the camp. From initial contact with Ryan and Leslie I was so impressed. We received prompt and accurate emails returned with lots of info pertaining to any questions we asked. They were always upfront about all info and always offering additional info. When we arrived at the camp Ryan and Leslie were still in contact and knew us by name. We instantly felt as if we were a family. Our camp counsellor Katie was amazing. There was an instant connection with her and the boys. My boys (even the oldest who was refusing to come) couldn't get enough of her. They would have chose to spend every second with her if allowed. She was kind, patient and fun! She met their needs constantly. She was so enjoyable for me to eat meals with. She will always have a place in our hearts. There were others that made an impact on our family. Ryan, Leslie,Katie, Joey and Scott all made camp feel like we were family. We had so much fun. We had the most wonderful time and have fingers crossed that we will be chosen again for this wonderful opportunity. I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone with a special needs child. My kids have lifelong memories to go home with and my husband and I are headed home feeling relaxed and refreshed. The staff at this camp are highly recommended. There is only the best here. I felt relaxed when the kids were with the staff because I knew that they were always safe. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity. ... Read More

    Teacher at Stonebridge PS. (Camper)Grade 6 teacher review

    “The kids still talk about how great our time was at Kinark -- probably the best school trip I've been a part of in many years! “

  • Location & Site Details


    1766 Queen's Line, Minden, Ontario, K0M 2K0, Canada


    Sleeping Accommodations

    • Cabins


    • Electricity in Sleeping Area
    • Shower in Sleeping Area
    • Toilet in Sleeping Area

    Washrooms Facilities

    • Flush Toilets
    • Showers (indoor)

    More details about accommodations: Cabins are rustic sleeping cabins all equipped with either a 2-piece or 3-piece bathroom. The entire cabin area is also served by a communal wash house equipped with showers, sinks and toilets. Each cabin sleeps a minimum of 5 on bunk beds. Campers are always expected to bring their own bedding and comfort items.

    Are meals provided? Yes

    Is Kinark Outdoor Centre technology free? Technology is a tool that many kids use to communicate or for other purposes. A plan will be made with each family and camper as is appropriate for the visiting child.

    Property Details

    Sports facilities

    • Archery Range
    • Basketball Court
    • Climbing Wall
    • Rope Course
    • Soccer Field


    • Beach
    • Forested Area
    • Lake/Pond/River
    • Nature Trails
    • Open Field

    More details about property: The Kinark Outdoor Centre has an ideal layout that ensures campers and families can quickly learn how to get around. There is one main road between the cabin and dining area as well as sub trails bring you to each program area. All program areas are visible from one another and within easy walking distance.

    Rentals & Services

    Offers outdoor education program for schools or corporate groups: Yes
    We offer large group community bookings with an extremely customizable itinerary to suit any intended purposes and goals. The programs we typically run include curriculum linked outdoor education, community and leadership development for students and teams, social recreation and community development for groups such as families living in shelters, bereavement groups, and faith-based organizations.

    Available for private rentals: Yes
    Full service options include food service, program service, and group accommodation. Our cabins sleep 5-10 people in bunk beds with two-piece w/c. We will design a program with you based on your goals, group age, group size, and time of year.


    Ontario Camps Association Associations

  • What's New

    Director's Message

    Jane Isbister, Program Director and Business Manager

    At the Kinark Outdoor Centre, individualized programming is our specialty! I am incredibly proud to be working at KOC. I began working as an Outdoor Educator and was inspired by the high level of support we were able to provide for children and youth on the autism spectrum.  On the outside we look like a traditional summer camp: bunk beds and grilled cheese, hiking trails and canoes, campfires and crafts; but our low staff to client ratios, ability to accommodate all dietary needs and food aversions, and an understanding of autism has allowed us to provide unique camp programs since 1985.

    As the Program Director, I am pleased to support an amazing staff team. With backgrounds in teaching, outdoor education, social work, and development, they share a common thread of being passionate about making a difference. Our diversity allows us to constantly learn from each other and continually strive to bring positivity and energy with us everyday!

    Before sending your child to camp, you will have the opportunity to let us know all about your child’s needs and strengths to ensure we are a good fit for them. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the outdoors is an incredibly therapeutic setting and most people, regardless of their diagnosis, thrive here! It is inspiring to share such positive experiences with our campers and their families.

    I invite you to call us to learn more about our camp, family programs and school programs.

    Jane Isbister

    Program Director and Business Manager


    • Autism Family Camp Testimonial

      Just wanted to let you know that our family had an amazing time at camp this passed weekend.
      It was a wonderful experience for the whole family.
      Kai was paired with Kait who was awesome with him. We felt very comfortable leaving him in her care. She put me at ease with everything and took care of any issues Kai had with anything. He needed that....He needed someone that would just let him do his thing and be okay with it. And she was great.
      We needed that too.
      It was nice to finish off the summer on such a positive note.
      Our girls had a great time as well with Andrea and A.J. They both did a great job with all the siblings. Our girls will now find it easier to go to day camp next year because the two ladies made it such a fun experience for them.
       I thought it was going to be hard to let my 3 year olds go....but the "andrea's" as my girls called them, were great. They got right down at their level and played with them. Our girls needed this as well. It was nice for them not to have to compete for attention with eachother but also with their brother.
      We  want to thank everyone at Kinark for giving us this opportunity and hope to come back soon.
      We're hoping to do family camp as well. If we could get some information as to how to apply for this it would be greatly appreciated.
      Again, we thank everyone for this wonderful experience.
      The Jones Family


    • Camp is for Everyone
      This letter is intended to offer our sincere thank you for your work in operating a camp for children with autism. Our son has attended traditional camps but with the support of a worker that we trained... Until this camp, he has never met another autistic child. There are few words that could express the depth of our gratitude for the Kinark experience; the intake staff and the camp staff themselves could not have been more friendly, professional and enthusiastic. My husband and I were totally at ease leaving our son with these individuals. He met new friends, learned new skills and developed some much needed self-esteem. Kieran absolutely loved his Kinark Camp experience.

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