Camp Bil-O-Wood is located on a 300+ acre site surrounded by three spring-fed lakes. There are 12 camper cabins, a 22-room lodge, a craft center, a canoe trip center, a medical suite and a maintenance facility. Water activities take place on our two beautiful waterfronts at Bass and Allen lakes. Here swimming, sailing, canoeing, water skiing, wake boarding, tubing, paddle boarding, trampoline jumping, fishing, and our very own porpoise boarding are daily activities.
Land activities are held on our full size soccer field, baseball diamond, multi-purpose athletic field, three tennis courts, two basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, gymnastics mats, weight training pavilion, and multi-purpose pavilion. View camp property photos
Our extensive wilderness camping and canoe-tripping program has all of Ontario as its playground. Our campers, of all ages, canoe on hundreds of the lakes and rivers from the North Channel of Lake Huron to James Bay, the southern tip of Hudson Bay.
Camp Bil-O-Wood staff and counselors are a carefully selected group of individuals who choose to spend their summer caring for and teaching young people. It is the love and skill of our staff and counselors that create the nurturing environment, which allows your child to play and grow in our safe, fun, and healthy setting.
In choosing Bil-O-Wood counselors, we seek out individuals who are experienced, responsible and mature and who wish to make a positive impact in the life of a child.
A registered nurse, nurse assistant and/or first-aider are on the property at all times. Additionally, our counselors are lifeguard and first aid certified. Camp Bil-O-Wood has a well-equipped medical suite, and our nursing staff is highly experienced and qualified to insure the best possible care for all campers and staff. We are located just 5 miles from an excellent hospital and have a local doctor on call for any urgent needs. Health and safety are the top priority at Bil-O-Wood, and campers are always under the watchful eye of our entire staff.
Your camper never has to worry about going hungry at camp! The food service staff at Bil-O-Wood takes great pride in caring for the nutritional needs of your children. Campers eat together in our large messhall for three well-balanced daily meals. Snacks are provided each evening before bed and fruit is available anytime of day. Bil-O-Wood mealtime provides both nourishment and fun, and campers give our food and our kitchen staff excellent reviews.
We welcome and encourage parents to camp at almost any time*. We feel it is important for you to experience not only the physical setting your camper has enjoyed during their stay but also the SPIRIT of Camp Bil-O-Wood. There are comfortable lodging facilities only five miles away in Blind River (see list under – Contact). We invite you to join us for a camp meal in the messhall. Please inquire at the camp office upon arrival.
Motels fill quickly at the end of each of our sessions. Booking early is recommended.
Special Activities for Parents
Red and White Days – During the closing weekend of the four-week session, parents are Bil-O-Wood’s guests for dinner, a dance and awards.
End of Season Events –During the final weekend of the camp season, parents are invited to be present for the following events
• Fri. - Parent’s Steak Roast and Camper Talent Show
• Sat. – End of Season Picnic & Award Ceremony
• Sun. - Camp closes for the season
• Sun. - Camp closes for season at 12 noon
Places to Stay in Blind River, ON
Please make your own arrangements for your arrival and departure. Here is a list of the motels and camps available. The code following each name means:
M = Motel • R = Restaurant • 17 = On Highway 17 in town • C = Cabins available
Campers arrive at Bil-O-Wood in many ways; in family cars, by camp van and by bus. Transportation is available to and from camp at the start and at mid-season.
Families may drive their campers to Bil-O-Wood. Families who drive should plan their arrival between 12 noon and 2 PM on the first day of their session.
Camp vans are available to pick up and drop off campers in Toronto, Chicago, and New York state. Camp vans also transport campers to and from canoe trips during the camp season. Special arrangements must be completed with the camp office to arrange this pick up or drop off.(FEE CHARGED)
The nearest airports are Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and Sudbury, Ontario. We pick up campers at the start of camp at Chicago O'hare and Toronto Pearson. Please see the transportation guide form more information.
Bil-O-Wood organizes two bus trips to camp at the beginning of each summer. One leaves the eastern US and accommodates campers from that area. There are usually two or three pick up sites. A second bus leaves from the Chicago, IL area and stops for campers in mid-state Michigan. Parents are responsible for having their camper at the pick up site. (FEE CHARGED)
NOTE: Camp Bil-O-Wood encourages parents to visit and pick up their camper at the end of their session. We feel it is important that parents see and experience the place where their campers have spent a part of their summer.
Camp Bil-O-Wood respects your privacy. Information shared on your registration forms and medical forms are for the sole use of Camp Bil-O-Wood staff, and will not be shared with any outside sources. The exception to this, is the need to share medical information with outside medical personnel if it becomes necessary for the health and safety of your child.
1. What is your camper to counselor and staff ratio? Our ratio is one Bil-O-Wood counselor or staff person for every four campers. On the younger camper canoe trips the ratio is often 1 to 2.
2. What clothing and special equipment will campers need? Please download the clothing list and the canoe tripping equipment list.
3. What about money at camp? We recommend that campers do not keep money in their cabins. Each family deposits funds for their camper in a spending account to cover canteen, laundry, church, and other miscellaneous needs.
4. How do campers get to Bil-O-Wood? We provide transportation to and from camp at the start and end of specific sessions. Transportation goes to and from the Toronto area, Chicago area, and the East Coast. Please see the Transportation form or click here.
5. How does my camper get clean clothing? Each week a camper’s dirty clothing is taken to a local laundry service and returned clean and folded in 2-3 days. Laundry costs are covered by their spending account funds. Sheets are laundered on a weekly basis.
6. May campers bring electronic equipment? We maintain a no electronics policy with the exception of music playing devices. DVD players, cell phones, computers, touch screen devices and other electronics are not allowed in the cabins. If a child is traveling with a cell phone, we will collect it on the first day of camp and store it in our safe for the length of their stay. We know from experience that this is the best policy and believe it or not, they won’t miss their devices!
7. How does Bil-O-Wood handle emails and other communications? Campers may receive and send messages via our Bunk1 mail service, which uses email as a method of camper/parent communication. You may email your child a message, and you may request a written response, which will be emailed back to you. Campers love old-fashioned mail, and we encourage you to write letters. Each Wednesday is “letter day” and campers must write a hand written letter to a member of their family.
8. Can I call or can my camper call me? We welcome you to call anytime and check in with the camp office. Campers may receive phone calls as needed, but unless it is urgent, we discourage calls during the week. Your child will have the opportunity to call home every Sunday. We know from experience, that this strategy works best in most cases.
9. Are there poisonous snakes, vegetation, or insects at Bil-O-Wood? There are no poisonous snakes in our part of Ontario, little poisonous vegetation (occasional poison ivy) and no ticks! Your child can safely play outdoors without worry of encountering poisonous or harmful plants, reptiles, or insects.
10. How frequently do campers swim and how safe is the swimming? Campers have the opportunity to swim, before breakfast, at morning and afternoon swim call and during evening activity. Some campers choose swimming or water sports as a scheduled activity during instructional program time. The lakes surrounding Camp Bil-O-Wood are exceptionally pure and safe for swimming and drinking.
11. How does Bil-O-Wood provide water safety? Our counselors and staff members are certified lifeguards and are certified in First Aid/CPR. Our waterfront is open only at designated times and utilizes a “buddy system” to frequently check and count campers during swim call and water activities. Campers must pass a swim test on the first day of camp to ensure they are capable swimmers. When campers swim, boat, or canoe outside of our designated and supervised swimming area, they must wear a life jacket at all times.
12. How are medications handled? We ask that parents send to camp only those medications that are absolutely necessary. All medications MUST be given to the camp nurse upon arrival. The medical staff disperses medication daily and on as needed basis. No medication may be kept in the cabins. Download a Bil-O-Wood Medical Form (PDF)
13. What happens if my child gets sick? Campers who are not feeling well are taken to the camp health center and are evaluated by the camp nurse. There is designated space for them to sleep or rest if they are too ill to be in their cabin or need to be isolated from other campers. When necessary, campers are taken to town to be evaluated by a local doctor. The Blind River hospital is only five miles away for urgent or emergency medical needs. Parents are notified immediately of any serious conditions related to their child.
14. What if my camper has food allergies? Campers’ medical conditions are reported on the Medical Report Form completed by the family doctor prior to the campers’ arrival at Bil-O-Wood. Based on that information appropriate action will be taken by the medical and foodservice staff in camp to avoid exposure to food allergens.
15. Who takes care of the campers once they are in bed? Younger campers go to bed 1 to 2 hours before the older campers; and all campers are in bed at least 1 hour before their counselors. Each evening counselors and staff members are assigned to “hill duty” which means they are responsible for checking the cabins and campers on a regular basis. The purpose of hill duty is to watch over the campers and ensure that they are safe and sleeping until their counselor returns to the cabin. By midnight all counselors are in their cabins and remain with their campers until morning. Campers are not allowed to be left unattended in the cabin at anytime.