Activities - YMCA of Three Rivers Waterloo Region


Camp Ki-Wa-Y Outdoor Centre Activities

All Season 

High Ropes

Challenge yourself on our high ropes course. Located in a wooded area a brief walk from central camp, the ropes course has seven elements ranging from 25 - 40 feet in the trees. This activity provides excellent mental and physical challenges while also being a lot of fun. Participants are connected to a belay system with one of our trained staff while climbing. We provide and sanitize all necessary safety equipment, including a helmet and harness.

Low Ropes

Our low ropes course helps build communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills with 10 different of physical and mental challenges. Each challenge is  approximately knee height from the ground located in two different wooded areas. 

Survival Skills

There are a number of outdoor skills where participants learn about managing in the out of doors. Activities may include campfire building and cooking, tent erection, shelter building and more.


Using electronic GPS devices and a booklet of clues and coordinates, students learn to operate the device and follow its direction to find hidden caches around the site. The program allows them to explore independently, navigate the course, and work together to locate the caches. 

Nature Hikes & Earth Walks

Both of these activities involve leisurely walks, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, along one or more of the beautiful trails on our 77-acre site.

Nature hikes and Earthwalks both encourage the exploration of nature using different senses; a nature hike focuses more on identification and facts, and an Earthwalk focuses more on hands-on exploration of the natural world in new, exciting and unexpected ways.

Our site has a number of unique buildings and features that your group may be interested in learning about. The tour will focus on alternative means of energy, sustainable concepts, and alternative building methods and materials that have been used at our site.

During this walking tour, you will learn more about the burrows, the solarium and straw bale construction.


We have a campfire area in a large natural amphitheatre where the staff will lead the group through songs and interactive skits. On cold or wet weather this activity can be done indoors in front of a fireplace.


There are a number of different craft activities that can be done at our site. If this is something you are interested in please let us know at least a month in advance so we can make sure the supplies are here and available for your group. Bracelets making, art work, and nature crafts are just a few options that are available.

Star Gazing

The YMCA Outdoor Centre partners with a local astronomy group to host "Star Parties!"  The volunteers work with the group to show them exciting views through a variety of powerful telescopes.  Availability for this program is limited and must be booked in advanced.  Please call our office for more information.

Cooperative Games and Teambuilding

These active games provide groups with the opportunity to have fun and interact with each other in fun ways they might not ordinarily. Co-op games encourage teamwork, trust and communication, with emphasis on the process rather than a goal.  This is a great introduction to initiative tasks. The purpose of these activities is to have a lot of fun while being active outside.  



Canoeing & Kayaking

All boating activities begin with a water safety lesson, which includes proper lifejacket and paddle selection, taught and supervised by a National Lifeguard Service (N.L.S.) qualified Outdoor Centre staff member.  Paddlers are made aware of our boating boundaries, and our instructors are on the dock, and often on the water in a boat, ready to provide on-going instruction and supervision.  Students learn the fundamentals of canoeing, including history, parts of the boat, safe entry and exit, and basic paddle strokes. The goal of this program is to equip the students with enough skill and knowledge to to participate in a group paddle after the initial lesson.


Students swim in a designated swimming area which is supervised by our qualified N.L.S. (National Lifeguard Service) staff while adhering to YMCA policies, as well as O.C.A. (Ontario Camping Association) standards. 


The focus of this program is to equip the students with the knowledge required to string bows and release the arrow safely. 

Water Trampoline

All participants on the water trampoline must wear a proplerly fittted personal floatation device.  The trampoline and waterfront are supervised by our trained N.L.S. (National Lifeguard Service) staff following the YMCA policies, as well as the O.C.A. standards.

Climbing Wall

Our 25 foot, 3-sided climbing structure has 10 different courses that will challenge all levels of climbers. Participants are connected to a belay system with one of our trained staff, and must be wearing a harness and helmet.



When Paradise Lake freezes, there is a rink cleared off for the group to skate on. This activity allows for students of all abilities to learn, adapt and develop their skating skills.   This activity is dependent on weather, and we closely monitor the depth of the ice on lake as the season progresses.  Students provide their own equipment.


Students learn basic snowshoeing techniques, and a little bit of history. We explore the 77 acres of field and forest on snowshoes, while participating in a series of games and activities.

In the past, snowshoes were necessary for fur traders and others who needed to get around in deep snow. Today's snowshoes are used mainly for recreation, but forest rangers (and Outdoor Centre staff!) often require them to reach areas not easily accessible to vehicles.


Students enjoy the outdoors in the winter months, while actively participating in sledding with their classmates.

Quinzee Building