IAWAH Open House, Saturday May 20, 2023

Welcome to ROOTs

As you near the end of your school year, it’s time to start thinking and preparing yourself for ROOTs! I hope you are both excited and curious about what God has in store for you. It will be an adventurous summer of pursuing God, developing character, learning leadership skills, and working with your team members.

What does ROOTs look like? That depends on the track you signed up for. All three involve learning new skills, and bring the opportunity to improve on those skills through practice and experience as you move forward in your chosen field. Each stream (Altitude, Wild & Velo) has the same goal – growing and developing Godly character.


Be warned… your time at IAWAH is not going to be a walk in the park. Each program will have levels of challenge that will help you to grow and learn about yourself and others. One of goals is to challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and struggle with something new. Many times our most important growth happens when we struggle, but not worry, you will have the support of a caring team to help you work through the challenges you’ll face. It is quite important that you read this package carefully and follow instructions. Show it to your parents – there is information for them as well. Setting aside time to prepare yourself for this summer is really important. You may want to consider asking a friend to help you be accountable for your preparation – do what it takes! Should you have further questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Get ready for an amazing and unforgettable summer!

Ken Vissers 
Executive Director and YDLP Coordinator


In an attempt to ease registration lines, we’ve divided registration arrival by camper’s last name*.

Last names starting with A-M : 2:45 pm arrival
Last name starting with N-Z: 3:15 pm arrival

*if you have multiple last names in the vehicle, choose one time for the whole car. 


Parents and ROOTs participants can communicate via our new app Bunk1. More information about Bunk1 will be released closer to the beginning of the program.

ROOTs is full of activity and packing for three weeks can seem a bit daunting. We’ve helped you get organized with our handy packing guide. 

A note about preparation

Most good things in life are best experienced when we anticipate and prepare for them. With that in mind, what can do you do to prepare yourself now? There are a number of practical things that you need to be ready for the summer.

• Take the time to have a visit with your doctor prior to coming to ensure that your health and medications (if applicable) are in order. Remember – you will be gone for three weeks in an intense program!

• If you don’t currently set aside regular time to read the Bible and talk with God, start that habit now. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are great places to begin.

• Start replacing some of your TV time with volunteering in your church, in your community or outside doing some work. Need some suggestions? Why not ask your youth pastor or someone else you trust?

• Reread the Guidelines for IAWAH Youth Development and Leadership and make sure that you are still willing to commit to those standards. You will be held to them.

• Ask God specifically to prepare your heart and mind for ROOTs.

Guidelines for IAWAH's Youth Development & Leadership Programs

Understanding that there is a time to set aside things in our lives for the purposes of learning, growing and experiencing different things, IAWAH expects that Leadership participants, while enrolled in an IAWAH Program, will:

• Participate in God-honouring relationships. This includes – but is not limited to – setting aside starting “to date” while at IAWAH;

• Leave all electronic devices at home! This includes cell phones. You can do it – It is possible! If you need to contact home, this can be done through the office; or contacting your parents through the Bunk1 app.

• Avoid situations and circumstances that compromise integrity (either yours or that of someone else);

• Present themselves in a manner that respects and values themselves and the rest of the community;

• Be law-abiding citizens, including abstinence from alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs and other substances.

• Abide by rules that may be implemented during the program including, but not limited to: curfew, punctuality, respect, privacy, and an expectation to fully participate.

• There will be situations and circumstances where unique rules may be implemented for a limited time during the Program.

Room assignments and creating work/service groups are the responsibility of the Program Leaders. The goal is to provide participants with the opportunity to meet new people, develop interpersonal skills and excel in a group setting. Decisions are made in an effort to provide an environment that is safe and equitable for all.


Member Expectations

A word about clothing. The reality is that people are often identified by what they wear. It is one way that people express themselves, their personality, and who they identify with. These factors should make us conscious about our selection of clothes. As a ROOTs member, consider the following:

Respect yourself: Consider your clothes and ask “What does this say about me?” and “Is this the message God would want me to communicate to others about myself?”

Respect others: At IAWAH, we live in a close community. Be aware of the impact your clothes (or lack thereof) may have on those around you.

Respect your sexuality: Our culture is often about sexual expression and not all of it is healthy! At IAWAH, we ask that you choose clothes that reduce sexual awareness rather than increase it. (This should be interpreted as …guys – wear your pants over your boxers, girls – wear a shirt over bikinis.) .

Respect those who look up to you: You are a role model! IAWAH campers admire ROOTs members – be aware of this and dress appropriately. How do you know if the clothes you are packing are appropriate? If you are questioning the appropriateness of a particular piece of clothing be sure to ask yourself honestly the above questions. Be willing to say “Maybe, I don’t need that this summer”. If you are still uncertain, ask someone you trust. (God is a great person to talk to about this stuff.) Like it or not, your wardrobe says a lot about you!

One of the toughest personal areas to figure out in life is attitude. Most of us enjoy being around people who reflect the fruit of the Spirit – read what Paul wrote to the Galatians years ago in Galatians 5:16-26. The Message by Eugene Peterson explains Paul’s words really well!

God made each individual unique. As a CREW community at IAWAH, we intend to celebrate each member’s uniqueness as God’s design. Expect to have time to reflect on who you are and receive input into who God has made you to be.

There will be time set aside each week for rest and rejuvenation. 

The Tuck Shop stocks IAWAH clothing, souvenirs, and a variety of candy products. ROOTs members are limited to a maximum of $3.00/day for all candy and drinks. Tuck accounts can be set up through your online account or on Registration Day using cash, credit card, debit card, or cheque.

Cell Phones and Electronics: Come to ROOTs prepared to unplug from your cell phone, iPod, tablet, and any other electronic device. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed for ROOTs Campers. On the rare occasion that you may need to communicate with your parents or guardians (forgotten medications, emergencies, etc…), you can ask a staff member to use the office phone.

Why the ban on cell phones and other electronic devices?

  1. Electronic devices tend to isolate individuals rather than draw them into community. The desire is to focus on building healthy community.
  2. We can all use a break from the “screen” and reconnect with people and God’s great creation that surrounds us. It’s healthy!
  3. For the protection of your child, to avoid any unwanted photo or video being unknowingly taken and/or posted on social media.

IAWAH makes an effort to provide a “laundry courier service” at least once during ROOTs. ROOTs members may purchase this service (estimated $5.00/load) through their tuck account. 

Medical staff is on-site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. ROOTs members will have a designated time each day where they can visit medical staff for non-emergent matters. Medications will be dispensed by the medical staff as required. All medication must be in the original container with the manufacturer’s label or with the doctor’s orders from the pharmacist. Emergencies will be dealt with as per the signed consent on the Member’s Application Form.

Challenge & Experience
You have to try something new and risk failure in order to grow. Under guidance, experiential learning leads to growth.

Service & Work
We offer the gift of honest work and real responsibility – learning to serve others, not just ourselves. Through service, gifts are discovered and character is built.

Play & Rest
In our culture of stress and busyness; we offer the gift of play and rest. Play restores creativity and relationship. Rest points us toward the rhythm of God’s healing Sabbath.

Let's get Packing

This is the exciting part – Please pack carefully and wisely. Prepare

for the outdoors: rain, sun, swimming, hiking, work (inside and outside), mosquitos etc. Pack enough to be comfortable but leave items that aren’t necessary at home.

You will need to pack for 2-3 specific aspects:

  1. The wilderness trip – bike-packing, canoeing, and hiking
  2. Day Camp – dress to serve and be active, and
  3. Work – proper footwear and work clothes are necessary.

LABEL EVERYTHING! IAWAH is not responsible for lost items. All Lost and Found items will be displayed at the end of each session.

The list is intended to guide you as you pack and unpack and repack. Enjoy!

  • Old running shoes (closed-toed shoes that can be worn in water)
  • Dry shoes for the campsite
  • Working/hiking footwear (safety – good support, toe protection) & work gloves
  • Pants & shorts ( at least one quick-dry)
  • Sweater & long sleeve shirt (at least 1 polar fleece  or wool)
  • Old long sleeve shirt (for sun protection) • Socks & underwear (3 pairs of wool socks)
  • Swimsuit (women 2 pieces is recommended… tankini style)
  • Towels (at least 1 small one)
  • Hats (whatever style as long as it works to protect you from the sun)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Raincoat (wind-shell / Gortex )
  • Rain pants (optional)
  • Nalgene  (or equivalent) water bottle – now available in the tuck shop.
  • Toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo (biodegradable for canoe trip)
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp (flashlight will work but can be clumsy and easy to lose)
  • Sleeping bag (compact)
  • Compact Sleeping pad/Therma-a- Rest  (for the canoe trip and hiking trip and to help insulate your cot)
  • Bible & notebook & pen
  • Bandaids 









  •  Pets
  • Guns of any sort (including water, airsoft, paintball, Nerf, etc)
  • Radio, Electronic games, Cell Phones, tablets, computers, drones, etc.
  • Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, marijuana, alcoholic beverages & illegal drugs
  • Valuable items which could be lost or damaged (jewelry, watches, expensive clothing)
  • Knives, matches/lighters
  • Peanuts & nut products

How to pack for the Wild Canoe Trip

Altitude Specific Packing List:

  • A decent pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots for the hike. If you’re buying new, be sure to spend time breaking these in before you arrive at camp. Blisters are no fun on a hiking trip. 
  • A minimum 60L backpack for hiking, but only if you have one. If not, the camp will provide one.

You will be carrying your gear on the bike, so please pack as light as possible. The heavier you load, the harder it is to go up hills.

The following gear will be provided for you;

  • Bike
  • 30L dry bag and rear carrier
  • 15L dry bag and handlebar carrier
  • 14L Hydration pack with 2L reservoir
  • 1L top tube bag (for easy access to snacks)
  • Water bottle and cage
  • Tents
  • Cooking set-up (stoves, fuel, pots, etc..)
  • Water filter
  • Bike Tools
  • Helmet
  • Cycling Gloves
  • First Aid
  • Small games (cards, Uno, etc…)

Gear you need to bring

  • Light, small sleeping bag. One that will compress easily to no more than 10L.
  • Sleeping pad. The small, light ones that fill with air are ideal. If you have one that rolls up (non-air), it can be strapped to the top of the 30L bag at the rear of the bike. If it rains, it
    will get wet unless kept in a waterproof bag.
  • Headlamp (or small flashlight) and extra batteries (“AA” or “AAA” only)
  • Sunscreen
  • Pillowcase that can be used to stuff clothes into and used as a pillow
  • Small notepad and pen


  • 2 Pairs of cycling shorts. This is essential to protect you from getting too sore and chaffed and you’ll be wearing them most of the day. You do not need Bib shorts unless you feel more comfortable with them. Bikes shops will carry very expensive brands. MEC will carry their own brand, which is more reasonably priced. For the cheapest option, you can find a huge selection on Amazon – just double check the sizing. They will be smaller than what you find in North America as they tend to come direct from China.
  • 1 pair of lose shorts to put over your cycling shorts. Not necessary, but some people prefer this.
  • 2 synthetic T-shirts or cycling jerseys for riding. Cycling jerseys are NOT necessary. Bring them, only if you already have some. A light merino wool T-shirt is best as it doesn’t hold any odours, wicks moisture, and dries quickly.
  • Bathing suit (Note to girls: two-pieces bathing suits work best. ie. tankini)
  • 1 non-cotton* top – Short sleeve
  • 1 lightweight long sleeve (Non-cotton) synthetic shirt
  • 1 pair of shorts for around the campsite
  • 1 pair of light pants
  • 2 non-cotton* pair of socks for biking (merino wool socks are best)
  • Underwear
  • Light fleece
  • Rain jacket preferably with a hood
  • Hat for the sun when around the campsite
  • Closed-toed shoes for biking.
  • Sandals (not flip-flops) for the campsite. Something with a back-strap. Or you can bring an extra pair of light shoes
  • Light wool hat and gloves (Thin and light!)

*Fabric that dries quickly and wicks moisture away from the body. Examples include 100% polyester, polypropylene, polyester blends, wool, silk or nylon blends (not 100% nylon).


  • The usual… toothbrush, toothpaste, extra contacts if you wear them, etc…

Optional Luxuries.

  • The following examples are just that… examples! You do not have to buy these items. They are merely suggestions to show you what would work. There are many similar options
    available. These suggestions are OPTIONAL, but it gives you an idea of what’s out there.
  • Hydration pack (alternative to daypack)
  • Small Towel
  • Inflatable Pillow (alternative to pillowcase)
  • IF you have your own cycling shoes and SPD’s… feel free to bring them. This is something you should NOT go out and buy unless you plan on doing a lot of cycling.
  • For a super light sleeping bag alternative

Life at IAWAH

Please do not arrive early.
ROOTs: July 3- 30, 2022  

Registration is from 3:00pm-4:00pm on July 3, 2022.

Before Arrival

Sign in to your online account and finish any outstanding paperwork (including, waivers, medical forms, and tuck account deposits).

Upon Arrival

  1. Follow the registration signs. The more information you submit before you arrive the less you have to do on arrival day.
  2. Check-in with the medical staff regarding your medical status and submit all medications (original containers with manufacturer’s and/or pharmaceutical label and any applicable doctor’s orders are required).
  3. Meet your CREW leaders, get a ROOTs t-shirt, and settle into your accommodations and meet the rest of your ROOTs team. 

Departure Day is on the closing Saturday of your respective program between 10:00 am – 11:00am.
Remember to collect any medications from the medical staff, close your tuck account, take a tour past the lost and found, and sign out with your CREW leaders. 

Days 1-7 All participants begin together and learn foundational truths in scripture through experiential-based teaching and group study. Location: IAWAH

Days 8-17 The group splits into one of three streams:

ROOTs Altitude: ROOTs Altitude The focus of Altitude is learning the skills of outdoor experiential education through mountaineering and climbing. After a few days of learning the basics of indoor and outdoor climbing and mountaineering (day trips to Ottawa and Kingston), we will head out to the Adirondack Mountains in Lake Placid NY. There the group will put into practice their newly developed skills as we hike and climb some of the 5000ft+ peaks in this wilderness area. Be prepared for some awesome hiking, incredible views and team bonding through shared challenges. Special Instructions for ROOTs Altitude. You will be sent a separate email with instructions on how to fill out a “Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad”, as well as information about insurance and passports.

ROOTs Velo: Velo participants will spend 10 days touring through Ontario and into Quebec on the Trans Canada Trail, and a few other local trail networks. IAWAH’s bikes are high-quality, well-maintained mountain bikes that are fitted out with panniers to carry gear.  

ROOTs Wild: For those that love the outdoors and a more challenging canoe trip, the team will venture out for a 10-day canoe trip in a remote wilderness area. An extended river trip provides the water conditions necessary for learning the right foundations and tripping skills for participants to consider becoming trip guides in the IAWAH context or elsewhere. 

Days 18-22 All 3 groups return to IAWAH and work together in preparing and planning for their final project – the delivery of a week-long day camp at IAWAH.

Days 23-27 The group will prepare and run a day camp.

Days 28-29 After their week of service, participants finish the program with an intensive debrief, time to reflect on what God has taught them, and sessions to help prepare them for success, post-ROOTs.

Internet: ROOTs members will not have access to the internet for personal use.

Phone messages: Messages can be left at the Office at 613-273-5621. ROOTs members will not have direct access to a phone.  However, if you would like to call home on a day off, please bring along a prepaid phone card to use.

Mail:  ROOTs members can receive mail through the Camp IAWAH office. Please ensure that mail is sent using the following format: ROOTs member name, “ROOTs PROGRAM” c/o Camp IAWAH, 304 IAWAH Rd RR2 Godfrey ON K0H 1T0
Note: It usually takes 3-4 days longer to receive any postal mail because of the rural mail delivery system. Parcels can only be sent by courier as they are delivered directly to the IAWAH Office. IAWAH is not responsible for parcels and mail that arrive after the ROOTs member has left the program.
Mail and care packages can also be left in the care of the office staff with specific delivery notes. (ie. hand out on week 2)

Email: Camp IAWAH used an app called Bunk1 to help ROOTs members and parents communicate easily with each other. This service will allow parents to email (Bunk Note) their ROOTs members and attach a piece of paper (Bunk Reply) that allows the ROOTs member to respond to the email. This paper is scanned and will arrive in the parent’s email box. It is the responsibility of the ROOTs member to respond. Camp staff will not badger them to reply 😉
More information on Bunk1 and how to sign up will be added soon. 

Camp IAWAH uses Bunk1 to share photos of camp life. More information about how to sign up and access the online photos will be added soon. 

  • Honesty – does it really matter? Is trust a part of it?
  • Accountability – what happens when I am not accountable to anyone?
  • The blood of Christ – does it have any effect on my everyday life?
  • Sexuality – does God even care?
  • Does what I watch and listen to actually affect my thoughts and/ or actions?
  • My church – what if I don’t like what it looks like? Community – What do I have to contribute to it? Am I committed to one?

Bunk1 at IAWAH

Bunk Notes – Send an email to your camper.

Send Bunk Notes day or night from your computer or mobile device! Camp IAWAH receives a pdf at 3:00 am EST each day containing all Bunk Notes received in the last 24 hours. We print each Bunk Note and deliver them to your child at supper each day from Sunday to Friday.  IAWAH has gifted each camper 3 credits to try bunk notes out for free.

You can purchase more credits anytime in the Bunk Notes menu.

Successfully sent Bunk Notes will appear under Bunk Notes > View Sent.

Photo Gallery – See what your camper is up to. 

YDLP staff will capture photos of participants throughout their trip and time spent at IAWAH.  Some youth are like the illusive Polkaroo, and as hard as we try to catch them in action, they try just as hard to shy away from the camera. We’ll try our best though. Please note that while the participants are on their out-trips photos will not be uploaded consistently (or at all) as staff members need wifi or data signal to upload photos.

What to expect from the photo gallery

  • Within the gallery, save your favourite photos for easy access to pictures of your child all year-round. Select the heart icon to favourite.
  • Upload a profile photo of your child. Bunk1’s facial recognition will scan all the uploaded photos and notify you when we detect photos of your child. Facial recognition is an opt-in feature. 
    Share photos to social media or email a photo to your family members.
  • Save low-resolution photos to your phone for free.
  • Customize unique photo gifts such as photo books, mugs, calendars, phone cases and more (additional fees).
  • Order high-resolution digital downloads or prints.

How do I sign up for Bunk1?

  1. Go to Bunk1.com or download the parent app to your phone.
  2. Setup an account using the email that you registered your campers with along with the code: IAWAH2022 .
  3. Select the ROOTs program. Now you’re all set!

FAQ about Bunk1

You only need to purchase one package per child. The package/Bunk Credits will be available for every week your child is enrolled! If you use them up before your camper leaves camp, you can purchase additional credits. IAWAH has gifted you three credits to try bunk notes out. 

The Bunk Notes service allows you to send a message to your child that will typically be delivered within 24 hours. Every day IAWAH receives 1 PDF document with all of the Bunk Notes that have been sent. They then print and distribute the notes into program  Tuck bins. YDLP Participants will always receive the notes on paper rather than on the computer. Please note: while participants are on their out-trips Bunk notes will not be deliverable. If you send a Bunk note while they are away it will be given to them upon their return to camp. 

Fun Notes are extra features you can add to enhance your Bunk Notes! You can add borders, photos, sudoku puzzles, and baseball scores.

Photos are uploaded every evening from Sunday to Friday. Occasionally IAWAH’s rural internet makes it difficult to upload photos. Please be patient as we work to both upload and take photos of your campers. While participants are on their out-trips photo uploading will be intermittent to non-existent as we need wifi/data to upload. Trip photos will be uploaded upon their return to camp.  

The Bunk1 team is available to support you 7 days a week throughout the summer. They guarantee a response within 24 hours and it’s usually much quicker than that. Call them at (212) 974-9112 or send an email to [email protected]