Welcome to Camp Kiwanis
Camp Kiwanis is a traditional residential summer camp program with five-day sessions for children ages 7-13. Daily activities include swimming, canoeing, field games, arts and crafts, and archery. The camp has been in operation since 1948 and is a cooperative program between Marion County Public Schools and the Kiwanis Club of Ocala. The facilities are also available for rental during the off-season and are ideal for company picnics or retreats, family reunions, church camps, and similar functions.
Important Information about the Program
Four-Week Schedule - Camp will consist of four one-week sessions this summer (June 16 - July 11). Camp sessions run Monday through Friday.
Camper Fees - Camper registration is $225 per camper for a one-week session. This is a flat fee with no discount for early registration.
Free Bus Service to Camp Kiwanis from Ocala - Bus service from Marion Technical Institute (the old Forest High School) on Ft. King Boulevard in Ocala to and from Camp Kiwanis will be provided on Monday morning and Friday afternoon. The bus begins loading at 7:30 am and departs at 8:00 am on Mondays. The bus returns to MTI at 3:30 pm on Friday afternoon. Families in private vehicles may also transport their campers to and from Camp Kiwanis.
Camp Kiwanis is traditional residential summer camp program with five-day sessions for children ages 7-13 during the summer months. Daily activities include swimming, canoeing, field games, arts and crafts, and archery. Evening activities include skit night, relay races, battle-ball, and a dance. Camp activities are designed to be fun, safe, and let kids be kids.
The camp is a cooperative program between Marion County Public Schools and the Kiwanis Club of Ocala. All camp staff members are employees of Marion County Public Schools. Campers pay to attend and the Kiwanis Club of Ocala and other local Kiwanis clubs also provide scholarships to underprivileged kids. Camp Kiwanis accommodates 104 campers per session and has a staff of 34.
The Camp Kiwanis staff consists of a Director, Assistant Director, Infirmary Director and Assistant, Camp Clerk, Maintenance Supervisor, six Activity Instructors, twenty-two Counselors, and three kitchen staff. Activity Instructors are certified classroom teachers. Counselors are either high-school students or college students who have previously worked as Camp Counselors. The overall camper to staff ratio ranges from 3:1 to 5:1 depending on the time of day (this ratio includes all staff). All Camp Staff hold current CPR and first aid certification, and have passed background checks and drug screening.
All Camp Kiwanis staff are employees of the Marion County School Board. Certified teachers are hired each summer as instructors. Notice of vacant instructor positions will be sent via MCPS email to teachers in early February. Interviews and hires are completed in May. For more information, call or email the Silver River Museum.
High school and college students are hired as Camp Counselors. Students must have completed the 9th grade to be eligible for application. Counselor applications are sent to all MCPS high schools in February. (Contact your school’s Guidance Counselor for a copy or - click here to view/download/print the Counselor Application Form.) Completed applications are due back to the Camp Clerk by March 11. Interviews and hires are in April.
Camp Kiwanis is located on Mill Dam Lake in the Ocala National Forest. The facility was first used as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp for workers during the 1930s. The camp later served as a quarantine hospital during World War II. After the war, the camp fell into disrepair. The Kiwanis Club of Ocala leased the property from the U.S. Forest Service in the late 1940s and began refurbishing the facilities. In 1948 the club opened Camp Kiwanis with a focus on providing a fun and safe summer camp for children.
A wooden dining pavilion was added in 1952, and air-conditioned dormitories were later built to replace aging wooden cabins. Portable classrooms, a playground, archery range, and sports fields have also been added over the years. In 2003, a large multi-purpose pavilion replaced the old wooden dining hall. In operation for over 60 years, Camp Kiwanis has provided summer fun to generations of kids.