Summer campers - Canadian summer camps, Canadian Camping AssociationCamp presents an opportunity for children to learn new skills, meet new friends, and develop independence and self-confidence. Most of all, camp is just a whole lot of fun!
There are plenty of resources available for those parents sending their child to camp for the first time and for the veteran camp parent as well.
One such resource is Camp The Best Time of A Child’s Life!, an eBook written by CCA Executive Member Catherine Ross and produced by Our Kids Go To Camp.
Download a free copy of a complete handbook for camp parents, Preparing For Camp on the Our Kids Go To Camp website.
Camp is an ideal environment for a child to learn, grow and have fun. At camp, children are safe, secure, healthy, active and happy. They develop friendships that last a lifetime.
Guided and supported by caring leaders who are excellent role models, campers acquire hard skills to enjoy in a lifetime of leisure pursuits. Campers are encouraged to be cooperative, caring, tolerant and respectful – qualities which benefit them beyond camp. They also learn to become more independent and self-confident, develop leadership skills and acquire an appreciation and respect for nature.
Camp Director and Globe & Mail columnist Joanne Kates wrote about the benefits of summer camp in her article, “The camp sent you home a ‘new’ kid. Here’s how to keep him that way.” (August 23, 2012).
Camp is a unique experience. At camp, children and young people from local neighbourhoods and around the world come together to live, learn, work and play under the guidance and example of counsellors and directors. This occurs most often in a natural setting and almost always away from home and parents. This diverse group evolves into a cooperative community as individuals grow together. Growth is evident as each camper becomes more helpful, patient, respectful, caring, tolerant, capable, confident, independent and skilled.
“Camp has been the best experience. I’ve learned life is about creating yourself.”- Brook
“Before camp I was an average kid who never did anything. I never tried any new adventures. Camp helped me experience things that every kid should do in their lifetime.”- Tabitha
“The relationships I made at camp will forever stay with me.”- Ryan
Summer Campers and Counsellor - Canadian Summer Camps, Canadian Camping Association
“Camp is the best and they have good food for us. And good dances and I am having fun. And I am proud of myself.”- Nicole, a young woman with Spina Bifida
“I like it (camp) because I help the workers – it makes me feel important. I love to swim in the pool…can go to camp without Mom and Dad. I feel safe at camp…would be very sad if I could not go to camp every year.”- Chad, a young man with Down Syndrome
“Summer camp has always been awesome…over the years  I have met a lot of good people and made a lot of friends.”- Riel, an adult camper with severe and spastic cerebral palsy, is unable to speak. He communicates by striking computer keys with a pointer attached to a band on his head.
“When I’m at camp people don’t judge me. They treat me as an equal…camp changed my life because it taught me how to love other people and myself.”- Kim, a young adult with mild cognitive delay
“It (camp) is one of the biggest highlights of my summer/year…The camp counsellors are always fun and make the camp experience a great one.”- Paige, a young adult with Spina Bifida leads an active life despite dependence on her wheelchair
“My daughters went to camp in July and came home with such a positive outlook on life. They enjoyed it tremendously and learned how to overcome fears and try new tasks.”- Mrs. Neil
“Camp was the best experience of our son’s life. It gave him more confidence…he felt like he was part of this big family.”- Mr. & Mrs. Gutierrez
“Since my son went to camp, he has a lot more confidence in himself and he is more helpful. He has stepped up as a role model to his younger siblings and also his cousins.”- Mrs. Queen
Counsellor and campers - Canadian Camps, Canadian Camping Association
“When I look back at pictures from my first two years of the Leadership program, I am so proud of what we accomplished.”- Darin
“My summer as a counsellor…I really learned who I was and what I want to do with my life…Camp taught me that challenging yourself is important and that it is OK if sometimes you fail and need to try again. I learned how to work with my peers and voice my opinion and how to work independently or take direction from others.”- Andrea
“Whenever I have a rough day, I remember the lessons I learned at camp…There are no words to express the impact camp has had on my life.”- Kimberley
Canadian summer camps are considered amongst the finest in the world. There is sure to be a camp near you that is perfect for your child!
Parents should involve their children in the process as they are selecting a camp. Of course, it is a good idea to seek camps that meet the interests and needs of your child.
It is important to select an accredited camp. While all camps must meet the legislated standards within their province, an accredited camp meets additional requirements relating to site, facility, administration, leadership, health, food service and program determined by the provincial association.
Your provincial camping association website has tools that should allow you to browse both accredited day and overnight camps. The links to the provincial camping associations below will help get your search started:
Our Kids Media, an Affiliate Member of CCA, shares some articles below to help camp parents find the perfect summer camp for their child.