pack a mask
The New Normal
We are excited to be hitting the reset button for camp in 2021. We’ve missed everyone! As the actions and policies of our local, provincial and federal government evolve, we anticipate that adjustments may be needed to the way camp has operated in the past. Although this might affect the way some services are delivered, we will do everything possible to preserve the traditional day camp experience that has made our program popular. We will provide frequent updates to everyone who registers as we move forward. Thank you for your support!
things to pack
The Packing List
Campers are active all day, so please send them with clothing you don’t mind coming home dirty. HOWEVER. If the situation arises, we do have a laundry facility on site.
Our full day and overnight camp packing lists can be found in our 2023 Parent’s Handbook.
Check items off the as you pack them to keep yourself organized!
Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the nature of our outdoor activities, scrapes and bruises are bound to happen. Similarly, exposure to the sun can cause dehydration, sun burn and lethargy. Two fully qualified First Aider are always available to attend to all campers’ medical needs. The “Med-Hut” provides ill campers a place to rest and recuperate, and is fully stocked with band aids, ointments, and medications such as Benadryl and Tylenol. If the First Aider feels a phone call home, or further medical attention is necessary, they will make this judgement call and reach out to you.
At Kettleby, we have at least one Senior Staff to supervise every section at camp, both day and residential. Their position allows them the flexibility to come to the office to make phone calls to parents if they need to be notified of something. We cannot accommodate our campers making phone calls home during the day, except in the case of an emergency. You are free to call our office at any time to relay a message to your camper: (905) 726-4275, and parents of residential campers can send letters to their campers by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will always contact you if any issues or concerns arise.
Weather in Ontario is always unpredictable, but our summers always seem to have a few days with extreme heat. Our staff are trained to teach campers to protect themselves from the sun by asking them to wear their hat, wear sunscreen, stay in the shade whenever possible and drink water. Campers will always participate in a daily swim period to cool off. Furthermore, as our property is covered with 45 acres of forest, unnecessary exposure to the sun is eliminated.
We offer a limited number of spaces for campers with special needs such as Down Syndrome, Asperger’s, and Autism. We offer a one to one staff to camper ratio to ensure that the children get the level of care and supervision that they require.
Yes, even if rain is not in the forecast, we always recommend that campers bring a raincoat to camp just in case. Campers will continue to participate in activities on days with light drizzle, and in activities where the rain does not affect the safety of the activity. On days with heavier rain, groups are escorted inside or under a shelter to participate in rainy-day programming. Nonetheless, campers will still need to be outside to move from shelter to shelter, and to get to the bus at the end of the day. Campers who do not bring a raincoat will be offered a plastic garbage bag to keep their clothes dry.
Although it varies in severity, homesickness is perfectly normal and should be expected to a certain degree. We know that talking about homesickness helps and that’s where we begin if a Camper is experiencing any rough patches at Camp. Our conversations are kept short and focus on the positives. Keeping them busy is important. We also encourage Campers who are homesick to write a letter home. The vast majority of Campers respond to these and other strategies that we use. Being away from home is necessary for the natural development of a Campers confidence and independence.
At Kettleby Valley, we value the importance of learning how to swim as a vital life skill. Campers can earn their Lifesaving Society swimmer and Bronze levels, and participate in a fun free swim following the lesson. If a camper is uncomfortable with swimming, the counsellors and swim staff will do their best to encourage them, just like any activity we offer here. If the camper is feeling unwell, or does not want to swim, they have the option of sitting out on the pool deck, while still being supervised by staff at the pool.
Cell phones can get lost or damaged during our active days and nights. They can also be a disruption to our program. We have also had situations where Campers misuse their cell phone at Camp. For this reason, we ask that no cell phones be brought to Camp.
We hold our Open House in June. Prior to June, arrangements can be made for a tour by contacting our office.
Our Cabins can hold as many as 8 campers. For our younger campers, our counsellors reside in the same cabin as the children to ensure a higher level of supervision.
Children who have completed Junior Kindergarten will fit right in to our Day Camp. Our site is challenging for anyone younger than this to get around. Our overnight camp is for children who have completed grade 3 and up.
We are happy to be able to offer door-to-door busing from Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge, Maple and some parts of Vaughan, in addition to our corporate locations in Markham and Toronto. We contract our busing through a third-party school bus service, such as Stock Transportation, and there can sometimes be miscommunication or extenuating circumstances that can make your child’s bus time later than the pickup window we have given you. Over the years, we have had:
- Bus drivers that have called in sick and a new driver who doesn’t know the route is substituting
- A camper being picked up before you was not ready, and the bus had to wait for them
- The bus had mechanical issues or broke down
- Traffic delays
- The bus had to stop to let a camper use the washroom, making the bus late for the next stop
We always do our best to contact you if the bus is going to be more than 15 minutes past your pickup time. Feel free to call the office (905) 726-4275 if you have any questions.
Campers are assigned to groups/cabins based on the gender they identify as and the grade they have completed in school. We do our best to accommodate any requests to be in the same group as a friend also attending that week. Since the campers change from week to week, your camper’s group number may change based on the amount of campers older or younger than them. Rest assured, we will always place your camper in a group with campers no more than one year younger or older than them.
All buses arrive around 9:00 am. Following announcements, Campers head off to their first scheduled activity. Everyone is treated to a swim lesson followed by a free swim each day. Groups take part in other exciting activities such as Canoeing, Climbing Wall, Ropes Course, Drama, Nature, Arts and Crafts and Archery throughout the week. Groups are scheduled for lunch between 11:30 am. and 1:30 pm. At 3:30 pm, we have final announcements and by 4:00 pm the buses are back on the road and heading for home.
For our residential program, wake up is at 7:30 am. After morning circle, Campers file into the lodge for breakfast. From 8:30 to 9:00 am, campers get ready for their day by packing their day bags and tidying their cabins. Following morning announcements, Campers head off to their first activity. Campers are scheduled for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. As well as their day time, Resi Campers choose to take part in additional exciting activities before dinner such as Canoeing, Climbing Wall, Ropes Course, Drama, Nature, Arts and Crafts and Archery. These additional activities wrap up at about 5:00 pm and dinner is held at 5:15 pm. After dinner, ‘Resi Campers’ are back in the pool for their second swim of the day and then it’s EVENING PROGRAM. Whether it’s a Camp classic Campfire or Capture the Flag or a Kettleby Valley Original, the Campers finish the day with a bang. Lights out is between 8:30 and 9:30 pm.
We offer meals, such as grilled cheese and chicken nuggets, that are traditional favourites with children. Similar to the way we encourage our campers to try a new activity at camp, we urge our campers to broaden their boundaries and try new foods. Its not uncommon for our campers to try a food like “sloppy joes” and love it! Despite our successes with most campers, we always offer plain pasta, or pasta with sauce as an alternative meal.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our food.
Our Staff to Camper Ratio never exceeds 1 to 4. In many cases it is lower.