How long is the camp day?
The Camp day is approximately 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. The camp buses arrive between approximately 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. The buses leave camp at about 3:50. Families choosing to drive or carpool to camp will be given an arrival time slot between 8:45 am and 9:30 am and pick up time between 3:45 and 4:15 pm
What is the structure of a typical camp day?
- Traditional Camp: Each day, there are two swims (instructional and recreational swim), a lunch period, and five periods filled with fun camp activities.
- All-Star: Campers completing SK to Grade 1 are placed the Raptors Unit where they experience many of the different sports that All-Star has to offer. Similar to Traditional Camp, every cabin will receive a schedule of sports only, which includes participating in 9 different sports each week along with a daily swim (alternating 3 days of instructional swim and 2 days of recreational swim). Campers completing Grade 2 or higher will participate in 12 different sports. While remaining with their cabin group, the sports programs will offer a mix of skills-based training and competitive team playing against other similarly aged campers. Campers participate in a daily swim, alternating 2 days of instructional swim and 3 days of recreational swim.
- Cedar Creek: Riders have approximately one hour of an English riding lesson in the morning, one hour of an English riding lesson in the afternoon, stable management, lunch, recreational swim and a craft/sport/drama/co-operative game activity each day.
How many children are there in a cabin? What is the staff to camper ratio?
We go above and beyond the industry norms and requirements for ratios! In our pre-school groups (Nursery, JK, & SK), there are approximately 10 to 12 children in a group with a minimum of three camp counsellors. In our school age groups (grades 1 to 7) there are approximately 12 campers per group with a minimum of two camp counsellors. Campers are grouped by completed grade level and may be gender specific or mixed gender cabins – the goal is to have well-balanced cabins so that everyone feels comfortable and has the opportunity to make new friends. At least one counsellor per cabin is of university age. When you include all the instructors at camp, the ratio of campers to staff is approximately 2:1!
Do you accept friend requests for my child to be grouped with?
We are happy to accept grouping requests and are usually able to accommodate at least your first choice. Friend requests should be limited to campers who are currently in the same grade. While we try our best to accommodate friend requests of different genders, our goal is to balance the cabins as best as possible so that everyone feels comfortable and has the opportunity to make friends.
How do pre-school age children adjust to the camp day and is there a rest period for them?
While camp is a full day, we organize the camp day so there is a balance between active and calmer activities; campers are not ‘running’ all day. Our caring and experienced staff ensure that our youngest campers are adjusting well and we follow up at the end of the first week with a mini report as an overview of how your child is doing at camp.
My child is an older camper? Are there many older children enrolled at camp?
Green Acres has no shortage of older campers because activities are designed to challenge the interests and skills of all age groups up to and including grade 7. As campers get older, they graduate to new activities (high ropes, archery, tennis, recording, etc.) while leaving others behind (pony rides, trike track, storytelling, parachute games, etc.). Older units will often receive special programming and privileges to keep them engaged in camp. After completing grade 8, campers graduate into the Leadership Training Program aimed at creating future leaders.
What are the camp dates and fees? How do I register my child?
Do you offer a lunch program?
Approximately 60% of our campers bring their own lunches. We do have a lunch program which offers a variety of hot lunch options that will be available in Spring 2022. You get to pick from a A La Carte menu and pay directly to the vendor. You do not have to commit to a full session but can order anytime and for any day(s) with 72 hrs notice. Click here for a sample lunch menu!
Do campers receive any snacks or water during the camp day?
We offer campers a snickle snackle, our famous freezie snack, at the end of every day. We encourage parents to send several healthy snacks from home for campers throughout the day. Remember that at camp, children are outdoors and much more active than at school and therefore tend to have a greater appetite. There are drinking stations and water filling stations available throughout the camp, and campers are encouraged to stay hydrated through the day.
My child is allergic to nuts and/or peanuts. Is the camp a “Peanut and Nut Free” camp?
Green Acres is a peanut and nut safe camp. Food and products served by the camp are peanut and nut free. We are a peanut and nut safe camp as we cannot have absolute control over the contents of some camper lunches and snacks. We do ask that campers and staff not bring any peanut or nut products to the camp.
How do you help a camper who is not coming with any friends to camp?
On the first day and throughout the first week of camp counsellors will encourage their cabin group to get to know one another and make friends through games and other activities. We place a great deal of emphasis on smoothly integrating the campers, friendships and inclusiveness at camp. Although campers generally make friends easily at Green Acres, our leaders are always keeping their eyes open to ensure that every camper has someone to play, participate and eat lunch with throughout the day.
How do you deal with sun safety at camp?
We encourage parents, campers, and staff to be ‘Sun Smart’. Sun hats are a must every day, and a large emphasis is placed on keeping cool and hydrated throughout the day particularly during hot days. We make use of effective sun screen routines as part of the camp day. Parents should apply sunscreen prior to departure for camp each morning, and counsellors will assist and supervise campers to reapply their sunscreen lotions throughout the day.
Are campers always supervised?
Counsellors are always with their campers. Younger campers are escorted to their units from the bus, and accompanied to the washroom. Counsellors assist campers with changing, hand sanitizing, organization of belongings and sunscreen application. Counsellors also ensure that campers are staying hydrated and are eating their lunches and snacks. Counsellors participate with their campers in all activities no matter the campers’ age.
Do you offer instructional swim at camp?
We are famous for our swim facilities and our Lifesaving Society instructional swim program. Classes are taught and supervised by certified swim instructors and lifeguards. While other camp programs offered modified swim instruction due to Covid-19, we worked closely with York Region Public health to design a Covid safe swim instruction program where certified swim staff were providing hands on lessons in the water with the campers! Traditional Camp campers receive daily swim instruction taught by certified swim instructors. All-Star (Grades 2-7) and Raptors (SK – Grade 1) campers participate in one daily swim which alternates between instructional swim and recreational swim. Raptors campers have instructional swim 3 times a week and All-Star campers receive instructional swim twice a week. Our swim facilities include two large outdoor heated pools designed to facilitate a swim instruction program. In addition, we have our heated junior waterslide park with a pool basin at the bottom for fun times by all ages regardless of their swim ability.
How many swim periods are there at camp?
In Traditional Camp, there are two swim periods every day. One is instructional, and the other is recreational. All-Star (Grades 2-7) and Raptors (SK – Grade 1) have one swim daily alternating between instructional and recreational swim. Cedar Creek riding campers will have a recreational swim once a day.
Do you have a health centre or nurse at camp?
Our air-conditioned Health Centre is staffed by a full-time RN or RPN and nurse’s assistant. As part of our Covid-19 protocols, we have added an outdoor triage area to limit indoor interactions. As well, we have a supervised isolation area for campers or staff exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms to rest until they are picked up from camp.
Do the counsellors help the younger kids throughout their day?
Counsellors are very involved with their campers, making sure they are eating enough, staying hydrated, following hand sanitization practices, and helping them put on sunscreen at least twice a day. They also assist the children in getting changed for swim time and staying organized.
Who is supervising the children on the camp buses?
In addition to a Stock approved bus driver, there is at least one Green Acres Staff on the bus to supervise the campers, facilitate an enjoyable ride, provide safe dismissal routines and take attendance in the mornings.
How do the campers get from the bus to their cabin group?
Green Acres staff are placed at bussing and at the carpool loop to escort the children to their appropriate cabin meeting spots. Campers completing Nursery to Grade 1 are escorted to and from the bus daily at the beginning and end of each day. Campers completing Grade 2 and higher are escorted to and from the bus for the first few days and then after that are able to walk independently.
How do you deal with challenging behaviours at Camp?
Our goal is for every child to feel happy and safe at Camp Green Acres. If a camper demonstrates undesirable behaviours, parents will be contacted by their child’s Unit Head and/or the Camper Relations team to discuss strategies moving forward. If the behaviours become repetitive or are verbally or physically aggressive in nature, our Safe Camp Policy will be implemented. Click here to view our Safe Camp Policy.
Can I make changes to my child’s camp programs or weeks at camp after I register?
Absolutely! We want our campers and families happy! We therefore try our very best to be flexible and accommodate changes as long as there is space and availability. Once your child has started their camp session, program changes may not be possible until the following week depending on Ministry guidelines in place around intermingling of cohorts. See refund policy if you want to shorten the number of weeks after you register.
How do I know that my child(ren) will be safe at your camp during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Experience matters! We have safely navigated through the pandemic for two years in 2020 and 2021 without any cases of Covid-19! While there are no guarantees moving forward, our experience in adapting and following the Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines is what sets us apart. You may not realize that Government Guidelines change several times throughout the summer. With each change, we evaluate and pivot appropriately to maximize the fun, the programming and normalcy at camp while keeping your children safe! In consultation with and with the guidance of York Region Public Health, we implemented many safety protocols at camp including limiting cohort sizes, not allowing for co-mingling of cohorts, sanitization practices with regards to supplies, hand washing routines, regular bathroom sanitizing and so much more! We were able to keep the children, the staff and their families safe, while retaining the fun and spirit at camp!!
Are your facilities indoors or outdoors?
We are so fortunate to have 110 acres of spectacular facilities, with lots of natural shade, that bring the country setting to the city. The majority of our activities are outdoors (during the two Covid-19 summers, we moved many of our activities so that almost all of our activities were outdoors to maximize safety), including 2 outdoor heated pools and an outdoor heated junior waterslide park. In the event of rain, we also have plenty of indoor spaces, that are well-ventilated, where cabin groups can safely run activities while being socially distanced from other cohorts.
What is refund policy with regards to Covid-19?
If I want to request that my children be grouped together to limit their exposure to other children, is that possible?
While we do accept grouping requests, and are usually able to accommodate your first choice, we strongly recommend that the children be within one grade level either above or below. Mixed gender grouping requests cannot always be accommodated as we aim to balance each cabin group as best as possible to facilitate friendships.
How many children are in each cabin group?
Each Green Acres cabin (cohort) ranges from 10-13 children (much lower than Ministry of Health’s allowance of 15 children per cohort).
Do counsellors and campers have to wear masks while at Camp?
Under the current Ministry of Health Guidelines (used in Summer 2021), while they were outside, campers did not need to wear masks while in their cohorts at Camp. Campers completed SK and older were required to wear a mask while on the bus, while participating in the few indoor activities that we had or when they were indoors during rainy periods (with mask breaks). While younger campers (completed Nursery and JK) were not required to wear a mask in those situations based on Ministry Guidelines, we strongly encouraged them to do so. If campers visited the Health Centre they were provided with a mask. Counsellors were required to wear masks when outdoors and social distancing from campers or other staff was not possible, on the bus or indoors. (This is subject to change depending on evolving Government and Ministry Guidelines).
What is the Leadership Training Program (LTP)?
The LTP program is for teens completing grades 8 and 9. This is a unique and multifaceted program designed to build leadership skills through placements at camp, workshops, volunteer initiatives and more! LTP can earn volunteer hours towards their high school community service requirements. Each two-week session, LTPs will spend one week as a group, getting to know each other, participating in camp activities, volunteering their time for community service initiatives and participating in leadership workshops. The second week is spent in a placement of their choice, either assisting in a cabin group or at a sport/activity. Whether having grown up at Green Acres or new to the Camp, participants will develop strong bonds, lifelong friendships and great memories!
Do we need to send a bike and helmet for the Learn-To-Bike program?
We have specialized bikes that are designed to facilitate learning and balance. We also have helmets for the campers – they will need to wear a hair net underneath to keep it sanitary. If you prefer to send your own helmet, we will keep it safely at camp for the week.
Do campers need to be fully toilet trained to come to Green Acres?
While it is preferable, campers in the Chipmunk Unit (nursery aged campers) do not need to be fully toilet trained. Counsellors will be trained on how to change pull-ups. You will need to send your own pull-ups and swim diapers.
Do you have regular washrooms or port-a-potties at camp?
Green Acres is equipped with many regular flushing toilets around camp, each with their own washing stations. Our younger campers (Nursery – Grade 1) will be escorted to the washrooms and assisted when necessary. Bathrooms are regularly sanitized throughout the day.
Do the campers need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend Camp?
Yes. All eligible staff and campers must be fully vaccinated (as per Health Canada) by the beginning of their session in order to attend Camp Green Acres.
What if my child has to miss several days of camp because they are sick?
Our fees go by session and are not subject to day-to-day refunds for missing days of camp. Having said that, we do offer Optional Illness Insurance that you can choose to sign up for upon registration. The Illness Insurance covers against the possibility that a camper may have an extended absence or need to withdraw from Camp as a result of illness or injury. Coverage provides for a proportional refund, after two consecutive days of camp are missed as a result of an illness or an injury only (proof of illness may be required). It will also cover absences exceeding two consecutive days while waiting for Covid-19 test results. If coverage is desired, just add the Green Acres Illness Insurance to your camp fees at registration – this cannot be added once your Application for Enrolment has been confirmed.
Does my child need to have horseback riding experience to to register for Cedar Creek?
We offer two riding programs at Green Acres. Cedar Creek is the full day riding Camp which is best suited for campers with some riding experience. Campers receive two English Riding lessons, a stable management lesson and other horse and barn related activities, in addition to a daily recreational swim and general camp activities. If your child is new to horseback riding or has limited experience, we recommend that you choose Saddle Champs, our half-day riding option. New riders get to experience horseback riding while also having the opportunity to participate in camp activities with their Traditional Camp cabin group. Campers spend half the day in an English riding lesson and the other half of the day in Traditional Camp.