Page 1

Camper & Parent/ Guardian Handbook

Summer Camp YMCA of Kitchener-Waterloo

Welcome to your YMCA Summer Camp Program Guide! This guide has been designed to help you feel at ease with the camp process and to answer most, if not all of your pre-camp questions. If you find you still have questions after you read through the following pages please feel free to contact us using the contact information provided. On behalf of our staff and volunteers we would like to welcome you to YMCA Day Camp. This information package is intended to familiarize you with our camps. Our goal this summer is to engage, encourage and fascinate your campers in a wide variety of unforgettable ways and still get them home in time for supper. Your YMCA Day Camp programs emphasize fun, safety, skill and social development built upon a foundation of our YMCA core values: acceptance, caring, health, respect and responsibility. All of our camp staff are carefully selected and trained in order to ensure their ability to provide the optimum camp experience for each and every camper. Once again welcome to YMCA Summer Camp!


Family Communication Communication before, during and after your child’s camp experience is incredibly important to us; We have a few ways that we use in order to ensure optimum communication between you, the camper and our camp staff, including: 1. Year-round Day Camp Supervisor – please feel free to contact us with any questions before your camp experience begins at 519-743-5201 ext. 226 or by email at During the camp season, we would encourage you to contact your child’s camp site directly to ensure more immediate assistance. 2. Day Camp Feedback Surveys – Your feedback is extremely important to us; it helps us to improve our programs for all future participants and allows us to celebrate and recognize our exceptional staff and also to correct any situations that might need to be addressed. During the summer season a day camp survey will be sent out to participants via email. Please consider the importance of your feedback and provide us with your email on the registration form. Your email address will not be used for any other soliciting or promotional purposes and will be kept confidential. Also, please note that if a situation arises that requires immediate assistance; please contact your on-site coordinator for the timeliest response.

Our Commitment to You YMCA Day Camps value young people. Our focus is on developing the potential of every camper. The following principles are our commitment to you. •

YMCA Day Camps build strong kids in a fun, safe and stimulating environment.

YMCA Day Camps provide an exciting change from school during the summer months.

YMCA Day Camps encourage learning, friendship and healthy child development.

In YMCA Day Camps, children are supervised and supported by trained, inspiring and energetic staff members who act as positive role models.

YMCA Day Camps develop the spirit, mind and body of campers and build strong character through YMCA Values.


KW YMCA Camp Locations A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA Adventure Days Camp ages 3–5, Discovery Days Camp ages 6-8, Specialty Camps ages 6–12 and Leaders in Action Ages 12–16. Located at 333 Carwood Ave, Kitchener, ON, N2G 3C5 Stork Family YMCA Adventure Days Camp ages 3–5, Discovery Days Camp ages 6–8, Specialty Camps ages 6–12 and Leaders in Action Ages 12–16. Located at 500 Fischer-Hallman Road North, Waterloo, ON, N2L 0B1 YMCA Camp Heidelberg Discovery Days Camp ages 9–12 Campers will be bussed daily from A.R. Kaufman and Stork Family YMCA to our YMCA Camp Heidelberg site. Located at 2001 Kressler Rd, Heidelberg.

Sign In/Out Procedures All Day Camp programs run 8:00 am – 5:00 pm To ensure the safety and well-being of each and every camper, we require all campers be signed in and out each day by a parent or guardian 16 years or older. Sign-in will indicate who will be picking up your child that day. Your child will only be released to the person indicated on the sign-in or contact names listed on your registration form. In the event that a change needs to be made, you will need to contact the Site Supervisor. Photo identification will be required before we will release the camper. Drop off / Pick up Locations The Drop off and Pick up locations vary by site. The following is a list by site. Please be aware that drop off and pick up locations may vary from day to day depending on program.


Camp Program

Drop off

Pick up

Adventure Days - A.R. Kaufman



Adventure Days - Stork



Discovery Days - A.R. Kaufman

Gymnasium 1

Gymnasium 1

Discovery Days - Stork

Gymnasium 1

Gymnasium 1

Specialty Camps- A.R. Kaufman



Specialty Camps- Stork

Gymnasium 2

Gymnasium 2

YMCA Camp Heidelberg- A.R. Kaufman

Gymnasium 2


YMCA Camp Heidelberg- Stork

Gymnasium 2

Gymnasium 2

Leaders In Action - A.R. Kaufman

Gymnasium 1

Gymnasium 1

Leaders In Action - Stork

Gymnasium 1

Gymnasium 1

Late Pick up Your child will always be supervised, even if you are late. Please call so that we can make proper arrangements for care for your child. A late fee will apply however. After a grace period of 5 minutes, the late fee is $1.00/minute/child, paid in full to the counselor on duty at time of pick-up.

Camp Hours Campers can arrive between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. There will be supervised free time as well as scheduled activities during the morning sign in time. Campers can be picked up to go home between 4:15 pm and 5:00 pm. Extended Care We offer extended hours for those who require it. Drop off can be as early as 7:30 am and evening extended care will go until 5:30 pm both for an additional fee. The extended care option should be selected at the time of registration. If your schedule changes after registration and supervision is required please contact the Member Service Desk at either facility to register for the extended care option.


What to Bring to Camp All Day campers will need to bring the following items each day they come to camp. We suggest that you pack a knapsack with your child so they know what they have brought with them. Please Label Everything. What to bring • Running shoes (flip-flop sandals are not allowed) •



Water bottle (clearly labeled with camper’s name)

Weather-appropriate / old clothing / rain gear

Swimsuit & towel

Healthy nut-safe lunch, at least two snacks

Extra clothes

Lots of smiles!

A Typical Day at Camp Adventure Days (Ages 3 – 5 yrs) 8:00 am – 9:00 am 9:00 am – 9:30 am 9:30 am – 10:15 am 10:15 am – 10:45 am  10:45 am – 11:00 am   11:00 am – 11:30 am   11:30 am – 12:00 pm   12:00 pm – 12:30 pm   12:30 pm – 1:00 pm   1:00 pm – 2:00 pm   2:00 pm – 3:00 pm   3:00 pm – 4:00 pm 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm



– Arrival and free play – Circle Time – Outside time – Snack – Transition for swimming – Swimming (everyone in a lifejacket) – Transition back from swimming/story time – Lunch – Free play – Afternoon games (outside and inside) – Quiet time or games (Please indicate on the sign in sheet if you would like your camper to have quiet time that day) – Circle activities – Free play and home time

YMCA Camp Heidelberg (Ages 9 – 12 yrs)


Discovery Days (Ages 6 – 8 yrs)

Specialty Camps (Ages 6 – 12 yrs)

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Arrival, free play Arrival, free play Arrival, free play followed by followed by followed by scheduled activities scheduled activities scheduled activities

9:00 am – 9:30 am

Morning show

Leave on the bus at Leave on the bus at 9:00 am 9:00 am

9:30 am – 10:10 am

Stream activity Rotation 1

Stream activity Rotation 1

In specialty program on-site or off-site

10:15 am – Snack 10:30 am



10:30 am – Stream activity 11:15 am Rotation 2

Stream activity Rotation 2

11:15 am – Stream activity 12:00 pm Rotation 3

Stream activity Rotation 3

In specialty program on-site or off site

12:00 pm – Lunch and free play Lunch and free play Lunch at 12:30 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Camp wide activity

Camp wide activity

Camp wide activity

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Bus leaves at 2:30 pm from YMCA Camp Heidelberg to ARK & Stork

Bus leaves at 1:30 pm from off-site specialties to ARK & Stork

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Snack, closing show



4:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Transition to gym



4:15 pm – 5:00 pm

Gym time, scheduled activities followed by free play and home time.

Scheduled activities followed by free play and home time. Pick-up is in the Studio.

Scheduled activities followed by free play and home time. Pick-up is in the Studio.


What Not to Bring to Camp Please do not bring valuables to camp. It has been our experience that no matter how careful a child is, inevitably something gets broken or lost. The YMCA will not be responsible for lost or damaged items. •

MP3 Players/iPods

Hand-held games (i.e. Nintendo DS)

Cell phones

Pokemon/Digimon cards

Money or other valuables

Water guns

Knives or other weapons

Matches or lighters

Money at Camp Please do not send money to camp; campers will not be permitted to make purchases from vending machines or during out trips—this allows us to ensure that all campers are provided with equal opportunities during their camp experience and prevents the possibility of allergic/medical reactions. We thank you for your cooperation.

Sun Sense With continued concern over the health risks resulting from extended exposure to the sun, we ask that you send the following items with your child to camp. •

A good sun hat (please label; keep in mind that baseball hats do not cover the ears or neck)

Water bottle (please label)

Sunscreen (please label)

Our staff understand the importance of reminding children about sunscreen and hats. Times will be allotted throughout the day for reapplication.


Camper Health Information Like parents, the health and safety of day campers is our foremost concern. Our Day Camp Supervisor is full-time, year round Supervisor of Day Camp and Leadership Programs with our Health, Fitness and Recreation department. Site Coordinators support our counselors at each of our sites, and all staff are trained in emergency and supervisory procedures. Our lifeguards, who are certified by the National Lifesaving Society, supervise all aquatic activities. Medication at Camp If your child requires medication, it must be sent along in the original container. We absolutely cannot administer any form of medication that does not come in the container, in which it was purchased. Although day of the week dispensers may be convenient at home, we cannot use them here. Please fill out the “Consent to Administer Medication” form at the time of registration. Please include the condition that requires the medication and when the medication is to be administered. Illness at camp If your child is feeling ill before coming to camp please keep them home for a day or two. Call us before 9:00 am to let us know that your child will not be attending (519-743-5201 ext. 226). If your child becomes ill or injured while at camp, immediate care will be provided. Every effort will be made by staff to keep your child comfortable until your arrival. Inhalers and EpiPens® We recommend that you send along 2 inhalers/EpiPens® with your child.  One will need to be carried by your child at all times (we suggest that you send a hip sack for easy carrying so your child (or counselor) can carry one inhaler/EpiPen® at all times). The back up will be kept in our medicine cabinet.

Absenteeism Please inform us by phone at the beginning of the day, if your child will be absent from camp. Please call 519-743-5201 ext. 226 and leave a message. If you know in advance that your child will be absent, please send a note with your child indicating which days he/she will not be attending camp. Camp fees are non-refundable, except for medical reasons (a doctor’s note is required).


Lunch Packages Campers should arrive daily with a lunch and at least 2 snacks as well as a refillable water bottle. Vendors and/or vending machines will not be available for lunch/snack purchases at any of our sites by campers. Optional lunch packages are available at both the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA and Stork Family YMCA Adventure Days, Discovery Days, YMCA Camp Heidelberg, LIA Camp and on-site specialty camps. Independent vendors provide these lunch services. Leo’s Café and Food Services provide services for A.R. Kaufman and Edelweiss Tavern provides services for the Stork Family YMCA. There are no lunch packages available for off-site specialty camps. To access these services fill out the site-specific lunch package information form, at time of registration, and attach a cheque for the appropriate amount. Forward this information to the appropriate vendor. Note: • Lunch Packages must be ordered at least one week before the desired camp session. • There is no lunch available at A.R. Kaufman or Stork on Wednesdays, for our Discovery Day or Leaders In Action camps as they are out of the building on this day. These A.R. Kaufman and Stork campers will need to provide lunch on this day. (Lunch packages will still be available for our Adventure Day campers at A.R. Kaufman and Stork Family YMCA only).


Photographs at Camp Photographs taken at camp allow us to depict accurately the activities and programs that take place. Photographs are taken throughout each session for various purposes. By signing the consent line on the registration form you authorize the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA to use pictures of your child in their advertising and promotional materials. These materials may be used for internal and external use, but may not be sold to any external parties.

Our Staff The YMCA recognizes the tremendous impact a positive day camping experience has on the development of a child. Our camp staff are university, college and senior high school students who have a personal interest in ensuring that your child’s experience is one that will be cherished and remembered for a lifetime. Staff are selected based on their leadership skills, day camping experience and genuine interest in working with children of all backgrounds and abilities. All staff are carefully screened and trained in YMCA Healthy Child Development Principles and First Aid and CPR.

Camp Supervision Adventure Days 1:8 ratio Discovery Days 1:10 ratio Camp Heidelberg 1:12 ratio Leaders in Action 1:16 ratio Specialty Camps 1:12 ratio

Swimming Adventure Days (Ages 3 - 5) We will swim daily in two groups from 10:30 am – 11:00 am and 11:00 am – 11:30 am. Each camper will wear a lifejacket during this swim, regardless of his or her swimming ability. Discovery Days, YMCA Camp Heidelberg, and Specialty Camps (Ages 6 – 12) A.R. Kaufman and Stork will swim daily from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm joined by on-site specialty camps (A.R. Kaufman). YMCA Camp Heidelberg and off-site specialty camps (A.R. Kaufman and Stork) will swim daily from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. All campers 6 years and younger are required to wear a life jacket to maintain an appropriate counsellor to child ratio.


The KW YMCA uses a wristband system to ensure swimmers are where they should be on a daily basis: Red = shallow end only (A.R. Kaufman), leisure pool only (Stork) . Yellow = shallow and middle end (A.R. Kaufman), shallow end of large pool or leisure pool (Stork). Green = all over the pool (A.R. Kaufman), all over either pool (Stork). Campers will participate in a swim test to ensure the safety in the deep end. It is up to the discretion of the lifeguards to determine the campers swimming level. Campers will be given the swim test on Monday of each week.

Camper Code of Behaviour It is the goal of the YMCA to provide a healthy, safe and secure environment for all participants. The YMCA teaches the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Children who attend the program are expected to follow the behavior guidelines and to interact appropriately in a group setting. Behaviour Guidelines • People are responsible for their actions. •

We respect each other and the environment.

Honesty is the basis of all relationships and interactions.

We care for ourselves and those around us.

When a child does not follow the behaviour guidelines, we take the following steps 1. Staff directs the child to more appropriate behaviour. 2. The child is reminded of the behaviour guidelines and rules, and a discussion will take place. 3. If the behaviour persists, a parent is notified of the problem. 4. The staff documents the situation. This written documentation includes: what the behaviour problem is, what provoked the problem, and the corrective action taken. 5. Staff schedules a progress check or a follow-up conference. 6. Staff notifies their Program Supervisor. 7. If the problem still persists, staff schedules a conference that includes the parent, child, staff and Program Supervisor. The Program Supervisor has all the documentation and the notes from previous conferences for review. 8. If a child’s behaviour at any time threatens the immediate safety of themselves, other children, or staff, the parent is notified and instructed to pick up the child immediately. 12

9. If a problem persists and a child continues to disrupt the program, the YMCA reserves the right to suspend the child from the program. Expulsion from the program will be considered in extreme situations. The following behaviours are not acceptable and may result in the immediate suspension of a participant for the remainder of the current program day, week or possibly the entire summer. •

Endangering the health and safety of children and/or staff, members, volunteers.

Stealing or damaging YMCA or personal property.

Leaving the program without permission.

Continuing to disrupt the program.

Refusing to follow the behaviour guidelines or rules.

Using profanity, vulgarity, or obscenity frequently.

Acting in a lewd manner.

Program Expulsion In order to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all campers any intentional participant behavior that puts the KW YMCA, staff or others at physical or emotional risk may result in immediate dismissal from the program. Any expenses incurred as a result of program dismissal will be the responsibility of the participant/parent/guardian. No refund will be given to campers leaving camp prior to the end of the session due to disciplinary action.

Family Campfire/Sleepover YMCA Camp Heidelberg campers Parents will receive specific information and a permission form for the campfire and sleep over at the beginning of each session. At that time you will have the opportunity to indicate which part, if any, of the evening you and your child will be joining us for. Family Campfire All sessions at YMCA Camp Heidelberg include a Family Campfire on Thursday evenings (weather permitting). Campers and their families are invited to join us back at camp at 7:30 pm. Take a tour of the camp and talk to counselors. The family campfire begins at 8:00 pm and will last about one hour. Camper Sleepover The sleepover is an optional part of the program that provides campers with an opportunity to experience a night away from home in a camp 13

environment. Campers may choose however, to enjoy the campfire with their family and return home with their parents at the end of the campfire. Breakfast will be provided to overnight campers and lunch will be provided to all campers on Friday. Campers will still need to provide their own snacks and drinks. The family campfire/camper sleepover will not run during inclement weather. A decision to cancel these programs will be made on Thursday at pick up. Suggested list for campers staying for the sleepover • Sleeping bag and/or blanket / pillow •



Change of clothes for the following day

Warm clothes for the evening / rain gear

Personal items (tooth brush, tooth paste)

Insect repellent

Water bottle

Snacks & drinks for Friday

Additional Sleepover Notes Campers sleep in bunk houses or large canvas tents. Parents: Please consider carefully if your child is ready for a sleep-over experience away from home. Parents will be asked to provide a nighttime phone number and be available to pick up their child in case of homesickness.

Leaders in Action Level 1 Participants in the Leaders in Action Level 1 camp have the optional opportunity to participate in a campfire and sleepover at our YMCA Camp Heidelberg site. Campers will be bussed to YMCA Camp Heidelberg the Wednesday morning of each session. They will spend the day working with counselors on leadership games and activities. LIA’s will spend Wednesday night at YMCA Camp Heidelberg. Some aspects of the sleepover will be planned by the LIA’s during their sessions. LIA’s will be bussed back to the YMCA (A.R. Kaufman or Stork) on Thursday afternoon. If the LIA chooses not to participate in the sleepover, they can return to A.R. Kaufman or Stork YMCA with the YMCA Camp Heidelberg Campers at 2:30 pm 14

and be bussed to YMCA Camp Heidelberg from their home YMCA to meet the group on Thursday morning.

Additional Information Cold and/or Rainy Days Programs continue during inclement weather conditions. All sites have both indoor and outdoor shelter options. Day camp is a great opportunity to enjoy this type of weather outside, so proper dress for such a day is essential (rain wear, sweaters, boots etc.). For those camps that go on out-trips, a decision will be made in the morning as to whether to cancel a trip due to weather conditions. Trips are not made up if cancelled or shortened due to inclement weather. Out Trips Some of our camps have the opportunity to participate in off site trips. Our Discovery Days and LIA Level 2 camps have the opportunity to participate in off-site weekly trips. Please do not send money with your child for any reason. Children will not be permitted to purchase a lunch on out trips due to the length of time it takes to purchase lunches and due to child: leader ratio requirements. Children will need to bring lunch, snacks and drinks on trip days. Lost and Found All lost articles are collected daily and kept at each site. Each site will have a different area for lost and found items. Please check with the Site Coordinator for assistance in accessing the lost and found. Please LABEL EVERYTHING to make identification easier. Use first and last names when labeling your child’s things. Due to the volume, lost items will be kept for two weeks. Refund/Cancellation Policy Camp fees must be paid in full by June 1, 2013. A deposit of $50.00 per camp week is required at registration. Post-dated cheques must be submitted with deposit or, if paying balance with credit card, you must indicate the date for your credit card to be debited. Deposits are non-refundable. Camp fees are non-refundable after June 14, 2013, except for medical reasons (a doctor’s note is required). If a request for a refund is made before June 14, 2013, the refund will be issued minus the deposit and a 15% administrative charge. A full refund, minus the deposit, can be given as a credit note for the YMCA. When a doctor’s note is presented families can take either refund option: credit note or cash/credit refund. Please note that refunds can take 3–4 weeks to process. Credit notes can be used towards: other Day Camp programs, PD Day programs, membership, private swimming lessons, birthday parties, etc. 15

YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo Day Camps YMCA Mission Statement The YMCA is a charitable organization that strengthens our community by providing opportunities for personal growth and active involvement for all children, adults and families.

YMCA Core Values Acceptance Welcoming and open to all Caring Acting with compassion and concern for the well being of others Health Developing people in spirit, mind and body Respect Treating all persons with dignity Responsibility Accountable for oneself, others, our environment and the world in which we live A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA 333 Carwood Avenue Kitchener, ON N2G 3C5 T: 519-743-5201 F: 519-743-5204 Stork Family YMCA 500 Fischer-Hallman Road N Waterloo, ON N2G 3C5 T: 519-725-8783 E: Charitable Registration # BN 10757 2687 RR0001

Questions? Leearn more onlin

YMCA of Kitchener-Waterloo Summer Day Camp Parent Handbook 2013  

A guideline to summer day camp for parents and campers.