Frequently Asked Questions About Summer Camp
How many campers are in each cabin?
At Camp Couchiching there are two different types of cabins that can be found in "the loop". These two cabins are described as either "The Back Cabins" or "L" shaped cabins, both having a different number of campers in them. On average an "L" shaped cabin sleeps between 7-10 campers living at any one time. "The Back" cabins (usually home to the older campers) can accommodate typically 10-12 campers in a session.
What are the cabins like?
All cabins are equipped with a sink, a washroom and cubby space for camper's storage. Campers sleep in either an upper or lower bunk.Do campers choose their activities?
Yes. Campers do get to choose the activities that interest them, whether it be adventure, or sailing that tickles their fancy they have the option of choosing what they wish. The way this process works is that you and your child will receive a pamphlet of "interest sessions" (activities) that they are available to take part in. On the first evening of camp during 2-week and one-month sessions, after supper, campers choose the 4 interest sessions that they'll participate in for the week. There are opportunities to change these activities if your camper desires to. Day campers and one-week campers get all kinds of opportunities to choose activities each day!How many campers are in each interest session activity?
Interest sessions group sizes vary from activity to activity. If an activity is on the water, activity groups are typically smaller and if individual instruction is required (Swimming Lessons) group sizes decrease once again. We have seen classes of 20, but we have also seen classes of 5. We ensure our staff ratios increase for larger classes and those with higher risk too.What if my camper gets homesick?
Homesickness is a regular condition that effects some campers. Our approach to dealing with it is to support each camper in how they feel and encourage their participation in all the activities at camp. We also recognize that every child is different and although we don't encourage parents to speak to their kids directly, we do often look for support and suggestions from parents while your child is at camp.
Our staff team have been trained on how to deal with it. It may help to consider that many of them have even been homesick as campers themselves. With constant activities to participate in (keeping campers busy is a great way to decrease homesickness), the drain of homesickness typically fades within the first few days of camp. How old is your staff team, where do they come from, how are they trained and what are their qualifications?
We boast of having a one of a kind staff team who are kind and friendly individuals who work under the supervision of our year-round Director Team. Our youngest staff group are candidates who have already spent two successful years within our leadership programs while they're aged 16 & 17. They come onto the staff team the year they turn 18.
Learn more about our Staff Team- click hereLearn more about our Director Team-click here
Are the campers in age groups?
We have co-ed age groups that the campers do some larger group activities in. They are based on what Grade you are in in January of the year you're going to camp:
- Juniors- Grades 1-3
- Intermediates- Grades 4-6
- Seniors-Grades 7-9
- LDP 1- Grade 10
- LDP 2- Grade 11
Do you have a nurse on site?
Yes! During Summer Overnight Camp, there is always a nurse on site. The health and safety of campers is taken extremely seriously. Our nursing staff live in the Health Centre and are available on call 24 hours a day.
My camper takes daily meds. Is that an issue?
Nope! Our camp is typically staffed with two heath professionals. For overnight camp, if your child takes medication of any kind our nurses will oversee that they are getting the required medication that they need. Your child's medication is kept safely in the dispensary located in the Health Center, and is only administered by one of the nurses themselves. Parents are welcome to come in on the first day and meet our nursing staff to discuss your camper and their needs.
Are you nut free?
Camp Couchiching strives to be nut and peanut sensitive as possible. We do not serve any nut products at camp, and refrain from "trace" products by working in partnership with our food providers. Our tuck shop (snacks) is nut free, and all care packages that come into camp are opened with the camper in the office to ensure no nuts come into camp. We remove the handmade, unlabeled, labelled nut or the may contain products found in care packages. As part of our focus on integration, children with nut allergies are welcome at Camp. During the one month changeover weekends, we cannot guarantee a nut free environment as we are out in the public.
My camper has a friend at camp. Will they be in the same cabin?
Upon return from Camp, you will be amazed with how many new friends your son/daughter has bonded with. We strongly believe in strengthening old friendships, but also in creating new bonds. The camp community is so diverse that there is a friend for everybody. Most campers (especially first years) come to camp with a friend from back home, who they have the option to be cabin mates with. To ensure that both friends are put in a cabin together a mutual consent pretty much guarantees that they will be in the same cabin if they are the same gender and born in the same year. If an older camper requests a younger camper, within one year, then we will move the older camper to the younger age group. You can request a cabin mate in the forms handed out with the camp information, or you can call the camp office to ensure that your request has gone through.
What is your policy on Life Jackets/PFDs at camp?
We take the health and safety of our campers very seriously. It is a camp rule that campers must wear lifejackets to be able to access the docks in all our boating areas. In addition, when swimming outside of our designated swimming area or at our water trampoline, campers must also wear a life jackets. No matter how well a camper or staff member can swim, they need a lifejacket on at all times in these situations. All though we do have enough lifejackets to facilitate everyone, we do encourage your child to bring their own if they feel more comfortable in it. When campers are out on canoe or hiking trips, we have them wear lifejackets/PFDs while swimming.
What is your policy on weak/non-swimmers at camp?
No child is forced to swim if they do not want to although all campers are strongly encouraged to partake in the swim test that takes place on the first day of camp, yet if they do not want to take it, they can choose not to. If they don't they will not be permitted to partake in any water activities until the test is completed. Our swim seeks to determine if campers are "water worthy" as well as safe to swim in the deep end of our swim area. Being in the water is a great way to cool down on a hot day and/or after an active game.
What is the tuck shop and how does it work?
The tuck shop is one of the most loved and respected places for all of our campers. Tuck is another word for "candy" and "treats". And when we say candy, we mean all different types. We have everything from gobstoppers to nerds, coffee crisps to smarties, Sour cream and onion chips to salt and vinegar, as well as a variety of pops and juices. The way tuck works is that every other day each and every cabin is invited to the tuck shop around lunchtime to choose the sweets of their choice. On an average tuck day campers will leave the shop with 2 items; a drink and a candy, both of which is at no extra cost to you. You cannot buy more and all campers are given the same amount.
Do kids sleep in sleeping bags or do they bring bed sheets?
We believe that sleep is important for everyone. As a result we encourage parents to send bedding that they feel will help their child gain the best sleep possible. Though a sleeping bag is the norm for most campers, we encourage parents to send with their kids pillows, a bottom sheet, bed sheets and blankets if desired. Having bedding is often more comfortable on a hot night compared to a sleeping bag. Stuffed animals and blankies are encouraged if your child takes comfort in them at home. Consider not sending the most favourite stuffie just in case it gets misplaced. International campers can have bedding provided for them if this service is identified ahead of time.
How do we communicate with our camper while they are at Overnight Camp?
Whether your camper is a one-week camper, or a one-month camper you can communicate with ease. Located just at the end of camps' road there is a post office, where all our camps incoming mail is sorted. You can send everything from a post card to a care package via mail to keep in touch with your child. Many families choose to drop off their campers' mail for the session on the first day and we pass it along on the day you've identified on the envelope. We also give you the option to email your children at your convenience by sending an email to email@example.com with their name in the subject line. With either one of these two options, we ensure that your child will receive any mail that comes our way within a 24-hour period of time.
How do our campers communicate with us?
On your camp application you can choose a writing kit, which includes pens, stamps, postcards, and other essentials or you can bring your own writing supplies to keep in contact with home. Each and every day the campers cool down during what is called "rest hour". Rest hour is an hour of the day right after lunch that is specifically slotted in to the busy day for campers to relax. During this time, campers play cards, read, and it is the perfect time for a camper to write a letter to home. After they have written the letter they have the choice of either giving it to their counselor to drop of in the Towne Hall mailbox, or doing it themselves. Campers don't bring cell phones and can't use our phones to call home when they're at camp.
Does Camp Couchiching have a parents day? Can parents visit?
We don't have a scheduled visitor's day. It is not encouraged that parents visit, especially if your child is staying for only two weeks. One month campers have an option of a mid-month visit if they don't go home for the Changeover weekend.
Does my camper have to go on the canoe/hiking trip?
No, not at all. If your child does not feel comfortable or does not want to go on the out trip, they have an option of staying at camp and partaking in the days activities. We will encourage your camper to attend but we will never force them to go. Accommodations will be arranged for them, and they will be most likely staying with other campers who have chosen to not go on out trip as well, or another cabin with a spare bunk. Overnights and canoe/hiking trips are available to overnight campers who are Intermediate aged and older.
Is your camp religious?
Camp Couchiching is an independent children's charity however we are proud (and grateful) of our Anglican founders and heritage who had the foresight to purchase the property and establish the camp. Campers and staff come from all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs/non-beliefs. To continue to honour some of our camp traditions, some programs reflect non-denominational religious values. Some examples are our values based chapel service, pre-meal graces and our traditional camp closing song. Campers can choose to observe or participate in these aspects of camp.
Camp Couchiching supports three methods of transportation to and from overnight camp. Since we are only 1.5 hours from Toronto, many of our families choose to drive campers to/from camp. We also offer Coach busing during the summer months, which picks campers up at a location in Toronto (at Canadian Forces College - 215 Yonge Blvd) and brings them to camp. Our third option is for our international community and supports collecting any campers at the airport and ensuring at the end of a session they are safely brought to their returning flight. All the transportation options are embedded in the on-line application.
For day campers, a daily bus is available, at no charge, to and from Orillia each day.
LastUpdate: 2019-07-23 00:12:55