Arrival and Departure
Campers will arrive at camp between 1pm and 2pm on Sunday the first day of camp and picked up between 10am and 11am on Saturday the last day of camp. Please let the camp know if other arrangements need to be made for your child’s arrival or departure. We are always happy to help if you give us notice and let us know what we can do.
Camp is wonderful, but it doesn’t always feel that way instantly. Many children go through several days of homesickness until they adjust to camp. Homesickness is natural. It happens to young children and older ones too, and not only to first-time campers. It’s important for children that we acknowledge the reality of those feelings, and take positive steps to help them get through that stage. Camp leaders are trained to deal with homesickness by giving children close personal attention, helping them make new friends and get engaged in fun new activities.
• Homesickness can happen to anyone. If your child knows that, it causes less anxiety.
• Don’t say: “If you don’t like camp you can come home.” Children who are having difficulty adjusting to
camp will then compound the problem by not giving it a fair chance and focus instead on going home, since you offered that option.
• Do say: “If you feel homesick, tell your leader. Don’t hide it.” Help your camper to know that we want to support him/her, and we can’t do that as well if we don’t know when he/she is having a hard time.
• Before your child goes to camp, explain that getting the big people’s assistance is different from at home. At home, we may tell our children to never to talk to strangers. It’s different at camp, and they need to know that well in advance, in order to feel safe and emotionally comfortable with these different circumstances. Discuss how camp is a safe place where they go by themselves, and why it’s ok at camp to interact with “strangers” who will soon become their friends.
• Avoid statements like: “I’m going to miss you terribly.” You don’t want to make your children feel awful about leaving you. They need to feel loved, but not to fear you’ll be desolate in their absence.
• Be sure to mention the not so great realities of camp too. There should be no surprises when your child discovers outhouses, mosquitoes, and that you have to make your own bed at camp.
• Give your child lots of information. If you need more information from us, just get in touch! Explain that there won’t be any phone calls to or from home. Boost your camper’s “emotional readiness” for camp by explaining that at camp, the best strategy is to turn to those new friends, your leaders, and the camp director when he/she is struggling.
• Write letters to arrive before he/she does.
• Involve your child closely in every step of getting ready to go (the planning and the packing).
• Take a deep breath and accept that “Kidsickness” happens to all parents. Call me if you need to. I have been there.
Once Your Child is at Camp …
If you get an “I hate camp” letter, don’t panic. It’s common for campers (especially new ones) to write a letter saying: “The food sucks! Camp sucks!” This is normal. Complaining to parents empowers children. They often do reveal more to their parents. If you get a very negative letter, please call and alert us, but also be aware that matters have most likely improved dramatically since the letter was written.
Bear Creek Outdoor Centre reserves the right to change programs for any reason deemed necessary to Camp Directors. In such cases, we attempt to accommodate campers in other existing programs. If we cancel a program and are unable to provide a viable program alternative, we will refund your money in full.
Trip Evacuation Policy
In the event that a camper needs to be evacuated from a canoe trip (or camp), costs of travel as well as medical costs are incurred by the camper family. Camp directors endeavor to include parents/guardians in all evacuation and medical decisions. In the event that parents/guardians are not available or are not in agreement, BCOC directors or agents are authorized to make emergency medical and safety decisions for the welfare of campers.
Code of Conduct
We strongly believe that every person has the right to feel safe, both physically and emotionally at camp.
BCOC reserves the unrestricted right to dismiss a Camper whose conduct or influence is detrimental to the best interest of the Camp in the considered opinion of the directors. Such conduct or influence includes, but is not limited to: any observation or discovery (Camp reserves the right to search personal property) of the use or possession of weapons, drugs or drug-related implements, stimulants or intoxicating beverages, bringing food on to Camp, leaving Camp grounds, Camp activities or off-Camp activities at any time without official approval and supervision, damaging or defacing of Camp property, smoking, possession of cigarettes, refusing to participate in camp activities, not complying with camp rules or procedures, inappropriate behavior, inappropriate intimate behavior, and omission or misrepresentation regarding the medical or mental history of the Camper. We do not assume a legal obligation to administer prescription medicine and failure to do so does not excuse the Camper from following rules or appropriate behavior. Any of the above conduct may subject the Camper to dismissal. In such event, there will be no refund or adjustment of any part of the Camp fee. The Camp is not responsible for Campers when traveling to and from Camp.
Camp Photos and other postings on the Web
We are concerned about the Bear Creek Outdoor Centre public image when it comes to postings and images on the Internet. We ask that all campers screen their own photos and their postings to ensure appropriateness before putting them on the web. We look forward to parental support with this! Additionally, we will be taking photos at camp and also posting photos taken by others on our own website. Please notify us if you don’t want your child’s image on our website.
Contact with Home
Getting settled into camp requires our campers to be where they are (here at camp) as opposed to where they are not (at home). New surroundings, new schedules, new challenges and new people all combine to make the first few days of camp difficult for some campers. Camp is a time of independence and personal growth. We believe this is best achieved unplugged. Please do not send cell phones to camp with your child. We strongly encourage campers and families to write letters to each other. The camp mailing address is:
Bear Creek Outdoor Centre
RR#3 Campbell’s Bay QC
Jill’s Cell Phone 613-889-7262 (email [email protected]) I often carry this with me. It gets decent reception at camp. I try to make sure it is NOT in my pocket when I swim.
Flashlight and extra batteries
Daypack (should be comfortable, you will be taking this everywhere)
Sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
Rain jacket and pants
Older pair of shoes for the water, mud
Lots of socks, and underwear
2 pr. (min) long pants
2 beach towels
Sleeping bag and sleeping pad (for out trips)
Bedding for in camp (pillow, twin sheets, blanket or comforter etc.)
Stationary items and books
**Lifejacket (must be a government approved PFD)
Duffle bag, trunk or suitcase ( some campers find Rubbermaid style bins or drawers to be useful for keeping things tidy in the cabin)
You are welcome to bring along other things to camp. You may want more warm clothes for the August session, as it tends to be cooler in the morning and evening.
Some optional items may include:
Mountain Bike (if the child has their own please bring it to camp)
Baseball glove, fishing rod and tackle, water gun
Cards and games
***Please leave personal electronics (games, phones, ipods etc.) at home