What is the camp's vision and how is it put into practice?
Each day at Camp is reflected by that Mission Statement:
- Belonging – from a child’s very first hour at Camp, our focus is on creating a sense of community within our smaller individual camper groups and the greater camper population. Staff take a genuine interest in getting to know their campers, so that each child realize that they are an important member of our community. We take a deliberate approach to create an environment of equity and fairness. Each child is valued for the contributions they make at Camp.
- Pride – so many of our campers return to Ryerson each Summer. Though Camp is hosted by a University, to our campers it is very much “their” Camp. They take such joy in wearing their Camp t-shirts, showing off the crafts they make, and sharing with their parents the fun activities they have done at Camp. For two months each year, “their” Camp takes over the Ryerson campus.
- Excellence – we put great effort into finding the very best counsellors to work at Camp each year. That is important to us because we know that a good counsellor can provide an excellent experience for our campers. Our counsellors are outstanding and accomplished mentors, teachers, and leaders. We also seek partnerships with the very best program providers at Ryerson, including the top coaches and athletes that host our high performance camps and the acclaimed faculty and staff members that provide leadership to our academic camps.
What is your background and experience in leading summer camps? Is the camp governed by a board or an owner-operator?
Mike Stewart is the Camp Coordinator of Ryerson Summer Day Camps. Mike brings over 25 years of summer camp experience to his role at Ryerson, including six years in a Director role at Camp Wenonah (Muskoka, ON). He also worked as Program Manager at Amici Camping Charity, a Toronto-based organization that helps underprivileged kids attend summer camps. Mike also held seasonal staff roles at Wenonah and Camp Couchiching (Orillia, ON). Mike is a certified teacher, having graduated from the University of Toronto (B.Ed.) and Trent University (B.A.). Mike sits as a Director on the Board of the Ontario Camps Association. He has received awards from the International Camping Fellowship, Canadian Camping Association, and Ontario Camps Association.
Ryerson Summer Day Camps is operated by the Department of Athletics at Ryerson University. Mike is supported by the Department’s leadership team, including Athletics Director Dr. Ivan Joseph and Manager of Recreation Andrew Pettit.
What kind of training do staff receive?
Staff training includes workshops, keynote speakers, and hands-on leadership opportunities.
All staff are also certified in Standard First Aid and CPR.
How do campers interact with their counsellors and other staff? What is the camper-to-staff ratio?
Our leadership team oversees the day-to-day operation of the Day Camp program, and frequently support counsellors in the delivery of camp activities.
Depending on the age of the camper group our camper-to-counsellor ratio ranges from 6:1 to 10:1.
My child is younger / older than the age range for a program. Can he/she still be registered?
We cannot accept children into a program if they are too old or too young for a particular camp. This is for two reasons:
- The program curriculum is developed with specific ages in mind. We want children to learn new things in a program and we also want to set them up for success. If a child is too young for a camp, our experience is that some activities can just be too difficult for them. And when a child is too old for a camp, we have found that he or she is just not challenged enough to find the activities engaging. We want our campers to leave Ryerson feeling a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and one of the best ways to do that is making sure they participate in a program that is an appropriate learning challenge.
- Camp isn’t just about activities, but also about friendships and building community. As we all know, the social development of children often depends on a child’s age. In the Day Camp setting, we have found that a six year old socializes very differently than an eight year old. Likewise, a 12 year old is at a very different stage of development than a 14 year old. We divide many of our camp groups based on age so that children can socialize with others who are at a similar stage of social development. When an child who is too old or too young is added to the mix, it just isn’t a positive experience all around. We want all campers to feel included in their group, but that can prove difficult if there are children who are significantly older or younger than everyone else.
Can my child be in the same group as his/her friend?
As you complete your camper application, please let us know about any friend requests.
We do our best to accommodate requests for friends to be in the same group together. We can only guarantee requests if:
- Campers are within 18 months in age of each other
- Campers are registered for the same camp program
- The request is mutual (both camper families must make the request)
What are your health and safety protocols?
All Camp staff members are certified in first aid and CPR, and must successfully complete a criminal background check prior to the start of their employment with us.
Safety at Ryerson University is governed by the Integrated Risk Management Department, which “sustains a culture of due diligence by establishing strategies, policies, standards, systems and programs, managing regulatory affairs, auditing the University’s due diligence performance, and supporting the internal responsibility system in the prevention and resolution of health and safety concerns.”
As accredited members of the Ontario Camps Association, we also follow health and safety standards set out by that organization.
How are behaviour and discipline issues handled?
Behaviour and discipline issues are progressively handled by Counsellors, Leadership Staff, and the Camp Coordinator depending on the issue. In extreme cases, parents may be asked to remove their camper from Camp.
How does Camp accommodate children with special needs?
While we are not currently able to offer one-on-one support for children with exceptionalities/special needs, we do aspire to create a welcoming and inclusive camp opportunity for children of all abilities. In an effort to set your camper and our staff up for a safe and successful session, we:
- Are able to work with families to review and assess how their child’s needs may or may not be able to be supported by our staff
- Do welcome families providing their own support person/worker to attend camp in support of their child (must be communicated prior to camp)
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-979-5000 x3334 to discuss if/how we are able to support your child at camp this coming season.
Is there a lunch service available?
Yes! We are pleased to offer an optional lunch service to all Summer campers. Lunch service is based on a two-week set menu, which rotates weekly during the Summer. Those campers who sign up for this service receive a bag lunch each day, along with a morning and afternoon snack.
What is included in Camp fees? What extra costs can I expect?
Additional fees are charged for additional options, including a prepared lunch and our Before and After Care programs.