Where is Camp Riverwood?
Camp Riverwood operates at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area (PCCA) at 1100 Whites Road, in Pickering, Ontario. PCCA is located approximately two kilometres south of Highway 401 on Whites Road.
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. Please review our Riverwood Illness Insurance Policy for other options.
Do you have regular washrooms or port-a-potties at camp?
Riverwood is equipped with many regular flushing toilets around camp, each with their own washing stations. Port-a-potties are also onsite in order to alleviate congestion in the washrooms and shorten wait times. All campers are escorted to the washrooms and our younger campers (Nursery – Grade 1) will be assisted, when necessary. All washroom facilities are regularly sanitized throughout the day.
Do campers need to be fully toilet trained to come to Riverwood?
Yes, all campers need to be fully toilet trained prior to the start of their camp sessions.
What is the Leadership Training Program (LTP)?
The LTP program is for teens completing grades 7, 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 Riverwood or new to the Camp, participants will develop strong bonds, lifelong friendships and great memories! LTPs can earn volunteer hours towards their high school community service requirements.
How many children are in each cabin group?
Each Riverwood cabin ranges from 10-14 children with 2-3 staff.
Are your facilities indoors or outdoors?
We are so fortunate to have ample outdoor open-air space, with lots of natural shade, that bring the country setting to the city. The majority of our activities are outdoors, including well ventilated shelters. In the event of rain, we also have plenty of sheltered spaces where cabin groups can safely run activities while staying dry.
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 you deal with challenging behaviours at Camp?
Our goal is for every child to feel happy and safe at Camp Riverwood. If a camper demonstrates undesirable behaviours, parents will be contacted by their child’s Unit Head and/or the Director 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.
How do the campers get from the bus to their cabin group?
Riverwood staff are placed at bussing and at the carpool loop to escort the children to their appropriate cabin meeting spots. Campers are escorted to and from the bus and carpool daily at the beginning and end of each day.
Who is supervising the children on the camp buses?
In addition to a Stock approved bus driver, there is at least one Riverwood Staff on the bus to supervise the campers, facilitate an enjoyable ride, provide safe dismissal routines and take attendance in the mornings.
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/water play time and staying organized.
Do you have a health centre?
Our on-site Health Centre is staffed by at least one full time student nurse assisting campers and communicating with parents.
Do you offer swim at camp?
We are currently offering Optional Specialty Swim Programs (recreational and instructional) off-site, at Bucklers Aquatics. At this time, Petticoat Creek Pools will be closed in Summer 2024. We will continue to offer onsite water activities and water play as part of all our camp programs throughout the week.
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.
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 at least 2 times throughout the day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon).
How do you help a camper who is not coming with any friends to camp?
On the first day of any session and throughout 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 Riverwood, 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.
My child is allergic to nuts and/or peanuts. Is the camp a “Peanut and Nut Free” camp?
Riverwood 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.
Do campers receive any snacks or water during the camp 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. There are scheduled snack and sunscreen breaks for younger campers and water breaks throughout the day. Older campers snack and drink throughout the day, as needed.
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 June 2023. 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!
What are the camp dates and fees? How do I register my child?
My child is an older camper? Are there many older children enrolled at camp?
Riverwood has no shortage of older campers because traditional camp activities and optional specialty programs are designed to challenge the interests and skills of all age groups up to and including grade 6. As campers get older, they graduate to new activities while leaving others behind. Older units will often receive special programming to keep them engaged and challenged at camp. After completing grade 7, campers graduate into the Leadership Training Program aimed at creating future leaders.
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.
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 and gender. 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. We cannot honour grouping requests for campers in different programs (i.e. traditional camp and optional specialty programs)
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 14 children in a group with a minimum of two camp counsellors. In our school age groups (grades 1 to 6) there are approximately 10-14 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!
What is the structure of a typical camp day?
- Traditional Camp: Each day contains five to six periods filled with fun camp activities, a lunch period and snack breaks
- Optional Specialty Programs: Campers completing SK and older have the opportunity to enrol in our Optional Specialty Programs. Optional Specialty Program campers are placed into cabins by program and spend half the day in their specialized program and the other half follows the traditional camp schedule.
How long is the camp day?
The Camp day is approximately 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. The camp buses arrive between approximately 8:50 – 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 9:00 am and 9:30 am and pick up time between 3:45 and 4:15 pm
Why have rates increased this year?
Given the widespread economic inflation that has affected every sector, including summer camps, we are forced to increase our fees above our usual nominal rates for this upcoming season. The associated expenses of offering quality programming, industry leading low camper to staff ratios, transportation and diversified optional specialty programs has risen significantly. We have tried our best to keep the costs of camp low over the years to welcome as many families as possible; please know that any adjustment to the camp’s pricing is made with careful thought and consideration. We hope that you understand and will continue to support our commitment to offering your child(ren) the most enriching opportunities. We look forward to welcoming you back to your summer home at Camp Riverwood.
Why have Optional Specialty Program age requirements changed?
At Camp Riverwood it is always our goal to make sure that every camper has the most, fun, magical and engaging week ever! ✨ We have found in previous summers that campers who have recently completed SK find the half day structure of our optionals programs too lengthy. Our SK campers seem to get the most out of camp and enjoy it best when they follow our traditional schedule. Participating in a new activity every 30 minutes allows our SK campers to truly experience all of the amazing activities that Riverwood has to offer. ☀️Additionally it keeps them engaged and having fun longer as they are constantly getting to try new things!