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.
Do the campers and staff need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Camp?
Currently, campers ages 5 and older must be fully vaccinated (defined as per Health Canada) a minimum of 2 weeks (14 days) prior to the start of their camp session.
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 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.
Do counsellors and campers have to wear masks while at Camp?
Under the current Ministry of Health Guidelines (used in Summer 2021), while they were outside, campers did not need to wear masks while in their cohorts at Camp. Campers completed SK and older were required to wear a mask while on the bus, at AM/PM care, while participating in the few indoor activities that we had or when they were indoors during rainy periods (with mask breaks). While younger campers (completed Nursery and JK) were not required to wear a mask in those situations based on Ministry Guidelines, we strongly encouraged them to do so. If campers visited the Health Centre they were provided with a mask. Counsellors were required to wear masks when outdoors and social distancing from campers or other staff was not possible, on the bus or indoors. (This is subject to change depending on evolving Government and Ministry Guidelines).
How many children are in each cabin group?
Each Riverwood cabin (cohort) ranges from 10-14 children (much lower than Ministry of Health’s allowance per cohort) with 2-3 staff.
If I want to request that my children be grouped together to limit their exposure to other children, is that possible?
While we do accept grouping requests, and are usually able to accommodate your first choice, we strongly recommend that the children be within one grade level either above or below. Mixed gender grouping requests cannot always be accommodated as we aim to balance each cabin group as best as possible to facilitate friendships.
What is refund policy with regards to COVID-19?
We strongly encourage families to become familiar with our refund policy. It can be found here.
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, that are well-ventilated, where cabin groups can safely run activities while being socially distanced from other cohorts.
How do I know that my child(ren) will be safe at your camp during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Experience matters! We have safely navigated through the pandemic in 2020 at our sister camp, Camp Green Acres in Markham and at Camp Riverwood in 2021 without any cases of COVID-19! While there are no guarantees moving forward, our experience in adapting and following the Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines is what sets us apart. You may not realize that Government Guidelines change several times throughout the summer and with each change, we evaluate and pivot appropriately to maximize the fun, the programming and normalcy at camp while keeping your children safe! In consultation with and with the guidance of Durham Region Public Health, we implemented many safety protocols at camp including limiting cohort sizes, not allowing for co-mingling of cohorts, sanitization practices with regards to supplies, hand washing routines, regular bathroom sanitizing and so much more! We were able to keep the children, the staff and their families safe, while retaining the fun and spirit at camp!!
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 Health Centre is staffed by at least one full time student nurse. As part of our COVID-19 protocols, we have added an outdoor triage area to limit indoor interactions. As well, we have a supervised isolation area for campers or staff exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to rest until they are picked up from camp.
Do you offer swim at camp?
Without knowing what COVID-19 will look like in Summer, 2022, we are currently planning on offering Optional Specialty Swim Programs off-site, at a private pool. The pools at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area, while closed in 2021, are shared spaces with the public. At this time, we are unsure if the Petticoat Creek Pool will be open in Summer 2022. 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 2022. 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 7. 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 8, 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 12 children in a group with a minimum of three camp counsellors. In our school age groups (grades 1 to 7) there are approximately 12 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