Get Ready to Camp

To get this information in PDF format, please click
DiscoveryLand_Camp_Info_2019.pdf

Dear Parents and Campers,

We are pleased that you’ve made DiscoveryLand Camp into a part of your family’s summer plans! To better help you and your children prepare for this experience, please review the following information:

DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL INFORMATION

Place: Herbert Carnegie Centennial Centre, 580 Finch Avenue West Toronto, ON, M2R 1N7. (1 block west of Bathurst, on the north side of Finch, parking lot behind the arena). For a detailed map, visit https://discoverylandcamp.com/summer-camp-toronto-transportation/

Time:

SESSION 1 (July 14 – July 28)

  • Departure from Toronto: July 14th, 3:00 PM
  • Arrival to Toronto: July 28th, 2:00 – 2:30 PM

SESSION 2 (July 28 – Aug 11)

  • Departure from Toronto: July 28th, 3:00 PM
  • Arrival to Toronto: Aug 11th, 2:00 – 2:30 PM

Please make sure that your child has had lunch and visited the washroom before boarding the bus. The buses will make only one stop for snacks in order to keep the trip to camp short. Snacks and water will be provided during the trip, but you might want to pack a water bottle and your child’s favorite snack in a small backpack that will be taken on the bus with him/her. Please: NO food containing nuts on the camp bus.

The bus will leave according to the schedule, so in case of being late, it is your responsibility to bring your child to camp on your own. 

If you plan to drive on your own

If you enrolled for a 1-week session or your start or end of session dates are other than July 14th, July 28th, or Aug 11th, you need to deliver or pick up your child on your own – please refer to the camp location https://discoverylandcamp.com/camp-location/

Delivery/Pick up time to/from the camp

-If you are delivering your child to the camp, arrive by:

  • July 14th, July 28th: 6:00- 6:30 PM
  • July 21st, Aug 4th: 2:00- 2:30 PM

-Please don’t arrive earlier: our staff is extremely busy preparing and we will not be able to offer you the full attention that you need!

-If you are picking up your child from the camp, arrive by 10:00 AM – noon.

-If you are going to pick up your child from the camp on July 28 or August 11 – you must notify us by email at least 3 days in advance! Otherwise, your child will return to Toronto by bus.

NECESSARY DOCUMENTS

Make sure you provided the camp administration with all the necessary documents that were indicated in “Registration Details” email:

  1. Send necessary documents via Camp Form Submission
  2. If your child is going to carry any medication at camp, please complete a Request for Administration or Self-Administration of Prescription Medication
  3. If Your child is an International Student or does not have a Health Card, please follow the steps for the International Student Documents Submission

RULES AND TIPS

Going to an overnight camp is an important step in the formation of your child’s independence. Following these reasonable and simple rules will help you and your child to have a safe and enjoyable time.

Our Counsellors will discuss all the points mentioned below with campers, but your cooperation is highly appreciated and it’s vitally important that you discuss each point with your child before camp starts.

1.        Hygiene. Ask your child to follow the same hygienic routine that he/she has at home: brushing teeth, showers, etc.

2.        Discipline. Discipline is a matter of your child’s safety. Please discuss DiscoveryLand Camp Policy, Terms and Conditions that were listed on your initial Registration Form, with your child to make sure he/she fully understands it.

3.        Night time (from 10:30 PM to 8:00 AM) is for rest and recovering. Any disturbing noise at this period will be dealt with according to Camp Policy.

4.        For the full list of things to bring, check out https://discoverylandcamp.com/what-to-bring/.

5.       Parents, please ensure campers are prepared to participate at camp in a sun safe manner, including bringing appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen SPF 30 or higher.

6.       DO NOT bring any electronic games as well as cell phones, please. They take away from the positive interaction among campers and might get lost. These items, along with unsafe items such as matches, knives, lighters will be confiscated and kept in administration storage until the end of the session.

Do not bring expensive items. We cannot be held responsible if they go missing.

7.      Labeling. Clothing will often get misplaced or lost while at camp. To avoid this, please label Absolutely ALL of your children’s clothes and sleeping bag before arrival. You can put a label or simply write the name or initials of your child on every single thing you pack. This recommendation is not exclusive for parents of young kids. Don’t be misled by the belief that your teenager will be able to keep track of all his/her stuff. There are too many other things to do at camp than keep track of all the items, so it’s better to label teenager’s stuff as well.

8.       Phone communication and Visitors. Remember that a little homesickness is normal and even healthy. It is a common occurrence for many youths and our staff is trained to deal with this issue. For the overall enjoyment and happiness of both your child and other camp participants, like almost all Canadian overnight camps, we do not encourage parental visits. Exceptions: campers pick up/delivery and registration for more than 2 weeks. For the same reason, we don’t have direct communication between campers and parents. Exceptions are birthdays and medical emergency.

How do I know how my child is doing? Send a text message to 647-885-5352 with the following information “I’d like to get an update on —Child’s Name–, and the best time to reach you, if you have a time limitation”, and our staff will get back to you with detailed information.

Parents are welcome to call the camp (every day at 647-885-5352, from 3.00 PM to 5.00 PM) and speak to the camp staff. Your call might not be answered at another time during the day, as all camp staff is constantly engaged in camp activities. The best thing if you can’t reach the camp personnel by phone is to send a text message to 647-885-5352 indicating your name, your child’s name, the short reason for the call and the best time to reach you if you have a time limitation.

Please respect and make sure that your child also understands this policy.

Most parents are relieved to know that their campers will have little to no access to technology at DLC. But the forbidding of cell phones might cause some parents to worry. That’s understandable, as many of you often text and call your children. It’s one of the ways to know that they are secure. But camp is a different story. The nature of an overnight camp requires that parents and children escape from their dependence on technology.

Apart from the potential loss of the cell phone, a big problem arises from campers hiding phones at camp – lack of trust. By giving your child a phone for camp, you’re implying to him/her that you’re not fully comfortable with the camp rules and don’t quite trust our care.

When you choose DLC, you are giving us the responsibility for their health, wellness, and happiness, which we treasure and fulfill to the best of our ability. In return, the campers experience a major growth in independence, problem-solving, and development of greater resilience. Some of the most rewarding outcomes from camp come in form of such lessons, which can only occur based on the trust you give us.

So please do not put your camper in the uncomfortable position of asking him or her to bring a phone to DLC “just in case”. In case of medical necessity, all details should be disclosed in the Medical Form you completed before the camp starts. In any other case, we take all phones and keep them until the end of the session. If a situation arises at camp for which you need to be contacted, or we feel it is absolutely necessary for the camper to speak with you we will surely do so. Thanks for your understanding.

9.        Luggage & Packing. Suggested maximum luggage size: 70 cm x 40 cm x 30 cm, maximum weight: 15 kg; plus a sleeping bag. Transportation place is limited and overweighed/oversized luggage will cause difficulties for your child. Luggage will not be accessible during the bus trip so make sure your child keeps everything he/she needs during the bus trip with him/her. Please put the sleeping bag in a plastic bag with the name of your child on it!

Things to pack for overnight summer camp

When packing, involving your child is a must: show him/her what stuff they have and how it’s currently organized. Important! Show your child how to store it for every day.

Do a role play- let’s see: What do you need in the morning? When going to the beach? In the evening? Where to put it after you use it? Where to store your laundry? How to organize stuff after you get it back from laundry? Show me how you unpack after your arrival? What to do with the wet stuff? Remind your child to never keep wet stuff in the tent; he/she should hang it to dry outside on the clothing lines. (Our staff will remind campers too, but it’s better for campers to make this into a habit). Which things will you need for every day? Pack a few big plastic bags and show which clothes/stuff is stored there (for everyday usage, it’s more convenient to pack by clothing type, such as pants, tops, etc., and store in separate plastic bags). Folding clothes is a very smart way to organize; just make sure to teach your child how to do it on his/her own.

Make sure that your child arrives to the departure place well rested, nourished and hydrated.  The camp reserves the right not to admit people who pose a communicable disease risk to others. 

10.        Head Lice Checks. Head lice is a common problem among school-age children and can occasionally make an appearance at Ontario summer camps. Head lice are NOT a sign of poor hygiene or any other disease, but can spread quickly, and are hard to eliminate in close quarters.  It’s a must for parents to thoroughly check their children for lice a week before arriving at camp. We will do a random check, and if any lice or nits are found, the camper will be asked to return home. Once the camper is lice and nit free, they will have the following options: return back for remaining days during the current summer, if space is available; or for next year. For further information on head lice, please check out http://www.licesquad.com/resources/articles/identifying-head-lice/

11.      Money. Campers do not need money at camp, other than to spend $10-30 dollars at the convenience store and/or for laundry. So, plan appropriately. Remember, if your child brings cash to camp we are not responsible for it being lost or stolen. Put it in your child’s bag in a plastic zip-locked bag with your child’s name on it and ask him/her to give it to the Camp Counsellor when asked, for storing after arrival. Laundry facilities are available for $3 (washer), $3 (dryer). Please prepare quarters and 1 dollar change for it.

12.      Medication. The list of generic medication that can be provided by the camp is available in the Camp Form. If your child might need any other medication (or you have a preferred medication for colds, stomach/headaches, etc.), please pack it in a zip bag and put it in your child’s bag with instructions. Special medication mentioned in the Request for Administration or Self-Administration of Prescription Medication (if any) should also be packed in a plastic zip-locked bag with your child’s name on it and detailed instructions on how to use it. Put it in your child’s bag and ask him/her to give it to the Camp Counsellor for storage when asked.

13.      Costumes. It is so much FUN to participate in various Camp Shows & Theatre Performances and Dance Competitions! We have lots of costumes, but if your child decides to bring some fashionable stuff that can help them show their individuality, good taste and style – you are more than welcome to do it. Just make sure it is not expensive and leave room for everyday clothes.

For more FAQ, go to: https://discoverylandcamp.com/summer-camp-faq/

Overall Review (especially for younger or first time overnight campers):

  • Do encourage your child to go on sleepovers to grandparents, friends and relatives before the camp.
  • Set aside a special time to make sure that your child knows how to organize personal belonging and how to take a shower alone.
  • Do a role play: Go through an approximate daily schedule of what they can expect at camp:
  • 8 AM Morning: wake up, brush teeth, get dressed.
  • After breakfast: how to organize clothes for the day. Have separate bags swim clothes, pajamas, shower stuff, underwear, etc. Get the child familiar with own clothes, water bottle, shoes.
  • Sport: how to get dressed for sport, including running shoes and exercise clothes
  • Swimming: where to store swimming stuff, what to take to the beach. Stress importance of sunscreen and hat for sunny weather, hanging wet clothes to dry.
  • Shower time: how to shower by themselves. What to take to showers. How to hang wet swimming stuff and towel on clothesline.
  • Evening: put on long sleeves, socks and running shoes for evening
  • Before bed: brush teeth.
  • Overall: sharing and playing with other campers, keeping track of personal belonging, hygiene.
  • Emphasize that homesickness is normal and to be expected, shows a healthy relationship between parent/child. Let your child know to come to their counsellor if it is serious.
  • Do not repeat over and over again how much you will miss your child. Just say, “I love you, and can’t wait to hear about your new friends and activities”.
  • Don’t say to them that you will come and bring them home if things don’t work out or they miss you too much – this will undermine their confidence in succeeding at camp and the resolve to “stick it out” once you commit to something.
  • Homesickness assistance is part of our camp staff training; prompt your child to share his/her feelings with the counselors, who will be very supportive.

So good-bye lazy days of internet surfing – at least for the summer. Hello rock climbing, kayaking, swimming, basketball, soccer, archery, disco, starry nights, and more activities in the big real world close to nature!          

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