What to bring to Summer Camp and Waterdown Day Camp FAQs

Take one week, take all nine

Our program is structured so that you can pick and choose only the weeks you need for your child.  You can choose between one and nine weeks to register for. (Unfortunately we don’t accept part-time enrolment.  We keep our weekly fees as low as possible – we are a registered non-secular educational charity after all – so that everyone can experience our camp! )

What are the hours of operation and where is the camp location?

We operate from the hours of 7am-6pm with the core of the program running from 9-4pm. Our summer camp (in 2017) runs out of the Waterdown District High School East Entrance (Student Parking Lot, 215 Parkside Drive in Waterdown, ON). The School Board specially prepares the rooms for use by our different age groups.

What if I require extended before/after care?

Our programs include before & after care from 7am-9am and then from 4-6pm. This is all included in the one registration fee. A morning & afternoon snack is offered to campers in our extended care times to make sure they are nourished for a full day!

Please note an additional $20 fee will be charged per half hour for late pick up after 6pm.

Where should I go on the first day?

Our Summer Camp is located in a special section of the Waterdown High School located at 215 Parkside Dr. at the East Student Parking Entrance ONLY, please enter via the East Parking lot entrance, park and bring your child in to our program (no “kiss and rides” are allowed).

You would have to walk all the way to the East side if you park in the High School’s Front Entrance (Main) Parking Lot (near the WDCC Day Care), as you will not be able to cut through the school.

WDHS PArking fro CAmp Waterdown

OK, I’m in the parking lot.

Click to watch our Summer 2016 – 2018 Information Movie on our web site to learn more!:

Getting to know our Camp Programs!

It helps us on the first day’s check-in if you know which camp program your child is in:

  • Jr. Explorer Campers for our JK or SK (44mths to 6.5 years)
  • Sr. Adventurer Program! Grade 1 to Grade 8 they (68mths -12.9 years)
  • Mavericks, specially tailored for 9-13 years.
  • Leaders in Training (Volunteer Program for 14 – 17 years)

You may check your online Family Registration page if you don’t have your confirmation email.

Please take the time to read our Parent Handbook (PDF) which helps understand our policies, withdrawal options, late pick up fees, snacks, health procedures and much more.

What time should I drop off?

Our camp’s FREE extended morning care is from 7am-9am.

Our main program runs from 9am-4pm.

Children need to arrive BEFORE 9am on field trip days (campers missing the bus may be sent home).

Our camps include FREE extended afternoon care from 4-6pm.

No need to sign up for extended care and campers will get a snack during morning and afternoon extended care. Please bring a nut and sesame seed free lunch and water bottle for two nutrition breaks and some extra small nut / sesame seed free snacks during the main program.

Where to Drop off?

Check Point Room: All parents/guardians are asked to visit our Checkpoint room during pick up and drop off. This is located off the WDHS East Parking Lot Entrance and up the flight of stairs.

Morning Drop Off

Step 1: Find your child’s name on our Communication Wall

Step 2: Once your find your childs name and know their group color, you can go to our morning greeter and so we can sign in your child! At this point our staff will conduct a quick daily health check, give the camper a wristband and direct them to the drop off room.

Step 3: You are all signed in! Now find the locker color that corresponds with your childs group color! There will be fancy white out markers you can put your child’s name on the locker color note (please don’t write on the actual locker, but on the color note)

Step 4: Drop off your camper to the drop off room our greeter informed you (if you forget look for the room with the drop off color in front)

Step 5: Wish your camper an amazing day and rest assure they are in safe hands! FYI: We are located in the upstairs of the high school!

Afternoon Pick Up?

Step 1: Visit our CheckPoint Room

Step 2: Inform our afternoon greeter your chids group color. If you forget please check our communication wall.

Step 3: Pick up your child at the designated pick up room.

**All parents/guardians are asked to take a stop at our checkpoint room in order to ensure all of our campers safety both during pick up and drop off**

What should my child/ren bring all week?

Nutritious peanut­, tree nut and sesame seed free lunch, spare clothes, sunscreen (SPF15+), sun hat, water bottle, swimsuit, and towel. Swimsuit should always be packed in the case we decided to have water play on a hot summer day. Remember to label all personal belongings. Please leave any valuables at home (we will not be responsible for their loss)  Check our lost and found at the end of the week incase of any misplacing’s.

What should we pack on field trips?

We encourage parents to pack lightly on trips. Please check our camp schedules to see if there will be any water activities. Please DO NOT SEND SPENDING MONEY on trips (there will be NO opportunity given to spend it, and food and drink is not permitted to be purchased on trips – so please don’t forget to arrange for lunches). If the weather is sunny, then children will require sun hats and sunscreen.

Does the camp provide a lunch program?

Normally our children all bring lunches and no catering is provided this year. We also occasionally have some special days where children may purchase a lunch, but that is always TBA. Our schedule provides two nutrition breaks during the day in which your child gets chance to eat their nutritious peanut-free packed lunch and snacks from home.  All children attending our program must come with or have a nutritious lunch packed according to Health Canada’s Food Guide. According to our child care license, our staff must ensure that all children bring or have made arrangements for a nutritious lunch daily (and we will call home or bar admittance if this is not provided).

What if my child is sick for a day of camp, who do I call? Will I get a refund?

Parents are asked to call our camp cell number 905-902-­1261, the number is also found on our website and on our information board. Please DO NOT EMAIL absence notices. There is no refund given for absence due to sickness or camp closures. Please refer to our camp parent handbook posted online. If your child is sick during camp, we will call to inform parents of any sickness or injuries.

Can other relatives and/or family friends pick up?

Yes, as long as their names are listed on our emergency contact list filled out at registration. If they are not, we ask you to inform our staff ahead of time, or please send in a written note informing our staff members about the individual picking up. We will be asking to see government photo identification when the new individual is picking up, this is all part of keeping your child safe! Please do not feel offended if our staff members ask you for identification within the first days of camp. We are just getting to know the families and want to ensure safety for all!

What should I do if my child has a severe allergy?

In addition to updating your Registration, please inform our camp director so they may give you the proper forms to fill out and all staff can be made aware of any severe allergies. Warnings regarding severe food allergies are also posted on our information board for all parents to be aware of.

Our anaphylactic form must come with the child’s photograph attached and be signed by their physician and delivered to our WDCC program 2 weeks prior to the first day of camp.

*Download Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan*

My child has an Epi-­‐pen who do I give it to?

We ask on the first day of camp to bring the Epi­‐pen and give it to your child’s camp counsellor for the week. The Epi­‐pen is then kept with the counsellor at all times.

What are your behaviour management procedures?

Children who attend our program are expected to follow behaviour guidelines and interact positively with their peers and staff members. Discharge from the program will be at the discretion of the director. Specific guidelines are outline in our parent handbook. Failure to follow the guidelines may result in suspension or removal of camp.

I have two kids, one is in the Junior Explorer and the other in the Adventurer or Mavericks program. Will they get a chance to see each other?

Yes, in the mornings and evenings during free choice we are allowed to have groups that mix differently aged children. Junior Explorers and Adventures often must have two different outdoor yard areas. During field trips there is more opportunity for supervised mixing and socializing between groups.

What if I want my child to be grouped with their friends?

Campers are organized into age specific groups (even within age ranged programs). Upon registration we ask all parents/guardians to fill out any friend-­grouping requests in our general notes section. At most we can normally accommodate either a request to keep siblings together or ONE friend. We will try out best to accommodate these requests (and we must receive the same request from BOTH families) but please remember that camp is a great way to make new friends and things don’t always work out the way we expect them to! (All our decisions are made in the best and particular interests of the children involved and the requirements of our Day Care licensing).  Generally during the mornings and afternoons, as our numbers dwindle, our groups condense and friends get a chance to mingle.

What are your group ratios?

We must follow specific ratios set out buy the new Child Care and Early Years Act. For our Junior Explorers (44mths – 6yrs) the ratio is 1 Adult ECE to 13 students,  for the Senior Adventurers (6 – 12yrs) the ratio is 1:15, and for Mavericks  the ratio is 1:20. At times and with volunteers and leaders-in-training, we will often have more supervision for our groups than this.  The ratios are occasionally modified at times of transition in the mornings (7‐9am) and evenings (4­‐6pm).

These ratios stay the same when we are away on field trips.  In addition, as part of our Leader In Training programs, many of our Junior groups get extra supervision from volunteer youth leaders.  At ALL times, however, each group has a qualified, trained and screened adult Staff member with their group.

What other safety protocols do you follow on field trips?

Our staff and youth volunteers are well trained before camp on procedures for supervision on each trip with very well-planned out itineraries and meeting spots.   We also follow protocols for the supervision and provision of additional precautions and parent authorized medications where necessary.

Swimming Safety

Our younger Junior Explorers do not go into deep swimming pools, wave pools or water slides during trips, but are supervised by our staff in Splash Pads and wading water activities.  Staff create a perimeter in the water area to allow for better supervision and all children remain within those areas.  Younger Senior children are only allowed to go in water up to their waist level. Children aged 9-13 who can swim have a designated staff member swimming with them in deeper water, in addition to facility lifeguards. In any case, wave pools and water slides are not normally visited where we have limited visibility of individual children. Please let us know if your child of this age can not swim.

During water-activities, all facilities we visit are mandated to have qualified lifeguards in attendance. For certain activities we hire additional qualified water sports supervisors, in addition to our regular staff.

Excursion Safety

During excursions, our Junior Explorers groups are assigned additional volunteer youth leaders to assist the Staff Leader(s) with supervision in busy places.  Our excursion groups (outside the walking community)  always wear similarly highly coloured Camp t-shirts (with camp and telephone information) that helps keep the group together and visible in larger venues.  Children attending washroom facilities on trips are always appropriately supervised (according to our license requirements) as well.

Speaking of Teenage Volunteers WE WANT YOU! aged 14 – 17

Our popular Junior Camp Counsellors (ok, maybe it should be called “Not-so-Junior Camp Counsellors) is recruiting for the summer and parents can use the very same forms as for registering younger children.  A letter of interest is required (and can be attached to the application or emailed in later). We have to charge a small fee per volunteer week to help us recover the cost of field trip admissions, a leaders t-shirt (which our volunteers get to keep), training opportunities, snacks (gotta feed those hungry teens) and more.

Our volunteer work does qualify for High School Community Involvement Hours. Leaders in Training will simply need to fill and bring the appropriate form from the school board (Record of Hours Form)

This activity qualifies as approved form the School Board List without requiring additional approval from the office.

More information on obtaining your credits and applicable forms is available on the HWDSB web site

Can parents or guardians volunteer on field trips?

Yes, parents/guardians are welcome to join us on trips with advance notice. All Parent/Guardian and other adult volunteers MUST now obtain and present a Hamilton Police Service Vulnerable Sector Record Check. Proof of this record check must be done within the 6 months before you join our program, and can be obtained at the Hamilton Police Services Records Business Centre in downtown Hamilton. Parents/guardians will also be given additional Behavioural Guidelines instructions that they must read and sign agreement before participation.  This may seem like a lot, but it is a mandated protocol instituted by the Ontario Ministry of Education in the best interest of our children. There will be a charge of $15 for adult volunteers. This will help with the bus and entrance cost to our trip destinations.  Parent/guardian volunteers are not counted in our supervision ratio and will not be left alone with campers.

Please inform our camp director if interested in joining any of our trips!

What is the best way to keep on track on any important new information?

Our website  is updated regularly with reminders and news for parents (www.campwaterdown.com).

We also have a twitter account @campwaterdown and Facebook Account that will repeat our announcements and for quick reminders and glances of what we are doing that day. If we are ever running late from a trip, we will always attempt to post on our Twitter account.

If you would like to be notified by email of the start of registration, please sign up for one or more of our program email subscriptions (for Members or Guests).


What will my child be doing (besides having a great time)?

Jr. Explorer and Sr. Explorer Information can be found on our schedule page (look for the link to the Weekly printable PDF calendars).

On those weekly PDF schedule calendars you will find the activities themes for the week, any trips, what to pack, and more!

Ensure to print and read read them so you are informed as with so many campers we may not be able to answer your emailed questions as quickly as in the past. Of course, things are bound to change, so keep updated by watching our home page for posted updates, following our Twitter (@CampWaterdown) or on Facebook .

Each day you arrive for drop off, be sure to read our Communication Wall!

If you find there are other tips we didn’t include please fee free to e-mail us (info@campwaterdown.com).

If you have any other information or questions about our program feel free to ask our camp staff or director. We look forward to a great summer!

Updated July 9, 2018